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.The Employee Retention Credit can be a lifeline for businesses struggling to stay 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.
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.Visit the IRS website to learn more about ERCs and how you can claim them. You can also speak with a tax adviser or read the following.
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 CreditZzerc – 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.
The ERC is available to businesses of all sizes, including tax-exempt organizations.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.
Businesses that have been affected by this pandemic can receive a substantial financial boost from the ERC.The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Why was ERC created?
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 was created to help businesses keep their employees on payroll so that they could quickly reopen and resume normal operations once the pandemic subsided.
Benefits of the ERC
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 a refundable tax credit, meaning that businesses can claim it even if they do not owe any 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. Zzerc – Employee Retention Credit
Impact of ERCs on the Economy and Businesses
The ERC has helped to keep millions of Americans employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.It also helped businesses weather the storm and stay afloat.
ERC saved 10 million jobs. Thousands of businesses were prevented from closing.The ERC also contributed positively to the recovery in terms of consumer spending as well as investment.
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.
The ERC is available to businesses in two different 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.This includes businesses who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to follow certain restrictions.
- 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
Here are some examples and scenarios to illustrate each eligibility criterion:
An order of the government may suspend all or part of a program.
- ERC can be claimed by a restaurant forced to shut down due to an order from the government.
- 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:
- A retail store that experiences a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.
- ERC is available to manufacturers who are unable to run at full capacity because of supply chain disruptions.
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 amount of the credit varies depending on the quarter and the number of employees a business has.
For 2020, the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee.A business can receive up to $5,000 in credit per employee for the year 2020.
For the first three quarters of 2021, the credit is equal to 70% of qualified wages paid to employees, up to a maximum of $10,000 per quarter per employee.A business could receive credit up to $7000 per employee, per quarter for the three first quarters of the year 2021.
Claim your Credit
How to Claim the ERC when Filing Federal Employment Tax Returns
For businesses to claim Employee Retention Credit on federal employment taxes, they must amend Form 941X – Adjusted Employer’s quarterly Federal Tax Return (or Claim for refund) – in order to do so, they will need to file Form 941X.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 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.
- 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 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 rate is 50% for 2020 and 70% for the first three quarters of 2021.
Businesses should avoid double-dipping on 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 Documentation
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. Zzerc – Employee Retention Credit
Here are a few tips for documenting and keeping records:
- Keep copies of all payroll records, including Forms 941 and W-2s.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- Keep track of all the wages that employees receive, including overtime, bonuses, and base wages.
- Keep track of any orders from the government that may affect your business.
IRS provides various resources, such as fact sheets and videos, to help businesses claim the ERC.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).These are some examples of businesses who may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail stores that experienced a significant decline in sales
- Supply chain disruptions prevent manufacturers from operating at full capacity
- Donations of nonprofit organizations declined
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and tourism business
- Entertainment and event businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Salons & spas
- Retail stores selling non essential goods
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses who are required to implement new safety standards and protocols
- Costs incurred by businesses as a result of COVID-19
Aside from these examples, businesses that have been fully or partly suspended by a government directive or who have experienced a significant drop in gross receipts as a result of COVID-19 are also eligible for ERC. Zzerc – Employee Retention Credit
Below are some specific examples on how businesses have utilized the ERC.
- A restaurant, which was forced to close due to an order from the government for a period of several months, was able use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll.
- An ERC offset the payroll costs of a retail shop that saw a 50% decrease in sales because of COVID-19.
- 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.
- 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 own a company and are not sure if you are eligible, I recommend that you contact a qualified tax professional.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 that try to take advantage business owners who are eligible for Employee Retention Credits (ERC).These scammers may use aggressive marketing tactics to try to convince businesses to sign up for their services, even if the business is not eligible for the ERC.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
Here are some warnings and red flags for identifying potential ERC fraudsters:
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- The fees are high, or they take a large percentage of the refund.
- The salespeople are aggressive and use high-pressure tactics. Zzerc – Employee Retention Credit
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- They ask for your personal or financial information upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activity and Protecting Personal Data
If you’re contacted by an ERC con artist, then you should report their activity to IRS.This can be done by calling 1-800-829-1040, or visiting the IRS’s 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, 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 discussed eligibility requirements, claiming processes, and possible scams related the ERC.
We’ve also included some resources and advice on recordkeeping.The ERC can be a valuable benefit for employers, helping them reduce their employment taxes, improve their cashflow, and support their employees.If you qualify as an employer, please claim the ERC and get professional assistance if you require it.
Employee Retention Credit: Frequently Asked Questions
Zzerc – Employee Retention Credit
What is ERC?
It is a refundable tax credit available to businesses that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 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 is qualified wage?
Qualified wages include wages, salaries, tips, and bonuses paid to employees.
Also, health insurance premiums that employers pay are considered wages.
How do I claim 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 have to pay back the ERC?
No, it is a refundable credit.
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 benefits?
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, nonprofit organizations are eligible 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.
Before you can get it, however, you must meet some additional requirements.
Are there any common mistakes made by businesses when claiming ERC that they should be on the lookout for?
When claiming your ERC; businesses must be aware of the following mistakes:
- Wrong calculation on credit
- Failure to include all qualified wages
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.