How To Apply For The Employee Retention Tax Credit

How To Apply For The Employee Retention Tax Credit

 Applying for the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) can be a complicated process, but understanding it is key to taking advantage of this valuable benefit.

The ERTC provides employers with a fully refundable tax credit against certain payroll taxes equal to 50% of qualified wages paid during periods when operations were partially or completely suspended due to COVID-19.

In order to apply for the ERTC, employers must meet specific criteria and follow set guidelines.

This article will explain exactly how to do that.

Eligibility Requirements

When trying to identify employees who are eligible for the employee retention tax credit, it can be like a treasure hunt. You have to look carefully in all of the right places and hope that you don’t miss something important; otherwise, your audit planning could be disastrous.

The first step is to understand what qualifies an employee as being eligible for the credit so you know exactly which ones should be included during audit planning.

It’s essential that this process is done accurately since mistakes or inaccuracies can have serious consequences down the line. That’s why taking time upfront to review each potential candidate thoroughly is such an important part of the process.

Doing this work ahead of time will help ensure that no details get overlooked when preparing for an audit – saving everyone from unnecessary headaches!

Documenting Qualifying Wages

In order to qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, employers must document qualifying wages paid to employees in 2020. Qualifying wages are those that were paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021.

To begin documenting these wages, employers must first break down their job roles into eligible categories. Eligible job roles include those primarily engaged in providing health care services or producing goods related to pandemic relief efforts as defined by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The next step is to track payroll taxes associated with each of these eligible job roles. Employers should use an accurate record-keeping system to ensure all withheld employee taxes, such as Social Security and Medicare taxes, are tracked accurately.

Additionally, employers should also keep records of any additional payments they make on behalf of their employees, including employer contribution funds like 401(k). Having a thorough understanding of these tax contributions will help employers correctly identify which wages qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit program.

By following these steps carefully and keeping detailed records throughout the process, employers can successfully apply for this tax credit program confidently.

Calculating The Credit

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) has been widely utilized by businesses since its inception in 2020. According to a recent report, over $25 billion had been claimed as of August 2020. This highlights the importance of understanding all aspects of the credit before attempting to claim it for your business.

When calculating the ERTC, there are several key factors that must be taken into consideration. Most notably, wage limits and claiming rules can have an impact on the amount of the credit available. Wage limits refer to how much wages may be paid out during any given quarter while still being eligible for tax credits – typically up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.

Claiming rules will depend on whether you’re filing monthly or quarterly taxes with respect to payroll taxes, so careful attention should be paid when making this determination. Additionally, other criteria such as which employees qualify and what constitutes “qualified wages’ need to be considered when applying for the ERTC.

In order to maximize one’s ability to take advantage of this valuable program, thorough research is necessary prior to submitting an application for the ERTC. The guidelines outlined above provide only a brief overview and do not address every detail associated with calculating the credit – consulting a qualified tax professional is always recommended in cases like these.

Filing The Credit

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is available to employers who have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts as well as for those that had fully or partially suspended their operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to qualify for ERTC, employers must meet certain criteria and complete an application process.

To file the credit, employers should take note of the following:

  1. Employers must first calculate the qualified wages they paid during 2020. This amount will be determined by taking into account both the employer’s decrease in revenue year over year and any credits taken against eligible payroll taxes.
  2. Once this calculation is completed, employers can then determine how much credit they are eligible for based on their total taxable income from 2019 or 2018 filing periods.
  3. Employers should also consider whether they need to use Form 941-X or apply directly through the IRS’s website when filing for the tax credit.
  4. Finally, it’s important to keep all relevant documentation related to calculating the qualified wages and applying for the credit since these may be used at a later date if needed for verification purposes.

To ensure employers get full benefit from this valuable tax break, it is wise to consult with a qualified tax advisor before beginning this process as there are many factors which could make one ineligible for ERTC or reduce its potential value significantly such as having already received Paycheck Protection Program funds or other similar grants during 2020.

Keeping Records

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a fantastic way for businesses to receive government funding through payroll taxes, and it can be an effective hiring incentive.

This credit has been in place since 2020, and there are certain criteria that must be met in order to take advantage of the opportunity.

The most important aspect when applying for this tax credit is keeping accurate records throughout the process. Businesses should document all relevant information regarding their employees’ wages, hours worked, and any other pertinent details during their participation in the ERTC program.

Any changes associated with employee compensation or employment status will need to be tracked as well. Maintaining these records not only helps ensure compliance with federal regulations but also allows business owners to easily access data if they are audited by IRS agents.

Additionally, having documentation handy makes it easier to file timely reports and amendments related to credits such as the ERTC. Keeping up-to-date accounting records is essential for businesses looking to reap the benefits of this lucrative tax credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Apply For The Employee Retention Tax Credit If My Business Has Received Ppp Loans?

If your business has received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, you may still be eligible to claim the employee retention tax credit.

To do so, however, it is important to understand the eligibility criteria and qualifications for claiming this credit.

In order to qualify, businesses must have experienced a full or partial suspension of operations due to COVID-19 related governmental orders OR had gross receipts that are less than 50% of their comparable prior year period in any quarter of 2020 compared to 2019.

Additionally, employers can only use either PPP funds or ERTC – not both – as it would result in double dipping.

Is There A Limit To How Much I Can Claim For The Employee Retention Tax Credit?

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) allows businesses to claim up to $5,000 per employee for wages paid between March 13th 2020 and January 1st 2021.

Eligibility criteria includes that the business has experienced a decrease in gross receipts of more than 20%, or if they have had operations suspended due to government orders related to Covid-19.

Qualifying wages are capped at $10,000 per employee on an annualized basis, so you can’t recieve any additional credit by paying your employees more than this amount.

As such, it is important to be aware of these restrictions when determining the maximum credit available for your particular situation.

When Is The Deadline To Apply For The Employee Retention Tax Credit?

The deadline for applying for the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) is determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The applicability criteria and eligibility requirements are complex, so it’s important to understand them prior to filing.

Generally speaking, businesses must apply for ERTC before December 31st of the year following a calendar quarter in which they meet all applicable criteria and wish to claim the credit.

For example, if a business meets the criteria during Q2 2020, then their application should be submitted no later than Dec 31 2021.

Is The Employee Retention Tax Credit Refundable?

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.

To be eligible, businesses must meet certain qualifying criteria and eligibility requirements.

Generally speaking, the tax credit can be claimed on wages paid to employees between March 12th 2020 and January 1st 2021.

It is important to note that this credit is refundable, meaning if the amount of the credit exceeds taxes owed it will be reimbursed in full.

Can I Use The Employee Retention Tax Credit To Cover The Cost Of Health Insurance Premiums?

Yes, you can use the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to cover health insurance premiums for eligible workers.

The ERTC is designed to offset a portion of the qualified wages and health plan expenses paid by employers that have experienced a decrease in gross receipts or closure due to COVID-19.

Eligible wages are generally limited to those up to $10,000 per employee on an annual basis and must be reported as taxable income.

Businesses should make sure they understand their eligibility requirements before applying for the tax credit; this could include payroll costs such as salaries, wages, vacation pay, sick leave payments, and other benefits related taxes imposed on the employer under federal law.


Yes, you can apply for the Employee Retention Tax Credit if your business has received PPP loans.

The amount you are eligible to claim is subject to certain limits, and the deadline to file is December 31st.

It’s important to note that this credit is non-refundable, but it can be used to offset health insurance premiums.

As a tax credit analyst, I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity – there’s no need for businesses to suffer through these difficult times alone.

With the right planning and preparation, employees and employers alike will benefit from this valuable source of relief.

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