Asure is the fastest-growing payroll company in North America. We understand the intricacies of ERTC. As an example, we secured a $718,000 ERTC refund for one of our restaurant clients. ERTC is the biggest employer’s tax refund in U.S. history. It’s not a loan. It’s money owed by the government to businesses that were hit hard by government-ordered shutdowns during the pandemic. 

There was a 65.91% year-on-year decline in consumers dining in restaurants in the U.S. because of the COVID-19 pandemic from January 2020 to January 2021 according to Statista. If you assume you’re not eligible, you may want a second opinion. Your restaurant did not have to fully shut down to qualify for ERTC.

Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your business is eligible.

ERTC (Employee Retention Tax Credit) is exactly what it says: it’s a tax credit to reward businesses such as restaurants that kept employees on payroll during the COVID pandemic. Your restaurant business can receive as much as $7,000 per employee per quarter for the first three quarters of 2021. This equates to $21,000 per employee. Your business may also qualify for an additional $5,000 per employee for 2020.

That’s a total of $26,000 for each employee.

What Is ERTC for Restaurants?

ERTC is a refundable tax credit giving businesses up to $26,000 per employee on their payroll. In 2020, the CARES Act instituted a refundable payroll tax credit called ERTC. The main goal was to encourage businesses such as restaurants to continue paying staff who couldn’t work due to government-mandated social distancing rules.

As a restaurant, bar, or cafe owner, social distancing rules likely hurt your bottom line. The maximum tax credit was $5,000 per employee, and was available from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020. New legislation extended the amount to a maximum of up to $7,000 per employee per quarter beginning January 1, 2021, ending on September 30, 2021. Although the program expired on September 30, 2021, business owners can still file for a refund from the relief period.

Get help calculating ERTC wages and filing your amended returns.

ERTC Eligibility Requirements For Restaurants

Were you required by government regulations to partially or fully shut down during specific periods in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic? Or did your restaurant suffer a significant decline in gross receipts compared to one of two prior years, such as 2019 versus 2020 or 2021?

A decline in gross receipts is categorized as significant when the decline is at least 50% in 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019, or at least 20% in 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2019. If you think you might qualify for ERTC, it’s worth 2 minutes of your time to check. We formulated a simple ERTC self-quiz here.

Examples of What Might Be Considered a Partial Shut Down of Your Restaurant

Capacity Restrictions at Your Restaurant, Bar, Cafe Due to COVID-19 Government Rules

If you were compelled to reduce your restaurant’s seating capacity due to social distancing requirements, you might be eligible for ERTC.

Your Restaurant, Bar, or Cafe Stayed Open for Delivery or Outdoor Dining, but had to Close Indoor Dining

If your place of business typically had indoor dining before government COVID-19 mandates, but then had to restrict indoor dining, you may be eligible for ERTC relief. Even if you kept operating delivery or pickup services or outdoor dining, the government orders may have impacted your business.

Remember, ERTC isn’t a gift or a handout. It’s a tax credit business owners are owed by the U.S. government for keeping employees on their payroll and doing their part to keep the economy going during the pandemic.

Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your restaurant business is eligible.

Other Ways Restaurants May Qualify for ERTC

Did your restaurant need to reduce its operating hours due to governmental order?

If you had to close your business to customers to spend more time cleaning to reduce COVID-19 exposure as mandated by government order, you may be eligible for ERTC.

Your restaurant was impacted by a supplier being unable to make deliveries

If one or more of your suppliers was required to shut down due to government orders, and this made you unable able to perform normal operations, your business may be eligible for ERTC.

Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your restaurant business is eligible.

Common ERTC Questions

Does ERTC credit need to be paid back?

ERTC isn’t a loan and isn’t paid back. ERTC stands for Employer Retention Tax Credit. It’s a tax credit, not a loan.

Does everyone qualify for Employee Retention Credit?

Absolutely not. Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your business is eligible.

Is ERTC still available in 2023?

Yes, businesses can still claim ERTC in 2023. Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your business is eligible.

What’s the difference between ERTC and ERC?

ERTC and ERC are the same thing. ERTC stands for Employee Retention Tax Credit and ERC stands for Employee Retention Credit. Whether you call it ERC or ERTC, it’s a U.S. federal tax credit.

Although this program has ended, eligible employers such as restaurant owners may still be able to claim the tax credit by filing amended forms with the Internal Revenue Service. Asure can file these tax forms on behalf of your business.

What are the Pros and Cons of ERTC?

The big benefit to ERTC is recovering money rightfully owed to your business by the U.S. government – up to $26,000 per employee.

The only con is attempting to claim ERTC when your business isn’t eligible. It’s important to see if your business qualifies. Take this 2-minute quiz to determine if your business qualifies for ERTC.

Do 1099 Employees Qualify for ERTC?

No. ERTC is designed to credit your business for W-2 employees, not independent contractors who receive a 1099 from your business.

Is a business that claimed a PPP loan eligible for ERTC?

A PPP loan does not exclude your business from ERTC. You may be able to receive ERTC even if you received a PPP loan. There are intricacies involved though. Instead of filing for ERTC yourself, you can partner with Asure to recover the government ERTC funds are owed to your business.

How Asure Has Helped Restaurant Owners With ERTC

Asure does the heavy lifting for restaurant owners who want to receive their rightfully owed ERTC payments. There is no obligation or upfront cost to this service. Your restaurant business may be owed up to $26,000 per employee. What’s the catch? The government requires that you file amended tax returns.

This can be a headache for busy restaurant owners. That’s why Asure created this service. We do the filing work for you.

Asure will:

  • identify eligible wages, including qualified health plan expenses

  • calculate eligible ERTC wages

  • file amended tax returns for you

Next Steps

Asure has recovered millions of dollars in ERTC tax refunds for businesses, including $718,000 for just one of our restaurant clients.

Simply fill out this ERTC eligibility quiz to see if we can help you.

Asure is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock market. When you partner with Asure, you’re partnering with the fastest-growing payroll company in North America. We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years. We’re dedicated to helping businesses grow.


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