The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc across all businesses, forcing some to shut their doors or layoff employees.Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is available to businesses that need it.
The ERC can be claimed by businesses on the wages they paid employees who qualified during 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.For more information on the ERC and how to apply for it, you can visit the IRS site, talk with a professional 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.
Employee Retention CreditPeo Employee Retention Credit
Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit for businesses that can be claimed if they pay employees wages 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.
ERCs can be obtained by businesses of any size, including those exempt from tax.To be eligible, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or have been fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related government order.
The ERC provides a financial boost for businesses that are affected by pandemic.It can assist businesses in retaining their employees, covering payroll costs, as well as investing in their future.
Why was ERC created
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.
ERC can offer a significant boost in financial support to businesses impacted negatively by the pandemic.It can assist in keeping employees on board, which will help the business recover quickly.
The ERC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that businesses can claim it even if they do not owe any taxes.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. Peo Employee Retention Credit
The Impact of the ERC in the Business and Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.The ERC has helped many businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ERC is estimated to have saved over 10 million jobs and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from closing their doors.It also contributed to the recovery of the economy by increasing consumer spending, and investing.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or have been fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related government order.
The main difference between the 2020 and 2021 ERC requirements is the gross receipts decline test.In 2020 a business’s gross receipts must have declined by at least 50% from the same quarterly period of the previous year.In 2021 a business will have to experience a significant decrease in gross revenues of at least 20 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
There are two ways that businesses can qualify for ERC:
- ERC for a business suspended fully or partly by a Government Order: An ERC can be awarded to a business that is suspended either completely or partially by an order of the government due COVID-19.The ERC is available to businesses that have been told to close or operate at reduced capacity.
- Significant decline in gross revenues: Businesses that have experienced a significant drop in gross revenue due to COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC.A significant decline in gross receipts is defined as a decline of at least 50% in a quarter in 2020 or at least 20% in a quarter in 2021 compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Examples and Scenarios
These examples and scenarios illustrate the criteria for each:
Orders from the government can be used to suspend or fully suspend your work.
- ERC is available to restaurants that are forced to close by a government order.
- ERC eligibility is granted to a gym that must operate at a lower capacity as a result of a government order relating to COVID-19.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC may be available for a retailer that suffers a drop of 50% in sales caused by COVID-19.
- A manufacturer that is unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions is eligible for the ERC.
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 credit amount varies according to the quarter and number of employees of a business.
In 2020, the credit will be equal to half of all wages that employees are entitled to receive up to $10,000.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 2020.
For the first quarters of 2021, the credit equals 70% of wages that are qualified. However, this is limited to $10,000 per quarter per employee.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.
Claiming the Credit
How to Claim ERC in Federal Employment Taxreturn
To claim the Employee-Retention Credit (ERC), businesses must file a Form 941-941-X, Adjusted Employer Quarterly Federal Tax return or Claim of Refund.This form can be filed for any quarter in which the business was eligible for the credit.
Claim the ERC by Claiming it in Advance
Businesses have three choices for claiming ERCs:
- Claim credit in advance. Businesses can claim credit in advance by reducing their quarterly deposits for employment tax.Businesses must submit Form 7200 to the IRS, Advance Payments of Employer Taxes and Credits.
- Reduce employment tax deposits: Businesses can also reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount of the credit they expect to receive.Businesses must submit Form 941 to the IRS, indicating the amount they want to reduce their deposit by.
- Request a refund: Businesses that have already paid their employment taxes can request a refund of the credit by filing Form 941-X with the IRS.
Calculating the Credit Amount and Avoiding Double-dipping with Other Relief Programs
The amount of the ERC is calculated by multiplying the qualified wages paid to employees by the applicable credit rate.The credit rates for 2020 are 50% and 70% in the first 3 quarters of 2021.
Businesses must be cautious to not double dip with other relief programmes.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 detailing all qualified wages paid by employers to employees over the ERC.This will assist businesses in accurately calculating the amount they are entitled for as well as supporting their claim if the IRS audits it. Peo Employee Retention Credit
Here are some helpful tips on documenting your records and documents:
- Keep a record of all your payroll documents, such as W-2 forms and 941s.
- Keep track at all times of employee hours, including vacation, sick and holiday leave.
- Keep track of every wage paid to an employee, including the base salary, bonuses, and overtime.
- Keep track of government orders affecting your business.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can also contact the IRS for assistance by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses that are affected by COVID-19 can receive the Employee Retention (ERC).Here are some businesses that could be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to shut down due to government order
- Retail stores that saw a significant fall in sales
- Due to disruptions in the supply chain, manufacturers are not able to operate at their full capacity
- Nonprofit organizations that saw their donations decline
- Hotels and other hospitality business
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms & fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses that were required to operate at a reduced capacity
- Businesses who are required to implement new safety standards and protocols
- Businesses who experienced higher costs due to COVID-19
These examples are not the only ones that qualify. Any business that has been suspended in whole or part by an order of government or that has seen a decline in gross sales due to COVID-19 could also be eligible. Peo Employee Retention Credit
Below are some specific examples on how businesses have utilized the ERC.
- 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 outlet that suffered a 50% sales decline due to COVID-19, was able to use ERC to offset their payroll costs.
- 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.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.They can help determine your eligibility as well as claim the credit for you if you’re eligible.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Scammers are targeting businesses eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers might use aggressive advertising tactics to convince businesses that they should sign up for their service, even though the business may not be eligible for ERC.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signals and red flags that can help you to identify ERC scammers.
- The company promises to give you a full refund without reviewing any of your records.
- They charge high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- These salespeople use high-pressure tactics. Peo Employee Retention Credit
- They are not members of a reputable professional tax organization.
- They ask for your personal or financial information upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Actors and Protecting Your Personal Information
If you are contacted by an ERC scammer, you should report the activity to the IRS.You can do this by calling 1-800-829-1040 or by visiting the IRS website.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.Never give out personal information to someone who contacts you without your permission.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.
This article has discussed the Employee retention credit (ERC), which is a tax relief that allows eligible employers to keep their employees employed 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.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.If you are eligible, we encourage to claim credit. Professional assistance may be needed if required.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
Peo Employee Retention Credit
What is the ERC?
This is a tax credit that can be refunded to businesses who were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
This credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees in 2020 and 70% of qualified wages paid to employees in the first three quarters of 2021.
Who can receive the ERC?
Eligible business for the ERC includes those who suffered a significant reduction in gross receipts due to government order caused by COVID-19.
What are qualified wages?
Wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses are all included in the definition of a qualified wage.
All wages that are qualified include health insurance premiums paid to the employer.
How can I claim my ERC?
Businesses can claim ERCs by filing amended Forms 941 or 941-X at the IRS.The amended 941-X form must be filed in three years following the original 941 filing date.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC is not a tax credit that needs to be repaid.
Can I claim ERC if I received a loan from PPP?
The ERC is available to businesses who have taken out a PPP (Paycheck protection Program) loan.
Businesses cannot claim ERCs for wages they also claimed as PPPs.
Can self-employed individuals claim the ERC?
Self-employed individuals can apply for the ERC.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can non-profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, organizations that are not for profit can qualify for the ERC.
Nonprofit organizations may claim the ERC by submitting Form 990-T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for wages paid by foreign subsidiaries to their employees.
That said, there are some additional requirements that must be met before they can claim it.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
There are a few common mistakes that businesses should avoid when claiming an ERC. These include but are not restricted to
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.