Professional Report on Payroll Reports for Claiming the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

BOI Reports

Executive Summary

As an experienced United States Tax Attorney specializing in U.S. tax credits, IRS regulations, Treasury Tax Codes, and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), I have dedicated over fifteen years to assisting businesses in navigating the complexities of tax law, particularly the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This report aims to elucidate the tax codes, regulations, and legislative guidelines relevant to the preparation and submission of payroll reports for claiming the ERC. It incorporates pertinent IRS sections, Congressional laws, and Treasury Tax Codes, offering businesses a comprehensive understanding of compliance requirements.

Introduction to Payroll Reports for ERC Claims

The ERC, established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 2020 and subsequently modified, provides a refundable tax credit to employers for wages paid to employees during periods of business disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurate and compliant payroll reporting is critical for substantiating ERC claims, requiring a detailed understanding of applicable tax codes and IRS guidance.

Relevant Tax Codes and Regulations

  • Internal Revenue Code Section 3134: As amended by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, this section provides the foundation for the ERC, including the requirements for eligible wages and the importance of accurate payroll reporting.
  • IRS Notice 2021-20, IRS Notice 2021-49, and subsequent updates: These notices offer comprehensive guidance on ERC eligibility, including detailed instructions on the payroll reports necessary for substantiating wage claims.

Payroll Report Requirements for ERC

To claim the ERC, employers must prepare payroll reports that accurately reflect:

1. Qualified Wages: The total wages paid to employees during eligible periods, including health plan expenses attributed to those wages.

2. Full-Time Employee Count: The number of full-time employees, as defined by the IRS, to determine the applicable credit cap.

3. Eligibility Periods: Specific periods during which the business experienced disruptions qualifying for the ERC.

4. Allocation of Wages: Segregation of wages used for ERC claims from those utilized for other credits or relief programs, such as the Pay check Protection Program (PPP), to prevent “double-dipping.”

Compliance Strategies for Payroll Reporting

Employers seeking to claim the ERC should adopt the following strategies to ensure compliance in their payroll reporting:

1. Detailed Record-Keeping: Maintain comprehensive payroll records, including detailed employee wage information, hours worked, and health plan expenses.

2. Segregation of Funds: Clearly distinguish between wages eligible for the ERC and those covered by other relief measures.

3. Regular Review of IRS Guidance: Stay informed of the latest IRS notices and guidance pertaining to the ERC, particularly those impacting payroll reporting requirements.

4. Professional Consultation: Engage with tax professionals or legal advisors to review payroll reports prior to submission, ensuring accuracy and compliance with current regulations.


Accurate payroll reporting is paramount for businesses seeking to claim the Employee Retention Credit. By adhering to the tax codes, regulations, and IRS guidance detailed in this report, employers can navigate the complexities of ERC claims, ensuring compliance and optimizing their potential benefits. Given the evolving nature of tax legislation, continual engagement with tax professionals and legal advisors is recommended to stay abreast of updates and modifications to the ERC and related payroll reporting requirements.

Call to Action:

Struggling with ERTC payroll reporting? Contact us at or visit for expert assistance and detailed guidance.


This information is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional tax or legal advice. Consult with a tax professional to ensure accuracy in your ERTC payroll reporting.


1. What are payroll reports under ERTC?

Payroll reports for ERTC include detailed documentation of all wages paid to employees during the credit period, including taxable wages, health insurance costs, and hours worked.

2. Why is accurate payroll reporting crucial for ERTC?

Accurate payroll reporting is essential to ensure compliance with IRS requirements, determine the correct amount of tax credits, and avoid potential penalties during audits.

3. What information must be included in ERTC payroll reports?

ERTC payroll reports should include employee names, SSNs, total hours worked, gross wages, and any health insurance premiums paid by the employer.

4. How often should payroll reports be prepared for ERTC claims?

Payroll reports should be prepared quarterly as ERTC claims are filed with quarterly payroll tax returns.

5. Can payroll software be used to generate ERTC reports?

Yes, many payroll software systems can be configured to generate ERTC-specific reports that include all necessary information for tax credit claims.

6. What are common mistakes in payroll reporting for ERTC?

Common mistakes include failing to separate qualified wages from non-qualified wages, inaccurately reporting health insurance contributions, and omitting required employee data.

7. How can businesses ensure their payroll reports are ERTC-compliant?

Businesses should consult with tax professionals or use payroll services that are familiar with ERTC requirements to ensure that their reports meet all compliance standards.

8. What role do payroll reports play in an ERTC audit?

During an ERTC audit, payroll reports serve as key evidence to verify the accuracy of the tax credit claimed and to demonstrate compliance with the program’s regulations.

9. Can errors in payroll reports for ERTC be corrected?

Yes, errors can be corrected by filing amended payroll tax returns along with corrected payroll reports detailing the accurate wage information.

10. Where can businesses find templates or guidelines for ERTC payroll reporting?

Templates and guidelines for ERTC payroll reporting can often be found through payroll software providers, professional tax advisors, or directly from the IRS website under the ERTC guidance section.


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