What is an Employee Retention Credit? The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit against employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages paid to employees in 2020 and 70% of the qualified wages paid to employees in 2021. Employers can receive a benefit of up to $26,000 per employee, $5,000 per employee in 2020, and up to $21,000 ($7,000/quarter) per employee for 2021.
Are self-employed individuals eligible for Employee Retention Credits? Self-employed individuals are not eligible for the Employee Retention Credit with respect to their own self-employment earnings. However, a self-employed individual who employs individuals in its trade or business and who otherwise meets the requirements to be an Eligible Employer may be eligible for the Employee Retention Credit with respect to qualified wages paid to the employees.
Are employers in the U.S Territories eligible for the Employee Retention Credit? Yes. Employers may claim the Employee Retention Credit for payments of “qualified wages.” Section 2301(c)(5) of the CARES Act provides that qualified wages are wages as defined in section 3121(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (“FICA”) tax. Under section 3121(b) of the Code, payments of wages by employers in U.S. Territories are subject to FICA. Accordingly, Eligible Employers include employers in the U.S. Territories that pay qualified wages and otherwise meet the requirements for the credit.