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Following Bipartisan Push from Senators Hassan and Burr, IRS Ensures Additional Access to Employee Retention Tax Credit for Small Businesses

WASHINGTON – Following a push from U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance that will ensure that employers who have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance can fully access the Employee Retention Tax Credit. This follows the Senators’ successful effort last year to allow PPP recipients to receive Employee Retention Credit assistance.


“Senator Burr and I teamed up across the aisle last year to ensure that small businesses could receive additional assistance to keep workers employed and pay for their health care coverage,” said Senator Hassan. “After raising concerns that we recently heard from businesses who still could not access the relief that we passed into law, I am pleased that the IRS quickly heeded our call and that small businesses can now fully access this important tax credit.”


“Small businesses across the nation continue to face unprecedented economic challenges from the pandemic,” said Senator Burr. “Last year, Congress created two programs - the Paycheck Protection Program and the Employee Retention Tax Credit - to help eligible small businesses and non-profits meet these challenges. Unfortunately, many small businesses weren’t aware they could take advantage of both programs, leaving them to make another difficult financial decision. We asked the IRS to provide folks with more clarity about the help available to them, and I’m glad it has agreed to do so. Yesterday’s announcement by the IRS builds upon our efforts to make sure small businesses receive the full economic assistance for which they are eligible.”


In February, Senators Hassan and Burr reached out to the IRS about concerns that they had heard about from businesses regarding their ability to fully access the Employee Retention Tax Credit if they have already reported all of their wages from 2020 as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness process, even though they had not received PPP forgiveness for the full amount of wages. Since – prior to the passage of Senator Hassan and Burr’s bill - PPP recipients were unable to receive the Employee Retention Tax Credit last year, many employers reported more wages then they needed to on their applications for Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness. Senator Hassan also raised this issue with Deputy Treasury Secretary nominee Wally Adeyemo last month.


The IRS yesterday heeded Senator Hassan and Burr’s call, ensuring that if small businesses over-reported wages on PPP loan forgiveness forms, they can receive the Employee Retention Tax Credit for the wages that were not covered under PPP.