The employee retention credit is a fully refundable tax credit that eligible employers request against certain employment taxes. It's not a loan and it doesn't have to be repaid. For most taxpayers, the refundable credit exceeds the payroll taxes paid during a credit-building period. Brief background: If you haven't explored the employee retention credit (ERC), you may be entitled to a payroll tax credit that has resulted in significant refunds.
However, increasingly, employers are staying to listen more and some have been persuaded to apply for employee retention credit (ERC) when they don't qualify. The ERC was a tax credit in which business owners received a refundable tax credit for keeping employees on their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ERC is a fully refundable payroll tax credit, meaning that even though it is charged to payroll taxes, the amount of the ERC may exceed the actual payroll taxes due. The guide said: “The taxpayer must file a federal income tax return or amended request for administrative adjustment (AAR), if applicable, for the tax year in which qualified wages were paid or incurred to correct any exaggerated deductions made with respect to those same wages in the original federal tax return.
The purpose of the ERC was to encourage employers to keep employees on payroll even if they weren't working during the covered period due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. The usual rules apply, meaning that you should normally file Form 941-X within three years of filing or two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever comes later. When it was originally implemented, employers were not eligible for the ERC if they received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Employers with 100 or more employees could only include wages paid during periods when employees were not working.
Notably absent in article 51 (i) of the IRC (or in the first IRS guidelines on the ERC) the direct prohibition of claiming the ERC for wages paid to a majority owner of a corporation or to the owner's spouse was clearly absent. Business owners who were not startups in recovery were not entitled to the employee retention credit for wages paid after September. The section 45B credit is available for unreported tips in an amount equal to the “employer's excess social security tax” paid or incurred by the employer. If they withheld payroll taxes before receiving the ERC in the fourth quarter, they had to determine any underpaid tax amounts and prepare to resolve those issues.
This provision prevents employers from counting wages paid to certain family members as “qualified wages” for the purpose of calculating the employment opportunity credit. Companies that applied for the ERC simultaneously with their payroll tax returns could reduce mandatory payroll tax deposits by the amount of the credit.