Members of the Senate Finance Committee are seeking the passage of bipartisan legislation that will extend the expired Employee Retention Tax Credit. Their legislation, known as The Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act, would extend the tax credit for employers and nonprofits who continue to see revenue drops yet still keep employees on the payroll.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit was put into effect as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 and was further expanded through the American Rescue Plan in 2021.
This refundable tax credit was designed to incentivize employers to keep their employees on the payroll. As such, it offered 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an employer who saw partial or full suspension of services because of the impact of COVID-19. It was also extended to employers who saw a decline in their gross receipts of more than 50%. Employers no longer qualified once their gross receipts went above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019.
Eligible employers included any employer regardless of size and also included tax-exempt organizations. The only employers who were ineligible for this tax credit were state and local governments and small businesses who benefit from Small Business Loans.
In the original legislation, eligibility for this tax credit ended in the third quarter of 2021.
First of all, for businesses who are still struggling to stay afloat due to the impact of Coronavirus on the American economy, it means your incentive to keep employees on the payroll would extend into the fourth quarter of 2021. That means you would be able to receive this refundable tax credit for the period after September 2021 to January 1, 2022.
According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 13% of small business employers claimed the tax credit for wages in 2020 with the same percentage claiming it in 2021.
If you are eligible for the tax credit for the fourth quarter, you are urged to contact your representatives to express your approval of the bill and encourage them to vote it into law.
For updates on this legislation and other events that may affect your payroll department, look to Complete Payroll to keep you in the know.