The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit for eligible employers that paid qualified wages after March 12, 2020, and before October 1, 2021.1 While the ERC program expired in 2021, eligible employers can still claim the ERC for 2020 and 2021 by timely filing Forms 941-X.
Amendments to a federal tax return are generally due within three years of the return’s original or extended due date, and Form 941 is due by the last day of the month that follows the end of each quarter (i.e., Form 941 is due on April 30, July 31, October 31, and January 31). Applying the general three-year statute of limitations to Form 941 would seemingly establish July 31, 2023, as the deadline for claiming the ERC for the second quarter of 2020.
However, the instructions to Form 941-X state that “[f]or purposes of the period of limitations, Forms 941 for a calendar year are considered filed on April 15 of the succeeding year if filed before that date.” As a result, Forms 941 timely filed for the second, third, and fourth quarters of 2020 are considered filed on April 15, 2021, and, thus, the deadline for filing Forms 941-X for these quarters is April 15, 2024. Similarly, Forms 941 timely filed for the first, second, and third quarters of 2021 are considered filed on April 15, 2022, and, thus, the deadline for filing Forms 941-X for these quarters is April 15, 2025.
For more information about the Employee Retention Credit, contact us. We are here to help.