The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) under the CARES Act was designed to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. This refundable tax credit was available to small businesses that experienced a total or partial suspension of operations due to government orders, or a significant decrease in gross revenues. Eligible employers could take advantage of the ERC by reducing their payroll tax deposits and filing an adjusted payroll tax return within the deadline set out in the instructions on the corresponding form. The purpose of the ERC was to encourage employers to keep employees on the payroll even if they weren't working during the period covered due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
The federal government established this credit to provide a refundable employment tax credit to help businesses cover the cost of keeping staff employed. Employers who qualified for the ERC were eligible for a refundable tax credit against their share of the Social Security tax. The credit was applied to their share of the employee's Social Security taxes and was fully refundable. The ERC was a great way for businesses to receive financial relief during this difficult time. However, it is important to note that there is a maximum amount of credit available per employee.
The maximum amount of credit available per employee is $5,000 for each quarter in 2020 and 2021. This means that employers can receive up to $20,000 in total credits for each employee over the two-year period. In order to qualify for the ERC, employers must meet certain requirements. For example, employers must have experienced a decline in gross revenues or have been subject to a government order that limited commerce, travel or group meetings due to COVID-19. Additionally, employers must have paid their employees during the period covered by the credit. The ERC was an important part of helping businesses stay afloat during this difficult time. By providing financial relief through this refundable tax credit, businesses were able to keep their employees on payroll and continue operations despite the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.