The American Rescue Plan Act Creates ERTC Windfall for Startup Businesses

The American Rescue Plan Act extended the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) for the third and fourth quarters of 2021.  It has also expanded the pool of eligible employers who can take the credit to include businesses started during the pandemic.

A Recovery Startup Business (RSB) is a business that was started after February 15, 2020 and has average annual receipts of no more than $1,000,000.  While under the CARES Act, an employer had to experience a full or partial suspension of operations due to COVID-19-related governmental orders or a significant decline in gross receipts to take advantage of the ERTC, an RSB does not need to meet those requirements.

The time period to claim this credit for an RSB is from July 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.  It can be claimed on an originally filed Form 941 or an amended 941.  As with other businesses, the credit continues to be capped at 70% of qualified wages limited to $10,000 per employee per quarter ($7,000 per quarter per employee), but an RSB is also limited to a maximum $50,000 in ERTC per quarter, regardless of the number of employees.

For new businesses, this is an incredible tax benefit and a great safety net to the normal struggles of any startup. The goal is to get employment back to pre-pandemic levels. The total benefit could be as high as a $100,000 cash infusion for 2021, so it’s definitely worthwhile for eligible employers to take advantage of this while available!