Please note: As of 12:00 am PDT on April 9, 2024, we are no longer accepting applications for tax year 2020. Any completed applications (with supporting documentation) submitted on or after 12:00 am PDT on April 9, 2024, will be prepared and filed for tax year 2021 only. By continuing to utilize our service, you acknowledge and agree that SmartERC will not prepare nor file your Forms 941X for any quarter of tax year 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: Here is a link to the direct IRS government website about the program.

A: No. This is a tax credit that’s refundable. You will receive a check for you when we file your ERC claim.

A: Our service charge is based on a percentage of the credit recovered. We calculate and provide our fee with our free analysis. Since we are typically able to recover 20-30% more than someone less familiar with the program, our fee is very affordable. Just like a good CPA, using the right team for this process pays for itself.


A: The difficulty is that the ERC credit is applied to your payroll taxes rather than your business income tax returns, which most CPAs handle. As a result, unless your payroll is processed in-house, most CPAs will not process this credit. This is also a major reason for the credit’s underutilization. Because CPAs don’t usually handle it, despite the fact that they are tax specialists, it has generally fallen into a middle ground where just a handful are able to process the credit successfully. In fact, CPAs account for a significant chunk of our referral base.

At Smart ERC, we’ve hired former IRS agents who actually approved thousands of credits for businesses like yours, which has allowed us to focus only on understanding and maximizing the ERC program. Due to the intricacy (the ERC tax code is over 200 pages) and time investment required to comprehend the ERC program, we have found that only a few people are able to effectively optimize this large benefit for your firm.


A: Even if you had a PPP or PPP-2 loan, you may still be eligible for an ERC refund check. While the CARES Act previously barred having both an ERC and a PPP loan, the newly passed stimulus legislation (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) removed this restriction retroactive to March 13, 2020. Your company can now have both a PPP loan and an ERC return, but you’ll need to do some extra math on payroll wages and attribution. As part of a professional engagement, Smart ERC delivers these calculations as well as any applicable schedules.


A: Yes! For 2020, there are two options: revenue decrease or “full or partial shutdown of your business due to COVID-19” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines this as “During 2020 or 2021, a government agency ordered a partial or complete shutdown of your firm. This can include a lack of trade, incapacity to travel, or prohibitions on group gatherings limiting your operations.” A few examples of qualifying events are listed below:

Example A: A restaurant’s on-site eating must be closed or limited. Due to COVID-19 constraints, for example, every other table couldn’t be used.

Example C: A company that requires in-person meetings with clients but is unable to do so owing to COVID-19 constraints.

Example D: Due to COVID-19 limits and cleaning regulations, a business must lower its operation hours.

Example E: Due to supply chain problems, a company’s production timelines were pushed back.

Example F: Due to COVID-19 regulations, a company with a planned event must cancel it or limit the number of persons who can attend.


A: Yes. The IRS temporarily paused the processing of new Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims, primarily due to fraudulent submissions from scam organizations. It’s essential to highlight that the IRS cannot indefinitely halt claims, as the ERC program is congressionally issued.

The IRS only temporarily halted the processing of new ERC claims until the end of this year. However, all claims submitted before September 14, 2023, are still being processed – and there is little reason to believe claims won’t resume processing after that pause. It’s important to secure your place in line as this will likely cause an influx of eligible claims in Q1 2024.

While the pause affects the timeline, Smart ERC is actively advocating for businesses each day and scheduling appointments with our former IRS revenue agents to check their eligibility.

Smart ERC is a division of Pinnacle Minds, Inc. and has been committed to our clients for over 18 years – and we will continue to be committed to clients during the pause. We are providing ongoing support, scheduling consultations with our former IRS revenue agents, supplying financing providers that will fund up to 60% loan-to-value against your ERC entitlement, and providing the ultimate peace of mind with our optional ERC audit defense. If you have any questions about these programs, please reach out to us!

No, your ERC benefits are secure. The pause is a measure to address potential abuse of the program by some promoters but does not impact the legitimacy of existing claims.

We have a network of former IRS revenue agents that work on our client’s claims. They are now enrolled agents after leaving the IRS, which is the highest credential status the IRS awards. Our review is to check for compliance with current notices, and your claim is backed by our optional ERC audit defense, offered at no additional cost to you.

The program itself is not changing. The ERC program is not a loan,. This pause is a measure to address potential abuse of the program by some promoters and ensure the rightful distribution of benefits.

Smart ERC understands the urgency. While new claims processing is paused by the IRS, we continue to support existing clients and are available to provide financing through our SEFS program. By doing so, our clients can receive bridge loans secured against their ERC claim, even before the processing of new claims resumes.

To stay updated on the latest developments regarding the ERC program, we recommend reaching out to our team or visiting the official website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at You can find valuable information and resources about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), including news releases and frequently asked questions.

Contact Form

Please fill out the form below and one of our representatives will be in touch with you about a Referral Partener Application soon.

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