The benefits of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) include being able to take a 70% tax credit. The credit covers up to $10,000 per employee for wages paid during each quarter of 2021. This COVID-19 relief package from the federal government is both a blessing and a curse.
As if dealing with the government and IRS isn’t stressful enough, the program has undergone constantly changing rules and deadlines. This leaves many businesses not quite sure where their business stands on receiving ERC, especially the non-refundable portion of employee retention credit of the tax credit. Many businesses don’t even realize that they can file for the ERC in 2022.
We’re going to add to your ERC stress, but we’ll also give you the tools to navigate it. Are you aware there is a non-refundable portion of the employee retention credit program? If you find yourself going “huh?” keep reading to learn all about it.
Do Businesses Pay Back COVID Relief Employee Retention Credits?
The ERC came about due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. One of its goals is to keep people working and getting paid.
The tax credits under this program are fully refundable for eligible employers. To be eligible, employers needed to maintain employees on their payroll.
The non-refundable portion is the employer’s portion of the social security tax. This applies to the tax on wages paid in the remaining quarter, following the first share, following a reduction by credits claimed on line 11a of Form 941.
When you complete line 16 of Form 941, Form 941-SS, or Schedule B, you are accounting for the non-refundable portion of employee retention credit. This applies to family leave and sick pay wages for an entire quarter. It includes the employer’s share of Medicare tax and health plan expenses allocated to those wages.
What Is a Nonrefundable Credit?
If a credit is nonrefundable, the amount cannot be used to increase the refund you receive or create a tax refund that previously did not exist. It is not allowable for your refund or savings amount to exceed the amount of tax due.
If a refundable credit is more than the amount of tax you owe, you will receive the difference as a refund. If the credit is nonrefundable and is higher than the taxes you owe, you lose the overage.
With ERC, the non refundable portion is equal to 6.4% of wages. This is the employer’s portion of Social Security Tax.
Revision of Form 941 in March 2022
Following the expiration of the Employee Retention Credit, the IRS issued a revision of Form 941 in March 2022. The Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return still has lines for claiming tax credits.
Lines for Claiming Tax Credits
Those are for qualified leave of employees in 2021 and qualified leave wages being paid in 2022. There may be some employers who can claim the COBRA premium assistance credit during the first quarter of 2022.
ERC Not Eligible for 2022 Wages
The form no longer includes worksheets in the instructions for calculating the ERC. That credit is not eligible for 2022 wages.
Claiming ERC Using Form 941-X
You can claim the ERC if you overreported taxes on prior Form 941 filings. This is done using Form 941-X.
Nonrefundable ERC Portion
For the first and second quarters in 2021, the nonrefundable ERC portion is 6.4% of the wages. This is equal to the employer’s portion of Social Security Tax.
Recovering Non-Refundable Section of ERC
The term “nonrefundable” is incorrect if the business did not claim the ERC. If the employer paid their share of Social Security tax by federal deposits, then the non-refundable section of the employee retention tax credit is recoverable. This is explained on line 18 of the Form 941-X instructions.
Entering Amounts Correctly
The instructions state that the tax preparer needs to copy the amount from column 3 into column 4. To indicate the proper amount as a balance due or credit, you enter a positive number in column 3 as a negative number in column 4. If the number is negative in column 3, you enter it as a positive in column 4.
Failure to Change Number
If person preparing form fails to change number in Column #4 to a negative, taxpayer will not benefit from full ERC credit.
Amending Form 941-X for The ERC
Businesses always need to amend their tax forms when there are errors on the original form. This may include incorrect information or calculations. It is important to correct these mistakes as soon as possible in order to avoid any penalties or fines.
The employee retention tax credit is one such credit that businesses may need to amend their forms for. To claim this credit, businesses must complete a separate Form 941-X for every Form 941 they need to amend. They must also show the date they realized the original form is incorrect.
Preparing Form 941-X
Completing Form 941-X
Claiming a Refund
Calculating Non-refundable and Refundable Amounts
Filing Form 941-X
Explaining Overreporting Amounts
Timeframe for Filing Form 941-X Claiming ERC
These instructions are simplified. For full guidance and proper procedures, consult with an ERC specialist who can answer all questions and prepare necessary documents.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC)
With the Employee Retention Credit, employers receive encouragement for maintaining workers on their payroll by receiving a wage credit. For retaining their employees, businesses suffering the impact of COVID-19 receive a refundable credit of 50% or 70% for up to $10,000 in wages paid per quarter.
The credit is applied against “applicable employment taxes.” Employers knowing how to file for employee retention credit prior to the program ending were using Form 7200. This form allows the business to claim advance payment of the credits in advance of the quarter.
Credit on Form 7200 includes paid sick leave, family leave, health plan expenses, and the employer’s portion of Medicare taxes. The employer must keep the records and documents supporting each employee’s leave to substantiate the claim.
The employer also needs to save Form 941 Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The deadline for filing Form 7200 was January 31, 2022.
Get Help Obtaining Employee Retention Tax Credits
Although the Employee Retention Credit program ended on September 30, 2021, businesses can take up to three years following the end of the program to request a look back at taxes paid. Startup businesses were eligible for credits through December 31, 2021.
ERC Today specializes in helping businesses determine eligibility to apply for the ERC and/or the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We can also assist with amending quarterly Form 941 for ERC qualifying businesses.
Contact ERC today to get your questions answered about the nonrefundable portion of employee retention credit and discover how we can help your business ensure you are receiving your full credit amount.
Non-Refundable Portion of the Employee Retention Credit FAQs
The employee retention credit (ERC) is partially refundable. The refundable portion of the ERC is equal to 50% of the qualified wages paid to employees during an eligible quarter, up to a maximum of $10,000 per employee for all eligible quarters combined.