Employee Retention

Credit (ERC)

Payroll Tax Credit designed to reward businesses
for retaining employees during COVID-19.

What is ERC?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a Payroll Tax Credit designed to reward businesses for retaining employees during COVID-19. The credit was initially signed into law March 2020 as part of the CARES Act. The credit was later expanded upon with the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan Act in June 2021.

Business Owners can receive a refundable credit up to $5,000 per employee in 2020, and $7,000 per employee, per quarter (excluding the 4th quarter), in 2021 for qualified wages.

Qualified W-2 wages

*Wages paid to 1099 contractors do not qualify

Who is eligible to claim ERC?


Reduction in Revenue

Results in a credit per quarter affected


IN 2020

If there is a reduction in your gross receipts in 2020 when comparing to the same quarter in 2019 by at least 50%


IN 2021

If there is a reduction in your gross receipts in 2021 when comparing to the same quarter in 2019 by at least 20%


Impacted by Government Orders

Results in a credit per date range affected

If a governmental order had more than a nominal impact on your business operations, such as:

Required to fully or partially suspend operations tied to governmental orders

Limiting occupancy to provide for social distancing due to governmental orders

Inability to obtain critical goods or materials from supplies because they were required to suspend operations due to governmental orders

Governmental orders to shelter in place preventing employees from going to work


Recovery Start-up Program

annual gross receipts less than


If you started a business after February 15, 2020, and had annual gross receipts less than $1,000,000

How our process works

You will work directly with our in-house CPAs to:

Get a no-cost assessment to see
if your business is eligible

Quickly provide preliminary
ERC amounts

Provide assistance to substantiate
your credit with the IRS

Finalize the credit amounts and
file needed form with the IRS

Work with the IRS to ensure your
credit is received in full


Travis Slade
Managing Director
Quality Control
Ashlee Hall
Attorney at Law
Legal Counsel
Governmental Orders
Attorney at Law
Legal Counsel

ERC Examples

In 2021, when comparing to respective Q1, Q2, and Q3 of 2019, Company A saw gross receipt reductions by 15%, 22%, and 28% respectively. Because Q3 and Q4 saw more than a 20% reduction in gross receipts, all wages paid during those quarters are considered qualified wages and will be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit.

In 2020, Company B was a non-essential business, and received a governmental shut-down notice from March 13th to April 24th. This shutdown caused a nominal effect on the company’s ability to operate. Because of that, the wages paid during those dates, March 13th to April 24th, are qualified wages and can be used to calculate the Employee Retention Credit.

In 2020 or 2021, Company C saw no relative reduction in gross receipts when comparing to 2019 quarters. Company C was also not required by any level of government to shut down either fully or partially for any amount of time. But Company C’s primary vendor, Company D, was shut down by a governmental notice and severely delayed supplies to Company C. This had a nominal effect on Company C’s ability to serve their customers. This time frame of delay caused by Company D’s shutdown was from March 13th 2020 to February 20th 2021. All qualified wages during these time frames may be used to calculate the Employee Retention Credit.


Q: Is the IRS cancelling the ERC program early?

A: The IRS released updated guidance on the Employee Retention Credit program on September 14, 2023. The news release below explains that the IRS has placed an immediate moratorium through the end of the year on the processing of new ERC claims in effort to curb fraudulent applications by bad actors. While a moratorium may sound alarming, this intentional pause is a common practice used by the IRS.

This is a developing situation, and we will continue to provide updates as new information is released. This what we know so far:

  • This news confirms that the ERC is still a valid and valuable tax incentive for qualified businesses – this is not a cancellation of the program.
  • The IRS moratorium will delay taxpayers from receiving their ERC funds, but it does not prevent taxpayers from continuing to file for the credit.
  • The IRS may ask for more information to process future ERC claims, which we are prepared to provide as it is already part of our normal substantiation process.
  • We will only release a credit for your business if we are confident you meet the IRS requirements. The positions we take are in line with the updated guidance that the IRS has provided.
  • A large portion of the businesses we evaluate for ERC do not meet IRS eligibility requirements. If we filed a credit on your behalf, it is because we are confident you qualify. You should not be concerned about the credits you have claimed. The positions we have taken continue to be in line with the updated guidance that the IRS has provided.
  • The IRS is taking steps to help taxpayers remediate any inappropriately claimed credits in good faith. The IRS encourages taxpayers to evaluate their eligibility for the credit. If you know anyone concerned with a credit they claimed individually or through a company other than ERC Pros, we can offer assistance through our ERC Substantiation Services.

The IRS has not yet provided total clarity on how things will unfold in the coming months, but our team of attorneys and CPAs is closely monitoring the situation.