COVID-19, a pandemic that has affected businesses of all types and sizes, has forced many to either lay off staff or close their business.Employee Retention Bonus (ERB) is a way to keep businesses afloat.
The ERC is an refundable tax credit which businesses can claim for wages that were paid to their employees during the pandemic.The ERC is intended to keep employees employed, even when businesses are unable operate normally.
If you are a business owner who has been impacted by the pandemic, the ERC can help you keep your employees on board and your business afloat.To learn more about the ERC and how to claim it, visit the IRS website, speak with a tax advisor, or read below
For a brief reading of what the Employee Retention Credit or ERC is, take a look at this video from the YouTube channel “ERC Specialists”. You can also continue below to read an in-depth explanation of ERC.
The Employee Retention CreditIrs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), also known as the Employee Retention Tax Credit, is a refundable tax credit that employers can claim for qualifying wages paid to their employees during COVID-19.It was created in March of 2020 by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to help employers keep their workers on the payroll, despite the fact that they may not have been able to operate normally.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.To qualify, the business must have seen a significant reduction in gross sales or be suspended fully or partly due to an order from the government related to COVID-19.
ERCs can be a major financial boost for companies that have suffered from pandemic effects.It can help businesses to retain employees, pay for payroll, and invest in the future.
Why was the ERC created?
The COVID-19 outbreak caused an economic slump that led many businesses, including small and large ones, to either lay off staff or shut down.The ERC is designed to help keep businesses open and their employees working so that they can resume normal operations as soon as the pandemic subsides.
ERC can offer a significant boost in financial support to businesses impacted negatively by the pandemic.It can also help businesses retain their employees, which is essential for a quick recovery.
The ERC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that businesses can claim it even if they do not owe any taxes.Businesses can claim the ERC on wages paid to employees that are not working because of COVID-19. This includes employees who have been furloughed, quarantined, or are otherwise not allowed to work. Irs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
The Impact of the ERC in the Business and Economy
The ERC was able to keep millions of Americans working during the COVID-19 pandemic.It also helped companies to weather the economic storm and remain afloat.
ERC was estimated to have saved 10 million jobs and prevented thousands of businesses from closing.It has also contributed to the economic recovery by boosting consumer spending and investment.
The only difference between ERC 2020 requirements and those of 2021 is the test for gross receipts.In order to qualify for the 2020 ERC, businesses must have had a substantial decline in gross revenues of at least half compared with the same quarter last year.In 2021, the business must have suffered from a significant fall in gross sales of at least 20% when compared to same quarter in previous year.
The ERC is available to businesses in two different ways.
- ERC eligibility is based on whether the business has been suspended completely or in part due to COVID-19.This includes businesses who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to follow certain restrictions.
- Significant decline in gross revenues: Businesses that have experienced a significant drop in gross revenue due to COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC.Significant decline in gross revenues is defined as at least a 50% decline in a quarterly in 2020, or at least a 20% decline in a quarterly in 2021 when compared with the same quarter the previous year.
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
Fully or partially suspended by a government order:
- ERC will cover a restaurant which is forced to close down by government orders.
- The ERC is available to gyms that are required to operate with a reduced capacity because of a COVID-19-related government order.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC eligibility is granted to retail stores who experience a sales decline of 50% due to COVID-19.
- ERC is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), is a credit for businesses that can be claimed on qualified wages paid by employers to their employees during COVID-19.The amount varies depending on how many employees are employed and what quarter it is.
The credit for 2020 is equal 50% of the wages qualified to be paid to employees. This maximum can reach $10,000 per employee.This means a company could receive up to a $5,000 credit per employee in 2020.
The credit for the first three quarters of 2021 is 70% of the qualified wages paid by employees. This maximum amount per employee per quarter is $10,000.For the first 3 quarters in 2021, an employer could receive up to $7,000 per employee each quarter. That’s up $21,000 per worker for the whole year.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim ERC on Federal Employment Tax Returns
Businesses that wish to claim the Employee Retention credit (ERC), on their federal employment tax returns must use Form 941-X, Revised Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, or Claim for Refund.This form can be submitted for any quarter where the business was entitled to the credit.
Claim the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options for claiming the ERC:
- Claim the credit ahead of time: Businesses may claim the credit by reducing the quarterly employment tax deposit.For this to happen, businesses will need to submit IRS Form 7200 – Advance Payment of Taxes and Employer Credits.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.To do this, businesses must file Form 941 with the IRS and indicate the amount of the credit they are reducing their deposits by.
- Request a Refund: Businesses who have already paid their Employment Taxes can request to receive a refund for the credit by submitting Form 941X to the IRS.
Calculating the Credit Amount and Avoiding Double Dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying employee wages with the applicable credit rate will give you the ERC.The credit rates for 2020 are 50% and 70% in the first 3 quarters of 2021.
Avoid double-dipping when it comes to other relief programs.For example, businesses can’t claim the ERC if they are also claiming the Paid Family Leave Credit or Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documentation
Businesses should keep detailed records of all qualified wages paid to employees during the ERC period.This will enable businesses to accurately determine the amount of credit that they are eligible for, and to back up their claim should it be audited. Irs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- Keep a copy of all payroll records, including W-2 forms and Form 941s.
- Keep track of the hours that employees work, including sick leave, vacation time, and holidays.
- Track all employee wages, including bonuses, overtime, and base pay.
- Keep track of all government orders that affect your business.
The IRS provides many resources to assist businesses in claiming the ERC. They include fact sheets, videos, and FAQs.Businesses can also contact the IRS for assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic can apply for the Employee Retention Credit.The following are examples of businesses that may be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC):
- Government orders force restaurants to close
- Retail stores that saw a significant fall in sales
- Disruptions in the supply chains prevent manufacturers from working at full capacity
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms, fitness studios
- Salons, spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to comply with new safety protocols
- Businesses who experienced higher costs due to COVID-19
Aside from these examples, businesses that have been fully or partly suspended by a government directive or who have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC. Irs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
Here are some examples that show how businesses have used ERCs:
- A restaurant that was forced to close for several months due to a government order was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on the payroll.
- A retail store which experienced a drop of 50% in sales due COVID-19 could offset its payroll expenses by using the ERC.
- A manufacturer that was unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on payroll and continue to produce essential goods.
- A nonprofit organization that saw its donations decline due to COVID-19 was able to use the ERC to keep its employees on payroll and continue to provide essential services.
If you are an owner of a business and are unsure as to whether you are eligible for ERC, then I would encourage you contact a tax specialist.They can help determine your eligibility as well as claim the credit for you if you’re eligible.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, some scammers take advantage of companies that qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers may use aggressive marketing tactics to try to convince businesses to sign up for their services, even if the business is not eligible for the ERC.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signs and red flags to identify potential ERC scammers:
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- They charge high fees upfront or take a portion of your refund.
- The salespeople are aggressive and use high-pressure tactics. Irs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
- They are not members of a reputable professional tax organization.
- The first thing they ask you for is your personal and financial information.
Reporting Suspicious Actors and Protecting Your Personal Information
If you have been contacted by an ERC scammer , you should notify the IRS .Call 1-800-829-1040 to report the scam or visit the IRS website.
Protecting personal information and financial data is equally important.Do not give your personal information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited.If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a business, you can look at their online reviews or ask for help from the IRS.
In this article we discussed the Employees Retention Credit, tax-relief program that assists eligible employers in keeping their employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 epidemic.We have discussed eligibility requirements, claiming processes, and possible scams related the ERC.
We have also provided some tips and resources for recordkeeping and documentation.ERCs are a valuable tool that employers can use to lower their employment tax liability and improve their cash flow. They also help support their workforce.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
Irs Notice 2023-20 Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
Businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for a refundable income tax credit.
This credit is equal to 50% the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in 2020. And 70% of the wages paid by employees to qualified employees in their first three quarters in 2021.
Who is eligible to apply for ERC?
Eligible businesses include those who have seen a significant decrease in gross revenues or have been suspended fully or partly due to government orders resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
What is a qualified wage?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How can I claim my ERC?
The IRS will accept amended Forms 941 and 941-X from businesses to claim the ERC.The amended Form 941-X must be filed within three years of the date the original Form 941 was filed.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
No, the ERC is a refundable tax credit, which means that businesses do not need to repay it.
Can I claim the ERC if I received a PPP loan?
Yes, even if you have received a Loan Protection Program (PPP) for your business.
Businesses cannot claim ERCs for wages they also claimed as PPPs.
Can self-employed individuals claim the ERC?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Nonprofit organizations can apply for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies that have a foreign subsidiary claim ERC benefits?Can companies who have a foreign branch claim ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
It is important to note that there are additional requirements for claiming the tax credit.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- Incorrect credit calculation
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failing to amend Forms 941-X within the specified timeframe.