The Employee Retention Credit is worth big bucks. Qualifying companies can get significant relief money – sometimes millions of dollars. So, it was no surprise to me when I heard some outlandish eligibility statements such as “the national emergency declaration counts” or even some “every business gets it” claims. There is a lot of desire to qualify out there and plenty of credit consultants looking to make money. But recently I have heard a different argument from multiple sources which has intrigued me. The argument is dressed up much better and almost looks legitimate.
Here is a summary of how the line of thinking goes: OSHA rules mandate compliance with CDC guidelines creating partial suspension eligibility for ERC. I call it the “OSHA argument.” That thinking has not set well with some – particularly as the argument results in qualification for every business for all of 2020 and 2021. Red states have had little or no restrictions in 2021 and even deep blue states generally lifted their restrictions in the spring of 2021. But conveniently, the OSHA argument would mean state and local orders do not need to be reviewed at all as a national order is in place. For a consultant charging a percentage of the ERC, they can sell this service now to everyone and avoid the headache of eligibility discussions. Let’s take a closer look at this argument and reasons why it does not work.