*The IRS has stopped processing new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) claims for the time being. For more information, visit IRS.gov.


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Gene (00:01):

Hey everybody. This is Gene Marks and welcome to this week’s Small Biz Ahead podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. This week I want to talk to you about the Employee Retention Tax Credit. It’s been in the news over the past couple of months because the ERTC has been on the minds of a lot of business owners. So first of all, let me take a step back and first of all, explain to you what this is. Okay? Then I’ll tell you why it’s in the news and I’m gonna give you some advice. First of all, the Employee Retention Tax Credit started back during the pandemic. It was originally launched in 2020 and then it was revised in 2021. It’s a tax credit, a refundable tax credit that’s basically rewarding you for keeping your employees employed during the pandemic. In 2020 and 2021…

Gene (00:53):

It started out with the last three quarters of 2020 and then most of all four quarters of 2021, the last quarter being if you’re a startup. But basically it works like this. If you were impacted by COVID, either your business was partially or fully shut down during 2020 or 2021, or if you suffered a revenue loss in a quarter in 2020 or a quarter in 2021 compared to 2019, same quarter, you might be eligible for the credit. And the credit is pretty substantial. In 2020, it’s a $5,000 credit per employee. In 2021, it’s up to a $7,000 credit per employee per quarter. And because it’s really in existence for three quarters in 2021 for non startups, three quarters, $7,000 a quarter per employee, plus 5,000 from 2020. You could be getting up to $26,000 per employee under this Employee Retention Tax Credit. And you have until as late as 2025 to amend your payroll tax returns to get your hands on this money because it’s a credit against the payroll taxes that you paid during the eligible quarter.

Gene (02:18):

And if you paid in payroll taxes, the government’s gonna pay you back. And even if your credit is bigger than the payroll taxes you paid in, the government will give you whatever the credit is that you are owed in cash. So it’s pretty amazing. Now, hold your horses because it might not be as big as you think it is. A lot of people are saying, oh, it’s a $26,000 per employee tax credit. Well, your business probably wasn’t affected for all of that time during 2020 and then all three quarters in 2021. So let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And also, if you got a paycheck protection program loan part of that forgivable loan program, any money that you were using in the calculation, any payroll dollars, you can’t use those same payroll dollars to apply for the Employee Retention Tax Credit. So you might have kind of, sort of used up that opportunity because of your PPP loan and you have any money left to try for your Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Gene (03:19):

So that’s certainly possible as well. There are other limitations too, like the size of your business and things like that. So it’s not, it’s certainly not cut and dry, but it is definitely worthwhile looking into, particularly if you were in an industry that was impacted by COVID. If you own a restaurant or a retail store, you absolutely should be looking into the Employee Retention Tax Credit because whether you were shut down fully or partially, you really, really could be eligible. I mean, I’m in Philadelphia and Philadelphia restaurants not only had shut downs in 2020, but even in 2021 during the first quarter during that the Omicron surge, there was significant limitations in what the restaurants in my city could do. Those limitations means they were partially impacted by COVID and therefore they would be eligible for this Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Gene (04:14):

So again, if you’re in the retail restaurant business, there’s no question you should be looking into this. If you’re in any business, it’s worthwhile looking into it as well. Don’t buy into these emails that you’re probably getting from unknown firms saying that you could be getting millions in credits or $26,000 per employee. They’re called ERTC mills. A lot of them are scams. And the problem has become so big that back in October the IRS issued a warning to small businesses saying, be aware of these ERTC scams or mills because a lot of those firms are not credible or not reputable. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t be eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit and you can’t get some help. My advice is to talk to a professional, talk to your accountant, talk to an attorney…

Gene (05:05):

Or even better yet, if you are using like a payroll service like paychecks or ADP or any one of those services, they usually offer their own separate services to test and to check whether or not you’re eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit. And if you’re already a customer of those services, they’ve got your data. So they can easily do that. I like using the payroll services, particularly the bigger companies cuz they’re all set up, they’re organized to do all of this. They know the rules really well and they’re credible and legitimate. So they’re not gonna take you down the path of applying for the credit if they themselves weren’t very certain that you were gonna get that credit issued back to you. Because they certainly don’t wanna face the liability. So ignore those emails that you’re getting from people you don’t know.

Gene (05:50):

Consider your accountants. But I recommend considering your payroll service if you have one, and using them to get the credit back. Listen, it’s a big potential opportunity to raise some cash this year, particularly in an environment where financing is getting tighter and interest rates are are getting more significant. So if you think that you might be eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, have a go at it and see if you’re eligible. You’ve got until as late as 2025, the middle of 2025 to apply for this credit cuz you can just go back and amend your payroll tax returns that you filed. So you’ve got some time to do it, but you want to give yourself enough time in advance because you’re gonna have to get the data together. And just in case there’s any issues or problems you wanna leave yourself some cushion, but apply for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, look into it this year. Could be big money for you. Hey, thanks for listening. My name is Gene Marks and you have been listening to the Hartford’s Small Biz Ahead podcast. If you would like any tips or advice or help in running your business, please visit us at SmallBizAhead.com or SBA.TheHartford.com. I will be back next week with some other thoughts or tips or advice to help you run your business. Hope you found this interesting and helpful. I’ll see you again soon. Take care.

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