Frequently Asked Questions about ERC for Business Owners

ERC stands for Employer Retention Credit and can be claimed against employment taxes. The ERC was originally created under the Caregiver Relief and Emergency Stabilization (CARES) Act and then expanded under Consolidated Appropriations Act.

The Employee Retention Credit can and should be filed against your employment taxes to receive a refundable payroll tax credit. Established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in 2020 to encourage businesses to keep employees employed during the COVID-19 pandemic, find out more here about this invaluable incentive!

What is the ERC?

The Employment Retention Credit, or ERC, was implemented with the CARES Act during COVID-19 as an incentive for companies to keep employees on payrolls and sustain operations.

Credit has played an essential role in keeping many business owners afloat by providing cash flow they can invest back into their companies. But as changes to its benefits can make the program complex and difficult to understand for some individuals – that’s where we come in!

The ERC is a fully refundable tax credit that can be claimed against payroll taxes – this means it doesn’t need to be paid back as a loan does.

Companies eligible for ERC funds during the COVID-19 pandemic could qualify if they were forced to adjust due to government orders like capacity restrictions on gatherings or financial losses due to diminished revenue streams, including restaurants, construction firms, and tech firms that struggled due to semiconductor shortages needed in their technology products.

Your business may qualify to claim this credit if it experienced a decrease in gross receipts during any quarter in 2021 compared with that same quarter of 2019. The calculation can be complex; our experts are on hand to assist in this assessment and offer guidance and expertise specific to program expertise a regular CPA or payroll processor may lack.

How do I Know if I’m Eligible for the ERC?

Due to recent legislative changes concerning ERC, businesses often misunderstand and disqualify themselves from qualifying. At NEWITY, we offer free ERC analysis and quantification services so your business may maximize funding by qualifying as efficiently as possible.

ERC eligibility is open to any trade, business, or tax-exempt organization that experienced a reduction in gross receipts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before worrying too much, read more about it and become more acquainted. As I said before, eligibility will be based on how the first two quarters of 2020 compare with similar quarters in 2019.

Given changes to legislative requirements, it may be challenging to assess your business for ERC credits. Seeking professional help specializing in this program can assist with both determining eligibility for these credits and helping with claiming processes.

How do I Apply?

ERC eligibility requires businesses to fulfill certain criteria, such as experiencing gross receipts losses due to pandemic-related events and operations interruption. Knowing these requirements allows businesses to prepare appropriately and take full advantage of this program.

According to this article –, the credit can be applied to qualifying wages earned between March 13 and December 31, 2021, by both full-time and part-time employees. To claim it, businesses must file Form 941-X Amended Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Claim for Refund within three years from when their original quarterly return was filed.

Employers must fulfill multiple requirements in order to be considered a “qualifying employer”. A qualifying employer is defined as any business operating a trade or business or tax-exempt organization which does not involve governments, their agencies, or instrumentalities; including sole proprietorships and partnerships.

In order to do so, however, you must demonstrate that your business experienced losses of at least 50% of its gross receipts when compared with comparable quarters from prior years and why operations had to cease during an affected quarter.


The Employee Retention Credit is a tax relief measure designed to reward businesses that kept employees on payroll during the pandemic. To determine if your business qualifies, it’s a good idea that you understand eligibility requirements and the calculation method of this credit.

To qualify for the credit, your business must have been operating during the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced either an interruption to its operations or a significant decline in gross receipts. Your eligibility depends on factors like its size and number of full-time employees; qualification criteria also vary by year – you can calculate your score by comparing gross receipts between any quarters in 2020-2021 with a similar quarter in the previous year(s).

As I said above, claim the credit, file Form 941-X to amend an earlier quarterly return, and submit it within three years from its initial filing. Be wary of third parties encouraging you to claim this credit; to report fraud to submit Form 14242: Report Suspected Abusive Tax Promotions or Preparers and consider using millions in revenue-producing credits!


To claim ERC for your business, several documents will be necessary. First and foremost is an application form found on the IRS website and completed correctly – this includes an in-depth questionnaire regarding both ERC and company financial details.

Your company must compile a list of eligible employees. This step of the ERC process is recommended in determining who qualifies for a credit, so the easiest way is by reviewing criteria for small and large employers; small employers are defined as having less than 100 full-time workers while large ones employ over 500 full-time workers.

Contrary to other IRS tax credits, reimbursements from the ERC do not count as taxable income; instead, they’ll reduce deductible wages in the year of receipt – meaning if you claim this credit for 2021-2022 it could take 16 months before seeing its reimbursements!

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