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Employee Retention Tax Credit Estimate Calculator

Several business owners worldwide must have struggled to make ends meet during the coronavirus crisis. Still, a tax credit like the Employee Retention Credit must have come into the picture as it is more easily accessible than several popular relief options such as grants and loans. If you have no idea how tax credits work and want to learn more about available tax credits, use our estimator for employee retention tax calculation. But before that, we need to know more about employee retention credit and its significance for business owners. 

Employee Retention Credit And Its Importance

The Employee Retention Credit, commonly known as ERC, is generally a refundable tax credit that intends to encourage business owners to keep their employees on the payroll and reduce the number of workers filing for unemployment benefits. Furthermore, the credit is calculated differently for 2020 and 2021. 

For 2020

For this year, the tax credit is equal to 50% of the qualified wages that eligible business owners pay their employees in a calendar quarter. Also, eligible owners can receive a maximum credit of $5000 per employee. 

For 2021

Unlike the previous year, the tax credit is equal to 70% of qualified wages that eligible business owners pay their staff. These and these owners can earn a maximum credit of $7,000 per employee for every quarter or $28,000 for the whole year. 

Unlike business relief options such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), organizations of all sizes are eligible to receive employee retention credit. Also, employees don’t have to repay or seek forgiveness for the funds as it is not a loan. 

Ways To Calculate The Employee Retention Credit

As discussed, the employee retention credit equals 50% and 70% of qualified wages paid in a calendar quarter for 2020 and 2021, respectively. 

For 2020, the credit applies to wages paid after 12th March 2020 and before 1st January 2021. Eligible wages per employee don’t exceed $10,000. Therefore, the maximum credit for eligible salaries paid to each employee during the year is $5000. 

While talking about 2021, qualified wages per staff max out at $10,000 for each quarter, so the maximum credit for qualified wages paid to any employee during the year will be $28,000. 

The calculations can be quite tricky, but you need to know several things such as: 

Confirm Whether You Had Employees In 2020 and 2021

You are not eligible for employee retention credit if you had no employees in 2020 or 2021. However, you may still qualify for paid leave credits. 

Find Whether You Experienced A Qualifying Closure

Your organization might be eligible for employee retention credit for the quarter if your business was partially or fully suspended during a calendar quarter of 2020 or 2021 due to orders from a governmental authority limiting travel, commerce, or group meetings due to the Covid crisis. However, you may still qualify based on a decline in gross receipts. 

Compare Company’s Revenue in 2019 To The Period For Which ERC is Claimed 

It is quite significant to compare the revenue of your business in each relevant quarter of 2021 and 2021 to the same calendar quarter in 2019. Your revenue must have declined by more than 50% in the quarters of 2020, while the revenue for the current or preceding quarter must have dropped by 70% in quarters of 2021. However, if your business operation has not been suspended, you are still qualified for paid leave credits. 

Enter Eligible Wages And Health Plan Expenses Paid During The Period Which You Qualify

The next step is to enter eligible salaries paid to all employees for the period of your partial or full suspension of operations or the quarter for which experienced a huge decline in gross receipts not working due to the pandemic between 13 March and 30 June 2020. 

Qualified wages generally include salaries and health plan expenses paid for the period of your economic burden. Qualified wages will primarily be limited to larger employers’ health plan expenses and salaries. 

Learn More About It

It is also quite important to know more about your employee retention credit and find different ways to claim your credit. 

Other Tax Credits You May Qualify For

Regardless of whether you qualify for the employee retention credit, you can still be eligible for paid family leave and paid sick leave tax credits or the social security tax deferral. Our ERTC calculator 2021 walks you through such estimations. 

Emergency Sick And Family Leave Tax Credit

You might qualify for the emergency sick leave tax credit if your employees took sick leave for themselves or family members due to the coronavirus crisis in 2020 or 2021. Our ERTC tax credit calculator will help you estimate the credit, but you need to know the amount of: 

  • Sick leave salaries reimbursed to employees between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020. 
  • Sick leave salaries paid to employees who took leave for others between 1st April and 31st December 2020. 
  • Eligible sick leave health plan expenses and the owner’s share of Medicare tax for sick leave were paid between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020. 
  • Eligible sick leave health plan expenses and the owner’s share of Medicare tax allocable to family leave were paid between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020. 
  • Family leaves salaries are given between 1st April 2020 and 31st December 2020. 

Furthermore, it is quite significant to know the amount of eligible silk leave wages paid to employees between 1st January 2021 and 31st March 2021 to estimate 2021 tax credits. 

How To Claim An Employee Retention Credit?

Qualified employers can receive a current cash benefit to fund qualified wages in several ways. The first way is to reduce the employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. After that, an eligible company owner with no more than 500 full-time employees in 2019 may file an advance refund claim of the credit expected for the given quarter. 

Let us find out how it works. 

  • You can bring down the tax deposits by the credit amount that applies to the qualified wages for that certain pay period if you deposit employment weekly or semi-weekly. 
  • You can get an advance refund of the credit using form 7200 if your credit amount is bigger than your total employment deposits for a certain pay period. Also, you should not have more than 500 employees. The form can be filled in multiple times throughout the quarter. 
  • You can check your credit amount against the quarterly tax deposits made during the quarter if you file form 941. If there is some credit left, you can get a refund once you file this form. 

Now you must be wondering how to calculate employee retention credit? To calculate the credit, you can fill in the details below. You need to enter all the fields in order to compute and add a 0 for any fields that do not apply. 

Number Of Employees
Average Wage Per Employee (Capped at $10k / quarter)

Wages Paid to Related Individuals of 50% or Greater Owners

Wages Already Claimed in Other Credits Listed Above
Wages Earmarked for Second Draw PPP Forgiveness
Estimated Total Qualified Wages
Total Estimated Credit on Wages (70%)


In a nutshell, the employee retention tax credit or ERTC was started as a part of the CARES Act to encourage organizations to pay their employees by providing a credit to the qualified employer for wages paid to eligible employees. Also, if you want to learn more about employee retention tax credit, you can visit the CPA Due Diligence website. We are known to provide the finest solutions which increase your business profits. 

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