If you had W-2 employees in 2020 and/or 2021, you need to look at the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
As you likely know, it’s not too late to file for the ERC. And now is a good time to get this done.
You can qualify for 2020 credits of up to $5,000 per employee and 2021 credits of up to $7,000 per employee for each of the first three quarters. That’s a possibility of $26,000 per employee.
One of our clients—let’s call him John–had 10 employees during 2020 and 2021. He qualified for $260,000 of tax credits (think cash). You could be like John.
You claim and adjust the ERC using IRS Form 941-X, which you can file anytime on or before March 15, 2024, if you file your taxes as a partnership or an S corporation, or April 15, 2024, if you file on Schedule C of your Form 1040 or as a C corporation.
You have three ways to qualify for the ERC:
- Significant decline in gross receipts. Here, you compare the gross receipts quarter by quarter to those in 2019. To trigger any ERC under this test, you need a drop of more than 50 percent in 2020 and a drop of more than 20 percent in 2021.
- Government order that causes more than a nominal effect. Here, your best bet is to use the safe harbor for nominal effect. This requires looking at either your 2019 quarterly receipts or your 2019 quarterly hours worked by employees, and seeing that the 2020 or 2021 shutdown order would have affected the 2019 figures by more than 10 percent.
- Government order causes a modification to your business. Here, you also have a safe harbor. The IRS deems that the federal, state, or local COVID-19 government order had a more-than-nominal effect on your business if it reduced your ability to provide goods or services in the normal course of your business by not less than 10 percent.
The ERC can help all businesses that qualify, even those businesses that did not suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic.