Retail Stores

Retail shops impacted by COVID-19 restrictions that have W-2 employees may be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).

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Retail stores and retail shopping is one of the biggest staples in American culture. From giant retail supermarkets to small “Mom & Pop” convenience shops, you can find these stores at nearly any corner of any town. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these retail stores were unfortunately some of the most affected businesses. Mandates and restrictions that limited store capacity or hours, or even required full shutdowns, caused business owners of retail stores to experience tough and stressful times. 

Thankfully, many of these retail stores with W-2 employees may still be eligible to receive the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), part of the 2020 CARES Act. ERC can provide a significant cash benefit per employee for already paid wages, giving some relief for facing hard financial times.If you own a retail shop and wonder about your store’s eligibility, reach out to Strategic Tax Planning for a free consultation.

Which Type of Retail Stores Does The ERC Include?

Many business owners wonder if their shop falls under the category of retail. While retail is a large industry and can include many different types of stores, some common examples include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Grocery stores and supermarkets
  • Convenience stores
  • Big box stores
  • Specialty stores, such as a gardening center or bookstore
  • Department stores
  • Discount stores
  • Warehouse retailers
How Do I Know If My Retail Business Is Eligible For ERC?

To be eligible for ERC, a retail store typically must have W-2 employees, and fall into at least one of the two following categories:

  • Your business(es) experienced decreased revenue during quarters 1-4 in 2020 and 1-3 in 2021, compared to 2019
  • Your business(es) suffered from any number of government-mandated restrictions

Government-mandated restrictions may include a wide variety of things. Examples might include full or partial shutdowns, interrupted operations anywhere throughout the supply chain, inability to maximally work with your vendors, reduction in goods or services offered to your customers, or altered hours due to sanitation requirements, among many others. 

Additionally, some retail stores may have received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2020 or 2021 and wonder how that may affect their ERC eligibility. Regardless of if your retail store received PPP 1 and/or 2, you may be eligible for ERC. Speak with an experienced CPA to get a better understanding of your situation.

How Long is the Employee Retention Credit Refund Processing Timeline?

Business owners who have filed for ERC may be wondering when they can expect to receive the tax credit. With so many businesses being affected by the pandemic, the IRS has a high volume of applications to process. Every case is unique and will have a different timeline. Your refund may be processed in about 8 months, although it could take longer. 

If you wish to check the status of your refund, you may use the “Where’s My Refund?” feature on the IRS website, or you can call the IRS.

Uncover a CPA Firm You Can Rely On For Your ERC Claims

For retail stores, ERC can be a great financial relief, but it is important to make sure you and your tax planners are diligent and thorough when examining your eligibility. It is critical to note that the IRS will carefully examine your claim for this credit. ERC claims with inaccurate information can lead to compliance risks such as ERC audits in the future, setting up a potential disaster.

Strategic Tax Planning’s experienced tax professionals and CPAs will work closely with you and your business, ensuring all of your ERC qualifications and facts are accurate and in order. We are here to help you receive your deserved relief for persevering during difficult financial times. 

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How We Help Businesses Receive the ERC
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Identify Eligibility

We analyze your business to determine if you qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.

Compile Documentation

We will help your gather the essential documentation as comprehensive support for your ERC claim.

Optimize Strategy

Our team will develop a tax planning strategy that optimizes benefits for your unique situation.

Ensure Compliance

We will mitigate your risk by ensuring you stay compliant with regulatory guidelines.

Expert guidance for your every tax move

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Director of R&D Tax Credits
Tax Consultant
Senior Tax Research Consultant

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