The Employee Retention Tax Credit or ERTC is a refundable tax credit for businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees and were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are credits available up to $26,000 per employee.
The Covid pandemic affected many companies over the past few years. The government offered 2 options to help companies.
Subsequently, the government reviewed each of these programs and realized there are surplus of funds left in the ERTC program. They began allowing companies to apply for ERTC, even if they received money for PPP.
If so…you may be eligible for The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)
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.
YES! 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.
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.