The Employee Retention Credit: How Does It Work?

The Employee Retention Credit: How Does It Work?

Were you impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns? Did you find it difficult to keep your staff members in the face of market challenges? If that’s the case, maybe there’s a method to get your money back.

The Employee Retention Credit was officially approved by the federal government in 2020. As a result of this credit, many previously laid-off workers were kept on the books by their respective companies. Paying employees would be feasible for businesses.

Even yet, many businesses have difficulty grasping the Employee Retention Credit. Since the ERC ended on September 30th, 2021, this issue has only gotten worse.

But the credit is still useful to businesses after the deadline has passed! Below, we’ll go into the specifics of how that works.

The CARE Act And Employee Retention Credit

The ERC originated in Congress as a company relief legislation known as the CARES Act. Employers who qualified for the credit might use the increased money to retain their employees’ staff. The credit is intended to complement the PPP loan program that some companies may use. 

This clause was originally intended to expire in 2020. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) nonetheless, increased this credit in December 2020.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Biden in November 2021. As a result of the new law, the retention credit is no longer available to new hires, with a few exceptions.

How Much Is The Employee Tax Credit?

As originally established by the CARES Act, the ERC was to be equal to half of the amount by which businesses paid their employees. Payroll expenses from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020, were eligible for the initial credit.

On the other hand, the CAA altered this. Tax credits up to 70% of qualified wages will be available to qualifying businesses in 2021.

With this new number, the minimum wage requirement went increased. Employers were able to take advantage of a tax credit of up to $10,000 per employee thanks to the CAA. This updated estimate covered all four quarters of 2021.

A full-time employee was limited to a quarterly credit limit of $7,000. The following equation can be used by companies to determine the precise amount:

Annualized Qualified Wages of $30,000 = $10,000 x 70%

Please remember to increase this by the total number of full-time workers. If you don’t do this, your final tally will be off by a large margin.

Where Do Qualified Wages Come From When Calculating The Employee Retention Tax Credit?

Wages and other forms of compensation paid by businesses to their employees during the qualifying period are recognized by the ERC. In addition to compensation, you must also pay for your employees’ health insurance and other perks.

The number of full-time workers in your organization in 2019 is a factor in the ERC’s calculation of eligible salaries. In 2020, businesses with less than 100 eligible workers could submit an ERC claim for their full-time employees’ salaries.

The number of full-time employees needed to be considered a “small business” has been raised by the CAA from 100 to 500. ERC tax credit can be applied to wages paid in 2021 by companies employing 500 or more full-time employees in 2019.

Receiving Credit For Retaining Employees

The ERC can be deducted from federal tax returns by companies. Typically, the credits can be claimed on Form 941 (the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return). If you find out later that they are eligible for the credit, you can make the necessary changes to your Form 941.

Learn More About ERC

You can see how the employee retention credit might help firms a great deal in keeping their current staff. Your company may be able to make up for salaries lost during the height of the COVID outbreak with the money saved thanks to this credit.

Do extra digging to find out how this credit might help your company even more. It’s possible that you’ll find out you’re eligible for a larger sum of money.

About Author

Catherine Cole

Catherine’s world revolves around coffee, cooking, writing, and traveling. She considers herself a coffee connoisseur of sorts and is always up for a cup of joe. When she’s not writing or cooking up a storm, you can find her trying hard to impress Cleo - her kitty, who is also the queen of her home and heart.