WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) led a bipartisan call to Senate leadership to help businesses hardest hit with major revenue losses because of the pandemic retain employees by improving access to the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package.
Senator Hassan previously led successful bipartisan efforts to expand the Employee Retention Tax Credit in the December COVID-19 relief package, and today Senators are calling for an expansion of the program tailored to the businesses severely impacted by COVID-19.
“Through a narrow expansion of the ERTC tailored to the hardest-hit businesses with major revenue losses, Congress can provide urgently needed assistance that would help these employers keep workers on payroll through the economic recovery from COVID-19,” wrote the Senators in a letter to Senate leadership.
As the Senators detail, the program is currently limited to 70 percent of eligible wages and health expenses for workers who are furloughed and paid but not working.
“This rule significantly limits the support that the ERTC can provide the hardest-hit businesses, such as those in the live entertainment and performing arts industries. Moreover, due to the size of their workforces and scope of their operations, many businesses in these industries have been unable to access other forms of federal economic assistance during COVID-19,” wrote the Senators.
The Senators concluded, “In order to support workers and businesses in severely impacted industries, we urge you to improve the ERTC by allowing employers with revenue losses of at least 85 percent to claim the credit for all employees, regardless of whether the employees are furloughed or performing duties.”
In addition to Senators Hassan, Moran, Cortez Masto, and Cramer, the letter was also signed by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
Read the full letter here.