How To Avoid ERTC Scams: Tips For Businesses

Have you heard about the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) and how it can benefit your business? It’s a refundable tax credit that helps qualified companies continue paying their employees. But here’s the thing – scammers have emerged, trying to take advantage of this program and mislead businesses who are not eligible. In this article, we’ll discuss in detail how to avoid ERC scams so that you can protect your business and make informed decisions.

ERC scams come in various forms, such as illegitimate consultants or filing false claims. These scammers will try to convince you that they can secure ERC on your behalf, but in reality, they are just after your money. Some red flags to watch out for include limited information in their marketing materials, proposals to file returns when your payroll is outsourced, and promises of refund figures that seem too good to be true.

To avoid falling victim to ERC scams, there are several tips you can follow. First, choose a seasoned and established company that has a good reputation. Make sure they can provide concrete evidence of eligibility and insist on personal communication throughout the process. It’s also important to inquire about their defense against IRS audits and ask for a clear explanation of how payment will work.

Before signing any agreements, take the time to research the company’s history of favorable outcomes and make sure they are qualified to handle ERC claims. And most importantly, educate yourself about the standards required to qualify for ERC. By following these tips, you can protect your business and avoid falling prey to ERC scams.

How to Avoid ERC Scams: Tips for Businesses

Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit towards payroll tax obligations that helps qualified companies continue paying employees. However, scammers have emerged claiming to secure ERC on behalf of businesses, using deceitful tactics to mislead ineligible firms and take their money. It is essential for businesses to remain cautious and aware of these fraudulent activities in order to protect their finances and reputation. In this article, we will discuss how businesses can avoid ERC scams by following a few key tips and guidelines.

ERTC scams

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Choosing a Reputable Company

When seeking assistance with ERC claims, it is crucial to choose a reputable company that has a track record of success and a solid reputation in the industry. Researching the company’s history is the first step in identifying a trustworthy partner. Look for companies that have been operating for a significant period of time and have a proven track record of helping businesses with ERC claims.

Verifying the experience and expertise of the company is also important. Make sure they have a team of professionals who are well-versed in ERC regulations and have the necessary qualifications to handle payroll tax matters. Confirming eligibility evidence is crucial to avoid falling victim to scams. Reputable companies will be transparent in providing evidence of their eligibility, such as the specific qualifications they meet and the documentation they require from businesses.

Ensuring Personal Communication

Personal communication is essential when dealing with ERC claims. Insist on personal meetings with the company representatives to establish a direct line of communication. This allows for a better understanding of the process and ensures that any concerns or questions can be addressed promptly.

Avoid relying solely on communication via email, as scammers often prefer this method to maintain anonymity. Verbal communication over phone or in-person meetings provides a higher level of assurance and allows for a more personalized and direct interaction. During these personal meetings, don’t hesitate to ask direct questions about the company’s experience, their process, and any concerns you may have.

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Protecting Against IRS Audits

One major concern for businesses engaging in ERC claims is the possibility of an IRS audit. Inquire about the company’s audit defense strategy to ensure that they have procedures in place to handle any potential audits by the IRS. A reputable company will have thorough systems in place to maintain compliance and respond to any audits effectively.

Requesting copies of filing documents is another way to protect against IRS audits. By keeping copies of all documentation related to ERC claims, businesses have a record of their compliance and can provide evidence quickly if requested by the IRS. These documents can also serve as a reference point for any future inquiries or disputes.

For added assurance, it is advisable to seek a professional opinion on the legitimacy of the company and their ERC claims services. Consulting with a trusted tax advisor or attorney can provide valuable insights and help verify the credibility of the company. They can offer an unbiased perspective and guide businesses in making informed decisions.

Understanding Payment Process

Before engaging with a company for ERC claims, it is important to request a clear explanation of the payment process. Reputable companies will be transparent in explaining their fees and how they are calculated. Understanding the payment structure upfront ensures that businesses are not caught off guard by unexpected charges or hidden fees.

Transparency in fees is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes later on. Ensure that the company provides a written agreement detailing all costs involved in the ERC claims process. Avoid companies that require upfront payments or charge exorbitant fees with no guarantees of success. Reputable companies typically have a fee structure based on a percentage of the credits recovered, providing an incentive to achieve favorable outcomes for businesses.


Qualifications for ERC Claims

When considering a service provider for ERC claims, it is essential to check their eligibility. The service provider should meet all the necessary requirements to handle ERC claims on behalf of businesses. Verify their knowledge and expertise in ERC regulations to ensure they are up to date with any changes or updates.

Reviewing the service provider’s previous successful claims is another way to gauge their qualifications. Ask for references or case studies that demonstrate their experience and outcomes. A reputable company will have a track record of assisting businesses in successfully claiming ERC credits.

Identifying Red Flags

There are several red flags that indicate potential ERC scams. Limited information in marketing materials is one such sign. Legitimate companies will provide detailed information about their services, experience, and qualifications. Be cautious of companies that provide vague or incomplete information.

Another red flag is proposals to file returns for businesses that outsource their payroll. Filing returns for outsourced payroll is typically the responsibility of the payroll provider, not the business itself. If a company insists on filing returns for outsourced payroll, it may be a sign of an unscrupulous operation.

Be wary of companies that overstate projected refund amounts. Any claims that sound too good to be true should be thoroughly investigated. A reliable company will provide realistic estimates based on accurate information and calculations.

How to Avoid ERC Scams: Tips for Businesses

Early Determinations of Eligibility

Beware of companies that provide premature assurances of eligibility. The eligibility for ERC can be complex and is subject to strict guidelines. Genuine companies will conduct a thorough evaluation of the business’s eligibility before making any determinations. It is advisable to seek professional expertise for such evaluations to ensure compliance with ERC guidelines.

Reputable companies will take the time to understand the unique aspects of each business and evaluate their eligibility accordingly. Avoid companies that promise immediate eligibility without gathering all the necessary information or conducting a comprehensive assessment. Early determinations of eligibility should be approached with caution, as they may indicate a lack of thoroughness or professionalism.

Recovering Taxes and Refunds

When it comes to recovering taxes and refunds through ERC claims, caution must be exercised. Be skeptical of companies that promise excessively high refund percentages. While the ERC credit can be significant, it is important to remember that the credit is based on eligible wages and not the total payroll.

Ensure that the company follows legal and ethical practices when filing claims. Misrepresentation of employee data, such as inflating salaries or inventing non-existent employees, is a clear violation of the law. A reputable company will adhere to legal and ethical standards, and their focus will be on maximizing eligible credits rather than engaging in fraudulent activities.

Qualifying for ERC Standards

It is crucial for businesses to gain knowledge of ERC eligibility criteria before engaging with a company for ERC claims. Understanding the eligibility requirements helps businesses assess their own qualifications and ensures they are not submitting claims for disqualified employees.

Understanding payroll tax obligations is an integral part of qualifying for ERC. Businesses should have a clear understanding of their payroll tax liabilities and obligations before proceeding with ERC claims. Reputable companies will guide businesses through this process and ensure compliance with all necessary regulations.


In conclusion, businesses must exercise due diligence when engaging with companies for ERC claims to avoid falling victim to scams. Being aware of scam tactics and red flags, as well as taking proactive measures, is essential to protect the financial well-being and reputation of the business. By choosing a reputable company, insisting on personal communication, protecting against IRS audits, understanding the payment process, verifying qualifications for ERC claims, identifying red flags, making early determinations of eligibility, recovering taxes and refunds responsibly, understanding ERC standards, and taking proactive measures, businesses can safeguard themselves from ERC scams. By following these tips and guidelines, businesses can ensure a smooth and legitimate ERC claims process.

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