The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is available to businesses that need it.
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 own a small business and have been affected by the pandemic then the ERC will help you to keep your staff on board, as well as your business going.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 CreditState Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.It was created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, in March 2020, to help companies keep their employees, despite being unable operate normally.
ERCs can be obtained by businesses of any size, including those exempt from tax.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.
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 outbreak caused an economic slump that led many businesses, including small and large ones, to either lay off staff or shut down.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 also help businesses retain their employees, which is essential for a quick recovery.
The ERC can be claimed by businesses even if no taxes are due.Businesses can also claim ERC for wages paid by employers to employees who do not work due to COVID-19. Examples include employees who were furloughed and quarantined. State Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
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.
ERC was estimated to have saved 10 million jobs and prevented thousands of businesses from closing.The ERC also contributed positively to the recovery in terms of consumer spending as well as investment.
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 test for a decline in gross receipts is the main difference between 2020 and 2021 ERC.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, the business must have suffered from a significant fall in gross sales of at least 20% when compared to same quarter in previous year.
Businesses can qualify for the ERC in two ways:
- 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.Businesses that are required to close down, operate with a reduced capacity or adhere to certain restrictions can be eligible for the ERC.
- Significant decline in gross receipts: A business that has experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 is also eligible for the ERC.Significant decline in Gross Receipts: A business that has experienced a significant decline in its gross receipts due to COVID-19 is also eligible for the ERC.
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.
- 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 can be awarded to a retail store that has experienced a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- ERCs are available for manufacturers that cannot operate at their full capacity as a result of disruptions in supply chains.
Employee Retention (ERC) Credit is an income tax credit which businesses can claim in relation to wages that were paid during the COVID-19 Pandemic.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.This means a company could receive a credit for up to $7,000 for each employee per quarter in the first three months of 2021. The total for the entire year is up to $21,000.
Claim 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 may be used for any quarter that the business is eligible for the credit.
Claim the ERC by Claiming it in Advance
Businesses have three options to claim the ERC.
- Claim credit in advance. Businesses can claim credit in advance by reducing their quarterly deposits for employment tax.To do this, business must file IRS Form 7220, Advance Payment for Employer Credits & Taxes.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.Businesses must submit Form 941 to the IRS, indicating the amount they want to reduce their deposit by.
- Businesses who have already paid employment taxes may request a credit refund by filing IRS Form 941X.
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.Credit rates are 50% in 2020 and 70% during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Businesses should be aware of the dangers of double-dipping.Businesses cannot, for example, claim the ERC on wages they also claim as part of the Paid Family Medical Leave Credit and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documenation
Businesses must keep detailed records on all wages paid during the ERC.This will enable the business to calculate the credit amount accurately and provide evidence to support the claim, if audited. State Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
Here are some helpful tips on documenting your records and documents:
- All payroll records should be kept, including W-2s and Forms 941s.
- Keep track of all hours worked by employees, including vacation, sick, and holiday time.
- Keep track of every wage paid to an employee, including the base salary, bonuses, and overtime.
- Keep track of any government orders that affected the business’s operations.
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
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Here are some businesses that could be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants are forced to close by government order
- Retail stores that experienced a significant decline in sales
- Supply chain disruptions prevent manufacturers from operating at full capacity
- Donations to nonprofit organizations have declined
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism businesses
- Entertainment and event business
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons and spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses that were required to operate at a reduced capacity
- Businesses who are required to implement new safety standards and protocols
- Businesses that experienced increased costs due to COVID-19
In addition to these examples, any business that was fully or partially suspended by a government order or that experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 may be eligible for the ERC. State Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used 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.
- ERC allows a company to maintain its workforce and produce essential products despite being unable to run at full capacity.
- 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.
Contact a tax expert if you’re a business owner who is unsure if you qualify for the ERC.They can assist you in determining your eligibility, and claiming the credit, if you qualify.
ERC Scams, Aggressive Marketing and Other Risks
Unfortunately, there are scammers who are trying to take advantage of businesses that are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).These scammers use aggressive marketing to convince businesses to subscribe to their services even if that business isn’t eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- 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.
- They use high-pressure sales tactics. State Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- Your personal or financial data is requested upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you are contacted by an ERC scammer, you should report the activity to the IRS.This can be done by calling 1-800-829-1040, or visiting the IRS’s website.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.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, the Employee Retention credit (ERC) is discussed. It’s a tax relief program that helps eligible employers retain their employees during the COVID-19 outbreak.We have outlined the ERC’s eligibility requirements, its claim process, as well as the possible scams.
We have also provided tips and resources on recordkeeping and documentation.The ERC provides a valuable incentive that helps employers to reduce their payroll tax liability, improve the cash flow of their business, and provide support for their employees.If you are an eligible employer, we encourage you to claim the credit and seek professional assistance if needed.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
State Tax Treatment Of Employee Retention Credit
What is the ERC?
Businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic can claim a refundable credit.
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 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?
Salary, wages, bonuses, and tips are all considered to be wages.
Employer-paid health insurance premiums also qualify as wages.
How do I claim ERC?
Businesses can claim the ERC by filing an amended Form 941 or Form 941-X with 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 need to repay the ERC?
The ERC, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
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 the ERC for wages that were also used to claim the PPP loan.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
Schedule C is the form that self-employed people can use to claim their ERC.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, organizations that are not for profit can qualify for the ERC.
Nonprofits can claim ERC on Form 990 T.
Can companies that own a foreign affiliate claim ERCs?
Businesses can claim ERC for the wages they pay to foreign-based employees.
That said, there are some additional requirements that must be met before they can claim it.
What are the common mistakes businesses make when they claim ERC?
When claiming your ERC; businesses must be aware of the following mistakes:
- The credit calculation is incorrect
- Include all wages that qualify
- The failure to amend Form 941-X in time.