Employee retention credit 2023

Find Out If You Qualify For Federal Relief

Through an in-depth analysis of financials, operations data, and interviews, we quantify the pandemic’s full impact on your business. This detailed documentation unlocks substantial federal relief you qualify for but haven’t claimed.

Our multi-tiered verification process administered by licensed CPAs and tax attorneys, ensures your eligibility is thoroughly substantiated while shielding your business from compliance risks. We handle everything from impact analysis to the optimized application.

With our strategic approach:

  • No more leaving entitled relief funds on the table
  • No more uncertainty around qualifications
  • No more exposure to compliance pitfalls
  • We make sure you get every dollar you deserve.
  • The average ERTC refund we secure is over $100k.

Click the button below to begin the assessment of your eligibility. You only pay if you qualify and receive relief funds.

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Check Your Eligibility

Our fees are success based. No payment is due unless and until you receive your funds from the IRS.

THe basics of the erc credit

What is the Employee Retention Credit?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERTC) was created to incentivize and assist employers who kept their current employees on payroll during the year 2020 and the first three quarters of 2021. This was done by offering a significant payroll tax refund through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The credit provides up to $26,000 per employe.


🎯 How Do You Qualify for Employee Retention Credit?

🚨 Expert Analysis Required: Specialized legal analysis is often required, and many firms avoid it due to the expense and complexity involved.

🚨 Why It Matters: Many ERTC providers only focus on the ‘Gross Receipts’ test and may neglect the ‘Government Mandate’ test. This leads to incomplete claims and you potentially missing out on money you’re entitled to.

💡 Our Benefit: We take a comprehensive approach. Our in-house tax attorneys and CPAs collaborate with Fortune 500 advisory firms and third-party law firms to ensure you’re fully qualified on both counts.

Government Mandate Test

  • The test applies to both 2020 and 2021 and is separate from the decline in gross receipts test.
  • It does not rely on financial statements or gross receipts alone. Instead, it looks at whether a business’s operations were fully or partially suspended due to a government order related to COVID-19.
  • A full or partial suspension does not always mean the business closed entirely – it can also refer to disruptions to normal business operations.
  • To substantiate this test, the ERTC expert will guide the business in providing necessary documentation, which may include some financial information – but again is not dependent on it.
  • The goal is to provide tax credits for employee retention even for profitable businesses facing pandemic-related operational challenges.
  • It recognizes that COVID-19 impacted businesses in complex ways not always reflected in gross receipts alone.
  • Many CPAs overlook this test because it falls outside of traditional accounting tasks. But it is critical for maximizing ERTC credits.

Gross Receipts Test

  • This test is the most straightforward way to qualify for the ERTC, though the definition of “decline” differs between 2020 and 2021.
  • For 2020, businesses qualify if gross receipts for any quarter decrease by at least 50% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
  • For 2021, businesses qualify if gross receipts for any quarter decrease by 20% or more compared to the same quarter(s) in 2019.
  • This test relies entirely on financial statements and gross receipts, unlike the Government Mandate Test which looks at operational disruptions from COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The Gross Receipts Test involves a simple comparison of revenue between quarters in 2020 or 2021 vs the same quarters in 2019 to see if the threshold percentage decline is met.
  • This provides tax credits for businesses that suffered major revenue losses, even if they were not subject to government mandates.
  • It is more straightforward for CPAs to assess than the Government Mandate Test since it utilizes traditional financial accounting methods.
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Why A Licensed CPA & Tax Attorney Is Needed

Identifying Government Orders

We help to identify exactly which government orders disrupted your business. Were you unable to access your physical workspace? Did you lose revenue from canceled events and conferences? Did supply chain issues leave you short on materials or inventory? We dig into the details of how modifications like occupancy limits, social distancing rules, telework policies, etc. affected your operations.

Assessing Impact Timeline

We pinpoint the timeframe these disruptions were in effect. Some mandates lasted weeks, while others dragged on for months. Documenting the duration is key. We look at when the orders took effect in your city/county/state and when they were lifted or amended.

Quantifying Order Impact

Our team is tasked to prove the cumulative impact reached the IRS threshold of “more than nominal.” This involves showing reduced capacity to serve customers, conversion to appointment-only, and other measurable effects. We quantify metrics like percentage drops in production or service capacity to substantiate a disruption of over 10%.
arm yourself with information

🕵️ Hidden Risks & Tactics

🤔 Reality Unveiled: You’ve likely seen those ads boasting, “Find out if you qualify in 2 minutes.” Convenient, but potentially disastrous. What they’re not sharing? This speed sacrifices thoroughness and exposes you to legal risks.

🛑 Pitfall #1: Unqualified Labor. Buggy Software.

  • 💡 Hidden Truth: Many ERTC companies cut corners by either outsourcing their labor overseas for a mere $300 or using automated software instead of employing a licensed CPA for critical calculations.

🛑 Pitfall #2: The Eligibility Scam

  • 💡 Hidden Truth: These firms often skip the ‘Operational Impact’ test due to its complexity. This oversight not only reduces your potential claim but could also expose you to legal pitfalls.

🚫 The Harsh Reality: How These Companies Protect Themselves

  • 📜 Attestation Forms: These legal forms shift all responsibility from the company to you.
    🚨 Dangers: By signing, you assume full responsibility for any errors or fraudulent claims.
  • 📜 Unsigned 941s: Companies often avoid signing these forms, dodging accountability.
    🚨 Dangers: You’re left holding the bag in case of an audit.

🌟 Our Comprehensive Benefits 🌟

🎖️ Licensed Professionals: Our team of US-based, licensed CPAs and in-house tax attorneys scrutinize each claim. Each undergoes a multi-tiered review, ensuring precision and compliance.

📊 Complete Eligibility Tests: We don’t cut corners. Both ‘Gross Receipts’ and ‘Operational Impact’ are assessed thoroughly. Our experts finalize all paperwork, and sign them with their PTIN, for complete accountability.

⚖️ Legal Accountability: We stand by every claim we submit. Our multi-tiered legal team reviews your case for an extra layer of security. We never use attestation forms to sidestep accountability; instead, we sign each Form 941 to protect your interests.

🛡️ Audit Defense: Should you face an IRS audit, you’re not alone. Our team provides full audit defense supporting you every step of the way to ensure that your claim stands up to scrutiny.

how to protect your business

📋 Questions to Ask Your ERTC Provider

🌟 Our Promise:
We maintain a physical office in Tampa, Florida, staffed by over 100 people. Our dedicated, in-house American workforce ensures that you receive top-notch service throughout the process.

Our Process

(Photo - Tampa Headquarters)
Meet the Experts Who Make It Happen: Our dedicated team is standing by, ready to guide you through each step of claiming your Employee Retention Tax Credit. With a mix of seasoned CPAs, knowledgeable Tax Attorneys, and responsive account executives, we’re not just offering a service; we’re offering peace of mind. Let’s navigate the complexities of the ERTC together.

Step 1 - Submit Your Business Details

Within 5 minutes of submitting your information, a dedicated account executive from our Tampa, FL office will take ownership of your claim. This executive will serve as your concierge point of contact throughout the entire process.

Step 2 - Intelligent Verification

Upon submission, you’ll be prompted to answer a tailored series of questions related to your business operations during the pandemic. Your answers will instantaneously generate specific documentation requirements. Our in-house legal and accounting teams use these documents to meticulously research your eligibility and substantiate your claim.

Step 3 Expert Claim Review

Our in-house team of licensed, U.S.-based CPAs and Tax Attorneys will rigorously review your claim to ascertain your qualification for the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). Throughout this phase, your dedicated account executive will remain your primary point of contact, ensuring you’re consistently updated on the progress.
  1. Intake: Because we incur significant cost from these evaluations, we must screen every application. This step is designed to determine whether or not enough cause exists to proceed with a full evaluation.
  2. Processing: We will request certain documentation we’ll need to full evaluate your claim.
  3. In-House Legal Evaluation: Our in-house legal team will conduct an evaluation based on the information provided.
  4. Third-Party Advisory Firm: We then submit the details of your claim to our partnered advisory firm that will work to procure the industry data required to support your claim. (Learn more about this here)
  5. Third-Party Law Firm: At this stage (depdning on the complexity) the claim is referred to a third-party tax law firm for final evaluation.
  6. CPA Sign-Off: Upon approval, our CPAs will complete the accounting portion of the ERC, sign the finalized paperwork using
View Our Full Expert Claim Review Process Hide Section

Step 4 - Secure IRS Submission

Upon claim approval, we’ll handle the submission to the IRS on your behalf. Your account executive will equip you with detailed instructions on how to monitor the status of your claim within the IRS system. We operate on a success-based fee structure; you only pay us when the IRS issues your credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It included two programs to assist businesses with keeping workers employed: the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) administered by the Small Business Adminstration and Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) administered by the Internal Revenue Service.

PPP funds are distributed based on 2.5 months of payroll and a minimum of 80% of the funds must be used on payroll to be eligible for forgiveness. Additionally, PPP funds are not taxable as revenue and you may still take deductions for the payroll covered by PPP.

ERTC tax credits, however, are credits (or refunds) for a percentage of payroll in each quarter that you qualify. There are specific rules for determining eligibility by quarter, and limiting the dollars that can be claimed for each employee.

Initially with the CARES Act, employers could choose to apply for PPP or claim ERTC credits, but not both.

PPP was more beneficial than ERTC for most businesses (for reasons we won’t go into here) and so most businesses with under 500 employees received forgivable PPP Loans.

On March 11, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law and included many modifications and expansions to existing elements of previous stimulus programs.

Noteworthy modifications for business owners included:

  • Businesses who applied for and received PPP funds could now also claim ERTC credits.
    ERTC credits could be retroactively claimed for businesses that qualified in 2020.
  • ERTC credits were extended through 9/30/21 with lower qualification requirements.
    The per-employee cap on qualifying wages increased from $10,000 for all of 2020 to $10,000 per quarter for the first 3 quarters of 2021.
  • The refundable credit amount increased from 50% of qualifying wages in 2020 to 70% in 2021.

So the short answer is “Yes” . . . you can claim ERTC even if you received PPP funds.

Unlike the Payroll Protection Program (administered by the Small Business Administration), there is actually no “application process” for the Employee Retention Tax Credits.

You simply claim the ERTC tax credit like you would any other tax credit – by asserting to the IRS that you can legally claim the credit.

When you claim a child tax credit, you do so by asserting this fact on your Form 1040 Personal Income Tax Return.

The difference is that when you claim an ERTC tax credit, you do so on your Form 941 Employer Quarterly Tax Filing.

For prior quarters, you must file an amended form (the Form 941-X) to reduce your current quarter’s tax contribution and request a refund of excess credits (which is highly likely).

Even though you may feel like revenue is back to normal, there are some items you want to consider before passing on this ERTC assessment.

First, even if revenues have returned to “normal” in 2021, you may have qualified in 2020 and you can retroactively claim those credits. That eligibility criteria in 2020 was based on revenue declines from 2019, or if your business was partially or fully closed due to governmental mandate.

Second, while your revenue may have returned to “normal” in Q1 2021, remember that we are comparing your Q1 2021 to Q1 2019. If 2019 was a year of growth for your business, then your revenue levels 2 years ago may have been much less than Q1 2020.

And lastly, if your revenues were down in Q4 2020 by just 20% compared to Q4 2019, then you may also be eligible for Q1 2021. There is a safe harbor provision that few advisors are talking about, and it means that many businesses are qualifying for $7,000 per employee in Q1 2021.

I know, it seems too good to be true, but the government wants to incentivize and reward you for keeping US residents employed and money flowing through our economy as we rebuild bigger and stronger than before.

You are most likely referring to a provision of the CARES Act that allowed employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes. Those deferrals must then be repaid – with at least 50% of the balance due by 12/31/21 and the remaining balance due by 12/31/22.

ERTC credits are NOT a deferral. They are dollar-for-dollar credits against wages you’ve paid. Not taxes you’ve paid, but actual wages.

These credits can offset future tax contributions or you can receive a refund check – it’s your choice.

And you will NOT have to re-pay these funds (unless, of course, you don’t provide adequate documentation in the course of an audit).

Whether your tax accountant is a CPA or EA, he or she most likely only prepares your Federal and State Income Tax Returns. However, ERTC credits are claimed against Employment Taxes on Form 941, and cash advanced through Form 7200.

The complexity of the ERTC program is a beast unto itself and every tax accountant we’ve talked to has said they focus on staying up-to-date on the ever-evolving income tax code, and they can’t now become experts in the ERTC program as well.

If your tax accountant is comfortable determining your eligibility by quarter and year, computing your credits, and preparing contemporaneous documentation to support an IRS audit, then you should certainly let them handle all of this.

If you want a second set of eyes on this, we’re happy to take a look.

Your Bookkeeper should certainly have access to all the information that is needed for an accurate calculation of your legal ERTC claim. They will have your financial reports, payroll registers, and PPP loan forgiveness documents.

The Million Dollar Question is . . . Do They Have The Time?

  • Do they have the time to dig into the text of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
  • And its accompanying referenced laws like: CARES ActFamilies First ActPayroll & Healthcare Enhancement ActPPP Payroll Flexibility Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act
  • Time to read the IRS Interpretations and FAQ’s? And cross-reference those definitions with that of PPP which was separately defined and dissimilarly interpreted in the Small Business Administration’s Bulletins and IFRs?
  • Do they have the time to ensure accuracy in eligibility determination, maximize your computation and create the supporting documentation you’ll need to support an IRS audit of employer taxes?

So far, we have not found a bookkeeper who is able to take all this on, while handling the day-to-day of bookkeeping. If yours can, then take them up on their offer. We’re happy to take a second look.

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© 2023 · Accelerate America LLC 
1309 Coffeen Avenue STE 1200
Sheridan, Wyoming 82801

DISCLAIMER: All information shared should be considered the sole thoughts and opinions of the author(s). This content is for educational purposes and is not personalized financial, tax, investment or legal advice. Accelerate America LLC partners with multiple accounting firms to assist its customers with Employee Retention Credit (ERTC) filing services. This website is not affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service or any governmental organization. Any financial number referenced here, or on any of our sites, are illustrative of concepts only and should not be considered average earnings, exact earnings, or promises for actual or future performance. This site is not a part of the YouTube, Bing, Google or Facebook website; Google Inc, Microsoft INC or Meta Inc. Additionally, This site is NOT endorsed by YouTube, Google, Bing or Facebook in any way. FACEBOOK is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc. YOUTUBE is a trademark of GOOGLE Inc. BING is a trademark of MICROSOFT Inc.