Learn the warning signs of Employee Retention Credit scams
Businesses and tax-exempt organizations should watch out for telltale signs of misleading claims involving the Employee Retention Credit. Scammers and unscrupulous promoters continue to run aggressive broadcast advertising, direct mail solicitations and online promotions for the credit. Many of these ads wildly misrepresent and exaggerate who can qualify for the ERC, which is sometimes also called ERTC or the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
Anyone who improperly claims the ERC will have to pay it back, possibly with penalties and interest. The IRS doesn’t want that to happen. Employers should know what the credit is and who qualifies and be on the lookout for the warning signs of a scam. And they should rely on the advice of a trusted tax professional, not aggressive marketing or unsolicited proposals.
About the ERC
The ERC is a refundable COVID-era tax credit designed for employers that kept paying employees while shut down because of a COVID-19 related government order or that had a requisite decline in gross receipts during the eligibility periods. The credit can be claimed only by eligible businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees during specific time periods.