Tax Credits

Reporting Employee Retention Credit on Form 1120S (2023)

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While the ERC has been a lifeline for many businesses, navigating its complexities can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to reporting the credits correctly.

After claiming your ERC, understanding how to report it on the appropriate tax forms, such as Form 1120-S, becomes crucial for compliance and maximizing its benefits.

Below, we delve into the intricacies of reporting the Employee Retention Credit on Form 1120-S. We also answer key questions, including whether the ERC is taxable, whether it counts towards your federal taxes, and shed light on the purpose and significance of Form 1120-S.

What is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a powerful tax incentive program introduced by the U.S. government to encourage employers to retain their employees during times of economic uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This credit is available to eligible businesses that experienced significant disruptions due to the pandemic and either fully or partially suspended their operations or had a significant decline in revenue.

Businesses must meet specific criteria set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to qualify for the ERC. Initially introduced as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020, the ERC underwent several changes and expansions with subsequent legislation.

The amount a business can receive through the ERC varies based on specific factors, including the number of employees and wages paid. For 2021, eligible employers can claim a credit of up to 70% of qualified wages paid to employees, with a maximum credit of $10,000 per employee per quarter.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the ERC and its evolution over time, we recommend reading our article on the differences between ERC 2020 vs 2021. This resource will provide you with valuable insights into the changes and updates to the credit, ensuring you stay informed and make the most of this beneficial program.

Is the ERC taxable?

If you’re wondering about the tax implications of the ERC, we’ve got you covered. In this section, we’ll clarify whether the ERC is taxable and shed light on its impact on payroll deductions.

Non-Taxable Nature of the ERC

For federal income tax purposes, the ERC is not considered taxable income. This means you don’t need to include any portion of the ERC in your gross income. Whether you receive ERC funds for qualified wages or the portion allocated to qualified health plan expenses, you are not required to report it as taxable income.

Impact on Payroll Deductions

Although the ERC itself is not taxable, it does affect your payroll deductions.For employers and businesses, this means you must reduce your payroll expense deduction by the amount of the credit claimed. This adjustment ensures that the tax benefit provided by the ERC is properly reflected in your overall tax calculations.

Distinct Categories: ERC vs. R&D Tax Credits

It’s crucial to note that the ERC and Research & Development (R&D) tax credits fall into separate categories. The IRS explicitly states that any credits claimed under the ERC cannot be claimed under R&D, and vice versa. This measure prevents businesses from “double-dipping” and benefiting from both credits simultaneously

How does the ERC impact your expenses?

Applying for and claiming the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) can have an impact on your expenses, particularly in relation to your federal income tax return.

When you claim the ERC, it has the potential to reduce the expenses that you would typically deduct on your federal income tax return. Specifically, under Section 2301(e) of the CARES Act, you are generally not allowed deductions for the wages you paid that are equal to the ERC funds you received for the taxable year. In simpler terms, the amount of credit you receive will reduce your aggregate deductions.

As you may be aware, payroll deductions are the portion of your taxable earnings withheld to cover taxes and benefits. By claiming the ERC, you effectively increase your taxable income. This, in turn, leads to an overall increase in the amount of taxes owed. It’s essential to consider this impact when assessing your tax liabilities.

Budgeting for Tax Obligations

Given the current processing period for updated payroll tax returns and eligible wages by the IRS, it’s possible that you may need to pay taxes owed due to the expenditure disallowance before receiving funds from the ERC refund. To ensure you are prepared for this scenario, it is advisable to budget accordingly and have alternative funds accessible.

What is the IRS Form 1120-S?

Form 1120-S is an essential document utilized by S-Corporations in the United States to report various financial aspects for a given tax year. It serves as the reporting mechanism for income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and other relevant information of a domestic corporation or entity that has made an election to be treated as an S corporation for tax purposes.

The IRS Form 1120-S plays a crucial role in accurately portraying the financial activities and obligations of an S-Corporation to the IRS. By completing this form, businesses can comprehensively overview their income, expenses, and tax-related transactions.

S-Corporations, also known as Subchapter S corporations, are unique business entities that combine the benefits of limited liability, similar to a corporation, with the pass-through taxation feature of partnerships. This means that the income, deductions, and tax credits of an S-Corporation “pass-through” to its shareholders, who report them on their individual tax returns.

Form 1120-S helps S-Corporations fulfill their reporting obligations, enabling them to accurately disclose their financial activities to the IRS. By completing this form, businesses can ensure compliance with tax regulations and maintain transparency in their financial affairs.

Where do you report credits in Form 1120-S?

When it comes to reporting the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on your tax returns as an S-Corporation, Form 1120-S is the key document you need to file. It provides a comprehensive overview of your corporation’s financial activities and is vital for accurate reporting and compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

To report the ERC on Form 1120-S, you will need to navigate to Line 13g, which is categorized as “Other Credits.” This section encompasses a variety of credits that haven’t been reported elsewhere on the form. However, it’s important to note that credits filed under this category require an additional statement specifying the type and amount of credits being claimed.

Where do I file Form 1120-S

If the corporation’s principal business, office, or agency is located in:And the total assets at the end of the tax year are:Use the following IRS center address:
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, WisconsinLess than $10 million and Schedule M-3 is not filedDepartment of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Kansas City, MO 64999-0013
(Any of the above)$10 million or more or Schedule M-3 is filedDepartment of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0013
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, WyomingAny amountDepartment of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0013
A foreign country or U.S. possessionAny amountInternal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 409101
Ogden, UT 84409

To streamline the filing process, S-Corporations also have the option to electronically file (e-file) Form 1120-S, as well as related forms, schedules, statements, and attachments. This also includes Form 7004, which grants an automatic extension of time to file, and employment tax returns such as Forms 940, 941, and 944.

In addition, electronic filing is available for Form 1099 and other information returns. It’s worth noting that there may be certain returns for which e-filing is not applicable. Consulting with your tax professional can help clarify these exceptions.


When it comes to reporting the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on your federal tax returns as an S-Corporation, accuracy and proper documentation are key. While the ERC itself is not taxable, it has implications for your payroll deductions, which, in turn, affect how you file and report your taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Form 1120-S is the designated form for S-Corporations, and it provides the framework for reporting various financial aspects of your business. When reporting the ERC, you’ll find it on Line 13g, categorized under “Other Credits.” Remember that credits falling under this category require an additional statement detailing the type and amount of credits claimed.

As for filing Form 1120-S, S-Corporations have the option to submit it either by mail or electronically. Electronic filing offers convenience and efficiency, allowing you to submit the form, along with other related documents and forms, with certain exceptions. It’s important to review the specific guidelines for electronic filing to ensure compliance.

Accurate reporting is crucial when filing your taxes as an S-Corporation, particularly when it comes to the ERC. By following the proper procedures and providing the necessary documentation, you can fulfill your reporting obligations and potentially maximize your tax benefits.