The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit for employers who were financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies see the ERC as a lifeline—but in reality, the credit is more complicated than most realize.

Unfortunately, many have filed for the credit who do not qualify. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service is beginning to crack down on employers. In fact, the IRS even issued Notice IR-2022-183 warning employers to be wary of third parties advising them to claim the ERC when they may not qualify. Tax professionals and the public are encouraged to report faulty ERC claims to the IRS. However, regardless of what these third parties claim, employers will be ultimately liable for improperly claiming the ERC, resulting in paying back the credit plus penalties and interest.