February 4, 2021Coronavirus
It’s Worth Claiming COVID Tax Credits: Wise’s 941 Tracking Assistant Makes it Easy
Employers need to know that the rules for the FFCRA and CARES Acts are ever-changing. The tax credits for providing employees with paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave for reasons related to COVID has been extended through March 31, 2021. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, enacted in late December, made changes to the employee retention tax credits available via the CARES Act and extended the credits through June 2021. Though employers should be aware that some changes only apply to 2021. All of this underscores the importance of keeping current with complicated COVID legislative changes. Understanding this, Wise payroll professionals not only formed a COVID Task Force to report on regulations and changes, but built an accurate, effective tool to help clients claim back the COVID credit money they are due without exceeding limits.
Helping Overworked Payroll Teams Claim COVID Credits
“I feel like payroll professionals are busier than ever and want to ensure they are doing the right thing,” says Michelle Douglas, Certified Payroll Professional and Client Payroll Specialist with Wise Consulting. “Claiming credits gives employers money that can help them run their business. It allows them to continue paying employees and avoid layoffs by taking advantage of the help the government is offering businesses.”
For Michelle and her fellow Wise payroll consultants, collaborating to build a tool that would help claim COVID tax credits was a way to make a real, measurable difference for their clients. “The 941 Tracking Assistant helps us capture a client’s payroll details and peel back the layers of data to pull out the retention and FFCRA credits and assign them to their proper buckets to track limits and ensure our clients are receiving the credits and rebates available to them. We have been maintaining our 941 Tracking Assistant with the many changes that have occurred over the year. We want to make sure that everything is 100% accurate and that if clients are ever audited, they have the 941 Tracker to present as the ‘tool we used to track all of the data’, in an organized, easy to understand layout. Our clients can depend on us to do the work for them.”
The 941 Tracking Assistant Helps Clients Claim Money They are Due
Michelle says that creating the 941 Tracking Assistant with her fellow consultants and using it to help clients claim money they are entitled to has been a highlight of her long career as a payroll professional. “I have loved doing this! It has been the most rewarding team effort. The collaboration has been amazing and it is so rewarding when one of our clients tells us, ‘we got all this money back and now we are able to reward employees for sticking with us and coming to work every day and doing their best.’ That’s what it’s all about.”
Michelle enjoys sifting through client payroll data and working to uncover how much money they can claim. “The big thing is that most employers don’t realize how much they have truly paid out and how it adds up. And most clients don’t know they can also claim back some of the medical benefits for the period that employees are out, at least the employer portion. And even though it happened last year, we can still go after credits for you now. It’s not a done deal.”
It’s Not Too Late to Claim COVID Credits!
The passionate payroll team at Wise has been working hard to help clients complete complicated year-end tasks and uncover credits they can claim. In some cases, credit totals clients reclaim reach the six-figure range. Michelle is never surprised and finds great satisfaction in revealing to clients the amounts they can recover. “Some clients have said, ‘we didn’t even know we were entitled to that money.’ Or ‘wow, we can get that much back?’ And others have said, ‘thank you, because you just made my job so much easier.’”
Even without considering the likelihood of more relief coming from legislation yet to be passed, rules that have already changed and expanded have created more opportunities for businesses to secure COVID relief. Michelle points out that this means payroll teams need to keep checking for legitimate money that could be on the table to claim. “You definitely want to look at it weekly. Every business should take the opportunity to consult with Wise and work with us.”
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