As Pandemic Aid Dries Up, Businesses Chase Covid Tax Credit


A temporary tax break for small businesses has spawned a cottage industry of advisory firms tapping into federal pandemic aid, raising alarms at the Internal Revenue Service that some claims are going beyond what the law allows.

The Paycheck Protection Program and other federal aid programs long ago shut their doors. But small businesses and nonprofits battered by Covid-19 can still use a lesser-known lifeline, the employee-retention tax credit, or ERC. Businesses can claim up to $26,000 per employee in refunds by amending payroll tax returns from 2020 and 2021.

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