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IRS Guidance on Employee Retention Credit

Client Alert

The Employee Retention Credit created under Section 2302 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Since the adoption of the CARES Act, employers have expressed concern that if one employer acquires another employer that previously received a PPP loan, the acquirer’s entire aggregated group may no longer be eligible to claim the Employee Retention Credit.

On November 16, 2020, the IRS added two new FAQs to their website addressing this Employee Retention Credit issue. Initially, the only way an employer that received a CARES Act Loan (e.g., PPP) would be eligible for an employee retention credit is if they paid the loan back by May 18, 2020, regardless of whether the loan is subsequently forgiven or paid back after May 18, 2020.

However, an employer acquiring an entity may remain eligible for the Employee Retention Credit after the May 18th deadline if certain conditions are met. Take the following example to understand the conditions. Company A is the Acquiring Employer in the transaction, while Company B is the Target Employer who has received PPP funds. For Employee Retention Credit eligibility conditions to apply, Company A’s acquisition of Company B’s stock or other equity interest must result in Company B becoming a member of the Aggregated Employer Group under the aggregation rules. Now, for the Acquiring Employer to remain eligible for the Employee Retention Credit, prior to the closing date of the transaction, the Target Employer must have:

  • fully satisfied the PPP loan; or
  • submitted a forgiveness application to the PPP lender and established an interest-bearing escrow account.

If one of the conditions are met, the Aggregated Employer Group, after the closing date, will not be treated as having received a PPP loan, provided that the Acquiring Employer – including any member of the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group – had not received a PPP loan before the closing date and no member of the Aggregated Employer Group receives a PPP loan on or after the closing date.  If so, any employer that is a member of the Aggregated Employer Group, including the Target Employer, may claim the Employee Retention Credit for qualified wages paid on and after the closing date, provided that the Aggregated Employer Group otherwise meets the requirements to claim the Employee Retention Credit.  In addition, any Employee Retention Credit claimed by the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group for qualified wages paid before the closing date will not be subject to recapture under section 2301(l)(3) of the CARES Act.

If the Target Employer had received a PPP loan, but prior to the transaction closing date, the PPP Loan is not fully satisfied and no escrow account is established, then, after the closing date, the Aggregated Employer Group (other than the Target Employer) will not be treated as having received a PPP loan, provided that the Acquiring Employer (including any member of the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group) had not received a PPP loan before the closing date and no member of the Aggregated Employer Group receives a PPP loan on or after the closing date. 

Any employer (other than the Target Employer) that is a member of the Aggregated Employer Group may claim the Employee Retention Credit for qualified wages paid on and after the closing date, provided that the Aggregated Employer Group otherwise meets the requirements to claim the Employee Retention Credit.  In addition, any Employee Retention Credit claimed by the Acquiring Employer’s pre-transaction Aggregated Employer Group for qualified wages paid before the closing date will not be subject to recapture under section 2301(l)(3) of the CARES Act. 

However, the Target Employer that received the PPP loan prior to the transaction closing date and that continues to be obligated on the PPP loan after the closing date is ineligible for the Employee Retention Credit for any wages paid to any employee of the Target Employer before or after the closing date.

To find out if you are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit due May 18th, contact the PPP Loan/SBA Loan BMD Practice Group Christopher Meager at cmeager@bmdllc.com.


House Bill 249: Key Updates to Involuntary Hospitalization Law for Mental Health Providers

House Bill 249 (HB 249) proposes changes to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Sections 5122.01 and 5122.10 to expand the conditions under which a person with a mental illness can be involuntarily hospitalized.

Starting an Advanced Practice Provider Practice

Advanced practice providers (APPs), which includes non-physician providers such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse anesthetists, commonly start their own healthcare practices. Practices may provide, for example, service offerings such as primary care, anesthesiology, mental health, and aesthetics (medical spas). However, there are a number of considerations and steps that must be taken for APPs to compliantly function independently.

FTC Increases Targeting of Companies Lacking Cyber Protection

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a comprehensive cybersecurity report outlining key findings and recommendations based on emerging threats, trends in data breaches, and strategies for businesses to enhance their cybersecurity posture observed over the last year.

New Federal Medical Conscience Rule and Its Implications

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights issued a Final Rule to clarify protections for healthcare providers who refuse services based on religious or moral beliefs. This includes protection against discrimination for refusing procedures like assisted suicide or abortion. The OCR can receive complaints, conduct investigations, and enforce these protections. Entities are encouraged to update policies accordingly and display a model notice provided by the OCR.

Marijuana Reclassification and APRN/PA Prescribing

Marijuana is expected to be reclassified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from a Schedule I controlled substance to a Schedule III controlled substance as a result of efforts by the Biden administration.