Employee Retention Credit Refund Check Status (updated March 2024)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hasn’t hidden the fact that millions of tax filings, including payroll tax reports, are delayed. The big demand for Employee Retention Credit refund claims is one of the causes of the backlog. This has left many eligible businesses waiting longer than planned for their refund.

This has caused confusion in businesses regarding the status of the ERC Refund. Business owners want to know the refund status of their Employee Retention Tax Credit and stay updated with the process.

Key ERC Credit Takeaways You Will Learn:

  • ERC Refund Check Status: Discover how to check the status of your Employee Retention Credit refund.
  • Payment Timeline: Learn about the expected timeline for receiving an Employee Retention Credit refund.
  • Expecting ERC Refunds: Gain insight into when you can expect your Employee Retention Credit refund check to arrive.
  • Refund Delays: Understand potential reasons for delays in receiving your Employee Retention Tax Credit refund.
  • IRS Assistance: Find out how to contact the IRS for help with your ERC refund status.

See Important 2024 Employee Retention Tax Credit Deadline Information at the Bottom of This Article.

Employee Retention Credit ERC Refund Check Status

Due to changes in COVID-19 safety regulations and a surge in Employee Retention Credit refund claims, the IRS is presently dealing with millions of unprocessed payroll costs tax returns. According to rumors, the IRS may also handle 2020 payroll refunds ahead of the latest payroll refunds. Check out more about 8 Strategies on How to Claim the Employee Retention Credit on how to claim the credit or if you qualify for the ERC claim.

To check on the status of your refund, call the IRS at (877) 777-4778. Due to a shortage of operators available to take phone calls, your “on wait” time may be exceptionally long. It will be more advantageous to go to the IRS website for additional Covid-19 newsroom updates.

The IRS had previously stated that refunds would be issued between six weeks to six months after the updated payroll reports were filed. You should now plan for a turnaround time of nine to twelve months.

The IRS processes return in the order in which they are received. As a result, reimbursements from 2020 and earlier will be handled ahead of 2021 returns. If you have any questions, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. (877) 777-4778 is the phone number.

When you call the IRS phone number, you will be put on hold for a very long time. Eligible employers are not required to take any more action, according to the IRS. Eligible employers are even asked not to contact the IRS regarding the status of their qualified wages paid refunds, according to the IRS.

Check out Employee Retention Credit IRS FAQs.

How Do I Check on the Status of the Employee Retention Credit?

You can call the IRS at (800) 829-4933 to check the status of your refund. To switch between English and Spanish, press 1 or 2. Press 3 for Employment Tax after you’ve chosen your preferred language. 

You’ll now have to wait in line to speak with an IRS agent. Because there aren’t enough agents to handle all of the calls, you may anticipate remaining on wait for 30-60 minutes. Your hold time may be significantly longer depending on the time of day. It is preferable to contact the IRS by 8:00 a.m. ET to save time.

When speaking with an agent, explain that you are contacting to inquire about the status of your ERC claims, specifically if your 941-X (amended returns) for all relevant quarters has been completed. 

Please be aware that the IRS will need to verify your identity and will need your full name, relationship to the company, federal identification number, postal address, year of formation, and the kind of tax return filed for the firm (1120, 1120-S, 1065, etc.)

Learn more about Employee Retention Credit 2021 IRS Guidance.

Employee Retention Credit ERC Payment Refundable Tax Credit Status

As per IRS, regarding the refundable tax credit status of paid qualified wages, there seem to be around 2.4 million processing Form 941 applications and approximately 1.4 million unprocessed Form 941-X as of November 17, 2021. Additionally, the IRS has said that all Form 941 will be processed before processing Form 941-X.

How Long Does It Take for the ERC Refund to Arrive?

The IRS was previously expecting to provide refunds between six weeks to six months after the revised payroll reports were filed. You can expect a nine to twelve-month turnaround time to claim the ERC or for a refund to arrive.

Employee Retention Credit Refund Timeline

Congress approved the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 5, 2021, which advanced the termination of the credit to October 1, 2021, rather than January 1, 2022.

The Tax Credit Refund Timeline is such that the IRS was originally scheduled to give a refund between six weeks to six months after an updated payroll report was filed. Even this large window appears to be hopeful now. Plan on a nine to twelve-month turnaround time currently.

How Long Does It Take to Get Employee Retention Credit?

When you add in a worldwide pandemic, huge logistics/supply chain concerns, and employee shortages, it’s difficult to predict when the backlog will be cleared.

According to the IRS’s most recent information, the revised Form 941 that has already been submitted could expect a refund between 6 and 10 months from the date of filing. Those who are just filing now or who have already filed may have to wait up to 16 months or longer for a refund.

Large refunds (above $1 million) may face further delays as a result of the additional examination necessary before they can be given. Check out more about How Does Employee Retention Credit Work.

How Long are Employee Retention Credit Refunds Taking?

Your refund will be determined by how you file your tax return. The quickest option is to file your return online and receive your refund by direct deposit.

Most taxpayers who choose this option receive their refunds within 21 days after submitting their 2021 taxes, which will be submitted in 2022.

That implies your refund will arrive in your bank three weeks after the IRS accepts your tax return. It might take several days for your bank to make the funds available to you.

This video will show you the employee retention credit refund check status.

When to Expect Employee Retention Credit Refund?

The IRS disclosed the source of the delays, as well as the condition of the backlog, towards the end of May. The following are the two primary culprits:

(1) the IRS’s processes for dealing with COVID-19 safety requirements, including working remotely, and

(2) the overwhelming number of refund requests: The processing is for Form 941, the quarterly tax return for an eligible employer, and Form 941-X, the modified federal tax return or refund claim for qualified wages paid by employers.

The IRS has said that they are finally opening their letters in a timely manner. Nonetheless, the new processes, along with the high amount of requests, have resulted in a lengthy backlog.

The IRS is attempting to speed up the process. It is rerouting tax returns from IRS offices that are behind schedule to others that have more staff, for example. Returns are processed in the order in which they are received by the IRS.

Employers are not required to take any more action, according to the IRS. “Employers should not contact the IRS regarding the return status,” the IRS said.

The Internal Revenue Service is redirecting tax returns and taxpayer interaction from locations with inadequate personnel to others with more. They’re also taking additional steps to reduce the time it takes to process returns and refunds. The IRS is working hard to clear the backlog of tax returns by processing them in the order they were received.

To sum up, businesses should not expect ERC claims anytime soon due to the many delays as disclosed by the IRS. Read full restaurant employee retention tax credit details here.

When Will Employee Retention Credit Checks Mailed?

When you return your Employee Retention Tax Credit paperwork to the IRS, it takes six to nine months for them to issue you a check or an email stating that you do have a payroll tax credit, so it’s a long time.

With the end of November, tax season is approaching. It is believed that if you file for the Retaining Employees Tax Credit during tax time, you’ll have to wait longer because the IRS will be quite busy with their usual job. If you’re interested in applying for the Employee Retention Tax Rebate, it is recommended that you do so today.

Despite the fact that one of the ERC’s goals was to offer funding to offset employee expenses (and hence keep employment), the unavoidable staffing deficit means that firms will not get the payments until far after the crisis has passed as well as there is a further delay in ERC mails.

Why is Employee Retention Credit Refund Delayed?

The Internal Revenue Service may take six to 10 months to evaluate applications for a popular salary benefit designed to keep workers on the payroll amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

As per company owners, auditors, and payroll suppliers, the pauses are caused by IRS delays and government policy changes, forcing firms wanting to claim the working tax credit to delve deeper into reserves and prolonging their recovery.

In four to five weeks, the returns that we were able to file online received their first-quarter payments. Because of the restrictions, the updated returns had to be sent via mail. These were supposed to take four to five months, according to the IRS.

The IRS stated at the end of May that the two primary perpetrators were

  • Changes to IRS procedures addressing C-19 protocols, such as working remotely and
  • The overwhelming volume of refund requests

As per IRS, in addition to several businesses in the United States, COVID-19 has impacted the IRS, causing service delays. 

The IRS has experienced delays in processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds, and correspondence as a result of these delays. As a result, many firms which registered for the ERC have received a tax return that is longer than expected.”

Qualifying as a Recovery Startup Business for the ERC Claim

Candidates for refundable tax credit based on recovery startup businesses are those that started their businesses on or after February 15, 2020 and the annual gross receipts do not exceed $1 million for 2020 and 2021 each tax year. Another criteria is having one or more W-2 employees, not including the owners of family members.

Recovery startup businesses are eligible for a maximum credit amounting to $7,000 per worker, per quarter.

IRS Employee Retention Credit Phone Number

You can call the IRS at (800) 829-4933 to check on the status of your refund. Press 3 for Employment Tax after you’ve chosen your preferred language. You’ll now be in line to speak with an IRS representative.

Your hold time is likely to be between 30 and 60 minutes due to a scarcity of agents available to take calls. Your hold time may be significantly longer depending on the time of day. It is preferable to contact the IRS by 8:00 a.m. ET to save time.

Conclusion and Summary on Employee Retention Credit Refund Check Status

The IRS, like many other businesses in the United States, has been hit by COVID-19, which has caused service delays. As a result, many businesses that registered for the ERC eligibility and ERC claims have been waiting longer than expected. 

To check the status of your refund, you can call the IRS at 877-777-4778. However, because of the big demand and the few agents available to answer phone calls, you might not get a quick response. Or you can check the official webpage for the latest updates about the status of the Employee Retention Credit refund.

Check out Everything You Should Know About Employee Retention Tax Credit Deadline.

ERC PDF Download of This News Article

Download a PDF version of Employee Retention Credit Refund Check Status

Help on How to Get Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC / ERTC): Receive Up to $26,000 Per Employee for Your Business

Disaster Loan Advisors can assist your business with the complex and confusing Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program. 

Depending on eligibility, business owners and companies can receive up to $26,000 per employee based on the number of W2 employees you had on the payroll in 2020 and 2021. 

The ERC / ERTC Program is a valuable tax credit you can claim. This is money you have already paid to the IRS in payroll taxes for your W2 employees.

Schedule Your Free Employee Retention Credit Consultation to see what amount of employee retention tax credit your company qualifies for.

ERC Deadline Urgency in 2024

April 15, 2024 Deadline for the 2020 ERC Tax Year

The deadline is coming up for the final opportunity to retroactively claim your business Employee Retention Credit for the past 2020 tax year. With the April 15, 2024 deadline fast approaching, we urge you; don’t let this final chance pass!

While not all businesses will qualify, as it depends on multiple factors per IRS Rules and Guidelines, you might be leaving significant financial relief on the table from prior COVID impact to your business during the past 2020 and 2021 business operation years.

Last year, in September 2023, the IRS temporarily paused processing ERC Claims for the remainder of last year. We at Disaster Loan Advisors (DLA) predicted this over one year ago when we made this ERC video warning business owners. See the ten-minute mark of the video for details. 


Even though the IRS has temporarily paused processing, you will still want to check eligibility and file now (if you qualify) because once the IRS will resume processing, ERC tax credit claims are processed in the order they are received.

If you haven’t previously filed for the ERC Credit, it is worth scheduling a phone call to at least explore your possible eligibility from both the past 2020 and 2021 business tax years. Contact us today for a deep-dive analysis to determine if your business qualifies one or more quarters from the 2020 and / or 2021 tax years.

Cover Image Credit: 123RF.com / Fizkes / Disaster Loan Advisors.

Mark Monroe

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