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Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the common questions about the program.

Am I eligible for ERC money if I’ve already received a PPP loan?

Yes! Now you can claim both! Congress, in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021, removed the limitation on only claiming one or the other. PPP will only account for 2.5 times your monthly payroll expenses and is meant to be spread out over 6 months. This leaves plenty of uncovered wage expenses for claiming ERC.

If my business was not shut down during the pandemic, am I still eligible for ERC money?

Maybe! A 20% drop in revenue is usually enough to qualify. Even a partial suspension order by the government (federal, state or local) of your business could potentially qualify for the ERC, separate from the reduction in gross receipts test.

If my company was deemed “an essential business” and stayed open, can I still qualify for ERC money?

Maybe! Almost any impact or change in your business can qualify you. For example, even if you were open, but your vendors were closed, and/or you couldn’t go to a client’s job site, you may qualify. 

If my company grew during the pandemic, can I still qualify for ERC money?

Yes! Overall growth is only one small factor. There are many other qualifying factors in the current guidance. It’s best to talk to an expert, to find out.

If we lost money and don’t have any tax liability, can I still get a refund?

Yes! This is a “refundable credit,” which means any credit above your tax liability will be sent to you as a refund.

What if I have more than 500 employees? Am I still eligible?

Maybe! The employee count is based on “full time equivalent” employees. So if you have any employees who worked less than 40 hours per week, then they will be counted differently. Additionally, if you paid any employees to NOT work, or to work less than the hours for which they were paid, then those employees would be counted differently also.

What if our organization is a non-profit or charity? Are we still eligible for ERC money?

Yes! The ERC is designed to also provide benefits to charities such as churches, nonprofit hospitals, museums, etc. Charities can be particularly good candidates for the ERC.

Can my accountant or bookkeeper handle the filing for the ERC money?

Doubtful. Determining the proper amount of credit you can claim – and properly documenting it – is significantly more complicated than the PPP program. There are special rules and restrictions to this program, and special paperwork requirements as well, so unless your accountant has taken an advanced course and become a certified expert on the ERC program, you’ll want to use a CPA that specializes in the Employee Retention Credit.

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