How To Apply And Claim Employee Retention Tax Credit

Are you looking for ways to save money on taxes? If so, the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) may be just what you need.

The ERTC is a tax incentive designed to help businesses retain their employees and offset some of the costs associated with doing so.

In this article, we’ll explain how you can apply and claim the ERTC. We’ll provide all the details you need to know about eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and filing processes.

So let’s get started!

Overview of the Employee Retention Tax Credit

You may be eligible for a valuable incentive, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of it!

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is designed to help employers retain their employees during times of economic hardship. It provides employers with a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50-70 percent of qualified wages paid up to $10,000 per employee for 2020 and 2021. This means you can receive up to a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee in 2020 and a maximum credit of $7,000 per employee in 2021.

To be eligible for the credit, your business must have operations that were partially or fully suspended due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority due to COVID-19; or had gross receipts that declined by more than 20% when compared with the same quarter in 2019. You must also employ no more than 500 full-time and/or part-time employees as of February 15th 2020 in order to qualify.

Once you’ve determined if your business is eligible for this tax credit, you must complete Form 941 each quarter and claim the credit by filling out form 5884-C with the IRS. You will need to include information about your business such as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), contact information, number of full and part time employees, wages paid during each quarter, total amount claimed etc.

Once submitted, any additional questions regarding eligibility will be answered in writing by mail or email within 30 days from the date received by the IRS.

Claiming this tax credit could provide some much needed financial relief for businesses struggling during these difficult times so make sure you take advantage of it if you’re eligible!

Requirements for Qualifying for the ERTC

Struggling to keep your business afloat? The ERTC could be just the lifeline you’re looking for!

To qualify for the ERTC, there are certain conditions that must be met. Your business must have experienced either a full or partial suspension of operation due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority in 2020, OR have a 50% decline in gross receipts between comparable quarters of 2019 and 2020. Additionally, you must have been in operation as of February 15th, 2020.

If your business meets these requirements, then you may be eligible for the credit. The amount of the credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees after March 12th and before January 1st 2021 up to $5,000 per employee (including health benefits). Self-employed individuals can receive a similar credit for their self-employment income up to $5,000 in total.

To apply for the ERTC, you’ll need to fill out IRS form 941 and attach IRS Form 5884-C. You will also need copies of payroll reports showing qualifying wages paid as well as any documents that demonstrate how your business was affected by COVID-19 such as proof of closure or reduced revenue numbers.

Once all forms are completed and submitted with proof of eligibility attached, you should hear back from IRS within 6 – 24 weeks about whether or not your application has been approved.

The ERTC provides businesses with much needed relief during this time so it’s worth exploring if your business qualifies – don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Make sure that all required paperwork is completed accurately and on time so that you can get started claiming what’s rightfully yours!

Calculating the Amount of the ERTC

Once eligibility has been established, the amount of the ERTC can be determined by calculating qualified wages paid to affected individuals between March 12th and January 1st 2021, up to a maximum of $5,000 per person.

Qualified wages include pay for services performed from March 12th through December 31st 2020 that would otherwise have been taken into account in determining an employer’s payroll taxes for the period. The calculation should take into account any adjustments required as a result of changes in employee headcount or wage levels during this time frame.

The amount of credit will be equivalent to 50% or 70% of wages paid up to a limit of $10,000 per employee, with some exceptions in certain industries and areas.

Employers can also claim additional credits based on health insurance premiums they pay on behalf of their employees hired after February 15th 2020 and before January 1st 2021. These credits are limited to 25% or 35% depending on the size of the business, but cannot exceed more than $2800 for each employee during this period.

Employers should keep careful records when calculating their ERTC amounts, as IRS Form 941 quarterly reports must match what is reported on Form 5884-C when claiming the credit.

If there is an inconsistency between these two forms, employers may need to adjust their calculations accordingly so that they accurately reflect what was reported and claimed from both documents.

In addition, if an employer fails to properly document how much eligible wages were paid out after the end of calendar year 2020 at the time it files its Form 5884-C claim for refundable credits related to those same qualified wages, then it will not be able to use those amounts when filing its quarterly return or form 5884-C later in 2021.

It is important that employers take all necessary steps when calculating their ERTC so that they do not miss out on potential benefits due them under this program.

This includes taking into account any relevant reductions in workforce or wage levels that occurred during this period as well as carefully documenting all qualified wages paid out prior to filing their claim for refundable credits under Form 5884-C at tax time next year.

Understanding the Eligibility Criteria

Confused about the ERTC eligibility criteria? Don’t worry – we’ll help you make sense of it all!

To be eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), your business must have been affected by COVID-19. This means that either it had to shut down due to a governmental order or its gross receipts dropped significantly compared to the same period in 2019.

You can only claim ERTC if your business has fewer than 500 employees. If you qualify, you can receive up to $5,000 per employee for wages paid between March 13, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

You will need to fill out IRS Form 941 each quarter as well as IRS Form 7200 at year end when claiming this credit.

In addition, there are some other requirements that may apply depending on the size of your business. For example, large employers with more than 100 full-time employees in 2019 must prove how many workers they had before and after the pandemic started in order to claim the credit.

If your business meets all of these criteria then you should be able to apply for and claim ERTC. The process is simple and straightforward so don’t hesitate – start taking advantage of this valuable tax break today!

Submitting the Required Documentation For ERC

Are you unsure of the documents needed to take advantage of financial benefits? Make sure to submit all the necessary paperwork for the ERTC so you don’t miss out!

To apply for this tax credit, employers need to provide proof that they are eligible. This includes documentation like payroll records, wage and salary information, and employee retention agreements. Employers should also include a detailed explanation of their employee retention plan, including how employees will be paid during their period of employment. It’s important to make sure all these documents are accurately filled out and submitted in order for your application to be accepted by the IRS.

Employers must also provide evidence that they have complied with applicable federal, state and local laws when it comes to employee retention plans. This could include copies of any relevant labor agreements or pay stubs from the retained employees. Additionally, employers may need to provide additional supporting documentation such as a letter from an independent CPA verifying that they meet all relevant requirements under the Employee Retention Tax Credit program.

Failing to provide any required documents may result in delays in processing or outright rejection of your claim.

Along with submitting all necessary paperwork and forms, employers should keep records documenting employee wages during the period covered by their ERTC claim. This includes records showing hours worked, wages paid and any additional compensation given during this time frame. Additionally, employers should maintain documentation demonstrating that employees were not laid off due to lack of work over this same period of time as well as proof that wages were not reduced by more than 20%.

It’s essential for employers who wish to take advantage of this tax credit program to submit complete and accurate information along with all applicable supporting documents on time. By taking care when filing your application for ERTC benefits, you can help ensure your claim is processed quickly so you don’t miss out on potentially beneficial financial rewards!

Calculating the Tax Credit for Each Employee

After submitting all the necessary documentation, employers must calculate the tax credit for each individual to determine how much they are eligible to receive. This involves some number crunching and understanding of certain calculations. It also requires employers to be aware of any changes in tax laws or regulations that could affect the amount of tax credit being offered.

The calculation begins with determining an employee’s qualified wages from the previous two years. Qualified wages include things like regular pay, bonuses, and other forms of compensation that meet certain criteria. Once these have been determined, employers can use this information to calculate their employee’s retention tax credit percentage.

The second step is calculating the total amount of qualified wages paid throughout the two year period preceding the claim date. To do this, you will need to add up all wages earned by employees during this time frame that meet qualifications outlined by IRS guidelines. Once you have a total figure for qualified wages, you can then divide it by two in order to arrive at a per-employee rate for your retention tax credit percentage calculation.

Next, employers must determine their current payroll expenses during the taxable year in which they are claiming a retention tax credit. This includes both cash and non-cash payments made by employer such as salaries, bonuses, and other types of compensation that qualify as “wages” under IRS rules and regulations.

After subtracting out any deferred compensation payments made during the taxable year from total payroll expenses (which would not be considered qualified wages), you can then multiply your calculated retention tax credit percentage times total payroll expenses (minus deferred compensation). This will give you your maximum allowed annual retention tax credits per employee for this particular taxable year – depending on available funds through corporate taxes or government programs like Paycheck Protection Program loans – that can be claimed on behalf of eligible employees against their personal income taxes due at filing time.

Filing for the ERTC

Now that you know how to calculate the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for each employee, it’s time to apply and file for the credit.

Filing for the ERTC is an important step in claiming this tax benefit. To start, you need to fill out IRS Form 941-X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund. This form is available on the IRS website or can be requested from your local IRS office.

In addition, you’ll need to include a copy of your original Form 941 and proof of wages paid during the quarter being claimed. You must also indicate on Form 941-X that you are claiming the ERTC by writing ‘ERC’ in box 14 under “Other Credits” and entering the amount of credit on line 22a.

When filing your claim with the IRS, make sure all documents are properly completed and signed. This includes having both your signature and date written at the bottom of Form 941-X as well as making sure any supporting documents have been included with your application.

Once everything has been submitted, you should receive a response within 10 days regarding whether or not your claim was accepted or denied by the IRS.

After submitting all required documentation to claim your ERTC, it is important to keep track of any responses from the IRS in order to ensure that all necessary steps have been taken when it comes time to file taxes at year end.

With careful attention and proper documentation, filing for an ERTC can help business owners save money on their taxes while providing financial support during challenging times associated with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.


Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in claiming the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Now that you know what requirements are needed and how to calculate the credit, you can apply for it with confidence. Make sure to submit all of the required documents and keep track of your calculations so that you can file correctly.

With this information, you’ll be able to take advantage of this valuable tax incentive and make sure your business is getting its full benefit from this program.


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