Employee Retention Tax Credit For a Recovery Startup Business (2024 updates)

Image Credit: Rido / 123RF.com (Licensed). Photo Illustration by: Disaster Loan Advisors.

What is the employee retention credit for a recovery startup business?

In today’s rapidly changing economic landscape, recovery startup businesses face unique challenges in retaining employees and sustaining operations. One powerful solution is the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), a refundable tax credit for eligible employers to alleviate financial pressure caused by COVID-19.

Introduced in 2020, ERTC offers significant benefits to help recovery startups boost cash flow, retain valuable staff and family members, and improve overall business stability.

Key ERC Credit Takeaways You Will Learn:

  • Recovery Startups Qualify for ERTC: Businesses started after February 15, 2020, can apply.
  • Paid Qualified Wages Necessary: Must have paid eligible employees to claim the credit.
  • Credit Capped for Startups: Recovery startups have a $50,000 maximum ERTC limit.
  • ERC Deadline December 31, 2021: Recovery startups must have paid qualifying wages by this date.
  • Gross Receipts Criteria: Startups with annual gross receipts up to $1 million are eligible.

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

Table of Contents

Understanding Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

To take full advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), recovery startup businesses must understand eligibility requirements and the calculation of the credit for 2020 and 2021.

Eligibility Requirements For Recovery Startup Business ERC

To qualify as a recovery startup business eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), there are specific eligibility requirements that must be met. First and foremost, your recovery start business must have commenced operations after February 15, 2020.

Navigating these criteria can seem daunting at first; however, understanding your eligibility will significantly impact your startup’s cash flow and financial stability. For example, suppose you launched an online retail store in May 2020 as consumer spending shifted towards e-commerce during the pandemic lockdowns.

In this case, you might fulfill both conditions above to claim ERTC benefits up to $50,000 per quarter – provided you remained below or within the average annual gross receipt limit throughout that time frame.

Calculation Of The Employee Retention Credit For 2020 And 2021

Calculating the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for 2020 and 2021 requires understanding specific criteria and percentages applicable to each year. In 2020, eligible employers can claim a refundable tax credit of up to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees between March 12th and December 31st, with a maximum credit amount of $5,000 per employee.

For businesses claiming ERTC in 2021, however, several changes have been implemented. The maximum tax credit percentage has increased from 50% to 70%, while the cap on qualified wages rose from $10,000 annually in 2020 to $10,000 per quarter in 2021.

Thus, eligible employers can now benefit from an ERC amounting up to $7,000 per employee every third quarter and fourth quarter each, during this period – making it possible for employers to secure as much as $28,000 per worker throughout the year.

Furthermore, recovery startup businesses established after February 15th may take advantage of additional benefits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which allows them a potential maximum ERC limit of up to $50,000 each quarter with lower thresholds for gross receipts decline, full or partial suspension of business or partial suspension of operations and requirements.

How ERTC Benefits Recovery Startup Businesses

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) offers significant financial support to recovery startup businesses during these challenging times. By providing a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes, the ERTC can help alleviate some of the burden on small and medium-sized business owners trying to navigate the economic aftereffects of COVID-19.

By using revenue reduction boosting cash flow and improving overall financial stability of new businesses, ERTC enables recovery startups to focus their resources on growing their business without worrying about constant revenue reduction, payroll concerns or debt accumulation.

Furthermore, this valuable financial tool allows businesses not only to retain existing employees but also attract new talent by offering competitive wages and benefits packages.

In addition to its direct monetary benefits, claiming the Employee Retention Tax Credit can positively impact employee retention credit morale within the organization. By demonstrating commitment towards retaining team members during economically uncertain times by taking advantage of such provisions as ERTC supports employee and other employee retention credits, and American Rescue Plan Act provisions like RSB tax credits for previously ineligible companies, business owners build trust with their staff while fostering a sense of job security that helps reduce turnover rates across all departments within an organization.

Definition Of a Recovery Startup Business

To qualify existing business as a recovery startup business, the first business claim the company began operations must have commenced operations after February 15, 2020 and have average annual gross receipts of less than $1 million in average annual gross receipts in the preceding three years.

Qualifying Criteria For a Recovery Startup Business

To qualify as a recovery startup business for the Employee Retention Credit ERC, businesses must meet certain criteria. These include:

1. A recovery startup business is defined as a business that began carrying out operations after February 15, 2020.

2. The business must have an average number of annual gross receipts of less than $1 million for the three-year period before the taxable year.

3. Recovery startups must not be new businesses considered to have begun operations before January 1, 2020, and they cannot have been formed by acquiring assets from a related party.

4. Eligible employers who pay qualified wages from March 12, 2020 to December 31, 2021 are also eligible for the ERTC.

5. For the purpose of claiming ERTC, recovery startup businesses must provide evidence of a significant decline in gross receipts or full or partial suspension of operations due to government orders.

By meeting these qualifying criteria, recovery startup businesses can take advantage of valuable tax credits through the ERTC program introduced by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to help them retain employees and sustain their business operations.

Special Rules And Limitations For Recovery Startups

Recovery startup businesses have specific rules and limitations when claiming the Employee Retention Credit ERC. To qualify, they must have an average annual gross receipts of less than $1 million for the preceding two years.

The maximum ERTC amount is $50,000 per fourth calendar quarter thereafter, in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the fourth quarter of the taxable year of 2021.

Furthermore, recovery startups benefit from relaxed restrictions on qualified wages paid to employees. They can consider all employee wages as qualifying wages regardless of their size or number of employees.

Recovery startups don’t need to satisfy the federal government’s restriction criteria or demonstrate a significant decline in gross receipts compared to previous quarters.

Eligible Expenses For ERTC

ERTC covers eligible expenses such as wages and compensation, health benefits, employer’s share of social security taxes, and other qualifying expenses.

Wages And Compensation

To qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), recovery startup businesses must have paid qualified wages to their employees. Qualified wages include salaries, tips, and other compensation paid to an employee from March 12, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

For employers with fewer than 500 employees, all wages paid during that period are considered qualified wages.

It’s important to note that bonuses and overtime pay may also be included as qualified wages if they meet certain criteria. However, any sick leave or family leave wages claimed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act cannot be used as part of the ERTC calculation.

Health Benefits

Recovery startup businesses that are eligible for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can claim health benefits as an expense. This means that employers can receive a credit of up to 70% on qualified health plan expenses, including group health insurance premiums paid by the employer.

By claiming this credit, recovery startups can improve their financial stability and retain valuable employees who rely on their employer’s health benefits. In fact, offering competitive health benefits is often cited as a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

Employer’s Share Of Social Security Taxes

One of the eligible expenses for Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is the employer’s share of social security taxes. This means that businesses can claim a refundable tax credit against certain payroll taxes they paid, including their contribution to social security.

In other words, small and medium-sized recovery startup businesses can significantly reduce their payroll tax liabilities by claiming the ERTC for their contributions made towards Social Security taxes.

This could provide much-needed financial relief for struggling startups while helping their infrastructure investment and jobs that retain valuable employees through these difficult times.

Other Qualifying Expenses

Alongside wages and compensation, health benefits, and employer’s share of social security taxes, there are other qualifying expenses that a recovery startup business can claim for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). These include:

1. Qualified healthcare expenses – this includes payments made by an eligible employer to provide and maintain group health plan coverage.

2. Amounts paid to third-party payers – if an eligible employer pays a third-party payer to administer its group health plan, these amounts can qualify for ERTC.

3. Employer contributions to retirement plans – if an eligible employer contributes to an employee’s retirement plan, those contributions can be either considered qualified wages or as qualified wages.

4. Severance payments – if an eligible employer pays severance pay to a former employee who was terminated due to COVID-19, that payment may qualify for ERTC.

Remember that only expenses incurred between March 12, 2020, and December 31, 2021, are eligible for the credit. Ensure accurate documentation of all expenses claimed for ERTC purposes.

Image Credit: Nd3000 / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Boosting Cash Flow And Financial Stability

ERC can enhance cash flow for recovery startup businesses by providing a refundable tax credit equal to 50% of qualified wages, improving financial stability and liquidity.

How ERTC Can Enhance Cash Flow For Recovery Startup Businesses

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can provide a significant boost to cash flow for recovery startup businesses. By taking advantage of the ERTC, eligible businesses can reduce their payroll tax liability and potentially receive refundable credits in excess of taxes owed.

This increased cash flow can be used by recovery startup businesses to fund essential operations like marketing efforts or infrastructure investments without having to worry about depleting their financial reserves.

In addition, receiving these funds can help stabilize the trade or business that’s finances and provide more certainty around future budget planning.

By providing much-needed financial support while retaining valuable employees through enhanced credits, the ERTC is helping many small businesses stay afloat during difficult times while improving long-term viability by increasing employer loyalty among its workforce amid economic uncertainty.

Improving Financial Stability And Liquidity

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can significantly enhance the financial stability and liquidity of a recovery startup business. By the employee retention credit providing eligible employers with a refundable tax credit against certain payroll taxes, the ERTC can offset the costs associated with retaining employees during challenging times.

For example, if a recovery startup business paid qualified wages of $10,000 in Q1 2021 and had a gross receipts or decline in gross receipts of over 20%, they could claim a total ERTC amount of $5,000 for that quarter.

This would be an excellent opportunity for them to increase their financial stability and continue operations without sacrificing quality or performance.

Improving Employee Morale And Retention

ERTC can help in retaining valuable employees and boost employee morale and engagement.

How ERTC Can Help In Retaining Valuable Employees

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) can be a valuable tool for a recovery startup businesses in retaining their most valuable employees. By offering financial incentives to keep workers on the payroll, new businesses can avoid layoffs and maintain continuity of operations during challenging times.

Through the ERTC, eligible employers can claim tax credits of up to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees from March 12, 2020, through December 31, 2021.

For example, let’s say that XYZ Company is a recovery startup business that has been experiencing declining revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To help retain its highly skilled workforce during these challenging times, XYZ applies for and receives ERTC tax credits based on qualified wages paid to its employees over multiple quarters.

As a result, XYZ not only saves money on payroll taxes but also avoids having to lay off workers who are integral to its success.

Boosting Employee Morale And Engagement

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) not only helps recovery startups financially but also benefits their employees. By providing tax credits to employers who continue paying wages to employees, ERTC can boost employee morale and engagement.

This benefit is especially important for small businesses that rely heavily on their existing workforce.

In addition, offering health benefits coverage or other incentives using the funds from ERTC can help to further improve employee satisfaction. When employees see that employers prioritize their well-being, they tend to be happier in their work environment resulting in a better employee retention rate of valuable employees.

Overall, the ERTC is an excellent incentive that encourages businesses to retain quality personnel during difficult times while benefiting both employer’s finances and staff wellbeing as well as improve business operations’ sustainability.

How To Claim ERTC For A Recovery Startup Business

To claim the ERTC for a recovery startup business, employers must ensure accurate documentation and calculation of eligible expenses, including wages, health benefits, and employer’s share of social security taxes; they should also use Form 941 to claim the credit against payroll taxes or request advance payment using Form 7200.

Documentation And Forms Required For Claiming ERTC

To claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for your recovery startup trade or business move, you will need to gather and submit certain documentation and forms. Here are the requirements:

1. Determine eligibility: Before claiming ERTC, you must ensure that your trade or business also qualifies by meeting the required criteria, including a decline in gross receipts or full or partial suspension of operations.

2. Calculate qualified wages: You will need to identify all eligible employees and calculate their qualified wages, which is limited to $10,000 per employee or $7,000 per employee or $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021.

3. IRS Form 941: You must file IRS Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, for each calendar quarter in which you wish to claim ERTC. This form reports your total payroll tax liabilities and payments for each calendar quarter.

4. Claiming the credit: To claim the ERTC, you can use either Form 941 or an amended Form 941-X for earlier quarters.

5. Documentation: You should maintain documentation that supports your eligibility for claiming the credit, such as financial statements, invoices, payroll records and other relevant documents.

6. Coordination with other COVID-19 relief measures: If you are also claiming Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), make sure to coordinate your ERTC claim accordingly.

Remember that properly claiming ERTC requires accurate calculations and complete documentation. Failure to comply with IRS rules may result in penalties and additional taxes owed.

Overall, taking advantage of this valuable financial tool can help improve cash flow, retain valuable employees, and enhance overall financial stability for your recovery startup business during these challenging times.

Proper Calculation Of ERTC

For a business to claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), it’s crucial to obtain accurate calculations. The employee retention credit is calculated using 70% of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.

In simple terms, this means that businesses can receive a maximum of $7,000 in tax credits for each employee in a quarter.

In addition to wages paid during eligibility periods, other expenses like health benefits and employer’s share of social security taxes are also considered qualifying expenses for claiming the ERTC.

To ensure proper documentation, all records associated with claiming the credit must be kept for at least four years after filing returns that claim the credit or until statute limitations end.

Coordination With Other COVID-19 Relief Measures

To maximize the benefits of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), recovery startup businesses must coordinate with other COVID-19 relief measures. For example, if a business received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, they cannot use the same wages for ERTC calculations.

Additionally, the ERC can also be used in conjunction with Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

By coordinating and leveraging multiple COVID-19 relief measures available to them, recovery startups can optimize their financial stability and employee retention efforts while maintaining compliance with IRS guidelines.

Risks And Best Practices For Properly Claiming ERTC

To avoid potential penalties for noncompliance, it is important for recovery startup businesses to follow best practices such as ensuring accurate calculations and documentation, coordinating with other COVID-19 relief measures, and seeking guidance from a tax professional before claiming the ERTC.

Potential Penalties For Noncompliance

It is crucial for recovery startup businesses to properly claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to avoid potential penalties for noncompliance. Businesses that are found to have claimed the employee retention credit incorrectly or fraudulently may face monetary penalties and interest charges.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can also audit and investigate claims, which can lead to additional fines and legal fees.

To ensure compliance with ERTC regulations, it’s best practice for businesses to work closely with a tax professional who has expertise in this area. Proper record-keeping of all qualified wages paid during the covered period will be important when claiming this credit on their tax return.

Best Practices For ERTC Compliance

To ensure proper compliance with the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), small to medium-sized business owners should consider implementing these best practices:

1. Keep accurate records: Maintaining detailed records of employee wages and benefits, along with proof of eligibility for the credit, is crucial in case of an IRS audit.

2. Review eligibility regularly: As trade or business conditions change, it’s essential to review eligibility criteria periodically to ensure continued qualification for the ERTC.

3. Seek professional advice: Small business owners should seek guidance from qualified tax professionals to avoid any misinterpretation or noncompliance issues regarding ERTC requirements.

4. Coordinate with other COVID-19 relief measures: Ensure coordination with other available COVID-19 relief measures such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

5. Properly calculate employer share of social security taxes: Include the correct calculation of eligible expenses for qualified wages and employer’s share of social security taxes when claiming the ERTC.

By following these best practices, small and medium-sized businesses can make sure they are properly claiming the ERTC and avoiding potential penalties for non-compliance while benefiting from this valuable financial tool during uncertain times.

Ensuring Accurate Calculations And Documentation

To ensure that you properly claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for your recovery startup business, it’s essential to make accurate calculations and maintain proper documentation.

The IRS requires eligible business owners to keep records of employees’ wages, qualifying health benefits, and employer’s share of social security taxes.

It’s also crucial to coordinate with other COVID-19 relief measures such as PPP loan forgiveness when claiming ERTC. Moreover, noncompliance with ERTC guidelines may lead to potential penalties from the IRS.

Examples of Recovery Startup Businesses Benefiting From ERTC

Several recovery startup businesses have benefited significantly from the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), enabling them to retain valuable employees and sustain their existing business and operations.

One such example is a tech start-up company that provides online learning solutions for students. During the pandemic, the demand for online education skyrocketed, but the company faced financial constraints due to declining revenues.

Another recovery startup business that benefited from ERTC is a health clinic specializing in telemedicine consultations. When lockdowns were imposed across the country, it led to a significant drop in patient visits and revenue for the clinic.

Finally yet importantly- A third example of recovery startups benefiting from ERTC is of an eCommerce marketplace that specializes in handmade crafts and jewelry designed locally by artisans.

Conclusion and Summary for the Employee Retention Tax Credit For Recovery Startup Businesses

In conclusion, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a significant financial relief for recovery startup businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. As outlined above, recovery startups can qualify for the employee retention tax credit for a recovery startup business and receive up to $50,000 per quarter.

The ERTC not only helps improve cash flow and financial stability but also boosts employee morale and engagement by retaining valuable employees. However, it is important to understand the eligibility requirements and properly claim the credit to avoid potential penalties.

Image Credit: Annlisa / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC / ERTC) Help: Claim Up To a $26,000 Refund Per Employee for Your Recovery Startup Business

Disaster Loan Advisors™ can assist your recovery startup business with the complex and confusing Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program, without you having to pay an excessive percentage of your hard earned ERC refund. 

DLA doesn’t charge a percent like many companies do. Our flat fee structure is fair and reasonable based on the amount of work involved. Keep More of Your Refund™ 

Depending on eligibility, business owners can receive up to $26,000 to $33,000 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 IRS 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.

Mark Monroe

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