COVID-19 has caused massive damage to businesses of every size, with many being forced to cut staff or shut down their doors.There is one lifeline that can help businesses remain afloat – the Employee Retention credit (ERC).
The ERC is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim on qualified wages paid to employees during the pandemic.It was designed to encourage businesses to continue to pay their employees even if normal operations are not possible.
The ERC is a great way to keep your employees engaged and your business running smoothly if you’re a business owner impacted by the pandemic.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 CreditUtah 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 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.
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 is able to provide significant financial support for businesses affected by the pandemic.It can help businesses retain their employees, cover payroll costs, and invest in their future.
Why was ERC created?
The COVID-19 epidemic caused a severe downturn in the economy, which forced many businesses to close or lay off their employees.The ERC’s purpose was to keep employees on the payroll so that businesses could quickly reopen their doors and resume normal operation once the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided.
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.
Businesses can claim the ERC even if they don’t owe taxes.Businesses may also claim ERCs on qualified wages for employees who cannot work because of COVID-19. These employees include those who are furloughed. Utah Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERC on Business and the Economy
The ERC has helped to keep millions of Americans employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ERC also helped to keep businesses afloat through the economic storm.
ERC saved 10 million jobs. Thousands of businesses were prevented from closing.The ERC has also helped to boost consumer spending and investments, which have contributed to economic recovery.
The main difference between the 2020 and 2021 ERC requirements is the gross receipts decline test.In 2020, an enterprise must have suffered a significant drop in gross receipts that is at least 50 percent less than the same period in the previous calendar 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.
Two ways exist for businesses to qualify for the ERC:
- 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 Receipts: An eligible business who has suffered a significant decrease in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 may also be 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.
Examples and Scenarios
The following are some scenarios and examples that will help you understand each eligibility criteria.
Fully or partially suspended by a government order:
- ERC is available to restaurants that are forced to close by a government order.
- 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.
Employee Retention credit (ERC), a tax-credit that businesses can claim, is for wages paid to qualified employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.The amount of the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
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.
For the three first quarters of the year 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of the wages qualified to be paid. There is a limit of $10,000 per employee per quarter.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.
Claim the Credit
How to Claim ERC for 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 is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options to claim the ERC.
- Claim it in advance. Businesses are able to claim the credit before the quarter’s end by reducing quarterly employment taxes.To do so, businesses need to file IRS Form 7200, Advanced Payment of Employer credits and taxes.
- Reduce employment taxes deposits. Businesses are also able to reduce their quarterly employment tax deposits by the amount expected credit.To do so, businesses must fill out Form 941 at the IRS. They will need to indicate how much credit they intend to reduce.
- 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
Multiplying qualified wages by the credit rate applicable, the ERC can be calculated.The credit rate is 50% for 2020 and 70% for the first three quarters of 2021.
Businesses should be careful to avoid double-dipping with other relief programs.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 Documentation
Businesses should maintain detailed records of the wages they paid to their employees during the ERC.This will help businesses to accurately calculate the amount of the credit they are eligible for and to support their claim if it is audited by the IRS. Utah Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- Keep a copy of all records of your payroll, including the W-2 and Form 941.
- Keep track of all hours worked by employees, including vacation, sick, and holiday time.
- Keep track of all wages paid to employees, including base wages, bonuses, and overtime pay.
- Keep track of all government orders that affect your business.
The IRS offers a number of resources that can help businesses claim their ERC. These include FAQs, factsheets, and videos.Businesses can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants closed due to government orders
- Retail shops that have experienced a substantial decline in sales
- Manufacturers unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and Event Businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons and spas
- Retail stores that sell non-essential products
- Businesses who were forced to operate with a reduced capacity
- Businesses that are forced to implement new safety protocols
- Costs increased for businesses 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. Utah Employee Retention Credit
Below are some specific examples on how businesses have utilized the ERC.
- 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.
- The ERC allowed a manufacturer who was not able to operate at its full capacity because of supply chain disruptions to continue producing essential goods and keep their employees on the payroll.
- The ERC allowed a nonprofit organization to continue providing essential services despite a decline in donations due to COVID-19.
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).
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 you high upfront fees or a certain percentage of your refund.
- High-pressure sales tactics are used. Utah Employee Retention Credit
- They aren’t affiliated with an established tax professional association.
- You will be asked to provide your personal information or financial details 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.Do not give your personal information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited.If you are unsure whether or not a business is legitimate, you can check their reviews online or contact the IRS for assistance.
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.The ERC has been explained in detail, including the eligibility requirements and the claim process.
We have also provided tips and resources on recordkeeping and documentation.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 qualify as an employer, please claim the ERC and get professional assistance if you require it.
Employee Retention Credit Frequently Asked Questions:
Utah Employee Retention Credit
What is 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 is eligible for ERC funding?
Eligible business for the ERC includes those who suffered a significant reduction in gross receipts due to government order caused by COVID-19.
What is 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 do you claim your 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 have to pay back the ERC?
The ERC does not require repayment by businesses. It is a tax credit that can be used to offset future taxes.
Can I claim ERC even if I have received a PPP Loan?
The ERC is available to businesses who have taken out a PPP (Paycheck protection Program) loan.
The ERC cannot be claimed for wages used to obtain a PPP loan.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Yes, the ERC is available to self-employed people.
Schedule C forms can be claimed by individuals who are self-employed.
Can non profit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofits are eligible for ERC.
Nonprofits may claim ERCs on their Form 990T.
Can companies with a foreign subsidiary claim ERC?
Yes, employers can claim ERC when they pay wages to foreign 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?
The following are some common mistakes to avoid by businesses when claiming the ERC:
- Incorrect credit calculation
- Include all wages that qualify
- Failure to amend Forms 901-X by deadline