Wisconsin Hotels, Resorts, Hospitality ERC Tax Credit in WI (revised Jan. 2024)

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Wisconsin hotels, resorts, hospitality, and leisure travel businesses in WI that were impacted financially by the COVID pandemic automatically qualify certain periods of time for the employee retention tax credit refund. 

When Wisconsin tourism and travel was shut down, then limited capacity when reopened, hospitality and leisure, accommodations, motels, Wisconsin lodging, casinos and other related Wisconsin hotel related companies suffered during 2020 and 2021 in WI.

The Wisconsin economy dropped substantially during the pandemic that left many hotel industry employees in WI out of work due to closures. Job openings and labor turnover in Wisconsin is still evident with 160,365 job openings in WI

In WI, some of the main hotel and travel destinations for Wisconsin cities include Appleton, Chicago, Lake County-Kenosha County, Duluth, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Janesville, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Oshkosh, Racine, Sheboygan, Wausau.

Maybe your Wisconsin accountant or tax preparer told you that your WI hotel resort did not qualify for the employee retention tax credit in Wisconsin? Probably they are wrong and are not up to date on current IRS guidelines for the employee retention credit that will qualify your hotel in Wisconsin for the ERC tax refund.

See how your Wisconsin Hospitality and Leisure business qualifies for the IRS Employee Retention Credit Tax Refund for your hotel and lodging business in WI. Schedule Your Free Wisconsin Hotel ERC Consultation.

Key ERC Credit Takeaways You Will Learn:

  • Wisconsin hotels can benefit from ERC: Hospitality businesses can recover financially with this tax credit.
  • ERC is refundable: It offsets employment taxes for eligible hotels.
  • Established before Feb 15, 2020: Qualification requires pre-pandemic business establishment.
  • Up to 70% of qualified wages: Hotels can claim a substantial portion of wages.
  • Temporary hold on new applications: The IRS has paused acceptance of new ERC claims.

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

Table of Contents

Wisconsin Employee Retention Tax Credit for Hotels, Resorts and Hospitality Industry in WI

Wisconsin hotels, resorts, and other hospitality, travel, accommodation, and leisure related businesses in WI are eligible to claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). They can receive up to 50% of their qualified wages paid between March 12th, 2020, and December 31st, 2020, in the form of a refundable tax credit from the IRS.

Wisconsin lodging businesses that were established before February 15th, 2020, can receive a refundable tax credit amounting to 70% of qualified salaries and wages paid between January 1st, 2021, and September 30th, 2021. For WI hotels or motels started or acquired after that date (referred to as a Recovery Start-up business), they are eligible for employee wage reimbursement up until December 31st, 2021.

The employee retention credit may be retroactively claimed for 2020 and 2021, through 2023, 2024, and 2025 for your hotel, resort, or motel in Wisconsin.

WI Hotels Employee Retention Credit, How it Works for Hospitality and Leisure in Wisconsin

With the Wisconsin requirements and amount of the ERTC tax credits continually changing with the ERC program, WI hospitality, resorts, and hotel owners and principals may find it difficult to understand if they qualify and how much they can claim. 

To maximize the benefits from this Wisconsin hotel employee retention tax credit, you must understand which quarters are eligible as well as which employees, wages, and payments meet the criteria for receiving the tax credit for your hotel in WI.

Wisconsin Employee Retention Credit Eligibility Requirements for Hotels, Resorts, and Motels in WI

The Wisconsin hospitality industry can take advantage of the employee retention credit in several ways.

For a Wisconsin lodging related business to be eligible for the program, it must have gone through an entire or partial closure because of COVID-19 government regulations or any other kind of government-mandated shut down during certain periods in either 2020 or 2021 as a result of this global pandemic.

Another way is for your Wisconsin hotel property to demonstrate that it has had either a 2020 quarter with gross receipts at least 50% lower than the same quarter in 2019, or in 2021, quarters with 20% fewer gross receipts compared to the corresponding quarters of 2019. Each three-month period of 2020 and 2021 should be compared to its equivalent month period in 2019.

In Wisconsin, Did Your Hotel, Resort, Motel, or Casino Experience any of These?

Full or Partial Shutdown of Your Hotel Property in WI

If your hotel or lodging location was fully or partially shut down for even a few days due to COVID-19, it would qualify your Wisconsin hotel for the ERC tax credit. There are multiple other ways to qualify and claim your Wisconsin ERC credit for your WI hotel to help financially recover. Even if your Wisconsin hotel company received an SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, you may still qualify.

Wisconsin Hotel Bookings Decreased Leading to High Vacancy Rates in WI

Did your hotel room bookings drop? Maybe your WI hotel is more of a tourist destination and both Wisconsin tourism and business travelers were not booking. In this case, if you can show nominal harm of 10% or more in declining room reservations to your Wisconsin lodging business, you qualify. This is a valid example for you to claim and receive the ERC tax credit in Wisconsin.

Limitations on Guests and Hotel Room Capacity Wisconsin

Due to the shutdown and partial-shutdown in Wisconsin, your hotel operations greatly reduced capacity due to government mandates and orders. This means that even if your WI hotel, resort, or motel did not meet adequate revenue losses, you can still be eligible for the ERTC tax credit from mandated Wisconsin restrictions from executive orders.

No In-Person Wisconsin Events Leads to Impacted Business and Tourism Travel in WI

The inability of tourist and business travelers to attend events in Wisconsin lead to substantial losses. Public events and gatherings in WI were canceled, and then eventually minimized. This caused most Wisconsin Events to be canceled completely for 1 to 2 years. This created massive lost sales and revenue potential for many hotel properties in Wisconsin. Therefore, you may qualify for the ERC tax credit if your lodging and accommodation business has been affected by these limitations in WI.

WI Hotel Guest Cancellations and Refunds Due to COVID in Wisconsin

Maybe your WI hotel property had various types of conferences, meetings, and other event types. When Wisconsin shutdown, and then faced many capacity and travel restrictions, consumer and business travelers canceled vacation and business plans, causing many WI hotel operations to refund deposits and lose further revenue. This was a financial devastation to the economy and hotels in Wisconsin

No In-Person Hotel Restaurant Dining in WI

Due to the pandemic, WI hotels that had on-site restaurants, catering, food service, were not able to have in person or indoor dining.  This was an obstacle for Wisconsin hotels trying to accommodate guests. Guest convenience of eating at the hotel restaurant was taken away. If your WI hospitality business dealt with this situation, and had to close your on-site restaurant, or severely limit seating capacity due to Wisconsin mandated orders, you will qualify for the ERC tax credit.

Wisconsin Cancellations of Conventions, Special Events, and Weddings Causing Your Hotel Property to Lose Revenue and Sales in WI

Many Wisconsin hotel resort or casino properties had to reduce their guest services due to COVID-19, such as not offering in-person legal consultations due to travel restrictions or self-quarantine requirements. If that is the case for you, your legal consultation may be eligible for the ERC tax credit in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Hotel Property Amenities Forced to be Closed – Pool, Spa, Massage, Room Service, and More in WI

Many Wisconsin hotel resort or casino properties had to reduce their guest services due to COVID-19, such as closing their indoor or outdoor swimming pools, closing their spas, eliminating or reducing room service for WI guests. 

Calculating Your Wisconsin Hospitality Employee Retention Credit for Hotels in WI

Accurately calculating the Wisconsin employee retention credit for your hotel resort employees requires attention to detail, especially when it comes to determining your total payroll gross wages paid during each quarter to your workforce. Without accurately calculating this figure, you won’t be able to maximize the full tax benefits of this ERC credit. Therefore, having a comprehensive understanding of how best to calculate these figures is essential to maximize your hospitality related business tax credit in WI.

How Wisconsin Hotel, Resort, Casino, Lodging, or Motel Employers in WI Can Claim the Employee Retention Credit

Although the process of applying for the ERTC for your Wisconsin company has changed a bit, there’s still time to claim your ERC tax refund. Remember that this window won’t be open forever. It will cease in 2023, 2024, and 2025 based on the past 2020-2021 quarter evaluations. Don’t worry about running out of funds either. These IRS business tax refunds are calculated using each business’ qualifications and financials. The only way you can miss out is by not filing prior to the given deadlines for your hotel in Wisconsin.

Conclusion and Summary for Wisconsin Hotels, Resorts, Hospitality, and Lodging Employee Retention Credit in WI

To ensure your Wisconsin resort hotel, motel, or lodging business is in compliance with the Employee Retention Credit, it’s critical to have all original records, including payroll, W-2s, original 941’s filed, and other documents related to hospitality employee wages. Additionally, any Wisconsin government shutdown executive orders or restrictions on your Wisconsin hotel business should be documented.

By understanding the rules of the employee retention credit, hotels, motels, and lodging companies in Wisconsin can make sure they’re getting all the IRS tax credit benefits owed to them. The ERTC provides an opportunity for hospitality businesses affected by COVID-19 in Wisconsin to recoup some financial losses.

Wisconsin Hotels and Lodging Businesses Qualify for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC / ERTC) in WI: Claim Up To a $26,000 Refund Per Hotel Employee for Your Hotel Property in WI

Disaster Loan Advisors™ can assist your Wisconsin hotel lodging business with the complex and confusing Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) program, without you having to sacrifice 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, hotel owners, hospitality professionals, and resort principals and partners can receive up to $26,000 per hotel workforce 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 for your hotel in Wisconsin.

Schedule Your Free Wisconsin Hotel Employee Retention Credit Consultation to see what amount of employee retention credit tax refund you qualify for your hotel in Wisconsin.

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.