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What is The Difference Between PPP VS ERTC? 

 October 6, 2023

By  Jace W Campbell, CPA

PPP VS ERTC

When it comes to federal assistance programs, understanding the differences between the Employee Retention Credit (ERTC) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can be complex… Yet, it is essential for business owners to grasp these concepts. With this knowledge, they can make informed decisions and capitalize on available aid. Let’s delve into a detailed exploration of both these programs…

What is the Employee Retention Tax Credit?

Introduced in March 2020 as part of the CARES Act, the Employee Retention Tax Credit is designed to incentivize businesses to retain employees despite facing economic hardship due to COVID-19… It’s a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes. But what does this mean in simple terms?

The ERTC helps employers who have kept their employees on payroll by providing a tax credit. The aim was to prevent mass layoffs and support businesses struggling during the pandemic… However, deciphering whether your business qualifies for ERTC can be quite challenging.

Qualifying for ERTC

The eligibility criteria for ERTC are layered and specific. In general, businesses must have experienced either a significant decline in gross receipts or a full or partial shutdown due to government orders… Still, navigating these criteria can often feel like wading through dense legalese.

Businesses need an extensive understanding of tax law or expert advice to determine their eligibility confidently… However, remember that no matter who aids you in this process – you as a business owner bear ultimate responsibility for your tax credit claims.

Also read: Is There a Difference Between ERTC and ERC?

Lies and Deceptions about ERTC

Unfortunately, not all firms offering help with ERTC are created equal. Some might resort to lies and deceptions just to convince you to sign up with them… This trend has been so prevalent that even the IRS has recently clamped down on ERC promoters suspected of fraud.

What might these deceptions look like? Some firms might promise an unlikely high amount of credits, while others may claim that virtually all businesses qualify..Beware of these claims. ERTC is not a one-size-fits-all program.

Comparing ERTC with PPP: The Detailed Picture

Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and how it fits into the broader landscape of pandemic-related aid is crucial for any business owner. Introduced as part of the CARES Act, the PPP aimed to extend financial assistance in the form of loans to businesses affected by the pandemic… The objective was simple – help these businesses keep their workers on payroll, even amidst economic downturns.

However, things get a bit complex when we bring the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) into the mix. Especially when we consider that applying for both ERTC and PPP requires a careful approach.

The ERTC and PPP are both commendable initiatives, but they were initially set up in such a way that businesses had to choose between them. This was mainly because most small businesses would find themselves receiving larger checks from PPP than from ERTC. So, many chose PPP.

But then came a pivotal change..

When President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020, this restriction was lifted. This meant that taxpayers who had previously received PPP loans could now also claim Employee Retention Credits. Yes, you read that right! Businesses could now benefit from both forms of aid provided they were eligible employers who met qualifying criteria.

This change brought forth significant potential for many businesses struggling through these challenging times. However, there was one caveat – the ‘double-dipping’ rule.

This rule essentially states that you cannot pay wages with a forgiven PPP loan and then earmark those same wages as qualifying wages for ERTC. A sensible precaution ensuring no exploitation of these aid programs. When comparing employee retention credit vs PPP, understanding this rule becomes paramount.

In essence, while coordinating PPP and ERTC has its benefits – it also brings potential pitfalls. It’s easy to make mistakes during this process… But fear not! With careful planning and expert advice, businesses can maximize their benefits while staying within the bounds of these regulations. Always remember, that informed decisions are your best defense against unintended missteps.

Navigating ERTC with JWC ERTC Advisory CPA

The intricacies involved in understanding and claiming your rightful tax credits can be daunting. This is where JWC ERTC Advisory CPA comes in… We offer expert advice tailored to your unique business situation.

We believe in serving our clients ethically and efficiently, helping them navigate the complexities of federal aid programs like ERTC and PPP… Remember – making informed decisions now can save your business a lot of trouble down the line.

And if you’ve previously filed for ERTC but have questions or are skeptical about your eligibility – we’re here for you. At JWC, we offer an independent eligibility review service to ensure you’re getting what you deserve.

Remember – working with a reliable advisory firm like JWC means alleviating fear and uncertainty while maximizing potential gain… After all, navigating federal aid shouldn’t feel like navigating a labyrinth.

Jace W Campbell, CPA


Jace founded JWC ERTC Advisory CPA in March 2021 as the nation's first and only public accounting firm focused solely on ERC . . . and nothing else. He has personally signed over 9,000 ERTC claims and is proud to be executing these claims conservatively, and how intended by Congress.

He has a passion for educating clients so they can make the best decision for themselves.  If you read articles and watch videos that Jace produced in 2021, his approach is the same now as it was then.

While other firms pivot their messaging to comply with new IRS guidance, Jace continues preaching the same conservative principles that have helped clients recover hundreds of millions . . . while sleeping easy at night.

related posts:


Can You Claim Employee Retention Credit in 2023?


Can You Claim the Employee Retention Credit in 2022?


Employee Retention Credit Scams: What You Need to Know

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