If you did, Congress launched the Employee Retention Credit program in 2020 which provided business owners with $33,000 for each W2 employee they had. In late 2021 they reduced it to $26,000, but still a nice benefit.

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit designed to reward business owners for retaining employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The credit refunds payroll costs already spent.

There is no need to pay back the ERC, and is in a sense, similar to the stimulus check that the everyday taxpayer received. These "credits" are both a suspension of your employer portion of FICA taxes, and a check for the remainder of the amount due to your facility.

To be eligible your business just had to be affected by Covid in someway. This can be as minor as having to close for a day, requiring appointments, a reduction in revenue because your clients were affected, restriction of operating hours etc. As you can see, the requirements are pretty broad since they set aside $5.1 Trillion for the ERC program for US business owners. These changes are the latest effort to stabilize the economy and provide emergency relief regardless of past programs you may have participated in (including PPP). The ERC is not a loan, nor a grant.

First, employees who receive a W-2 are paid through their employer's payroll and have their payroll taxes withheld throughout the year. Now, the ERC tax credit is applied against employment taxes for the business, offsetting most if not all liability in employment tax. What happens if your credit is more than you owe in employment taxes? The IRS sends you a check back for the difference! You can even apply for an advance on the ERC.