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Federal Tax Credit Program
We wanted to make you aware of a potentially BIG opportunity. The recently enacted Consolidation Appropriations Act, 2021 provides tax credit relief and extends several valuable Federal Tax Credit programs. One of which is the Federal COVID Employee Retention Tax Credit which was loosened and greatly enhanced. It’s now available to PPP loan recipients with under 500 “full-time employees” and is refundable against the company’s portion of Social Security Tax.
How Much is the Tax Credit?
The COVID Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit available to Eligible Employers against certain employment taxes equal to:
For qualifying wages after March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2020 = 50% of the qualified wages per employee (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 for the year (max $5,000); and
For qualifying wages on or after January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 = 70% of the qualified wages per employee (including certain health plan costs) up to $10,000 per QUARTER (max $14,000).
Which Wages are Ineligible?
Wages paid under for sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act;
Wages claimed for the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit; and
Payroll Costs claimed for PPP loan forgiveness.
Previously this credit was not available to those employers that received benefits under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), however, under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the credit was retroactively expanded to include recipients of PPP loans.
How is the Credit Claimed?
The credit is claimed on the Quarterly 941 or on an amended Quarterly 941 against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes, with the remainder refunded back to the company.
Who is Eligible?
Eligible Employers, including tax-exempt organizations, are those companies that were operating a trade or business during calendar year 2020 through June 30, 2021 and experienced either:
the full or partial suspension of the operation of their trade or business during any calendar quarter because of governmental orders limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings due to COVID-19, OR
experienced a decline in gross receipts of 50% or more within a 2020 calendar quarter as compared to the same calendar quarter in 2019, OR
experienced a decline in gross receipts of 20% in Q1 or Q2 of 2021 as compared to an applicable prior calendar quarter.
The credit applies to qualified wages (including certain health plan expenses) paid during the “full or partial suspension period” or the full calendar quarter in which the decline in gross receipts test was met.
The definition of qualified wages depends on how many employees an eligible employer had during 2019 and depends on the qualifying period.
For wages paid in 2020, if an employer averaged more than 100 full-time employees during
2019, qualified wages for 2020 qualifying periods are those wages, including certain health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee) paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts.
For wages paid in 2021, if an employer averaged more than 500 full-time employees during
2019, qualified wages for 2021 qualifying periods are those wages, including certain health care costs, (up to $10,000 per employee per quarter) paid to employees that are not providing services because operations were suspended or due to the decline in gross receipts.
Qualifying wages for employers with less than 100 employees (for 2020) and 500 employees (for
2021) includes ALL wages paid during the qualifying period, even if employees were at work, or performing services.