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.
It is a refundable credit that can be claimed by employers on certain wages paid to employees in the event of a pandemic.It is designed to help businesses keep their employees on payroll, even if they are unable to 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.
The Employee Retention CreditRapid Solutions 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 be eligible for the ERC, a company must have had a significant fall in gross receipts and/or have been fully or partial suspended as a result of an COVID-19 government order.
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 pandemic caused a severe economic downturn, forcing many businesses to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.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.
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.It can also assist businesses in retaining their employees. This is vital for a fast 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 may also claim ERCs on qualified wages for employees who cannot work because of COVID-19. These employees include those who are furloughed. Rapid Solutions 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 businesses weather the storm and stay afloat.
It is estimated that the ERC has saved more than 10 million jobs, and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from shutting their doors.The ERC also contributed positively to the recovery in terms of consumer spending as well as investment.
For businesses affected by COVID-19, the Employee Retention Credit can help them retain their employees.
The test for a decline in gross receipts is the main difference between 2020 and 2021 ERC.In 2020, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts of at least 50% compared to the same quarter in the previous year.In 2021, an organization must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts by at least 20% from the same quarter the year before.
The ERC is available to businesses in two different ways.
- Fully or partially suspended by a government order: A business that has been fully or partially suspended by a government order due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.This includes businesses that have been ordered to close, operate at a reduced capacity, or follow certain restrictions.
- Significant decline of gross receipts. A business which has seen a significant fall in its gross receipts because of COVID-19, is also eligible to receive the ERC.Significant declines in gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
Examples and Scenarios
Below are examples and scenarios that illustrate each of the eligibility criteria:
Fully or partially suspended by a government order:
- ERC may be available for a restaurant that has to close because of a government directive.
- ERC may be available for a gym which is forced to operate at reduced capacity by a COVID-19 government order.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- ERC may be available for a retailer that suffers a drop of 50% in sales caused by COVID-19.
- ERCs are available for manufacturers that cannot operate at their full capacity as a result of disruptions in supply chains.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.The amount of the credit is dependent on the business’s quarter and employees.
For 2020, a credit equal to 50 percent of wages paid to qualified employees is available up to a limit of $10,000.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 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.This means that a business could receive a credit of up to $7,000 per employee per quarter for the first three quarters of 2021, for a total of up to $21,000 per employee for the year.
Claiming the Credit
How to Claim ERC on Federal Employment Tax Returns
Businesses must amend Form 941X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Income Tax Return or Claim For Refund, to claim the Employee retention credit (ERC) in federal employment tax returns.This form can be filed for any quarter in which the business was eligible 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.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- 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.
- 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
The ERC is calculated as the product of the employee’s qualified wage multiplied by the applicable credit rates.Credit rate is set at 50% for 2020 and 70% for the three first quarters of 2021.
Businesses must be cautious to not double dip with other relief programmes.Businesses can’t, for instance, claim ERC wages if they also claim Paid Family Leave Credit (PFML) or Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documenation
Businesses should maintain detailed records of the wages they paid to their employees during the ERC.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. Rapid Solutions Employee Retention Credit
Here are a couple of tips to help you with your recordkeeping:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- Keep track of the wages you pay to your employees. This includes base wage, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Keep track of any orders from the government that may affect your business.
The IRS offers many resources for businesses to claim the ERC. This includes FAQs and fact sheets.Businesses can contact IRS for help by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for the Employee retention credit (ERC).Following are some of the businesses that might be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to shut down due to government order
- Retail stores who experienced a significant drop in sales
- Manufacturers unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions
- Donations for nonprofit organizations are down
- Hotels and other hospitality business
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail shops selling non-essential items
- Businesses that had to operate on a lower capacity
- Businesses forced to adopt new safety protocols and measures
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to 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. Rapid Solutions Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few examples of specific ways businesses have used their ERC:
- An employee of a restaurant forced to close down by government order for a few months was able to continue to be paid through the ERC.
- An ERC offset the payroll costs of a retail shop that saw a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- ERC was used by a manufacturer that could not operate at full capacity due to disruptions in the supply chain to keep employees employed and continue production of 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.You can get help from a tax professional to determine your eligibility for the ERC and claim it if eligible.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, there are scammers who are trying to take advantage of businesses that are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).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.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signals and red flags that can help you to identify ERC scammers.
- They promise you will get a refund even if they don’t review your records.
- They charge high upfront fees or a percentage of your refund.
- The salespeople are aggressive and use high-pressure tactics. Rapid Solutions 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 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.Do not share your personal data with anyone who contacts uninvited.If you want to know if a particular business is legit, check online reviews. Or contact the IRS.
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 is a valuable benefit that can help employers reduce their employment tax liability, improve their cash flow, and support their workforce.If you are eligible, we encourage to claim credit. Professional assistance may be needed if required.
Frequently Asked Questions about Employee Retention Credits
Rapid Solutions Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses. A refundable tax credit is available.
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 for ERC funding?
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 are qualified wages?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
The employer’s health insurance premiums are also included in the calculation of wages.
How do I claim ERC?
The IRS will accept amended Forms 941 and 941-X from businesses to claim the ERC.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 the ERC if I received a PPP loan?
Businesses can still claim the ERC if they have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible for the ERC.
Self-employed individuals can claim the ERC on their Schedule C form.
Can non-profit organisations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Yes, businesses can claim the ERC for wages paid to employees of foreign subsidiaries.
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:
- Credit calculation error
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failure to amend Form 941-X on time.