Many not-for-profit organizations were forced to completely shutter operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making them eligible candidates for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) benefit in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The credit can be claimed quarterly to help offset the cost of retaining employees. It is important to note that the ERC is only available for organizations that did not receive a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The ERC is provided by way of a payroll tax credit covering the period March 13, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.
Employee Retention Credit
Not-for-profit organizations drew the short end of the stick when the new tax law commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made parking expenses incurred on behalf of their employees a taxable increase to unrelated business taxable income (UBTI). Commercial enterprises were equally affected by this law change, but for many not-for-profits, the change comes as a shock. The UBTI inclusions are likely to lead to tax bills at year-end, which is particularly surprising for organizations that historically had no UBTI. Fortunately, the IRS heard the collective pleas for change, and may be remodeling its approach to give not-for-profits some relief.