Employee Retention Credit Filing Deadline

The filing deadline for employee retention credits is quickly approaching, and employers need to make sure they are taking the right steps in order to ensure their organization receives these benefits. Businesses across the country must understand how this process works and what needs to be done before the deadline passes.

This article will provide an overview of everything needed to know regarding employee retention credit filing deadlines so that organizations can take advantage of these savings.

The employee retention credit (ERC) was introduced by Congress as part of its Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act designed to help businesses keep their workers on payroll during the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Qualified employers are able to receive a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal up to 50 percent of qualified wages paid between March 13th, 2020, and December 31st, 2020.

It’s important for business owners to meet all necessary requirements before the end-of-year filing deadline; otherwise, they may not reap the full benefit from ERC’s potential savings.

Overview Of The Employee Retention Credit

For employers looking to benefit from the new Employee Retention Tax Credit, it’s important to understand both what eligibilities are required and when the filing deadline is. This credit was put in place by Congress as part of the CARES Act to help businesses retain their workforce during these difficult times.

Here is an overview of this tax credit and more details about how it works. The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) provides a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted due to COVID-19. The ERC applies against certain employment taxes on wages paid or incurred between March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020, with some exceptions and adjustments depending on whether you are self-employed or have fewer than 100 employees.

Eligible employers can claim this credit regardless of whether they received other assistance under the CARES Act such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans because the two programs serve different purposes. To be eligible for the ERC, employers must fall into one of two categories: 1) Employers whose operations were fully or partially suspended due to governmental orders related to COVID-19; or 2) Employers who experienced a significant decline in gross receipts compared with the same quarter in 2019.

A significant decline means that your gross receipts during any calendar quarter dropped by at least 50% compared to the same quarter in 2019. If you’re not sure if you meet this requirement, there are additional resources available online that provide further explanation and guidance. Once eligibility is established, employers should also be aware of deadlines associated with claiming the ERC.

To claim the full amount each year, businesses need to file quarterly returns throughout 2021 but may begin filing immediately upon meeting all criteria outlined above. Businesses are allowed 60 days after each relevant quarter ends (March 31st, June 30th September 30th & December 31st respectively), so don’t wait too long! It’s important for employers to keep detailed records and documentation supporting their claims – including proof that each employee was employed during periods where credits were claimed and that proper amounts were withheld from employee paychecks – since these will likely be reviewed at some point down the road when filing IRS Form 941 reports.

With detailed information about both eligibility requirements and timely filing deadlines now understood, employers may find themselves better prepared when considering how best to utilize this unique opportunity offered via government relief measures designed specifically around maintaining workforce continuity amidst uncertain economic conditions brought forth by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions over recent months.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility requirements for the employee retention credit are stringent, but with careful attention to detail and a little bit of professional guidance, they can be navigated successfully.

In order to qualify for this tax break there are five essential criteria that must be met:

  • All affected employers must have had operations fully or partially suspended by government orders due to COVID-19-related health concerns.
  • Employers may not receive certain other credits such as the Families First Credit in lieu of this Employee Retention Credit.
  • Eligible wages paid to employees between March 13th, 2020, and December 31st, 2020 count towards the credit calculation.
  • Wages received from an employer after claiming Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans also count toward the maximum amount of credit available.
  • Qualified wages include those paid to furloughed employees; however, no more than $5,000 per employee can count toward eligible costs.

Failure to meet any one of these qualifications disqualifies an employer from receiving the credit, meaning it’s important to understand all aspects before attempting to file your taxes on time prior to the deadline set forth by law.

With knowledge being power in situations such as this, getting informed is key when looking at ways you might save money during turbulent times like these – especially since every penny counts!

Moving right along then…

Maximum Amount Of Credit

The employee retention credit filing deadline is an important one for employers to be aware of. It can help them take advantage of the credits available to support their employees and reduce the financial burden posed by COVID-19.

For instance, a small business owner in Atlanta was able to use the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) with estimated savings of $25,000 per quarter. This type of relief helps businesses keep their doors open during these difficult times.

When it comes to the maximum amount of credit, eligible employers are allowed up to 50% of qualified wages paid from March 13 through December 31, 2020. Qualified wages include payments for health plan expenses, bonuses, or other compensation made after March 12 and before January 1, 2021, that don’t exceed certain limits.

In order to qualify for this credit, employers must not have received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The amount they receive depends on how many employees they had employed at any point during 2020 compared with 2019 – if employment decreased due to pandemic conditions then a refundable tax credit will be applied against payroll taxes.

If an employer has more than 100 full-time employees in 2019 but less than 100 in 2020 they’re able to claim 70 percent of the first $10,000 in qualified wages paid per employee each quarter; whereas those who had fewer than 100 full-time employees in 2019 could claim up to 80 percent of the first $10,000 paid per employee each quarter over the same time frame. Employers may also receive additional credit amounts based on additional factors such as the total number of hours worked by part-time employees and changes in the average number of full-time equivalent employees between quarters throughout 2020.

By understanding details like eligibility requirements and maximum credit amount thresholds, employers can take steps toward taking advantage of benefits designed specifically for them during this difficult period. As employers look ahead into 2021 they should continue to pay close attention to changing regulations regarding ERCs so that their businesses remain compliant and financially stable despite ongoing economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

With careful consideration, organizations large and small alike can benefit greatly from government incentives put in place to support them throughout these trying times.

Qualified Wages

The qualified wages for the employee retention credit are an important part of filing the deadline. To ensure accuracy, employers must include all eligible wages when calculating their Employee Retention Credit.

Below is a list of what qualifies as wages:

  • Wages paid to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021.
  • Employers can qualify any wages they pay that are subject to federal income tax withholding (FITW), including salaries, tips, commissions, or bonuses.
  • Businesses also may count fully insured health care benefits provided by the employer in addition to cash compensation when determining total qualifying wages.
  • Qualifying sick leave and family medical leave taken between April 1st and December 31st, 2020 can be used towards the calculation of this credit.

Furthermore, certain types of payments do not qualify as “wages” for purposes of claiming the credit; these include payments made from independent contractors, fringe benefits such as meals and lodging allowances given to employees that aren’t subject to FITW taxes, vacation allowances/payments for vacation days taken, reimbursements for expenses incurred by employees on behalf of their employers instead of paying them money directly, severance payments and more.

As with all tax credits, there are restrictions so it’s important to review IRS guidance carefully before submitting your application. From here we turn our attention now to how one calculates the credit itself in order to make sure one gets maximum benefit from this relief program.

Calculating The Credit

Calculating the Credit for employee retention can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit that potentially allows employers to recover up to 50% of their qualified wages paid from March 13th, 2020 through December 31st, 2020.

To calculate this credit, employers must know how many employees they had in 2019 and the number of full-time equivalents (FTE) employees during each quarter of 2020. There are also several other factors that affect the amount an employer may receive including certain wage limits and types of compensation eligible for the credit.

To determine if you qualify for this credit, start by calculating your average number of FTEs per month in 2019 and then compare that number with your FTE counts in each month between March 13th and December 31st. If there has been at least a 20 percent decrease in FTEs or total wages paid compared to the same period last year, then the business will likely qualify for some portion of this credit. However, depending on various criteria such as whether or not you received Paycheck Protection Program funds and/or extended health coverage benefits during this time period, additional calculations may be needed to determine eligibility and qualifying amounts.

For those who do qualify for the Employee Retention Credit, there are two different ways to claim it: one option involves claiming credits against quarterly estimated taxes or payroll deposits; alternatively companies can opt to reduce their required deposits by offsetting them against future payments due under Section 3111(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Employers should remember that any excess credits applied against quarterly estimated taxes or payroll deposits will be issued via a refund check from the IRS upon filing Form 941 – Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. This form must be filed no later than April 30th, 2021 in order to receive any refunds before that date.

When considering taking advantage of these available tax credits, it’s important to carefully review all relevant information so that businesses can make informed decisions about what best fits their individual situation when preparing for filing deadlines associated with claiming these credits.

With careful planning and attention given to details regarding both qualification requirements and proper applications related to these opportunities, businesses may find themselves able to reap substantial savings throughout 2021 while continuing toward meeting financial goals established prior to this unprecedented pandemic season.

Now comes the time to prepare the documents necessary when filing with the IRS which we’ll discuss next…

Filing With The IRS

With the filing deadline for the employee retention credit looming, it is important to understand how to calculate and file this tax credit correctly.

One particularly interesting statistic is that businesses with fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for a fully refundable Employee Retention Credit of up to $5,000 per employee each quarter, depending on wages paid during the pandemic-related period.

To properly apply for this credit, employers must first determine their eligibility by calculating any applicable wage limitation based on what was paid in 2020 compared to 2019. If an employer determines they are eligible, then they can use IRS Form 941 or 944 – Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return – to claim the credit.

This form will allow the employer to either reduce their deposit of federal taxes due or request a payment from the IRS if no deposits are required. Additionally, when claiming this credit through payroll tax returns such as Forms 941 or 944, employers should include code “CR” in box 14 of Part 2 – Other Taxes section of these forms.

In addition to filing claims via quarterly payments mentioned above, employers may also receive advance credits against future payroll taxes by submitting Form 7200 Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19 after determining their potential amount eligible for advanced payments with IRS Form 7200A: Notice 2021-20.

The purpose of submitting Form 7200 is so that employers can draw down on available funds quickly without having to wait until later quarters have been reconciled and filed prior to receiving refunds from the IRS. Furthermore, employers need only submit one application per calendar year regardless of whether multiple advances are requested within that same time frame.

Once all calculations have been completed and appropriate forms selected, documentation and record-keeping become paramount for successfully accessing this potentially significant monetary benefit for business owners who qualify.

Prior records must be kept carefully detailing which employees received qualified wages at what level both before and during the pandemic-related period in order to ensure accuracy upon audit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Assembling such documents ahead of filing deadlines will assure compliance with regulations while also affording quick resolutions should discrepancies arise between reported amounts versus those actually dispersed among employees over relevant periods covered under current laws.

Documentation And Record Keeping

When it comes to employee retention credit filing, deadlines are of great importance. It is essential for employers to understand and adhere to all applicable IRS requirements in order to avoid any penalties or fees associated with late filing.

In this section, we will discuss documentation and record keeping as a critical part of the process. Employers must keep accurate records of their payroll tax payments, along with the amount paid each quarter. The IRS requires that these documents be kept on file for at least four years following the date they were submitted.

This includes quarterly 941 forms, wage statements (W-2s), and other relevant paperwork related to employee wages and benefits. Additionally, employers should also maintain detailed records regarding employees who have been laid off due to COVID-19, such as dates of employment and salary information – this data can be used when calculating an employer’s Qualified Retention Credit Amount (QRCA).

It is additionally important that employers document their attempts at rehiring furloughed workers so that they may qualify for credits under the Employee Retention Credit program. Employers must retain evidence showing how job offers were made — whether through email, text message, or written letter — including copies of communications sent out when offering positions back to previously furloughed employees.

If an offer was rejected by a former employee, then proof of rejection must also be retained in order to meet eligibility criteria established by the IRS. Furthermore, businesses must track any changes in hours worked during 2020 compared with 2019 as these figures will need to be reported on Form 941 when claiming QRCAs.

Any bonus or hazard pay received throughout the year must also be documented if you wish to qualify for additional credits beyond what your total wages alone would allow for. All pertinent financial records regarding employee wages should be maintained securely both electronically and physically which will help ensure accuracy while preparing filings come deadline time.

By adhering closely to all necessary documentation procedures outlined above, employers can rest assured knowing that they are one step closer to avoiding potential fines or other penalties for late filing associated with employee retention credits owed from prior quarters.

Avoiding Penalties For Late Filing

The importance of documentation and record-keeping for employee retention credits cannot be overemphasized. Companies must keep detailed records of all transactions, including those related to wages paid, the amount of credit claimed, and any other information that may have a bearing on tax liability. Failure to do so could result in significant penalties from the IRS or state taxing authorities.

It is also imperative that businesses remain aware of filing deadlines associated with claiming employee retention credits. In general, these are due at the same time as quarterly estimated taxes for employers; however, depending upon specific circumstances such as when an employer ceases operations or changes its form of business entity, additional filings may be necessary.

Furthermore, if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, typically there will be an extension granted by either federal or state agencies.

Given the complexity that can arise in calculating how much credit is available – not to mention ensuring accurate reporting within required timelines – it may behoove companies to seek professional assistance in this area. Accountants and tax attorneys who specialize in corporate taxation are best suited to advise businesses on their unique situations and provide advice on strategies they should use while preparing returns.

In addition, staying abreast of changing regulations regarding employee retention credit requirements helps ensure compliance and avoid potentially costly errors resulting from misfiling or late filing – which carries stiff financial penalties along with possible criminal sanctions under certain conditions.

Businesses must take steps now to mitigate such risks before year-end arrives.

Tax Planning Strategies

The employee retention credit filing deadline is an important one for businesses to keep in mind. When it comes time to file, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has specific requirements that businesses must meet. To ensure all paperwork is accurate and complete, tax planning strategies are essential.

One of the best ways to start preparing for upcoming taxes is by taking a look at past filings. Examining previous returns can help business owners identify areas where they may be able to save money on their taxes or even find deductions they didn’t know were available.

Additionally, reviewing prior returns can help highlight potential problem areas so they can take steps to avoid them in the future. Another strategy that small business owners should consider when preparing their taxes is creating budgets and setting aside funds throughout the year specifically for taxes.

This will give businesses more control over how much they owe – instead of waiting until the last minute and being surprised by what’s due. It also makes it easier for companies to plan ahead if there are any changes in their industry or regulations that could affect their finances come tax season.

Finally, professional assistance from experienced advisors like Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) or Enrolled Agents (EAs) can help businesses navigate complex federal and state rules while ensuring accuracy with their filings.

Not only do these professionals have expertise on current laws and regulations, but they also offer guidance around financial forecasting as well as advice on how to properly structure a company’s books for optimal profits during both good times and bad. With this support, businesses can feel confident knowing that their finances are taken care of now and into the future.

Moving forward, it’s important for business owners to remain mindful of deadlines when it comes to filing employee retention credits – especially since penalties may apply if those dates aren’t met. Professional assistance offers peace of mind when navigating complicated processes such as ERC filing procedures; however, understanding basic tax planning strategies is still key in order to make sure everything goes smoothly come April 15th every year.

Remember: You can Qualify For Up To $26,000 Per Employee

Find Out How Much Money You Qualify For, Click Here And Fill Out the Form

Professional Assistance For Filing ERC

The deadline for filing an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is rapidly approaching and while it can be a daunting task to complete, having the proper tax planning strategies in place will make navigating the process much easier.

Taxpayers who are uncertain about how to take advantage of ERCs or don’t have expertise in this area should consider engaging with a qualified professional such as an accountant or tax attorney.

It’s important for those seeking assistance to understand that not all professionals are the same – there are nuances between different types of advisors when it comes to their understanding of taxation and credits like ERCs.

For instance, a CPA may specialize in helping individuals file personal income taxes but lack experience dealing with business entities; conversely, some accountants focus on corporate tax returns yet lack knowledge in other areas such as estate planning.

Choosing the right person requires careful consideration based on one’s individual needs and circumstances.

When researching potential candidates, ask questions related to their background and qualifications so you can properly evaluate them against your specific requirements.

Get references from previous clients if possible and find out whether they offer any type of guarantee regarding their services or advice.

Taking these steps will ensure you select someone who has the skills needed to get you through the filing process quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do I Have To Keep Records Of Filing The ERC?

The amount of time you should keep records of filing an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) varies depending on the type of return filed and your individual circumstances.

Generally, it’s recommended to hold onto documents associated with filing an ERC for at least three years from the date you file or two years from when taxes are paid, whichever is later.

However, if a taxpayer has underreported income by more than 25%, then they must keep those records for six years.

It’s also important to remember that all other record-keeping requirements specified in the Internal Revenue Code still apply, such as retaining documents related to wages paid, payroll tax returns, etc.

Keeping accurate and organized records will ensure that any questions or audits related to ERCs can be handled quickly and easily down the line.

Are There Any Tax Deductions Associated With The ERC?

Are there any tax deductions associated with the employee retention credit filing deadline?

The answer is a resounding yes! Not only can you save money on taxes, but you’ll also benefit from reduced paperwork and fewer headaches.

With this in mind, it’s important to know that there are two main types of deductions related to the ERCC: those for wages paid out during periods of economic hardship, and those for other expenses incurred while administering the credits.

In both cases, these reductions in taxable income can add up significantly over time, making them well worth exploring before the filing deadline arrives.

Are There Any Additional Benefits That My Business Can Receive From Filing The ERC?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is an important program for businesses, offering tax relief and other incentives to help employers keep their doors open during the pandemic.

In addition to these financial benefits, there are many additional advantages that a business can gain through filing this credit.

For example, it can help improve morale amongst employees knowing they’re supported by their employer’s efforts, as well as strengthen relationships with customers who may appreciate the extra effort put into keeping their suppliers afloat.

Moreover, taking advantage of available government programs like the ERC can demonstrate a company’s commitment to its workforce and create a more positive public image in the community.

Is There A Way To Estimate How Much Credit My Business May Be Eligible For?

Estimating the amount of credit your business may be eligible for through an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) filing can feel overwhelming. But by taking stock of your current financial standing and reviewing available resources, you can get a good idea as to what number might work for you.

The first step is researching the specifics of ERC eligibility requirements—which vary from state to state—and then using that information to calculate potential tax savings based on your company’s size, wages paid out, and other factors.

Afterward, it would be wise to consult with an expert in tax law or accounting who has experience dealing with ERC filings so they can provide more detailed advice tailored specifically to your situation.

Are There Any Penalties For Filing The ERC Late?

It’s an ironic situation, really. Businesses are eligible to receive a credit for retaining employees during the pandemic – but if they don’t file by the deadline, there could be some serious consequences.

Penalties for filing late can range from fines and interest fees to potential criminal prosecution resulting in imprisonment or hefty financial penalties.

So while it may seem convenient to wait until the last minute, it’s important to make sure you submit your employee retention credits on time!


The deadline for filing the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is fast approaching. As a business owner, it’s important to understand your responsibilities and be aware of any additional benefits that may apply when filing this credit.

To help you manage the process more efficiently, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions surrounding the ERC.

How long do I have to keep records? The IRS requires businesses to retain all pertinent documents related to the ERC for four years after they file their return or claim the credit.

Tax deductions associated with ERC vary depending on how much was claimed; however, in most cases, employers can deduct up to 100% of wages paid under $10,000 per employee. Additionally, businesses may qualify for other incentives such as exemptions from certain payroll taxes or credits towards health insurance premiums.

To get an estimate of how much credit your business might be eligible for, use available resources like calculators provided by tax professionals and software programs.

Finally, there are penalties imposed if you fail to file the ERC before its due date – so make sure you stay organized and meet deadlines! Like clockwork, staying ahead of these important dates will ensure smooth sailing when filing taxes every year – allowing you more time to focus on growing your business.


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