Free IRS webinar shares latest details on the Employee Retention Credit including options for withdrawing or correcting previously filed claims amid aggressive marketing
IR-2023-201, Oct. 31, 2023
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service will present a free webinar, Thursday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. ET, to update employers and tax professionals on the most recent developments about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). The hour-long session will include information about the freeze on ERC claims, how to withdraw claims and what ERC resources are available from the IRS.
When properly claimed, the ERC is a refundable tax credit designed for businesses and organizations that continued paying employees while shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic or that had a significant decline in gross receipts during the eligibility periods. The credit is not available to individual employees.
This year, scams tied to the ERC made the tax agency’s Dirty Dozen list of the most egregious tax-related scams. Employers should continue to be on the lookout for ERC advertisements that instruct them to “apply” for money by claiming the ERC when they may not qualify. Anyone who incorrectly claims the credit has to pay it back and may owe penalties and interest. The only way to claim the ERC is on a federal employment tax return. The IRS continues to warn businesses to not fall for aggressive marketing or scams related to the ERC. Businesses should first check with their trusted tax professional before submitting an ERC claim.
As part of a larger effort to protect small businesses and organizations from scams, the Internal Revenue Service created a special withdrawal process to help those who filed an Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claim and are concerned about its accuracy. This new withdrawal option allows certain employers that filed an ERC claim but have not yet received a refund to withdraw their submission and avoid future repayment, interest and penalties. Employers that submitted an ERC claim that’s still being processed can withdraw their claim and avoid the possibility of getting a refund for which they’re ineligible.
The new withdrawal process follows the Sept. 14 announcement of an immediate moratorium on processing new ERC claims. The moratorium, which will last until at least the end of this year, follows concerns about ineligible ERC claims.
To date, IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) has uncovered suspected pandemic fraud totaling more than $8 billion. As of Sept. 30, 2023, IRS-CI has initiated 301 investigations involving over $3.4 billion of potentially fraudulent ERC claims. Of those, 15 of the 301 investigations have resulted in federal charges. Of the 15 federally charged cases, so far eight matters have resulted in convictions; four of those cases have reached the sentencing phase with the average sentence being 21 months.
About the webinar
The one-hour webinar will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. ET. Closed captioning will be available. Topics to be covered include:
- Understand the moratorium on ERC claims and how it affects taxpayers.
- Learn who can withdraw ERC claims and how.
- Learn about ERC resources from the IRS.
- Live question-and-answer session.
Tax professionals can earn one continuing education credit for attending this webinar. To register or for more information, visit the Webinars for Tax Practitioners page or the Webinars for Small Businesses page on IRS.gov. The IRS sponsors an ongoing series of free webinars. Though primarily designed for tax professionals and small businesses, anyone is welcome to attend.
Unscrupulous promoters make false claims about their company’s legitimacy and often don’t discuss some key eligibility factors, limitations and income tax implications that affect an employer’s tax return. It’s important to watch for warning signs such as promoters who say they can quickly determine someone’s eligibility without details and those who charge up-front fees, or a fee based on a percentage of the ERC claimed. For more information about the Employee Retention Credit, visit IRS.gov/ERC.