Restaurateurs Ought to Watch out for Improper ERC Tax Claims

  • The IRS is warning employers about improper Worker Retention Credit score (ERC or ERTC) claims, and restaurateurs want to concentrate!
  • The company’s ERC program itself is official, however it’s best to analysis it and work with your personal CPA or tax advisor to find out in case you qualify.

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By Michael J. Rasmussen, HITECHCPA.com

As a restaurateur, you may need been just lately approached by a third-party firm that claims it may well assist you to get Worker Retention Credit score (ERC) funds from the IRS. The ERC is a refundable tax credit score for companies that continued paying workers whereas they have been shut down through the pandemic or that suffered important enterprise losses in that interval. There are specific situations that it’s essential to meet:

  • You have been compelled by the state or native authorities to droop or partially droop operations because of COVID-19 through the first three quarters of 2021.
  • Your small business skilled a big decline in gross receipts throughout 2020 or the primary three quarters of 2021.
  • Your small business certified as a restoration startup enterprise within the third or fourth quarters of 2021.

In latest months, you may need acquired a textual content or electronic mail that reads one thing like this: “Hiya, the worker retention credit score (ERTC) is a credit score that grants firms as much as $26,000 per worker. Your small business could also be eligible if in case you have acquired a Paycheck Safety Program mortgage or had workers on payroll throughout 2020 and 2021. To use earlier than the appliance deadline of December 31, reply YES. Reply STOP to decide out.”

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Your first response will most likely be, how did I get on this mailing/textual content checklist? My recommendation to you: Instantly decide out! The IRS is particularly warning in opposition to the usage of third-party firms selling this service. Listed here are two IRS articles you’ll be able to learn to study extra:

Employers: Watch out for Third-Events Selling Improper Worker Retention Credit score Claims

Employers Warned to Watch out for Third Events Selling Improper Worker Retention Credit score Claims

Why do you have to be involved? In case your ERC declare was ready by an organization not usually within the enterprise of payroll tax compliance, the IRS will discover. And it’s attainable that you’ll obtain a tax inquiry from the IRS. In different phrases, if the IRS is taking the time to warn taxpayers of improper ERC claims, you want to listen!

What do you have to do as an alternative? If in case you have a CPA or trusted advisor who’s liable for submitting your annual enterprise tax returns, ship that particular person any electronic mail or textual content you obtain from a third-party firm together with this text and kindly ask if or how this impacts your enterprise. The ERC is a official program if you qualify. As a enterprise proprietor, you’ll be able to discern and make this preliminary determination with out incurring any skilled charges by studying this five-minute article on the IRS web site:

Worker Retention Tax Credit score 2020 vs. 2021 Comparability Chart

So what are the precise deadlines for submitting an ERC declare? It’s not December 31, 2022. Actually, the IRS has two deadlines. For all quarters in 2020, the deadline to use for the ERC is April 15, 2024, and for all quarters in 2021, the deadline is April 15, 2025.

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Instance: For the second quarter of 2020, Kind 941, an employer’s quarterly federal tax return type, was initially due on July 31, 2020; for the third quarter, it was due on October 31, 2020; and for the fourth quarter, it was due on January 31, 2021. All of these returns are thought-about filed on April 15, 2021, which units the three-year statute of limitations for amending any of these returns as April 15, 2024.

So right here’s my task to you: Take this text and use the above hyperlinks to analysis whether or not your enterprise qualifies for an ERC refund. It is a very complicated space with many shifting components, so attain your conclusion after which be type to your advisor as you focus on with that particular person if an amended tax return will be filed.

Get knowledgeable! You don’t need to wait till it’s too late to benefit from the ERC alternative and different packages, monies, grants, credit or methods, however you don’t need to go about it the incorrect means and get flagged by the IRS both!

Michael J. Rasmussen is a licensed public accountant and PMQ’s former “Accounting For Your Cash” columnist. For added insights into restaurant-specific tax methods, accounting and expertise packages, go to HITECHCPA.com.