The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The ERC can be claimed by businesses on the wages they paid employees who qualified during pandemic.The ERC was created to ensure that businesses can continue to pay employees during a pandemic, even if their normal business operations are disrupted.
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 find out more about ERC and to claim, you can either visit the IRS web site, speak with an advisor, or check 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 CreditNc Employee Retention Credit
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is a refundable credit that businesses may claim on wages paid during the COVID-19 pandemic.It was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020 in order to help businesses retain their employees, even if it meant they could not operate normally.
ERC is open to businesses and organizations of all sizes.A business must be eligible if it has experienced a significant drop in gross receipts, or if they have been suspended or fully suspended because of a COVID-19 related government order.
The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.It can help businesses to retain employees, pay for payroll, and invest in the future.
Why was ERC formed?
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused an economic downturn that forced many businesses either to layoff employees or shut their doors.The ERC aims to help companies keep their staff on the payroll in order to quickly reopen after the pandemic is over.
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.The ERC can help businesses retain employees, which is crucial for a rapid recovery.
The ERC is also a refundable credit. This means that businesses are able to claim it, even if there are no taxes due.Businesses can also claim the ERC for qualified wages paid to employees who are not working due to COVID-19, such as employees who are furloughed or quarantined. Nc Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.It also helped businesses weather the storm and stay afloat.
ERC was estimated to have saved 10 million jobs and prevented thousands of businesses from closing.It has also contributed towards the economic recovery through a boost in consumer spending and investment.
The primary difference between ERC requirements for 2020 and 2021 is a test of gross receipts decline.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, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts of at least 20% compared to the same quarter in the 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 drop in gross sales: A business experiencing a significant loss in gross sales due to COVID-19 can also apply for the ERC.Significant declines in gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
Here are some examples and scenarios to illustrate each eligibility criterion:
A government order can suspend a person’s rights in full or part
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- A gym that is required to operate at a reduced capacity due to a COVID-19-related government order is eligible for the ERC.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC is available to retail stores that experience a 50% drop in sales as a result of COVID-19.
- ERC eligibility is for a manufacturer who is not able to operate at maximum capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain.
Employee Retention credit (ERC), a tax-credit that businesses can claim, is for wages paid to qualified employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.The credit amount varies according to the quarter and number of employees of a business.
Credits for 2020 are equal to 50% the qualified wages paid by employees, up to a maximum amount of $10,000 per employee.For 2020, a business may receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee.
Credits are equal to 70% of qualified wages for the first 3 quarters of 2020, with a maximum per employee of $10,000.For the first three-quarters of 2021, a business can receive up to $7,000 in credit per employee. This could amount to up to $21,000 for each employee.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim ERC in Federal Employment Taxreturn
To claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on federal employment tax returns, businesses must file an amended Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund.This form is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
There are three options available to businesses for claiming ERC:
- Claim it in advance. Businesses are able to claim the credit before the quarter’s end by reducing quarterly employment taxes.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 reduce the deposits, businesses need to file IRS Form 941 and include the amount of credit that they expect to receive.
- Businesses can ask for a refund if they have already paid the employment tax. They should file Form 941-X at the IRS.
Calculating the Amount of the Credit and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
The ERC is calculated as the product of the employee’s qualified wage multiplied by the applicable credit rates.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 cannot claim the ERC for wages that are also used to claim the Paid Family and Medical Leave Credit or the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documenation
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. Nc Employee Retention Credit
Here are some tips for recordkeeping and documentation:
- Keep a copy of all records of your payroll, including the W-2 and Form 941.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- Keep track of all wages paid to employees, including base wages, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Keep track of any government orders that affected the business’s operations.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that are affected by COVID-19 can receive the Employee Retention (ERC).Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail stores which experienced a significant decrease in sales
- Due to disruptions in the supply chain, manufacturers are not able to operate at their full capacity
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and other hospitality enterprises
- Travel and tourism companies
- Entertainment and Event Businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced capacity
- Businesses forced to adopt new safety protocols and measures
- Businesses that have experienced an increase in costs as a result COVID-19
ERCs may be awarded to any business, including those that were fully or partially closed by a government order and/or experienced a significant decrease in gross receipts because of COVID-19. Nc Employee Retention Credit
Here are some examples of how companies have used the ERC in specific situations:
- A restaurant that had to close its doors for several weeks due to government orders was able, with the ERC, to keep all of its employees employed.
- 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.
- An organization that had seen its donations drop due to COVID-19 could use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll and continue to offer essential services.
You should contact a professional tax advisor if, as a small business owner, you have any doubts about your eligibility for the ERC.They can determine your qualification and help you claim the credit.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Scammers are targeting businesses eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers can use aggressive marketing strategies to convince companies to sign-up for their services even when they are not eligible to receive the ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warning signals and red flags that can help you to identify ERC scammers.
- They will refund you without looking at your records.
- You will be charged high fees upfront, or a percentage of your refund.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. Nc Employee Retention Credit
- They aren’t affiliated with an established tax professional association.
- They ask for your personal or financial information upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activity and Protecting Personal Data
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.
You should also be careful to protect your personal and financial information.Don’t give out your personal details to anyone who contacts without asking.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
In this article, we have discussed the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a tax relief program that helps eligible employers keep their employees on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.We have explained the eligibility requirements, the claiming process, and the potential scams related to the ERC.
We also have some tips and materials for documenting your records.The ERC can be a valuable benefit for employers, helping them reduce their employment taxes, improve their cashflow, and support their employees.If you are eligible, we encourage to claim credit. Professional assistance may be needed if required.
Employee Retention Bonus Frequently Answered Questions
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What is ERC?
It is a refundable tax credit available to businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This credit is equal in value to 50% of wages qualified to be paid in 2020. It is also equal in value to 70% of wages qualified to be paid in the first 3 quarters of 2021.
Who can receive the ERC?
Eligible companies for the ERC are those businesses that experienced a significant fall in gross sales or were partially or completely suspended because of government orders triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.
What are qualified wages?
Salary, wages, bonuses, and tips are all considered to be wages.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How can I claim my ERC?
Businesses can claim ERC by submitting an amended Form 941 to the IRS.The amended form 941-X is required to be filed within 3 years from the date that the original Form 941 has been filed.
Do I have to pay back the ERC?
The ERC, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
Can I claim ERC even if I have received a PPP Loan?
Yes, even if you have received a Loan Protection Program (PPP) for your business.
The ERC cannot be claimed for wages used to obtain a PPP loan.
Can self-employed people claim the ERC?
Yes, you can get the ERC if you are a self-employed individual.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for ERC.
Nonprofit organizations can claim the ERC on their Form 990-T form.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
It is important to note that there are additional requirements for claiming the tax credit.
Are there mistakes that companies make in claiming ERCs?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- All wages are not included
- Failing to amend Forms 941-X within the specified timeframe.