Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Focused young businesswoman stands in office, jotting notes on post-its, demonstrating organization and productivity in a professional environment - ERC.

Claiming the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)? Avoid Mistakes & Secure Refunds

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a government initiative designed to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, has become the subject of much confusion. While initial claims of hefty tax refunds sparked interest, the reality involves stringent eligibility criteria and potential tax implications. This article aims to demystify the ERC, outlining refund options, repayment programs, and the Voluntary Disclosure Program for businesses facing uncertainty.

Understanding the ERC

The ERC provided qualified employers with a refundable credit against certain employment taxes, offering a lifeline during economic hardship. However, eligibility requirements were complex, and aggressive marketing campaigns often painted a misleading picture. As a result, many businesses unknowingly filed for credits they weren’t entitled to.

The IRS Crackdown and the Voluntary Disclosure Program

Recognizing the potential for misuse, the IRS issued warnings urging businesses to carefully evaluate their eligibility before filing. To assist those who filed incorrectly, the IRS launched the Voluntary Disclosure Program in December 2023. This program offers a discounted repayment option for employers who received questionable ERC credits.

Benefits of the ERC Voluntary Disclosure Program

  • Reduced Repayment: Pay back only 80% of the received credit, acknowledging fees charged by marketers.
  • No Interest Repayment: Avoid repaying interest accrued on the ERC refund.
  • Simplified Tax Process: No need to amend income tax returns to adjust wage expenses.
  • Favorable Tax Treatment: The 20% reduction is not considered taxable income.
  • Reduced Penalties: Avoid full penalties and interest on the claimed ERC amount.
  • Reduced Scrutiny: Claims resolved through this program are less likely to be subject to IRS examination.

Important Deadlines and Application Process

  • Time is of the essence! Applications must be submitted by March 22, 2024.
  • Apply first: File Form 15434 through the IRS Document Upload Tool.
  • Repayment options: Expect to repay the full ERC minus the 20% reduction.
  • Installment plans: Consider case-by-case installment agreements by submitting Form 433-B and supporting documents.

Additional Options

ERC Claim Withdrawal: If you submitted a claim but haven’t received a refund, you may withdraw it before processing under specific conditions. Visit for details.

Expert Guidance at Your Fingertips

Unsure about your claim’s validity or need help navigating IRS programs? Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Our team of experts is here to provide tailored advice and support, ensuring you maximize the benefits of the ERC while adhering to regulations.

The Bottom Line

The ERC program was a game-changer for many businesses during turbulent times. By understanding the program’s nuances, capitalizing on IRS initiatives like the VDP, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can reclaim your rightful relief and move forward with confidence.

JS Morlu LLC is a top-tier accounting firm based in Woodbridge, Virginia, with a team of highly experienced and qualified CPAs and business advisors. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive accounting, tax, and business advisory services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and the surrounding regions. With over a decade of experience, we have cultivated a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and aspirations. We recognize that our clients seek more than just value-added accounting services; they seek a trusted partner who can guide them towards achieving their business goals and personal financial well-being.
Talk to us || What our clients says about us