Does ERC Affect Your Tax Return?

As you navigate the complexities of your tax return, it’s vital to understand how various elements can impact your final figures. One such factor is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).

This refundable tax credit, designed for businesses that retained employees during COVID-19 related closures or business downturns, can significantly affect your tax liability. It’s essential that you know whether you qualify for this credit, what wages are considered eligible and any recent changes to the ERC provisions.

With these factors in mind, let’s delve into a comprehensive exploration of ‘Does ERC affect Your Tax Return?’ Understanding this aspect could potentially lower your tax burden or even result in a refund from the IRS.

So, buckle up as we demystify this critical component of today’s taxation landscape.

Affects on Tax Return

Sure, the ERC can affect your tax return, but let’s dive deeper into how it might actually put more money back in your pocket.

As an employer, when you claim the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on your federal employment tax returns, it reduces the amount of taxes you owe. In particular, this applies to your Quarterly Federal Tax Return or Form 941. Therefore, if you’ve paid out qualifying wages but didn’t initially claim the ERC and realize later that you were eligible for it, don’t worry. You can amend your Form 941 to reflect this change.

Now here’s where things get interesting; if the credit is more than what you owe in taxes, you’re not stuck with just a zero balance. You can request an advance refund from the IRS using Form 7200 – now who wouldn’t want that? This could potentially provide additional cash flow for businesses that had fewer than 500 full-time employees in 2019.

Remember though: timing matters. It’s important to file Form 7200 before month-end following the quarter when you paid those qualifying wages. So yes – claiming your rightful ERC affects your tax return and will also lead to a nice financial boost.

Who Qualifies?

Well, to qualify for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), you need to have been in business during 2020 and/or 2021. You must have either had your operations fully or partially shut down due to government orders or experienced a significant drop in gross receipts. This criterion aligns with the government’s intent of mitigating financial hardships faced by businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notwithstanding your trade or industry, you’re eligible to apply if these circumstances apply. Non-profit organizations are included as well; even certain government entities like public universities and federal credit unions can qualify for this relief provision. The aim is broad coverage, extending aid to diverse sectors impacted by the crisis.

However, it’s worth noting that businesses with 500 employees or fewer stand to gain the most from the ERC due to its less restrictive definition of qualifying wages. Larger corporations aren’t excluded from applying, but they’ll find the wage qualification terms more stringent.

To sum up, whether you’ve undergone a partial shutdown imposed by governmental orders or seen a substantial slump in gross receipts during either 2020 or 2021, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for the Employee Retention Credit – a measure designed specifically to provide tax relief amid challenging times.

Qualified Wages

Navigating the complexities of qualified wages is crucial in making the most out of your Employee Retention Credit (ERC) benefits. Understanding what counts as qualified wages can significantly affect your tax returns.

These are wages and other compensation you paid to full-time equivalent employees during the relevant quarter. To help grasp this topic, here are some points to consider:

  • The IRS defines a full-time equivalent employee as someone who worked at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours a month on average.
  • You can include qualified health plan expenses associated with these wages.
  • The number of full-time employees your business had in 2019 impacts your qualifying wages.

If your business had more than 500 full-time employees in 2019, you can only claim the ERC for wages paid during non-working periods such as shutdowns. However, if you had 500 or fewer full-time employees, the ERC could be claimed for both working and non-working periods.

Remember that understanding qualified wages is an essential part of optimizing your ERC benefits and ensuring accuracy when filing your tax return. Make sure to thoroughly analyze this aspect when preparing for tax season.

Latest Changes

It’s crucial to stay updated with the latest changes in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as they have significantly altered previous rules regarding the Employee Retention Credit.

This change is retroactive, effectively ending the ERC for most businesses as of September 30, 2021. The previous legislation had set a deadline of December 31, 2021. So whether you’ve been tracking your business’s eligibility or not, this new enactment impacts your planning and potential benefits.

However, there are exceptions to this amendment. If you’re operating a Recovery Startup Business—one that began operations on or after February 15, 2020—and your annual gross receipts total less than $1 million, then you can still claim the ERC for Q4 of 2021.

This latest shift underscores how dynamic tax laws can be. It also highlights why it’s vital to stay informed about these modifications when understanding their implications for your tax returns. Remember that these adjustments in policy can greatly affect your business’ financial standing and must be taken into account while planning ahead.

Therefore, always keep abreast with the latest developments to ensure optimal fiscal strategy execution.


In conclusion, the ERC can indeed impact your tax return. If you’re eligible and have qualified wages, this credit can substantially reduce your tax liability.

However, be aware of recent changes to ensure accurate filing. Employing a professional may help navigate this complex terrain.

Remember, every bit counts when it comes to taxes!

Syed Qasim

Syed Qasim ( CEO IQ Newswire ) Is a highly experienced SEO expert with over three years of experience. He is working as a contributor on many reputable blog sites, including,,,,,,,,, and You can contact him on WhatsApp at +923237711173