Skip to content

Understanding the Recent Updates and Changes to the Employee Retention Credit

  • by
Understanding the Recent Updates and Changes to the Employee Retention Credit 1

Understanding the Recent Updates and Changes to the Employee Retention Credit 2

Overview of the Employee Retention Credit

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit program established by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to retain their employees during periods of economic hardship. The credit was initially introduced as part of the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has undergone several updates and changes since then.

Expansion of Eligibility

One of the recent updates to the ERC is the expansion of eligibility criteria for businesses. Previously, only businesses that were fully or partially suspended due to government orders or experienced significant revenue decline were eligible for the credit. However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 expanded the eligibility to include businesses that experienced a decline in gross receipts of at least 20% when compared to the same quarter in 2019.

This expansion allows more businesses to qualify for the credit, making it a valuable support measure for a wider range of companies affected by the ongoing economic challenges.

Increase in Credit Amount

Another significant change to the ERC is the increase in the credit amount. The original credit amount was 50% of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee for the entire 2020 calendar year. However, with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the credit amount was increased to 70% of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter for the first two quarters of 2021.

This increase in credit amount provides businesses with a higher potential benefit for retaining employees during these challenging times.

Interaction with PPP Loans

Initially, businesses were not able to claim both the ERC and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. However, recent updates have allowed businesses to claim both benefits, but with certain limitations and restrictions.

Under the ARP Act, businesses that received PPP loans are still eligible for the ERC, but the wages used to claim the credit cannot be the same wages used to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness. In other words, businesses cannot double-dip by using the same wages for both the ERC and PPP forgiveness.

It’s important for businesses to carefully navigate the interaction between the ERC and PPP loans to maximize their benefits while complying with the rules and regulations.

Extension and Retroactive Changes

In addition to the updates mentioned above, the ERC has also been extended and retroactively changed. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 extended the period for which the credit is available from December 31, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Furthermore, the legislation made the ERC retroactively available to eligible employers for wages paid after March 12, 2020. This means that businesses that previously did not qualify for the credit may now be able to claim it for eligible wages paid during the retroactive period.


The Employee Retention Credit is a valuable tax credit program that provides financial relief to businesses affected by economic hardships. The recent updates and changes to the ERC, including expanded eligibility, increased credit amounts, interaction with PPP loans, and retroactive availability, offer businesses new opportunities to benefit from this support measure.

It is essential for business owners and tax professionals to stay informed about these changes to ensure they can effectively leverage the ERC to retain employees and navigate the challenges of the current economic landscape. Enhance your study and expand your understanding of the subject using this handpicked external material. Unearth here, discover new perspectives and additional information!

Deepen your knowledge on the subject with the related posts we’ve chosen with you in mind and your pursuit of more information:

Discover this interesting analysis

Learn from this related study