Understanding the Non-Refundable Portion of the Employee Retention Credit

When you complete line 16 of Form 941, Form 941-SS, or Schedule B, you are accounting for the non-refundable portion of the credit. This applies to family leave and sick pay for an entire quarter. It includes the employer's share of Medicare taxes and health plan expenses that go toward those salaries. With ERC, the non-refundable part is equivalent to 6.4% of the salary.

This is the part of the Social Security tax that the employer pays. You can apply for the ERC if you overreported taxes on previous Form 941 filings. This is done using Form 941-X. The term “non-refundable” is incorrect if the company has not claimed the ERC.

If the employer paid its share of Social Security tax through federal deposits, then the non-refundable section of the employee withholding tax credit can be recovered. This is explained in line 18 of the instructions on Form 941-X. The employee retention tax credit is one of those credits for which companies may need to modify their forms. To apply for this credit, businesses must complete a separate Form 941-X for each Form 941 that they need to modify.

They must also show the date they realized that the original form was incorrect. You have three years from the original filing date of Form 941 to file Form 941-X applying for the ERC. With the employee retention credit, employers are encouraged to keep workers on their payroll by receiving a wage credit. Employers who knew how to apply for the employee retention credit before the program ended used Form 7200.

If a credit is non-refundable, it cannot be used to increase the refund you receive or to create a tax refund that didn't exist before. Then, reduce liability for each subsequent payroll payment in the quarter until the non-refundable portion of the credit is used. The refundable portion of the credits does not reduce the liability stated in line 16 of Form 941, Form 941-SS, or Schedule B (Form 94). The instructions went on to indicate that the non-refundable portion of the credits can be deducted to the extent that the employer participates in the social security wage tax associated with the first payroll payment and, then, reduce their participation in social security tax associated with subsequent payroll payments of that quarter until all of their credit has been used up.

The credit on Form 7200 includes paid sick leave, family leave, health plan expenses, and employer's share of Medicare taxes. This means that many companies are not very sure what their business position is in terms of receiving and using up their ERC, especially when it comes to understanding and utilizing its non-refundable portion. Understanding how to use this portion correctly can help businesses maximize their savings and ensure they are taking full advantage of this valuable tax credit.

Denise Lefler
Denise Lefler

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