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  • D.P. Conway

Maximizing the Benefits of the Employee Retention Credit: Strategies for Eligible Employers



The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a valuable tool for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is designed to incentivize businesses to keep their employees on payroll during reduced operations or economic hardship. By claiming the credit, employers can receive a refundable credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes of 50% of qualified wages, up to a maximum of $5,000 per employee per year. You can get the services of the company ERC or ERC consultants to help with the application.


To be eligible for the credit, an employer's gross receipts must have declined by at least 20% in a calendar quarter compared to the same quarter in the prior year. For example, if a business had gross receipts of $100,000 in the first quarter of 2020 and $80,000 in the first quarter of 2021, it would be eligible for the credit. Additionally, if a business was fully or partially suspended by government order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also eligible for the credit.


However, many eligible employers need to maximize the benefits of the credit. Here are a few strategies that can help eligible employers maximize the benefits of the ERC:

  1. Understand the eligibility requirements: It's important to understand the eligibility requirements for the credit and to consult with a tax professional or the IRS for guidance on how the credit applies to your business. This will ensure that you are aware of the conditions that must be met to claim the credit and avoid any errors that may lead to the credit being denied.

  2. Keep accurate records: To claim the credit, employers must be able to demonstrate that they have experienced a decline in gross receipts or have been suspended by government order. This means keeping accurate records of your gross receipts and government orders that have impacted your business.

  3. Calculate the credit correctly: Employers must calculate the credit to ensure they receive the maximum benefit. The credit is based on qualified wages, which are capped at $10,000 per employee per year. The maximum credit an employer can claim for each employee is $5,000.

  4. Coordinate with other relief measures: Employers should also be aware of other relief measures that may be available, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Coordinating with other relief measures can help employers maximize the benefits they receive and avoid any potential overlap or reduction of benefits.

  5. Take advantage of the ERC for the entire year: For employers whose gross receipts have declined, the credit is available for the first two quarters of 2021. For employers suspended by government order, the credit is available for the entire year of 2021.

In conclusion, the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a valuable tool for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many eligible employers need to maximize the benefits of the credit by understanding the eligibility requirements, keeping accurate records, calculating the credit correctly, coordinating with other relief measures, and taking advantage of the ERC for the entire year.

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