When is the Deadline to File Employee Retention Credits? (revised Mar. 2024)

Business always finds government laws perplexing and frustrating, especially when there are continuous changes in the rules and deadlines that are not easily understood. One such program is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act.

The qualification period for the ERTC program was originally scheduled to end on December 31, 2021. Later, it was modified to September 30, 2021, allowing only Q1, Q2, and Q3 payroll periods available for the ERC Credit. This made business owners even more confused about the deadlines and other program details. 

The official ERC deadlines are:

– April 15, 2024 is the deadline to file an ERTC claim for the 2020 tax filing year.

– April 15, 2025 is the deadline to file the ERTC tax credit for the 2021 tax filing year.

Surprisingly, less than 5% of small businesses are even aware of this lucrative ERC tax credit program.

Key ERC Credit Takeaways You Will Learn:

  • What is the ERC: Understand the basics of Employee Retention Credit and its purpose.
  • Filing Instructions: Learn the steps to file Employee Retention Credit correctly.
  • Filing Deadline: Discover the deadline to file Employee Retention Credit to avoid penalties.
  • Calculating ERC: Master the process of calculating Employee Retention Credit for your business.
  • ERC Worksheet 2021: Utilize the 2021 worksheet for accurate Employee Retention Credit calculations.

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

What is the ERC?

The 116th U.S. Congress approved the $2.2 trillion CARES Act as relief provisions. Additionally, President Donald Trump signed it on March 27, 2020, in reaction to COVID’s adverse effects. The CARES Act covered multiple benefits for businesses and the general public.

As part of the CARES Act, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was established to incentivize companies to keep paying their workers by offering credit to eligible employers for wages provided to eligible employees. This was done by giving credit to the qualified company. Read full restaurant employee retention tax credit details here.

The eligibility of an employer for the ERTC is based on meeting one of the following conditions, and that criteria must be completed during the calendar quarter that the employer chooses to use the credit:

  • Businesses were forced to restrict their open hours and cease some or all activities.
  • Businesses witnessed a considerable decrease in quarterly gross income as compared to 2019.
  • Businesses suffered a decrease of 50% in 2020 in comparison to 2019.
  • Businesses suffered a 20% income reduction in comparison to 2019

Learn more about How Does Employee Retention Credit Work.

Instructions to File Employee Retention Credit

There is currently no application for the ERC. Instead, firms may claim the ERC on their federal employment tax returns if they have at least one employee still working for them after the tax year.

In short, they can claim the credit on Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Form 944, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return, or Form 943, Employer’s Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees.

Eligible businesses must report the total qualifying leave wages on their federal employment tax return. However, if your federal employment taxes don’t cover the payments, you can fill out Form 7200. Make sure to file Form 7200 any time before the end of the month following the quarter in which you paid the qualified wages.

Deadline to File Employee Retention Credit

A company can make a backdated claim for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). You have until April 15, 2024, to file claims for ERTC for the 2020 tax filing year, and until April 15, 2025, to file claims for ERTC for the 2021 tax filing year.

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

This video will show you when is the deadline to file employee retention credits.

How to Calculate Employee Retention Credit?

For 2020, the tax credit is equivalent to 50% of the qualifying wages that eligible companies pay their workers during a calendar quarter. The qualified employers can only receive a maximum credit of $5,000 per employee per quarter.

For 2021, the tax credit equals 70% of qualified wages that eligible employers pay their employees. Here, a qualified employer can earn a maximum credit of $7,000 per employee per quarter. Check out Employee Retention Credit: How to Calculate.

Employee Retention Credit 2021 Worksheet

The IRS provides an Employee Retention Credit worksheet within Form 941 instructions. The worksheet helps determine the ERC amount once wage totals for the quarter have been calculated on pages 26 and 28.

The Employee Retention Tax Credit can undoubtedly be quite helpful for employers and employees. However, when you are calculating your ERC credits, make sure that you consult with your accountant for a precise and flawless calculation and file your claim before deadlines.

ERC is a valuable credit that can help businesses retain their employees. If you are not sure if you are eligible for the credit or not, consult a tax professional.

ERC PDF Download of This News Article

Download a PDF version of When is the Deadline to File Employee Retention Credits?

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC / ERTC) Help: Claim Up To a $26,000 Refund 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 / Andreypopov / Disaster Loan Advisors.

Mark Monroe

2 thoughts on “When is the Deadline to File Employee Retention Credits? (revised Mar. 2024)”

    1. Hi Kim.

      Yes. These are two separate tax credit programs. The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and the Research and Development (R&D) Credit are different and have different qualifications. This is not double dipping in this case to be able to take advantage of both of these IRS programs.

      We can help you with these programs. Please schedule a convenient time to speak with us here:

      Thank you Kim, we look forward to working with you!

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