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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.


Community Banks: Collaboration, not isolation, is the key to protecting/ enhancing the cannabis business you pioneered

As we prepare for the plenary session of the informal institutional cannabis lenders community announced in my previous article, I am pleased to advise that participants now include 5 of the best-known dedicated loan funds; a select group of commercial banks ranging in size from single state community banks to mid-size regionals making cannabis loans into the mid-8 figures; and, a syndicator of credit union cannabis loans.

Inflation Reduction Act: Healthcare Provisions

On August 16, 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (the “Act”), a landmark climate, healthcare, and tax bill. Though the Act’s climate provisions have received most of the media attention, the healthcare aspects of the Act present some of the most significant changes to the American healthcare system since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

The Current State of Assignment of Benefits Litigation in Florida

On May 25, 2022, Florida lawmakers approved property insurance reforms that remove attorney’s fees, with respect to assignment of benefits (“AOB”) property insurance litigation. One-way attorney’s fees are a longstanding problem in Florida and the reforms come at a time when AOB litigation increasingly affects homeowners in a negative way.

Proposed Community Revitalization Grants for Ohio Projects

Jason A. Butterworth client alert ohio tax credits historic preservation tax credits community revitalization grants

Ohio Senate Bill 225 Paves the Way for Greater Investment in Opportunity Zones and Historic Districts

Ohio Senate Bill 225 is poised to make dramatic enhancements to certain tax credit programs in Ohio, specifically those surrounding investments in “Opportunity Funds” and historic buildings. Signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine in June 2022, the Bill is positive news for real estate developers working to revitalize Ohio communities with investment and rehabilitation projects.