The Employee Retention Tax Credit
Maximizing Your Claims For Keeping Americans Employed
The government has authorized unprecedented stimulus, and yet billions of dollars will go unclaimed.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was introduced as part of the CARES Act and included tax credits for businesses to retain employees during the pandemic. The ERTC is a refundable tax credit that can be claimed when eligible employers report their total qualified wages for purposes of the ERTC for each calendar quarter on their federal employment tax returns.
Due to new legislation, employers can now RETROACTIVELY obtain both a PPP loan AND claim the ERTC.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were both created to incentivize businesses to keep workers employed through the worst parts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The biggest difference between the two is that many businesses that received PPP loans, now have the obligation of paying them back. In addition, those funds were earmarked for payroll expenses exclusively and couldn't be used for anything else.
In contrast, ERTC refunds DO NOT need to be repaid and the business can use the funds for whatever they feel will help their business the most. No questions asked!
The ERTC program is a refundable tax credit for business owners in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, a credit is available up to $5,000 per employee from 3/12/20-12/31/20 by an eligible employer. That is a potential of up to $5,000 per employee. In 2021 the ERC increased to $7,000 paid per employee per quarter for Q1, Q2, and Q3. That is a potential of up to $26,000 per employee.
Both full-time and part-time employees count toward wage credits as long as the business had at least 5 and no more than 100 (in 2020) or 500 (in 2021) full-time employees during each reporting period.
Start-up businesses who began operations after February 15, 2020 can take a credit of up to $50,000 in both the third and fourth quarters of 2021 for a maximum credit of $100,000.
Find out if your business qualifies with a quick 15 minutes of your time. By answering a few, simple, non-invasive questions our team of ERTC experts can determine if you likely qualify for the ERTC tax credit refund. There is no cost or obligation to get pre-qualified.
Why Choose LOCAL BIZ RECOVERY?
- RGuaranteed To Maximize Refundable Credits For Local And Small To Medium Sized Businesses
- RSo Easy That Your Entire Commitment Is 15 Minutes
- RNo Upfront Fees To Get Qualified - 100% Contingent On Your Refund
- RAudit-Proof Documentation For IRS Support
- RNo Other CPA Firm Offers The 15-Minute Refund™
We only specialize in maximizing Employee Retention Tax Credits for small business owners. You won’t find us preparing income taxes, compiling financial statements, or providing attestation services of any kind.
When you engage us, rest assured that you’ve hired the best CPA Firm to lock in this one-time opportunity for a large refund check from the IRS.
Find Out What Our Accounting Professionals Can Secure For Your Business Today
These Are Just Some Of The Businesses We’ve Helped In The Past 30 Days:
Business Consulting Firm
Newport Beach, California
19 W-2 Employees
Presentation Design Agency
19 W-2 Employees
Restaurant Ownership Group Central Florida
224 W-2 Employees
Independent Restaurant Houston, Texas
80 W-2 Employees
35 W-2 Employees
90 seconds to start your claim!
HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
Complete the Easy Questionnaire
Start with 10 basic questions about you and your business to begin your claim. Once registered, we’ll email you a secure link to an application questionnaire to be completed online.
Upload Your Payroll Data
Working in conjunction with your accountant, simply upload the necessary forms and payroll data covering March 2020 through September 2021 on our secure portal.
ERTC Allowable Credit Calculation
Our team of ERTC Accounting Specialists will meticulously review your application and make sure you get the best return allowable by the IRS code. You don’t do anything except wait for the results.
Complete and File Application Package
Once our professional team has completed your ERTC review and calculation, we’ll put together everything you need to file your return. We’ll even make sure it’s filed as necessary.
That’s all there is to it! The IRS will process your completed return and send your ERTC Tax Credit Refund right to your door. No restrictions, no requirements, YOU decide how to spend it!
Begin Your Claim
Ten Simple Questions
Take advantage of this new COVID-19 employee retention credit while it’s available. If your business has been affected by the pandemic you will qualify.
Most Frequent Questions and Answers
WHAT IS THE EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT (ERTC) AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM THE PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP)?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It included two programs to assist businesses with keeping workers employed: the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) administered by the Small Business Administration and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) administered by the Internal Revenue Service.
PPP funds are distributed based on 2.5 months of payroll and a minimum of 80% of the funds must be used on payroll to be eligible for forgiveness. Additionally, PPP funds are not taxable as revenue and you may still take deductions for the payroll covered by PPP.
ERTC tax credits, however, are credits (or refunds) for a percentage of payroll in each quarter that you qualify. There are specific rules for determining eligibility by quarter and limiting the dollars that can be claimed for each employee.
I GOT PPP FUNDS ALREADY. CAN I ALSO GET ERTC?
Initially, with the CARES Act, employers could choose to apply for PPP or claim ERTC credits, but not both.
PPP was more beneficial than ERTC for most businesses (for reasons we won’t go into here) and so most businesses with under 500 employees received forgivable PPP Loans.
On March 11, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law and included many modifications and expansions to existing elements of previous stimulus programs.
Noteworthy modifications for business owners included:
Businesses who applied for and received PPP funds could now also claim ERTC credits.ERTC credits could be retroactively claimed for businesses that qualified in 2020.ERTC credits were extended through 9/30/21 with lower qualification requirements. The per-employee cap on qualifying wages increased from $10,000 for all of 2020 to $10,000 per quarter for the first 3 quarters of 2021. The refundable credit amount increased from 50% of qualifying wages in 2020 to 70% in 2021. So the short answer is “Yes” . . . you can claim ERTC even if you received PPP funds.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR ERTC TAX CREDITS?
Unlike the Payroll Protection Program (administered by the Small Business Administration), there is actually no “application process” for the Employee Retention Tax Credits.
You simply claim the ERTC tax credit like you would any other tax credit – by asserting to the IRS that you can legally claim the credit.
When you claim a child tax credit, you do so by asserting this fact on your Form 1020 Personal Income Tax Return.
The difference is that when you claim an ERTC tax credit, you do so on your Form 941 Employer Quarterly Tax Filing.
For prior quarters, you must file an amended form (the Form 941-X) to reduce your current quarter’s tax contribution and request a refund of excess credits (which is highly likely).
Another perk of ERTC is that since you can often estimate these credits in advance of distributing cash for payroll, you can file a Form 7200 to receive a cash advance to avoid waiting until the end of the quarter to apply for the refund.
I THOUGHT THE TAX CREDIT WAS FOR 2020?
You’re right – it was originally a 2020 credit. And it was either the Paycheck Protection Program OR ERTC.
Almost every business chose the PPP option. The ERTC was not widely used until March 2021, when the American Rescue Act changed IRS regulations and millions of businesses were now eligible for both the PPP and ERTC program by amending their Quarterly Form(s) 941.
MY REVENUE IN Q1 2021 IS BACK TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS - SO I MUST BE INELIGIBLE - RIGHT?
Even though you may feel like revenue is back to normal, there are some items you want to consider before passing on this ERTC assessment.
First, even if revenues have returned to “normal” in 2021, you may have qualified in 2020 and you can retroactively claim those credits. Those eligibility criteria in 2020 were based on revenue declines from 2019, or if your business was partially or fully closed due to governmental mandate.
Second, while your revenue may have returned to “normal” in Q1 2021, remember that we are comparing your Q1 2021 to Q1 2019. If 2019 was a year of growth for your business, then your revenue levels 2 years ago may have been much less than Q1 2020.
And lastly, if your revenues were down in Q4 2020 by just 20% compared to Q4 2019, then you may also be eligible for Q1 2021. There is a safe harbor provision that few advisors are talking about, and it means that many businesses are qualifying for $7,000 per employee in Q1 2021.
I know, it seems too good to be true, but the government wants to incentivize and reward you for keeping US residents employed and money flowing through our economy as we rebuild bigger and stronger than before.
I THOUGHT PAYROLL TAXES DEFERRED IN 2020 HAD TO BE RE-PAID. DOES ERTC WORK THE SAME WAY?
You are most likely referring to a provision of the CARES Act that allowed employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes. Those deferrals must then be repaid – with at least 50% of the balance due by 12/31/21 and the remaining balance due by 12/31/22.
ERTC credits are NOT a deferral. They are dollar-for-dollar credits against wages you’ve paid. Not taxes you’ve paid, but actual wages.
These credits can offset future tax contributions or you can receive a refund check – it’s your choice.
And you will NOT have to re-pay these funds (unless, of course, you don’t provide adequate documentation in the course of an audit).
WHY ISN'T MY BANK (OR MY CPA) TALKING ABOUT THIS?
Your banker, CPA, or Financial Advisor was probably very helpful when it came to getting your PPP funds because they were effectively signing you to an SBA-guaranteed loan. The SBA paid the bank administrative fees based on the PPP loans they made, and so they were incentivized to educate you about the program and get all your paperwork in order.
Compared to the ERTC, the PPP program was also a rather simple calculation. 2 ½ times your average monthly payroll including health insurance and state unemployment taxes.
From the conversations we’ve had with bankers, they have no interest in involving themselves in your employment tax compliance. For them, it is a liability and beyond their scope of services.
WHAT ABOUT MY PAYROLL SERVICE PROVIDER? SHOULDN'T THEY BE ON TOP OF THIS?
Your Payroll Service does an excellent job of executing the fundamentals of paying your employees, paying your employment taxes, and filing your quarterly reports.
But computing your ERTC credits requires visibility into your P&L and PPP forgiveness applications. Not only that, but the complex requirements around eligibility and allocating ERTC credits at the employee-level while accounting for annual and quarterly qualifying wage gaps and . . . well, you can probably tell why Payroll Services are not offering to do all of this for you.
The Payroll Services that we’ve worked with so far are happy to provide the payroll registers that we need to perform the allocations. And they are happy to file the Amended Form 941-X with the IRS on our client’s behalf.
But that’s the extent of it.
In fact, most wise Payroll Services are asking clients to sign an indemnification waiver before submitting a Form 941-X because the Payroll Service can take no responsibility for the accuracy of the ERTC credits you are claiming.
For them to involve themselves in the intricacies of this calculation, is a liability and beyond their scope of services.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION ON THE IRS WEBSITE?
Read Notice 2021-20 on the official IRS FAQ Site: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-21-23.pdf
WILL MY TAX CPA HANDLE THIS FOR ME SINCE THEY HANDLE MY INCOME TAX RETURNS?
Whether your tax accountant is a CPA or EA, he or she most likely only prepares your Federal and State Income Tax Returns. However, ERTC credits are claimed against Employment Taxes on Form 941, and cash advanced through Form 7200.
The complexity of the ERTC program is a beast unto itself and every tax accountant we’ve talked to has said they focus on staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving income tax code, and they can’t now become experts in the ERTC program as well.
If your tax accountant is comfortable determining your eligibility by quarter and year, computing your credits, and preparing contemporaneous documentation to support an IRS audit, then you should certainly let them handle all of this.
If you want a second set of eyes on this, we’re happy to take a look.
MY BOOKKEEPER HAS ALL MY INFO . . . CAN THEY HANDLE MY ERTC CLAIMS?
Your Bookkeeper should certainly have access to all the information that is needed for an accurate calculation of your legal ERTC claim. They will have your financial reports, payroll registers, and PPP loan forgiveness documents.
The Million Dollar Question is . . . Do They Have The Time?
• Do they have the time to dig into the text of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
• And its accompanying referenced laws like: CARES Act, Families First Act, Payroll & Healthcare Enhancement Act, PPP Payroll Flexibility Act, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
• Time to read the IRS Interpretations and FAQs? And cross-reference those definitions with that of PPP which was separately defined and dissimilarly interpreted in the Small Business Administration’s Bulletins and IFRs?
• Do they have the time to ensure accuracy in eligibility determination, maximize your computation and create the supporting documentation you’ll need to support an IRS audit of employer taxes?
So far, we have not found a bookkeeper who is able to take all this on, while handling the day-to-day bookkeeping. If yours can, then take them up on their offer. We’re happy to take a second look.
I KNOW ADDITIONAL BUSINESS OWNERS THAT MIGHT QUALIFY; CAN THEY APPLY HERE, TOO?
Absolutely! Our professional team is equipped and ready to help as many businesses as possible to apply for their ERC funds. We welcome you to share this site. Sharing is caring!