ERC For 1099 Employees

If you are an independent contractor who receives a 1099 from a company, you may be wondering if you are eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This tax credit has been a significant source of relief for many businesses during the pandemic, providing financial support to employers who keep their employees on payroll. However, there is some confusion surrounding whether 1099 workers qualify for this credit or not.

In this article, we will explore the eligibility criteria for ERC and discuss your options as an independent contractor who files using a 1099. We will dive into the qualified wage calculations, exclusions and inclusions, alternative tax credits available to you, and federal government options.

Additionally, we will provide insight into different forms to file and specific criteria required for eligibility. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of your eligibility status and what actions you can take next to access financial assistance through ERC or other programs.

Eligibility Criteria for 1099 Workers

If you’re a 1099 worker, it’s important to understand that while the ERC tax credit may not be available for you, there are alternative credits offered by the federal government.

The Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program provides unemployed individuals with financial assistance and resources to start their own business. This program could provide eligible 1099 workers with access to funding and training opportunities.

Another option for 1099 workers is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which was created specifically for self-employed individuals who lost income due to COVID-19. PUA offers weekly payments in addition to other benefits such as healthcare coverage and paid sick leave. To qualify for PUA, you must have been impacted by COVID-19 in some way, either through illness or job loss.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria can vary between programs and states. Be sure to research your options thoroughly and consult with a financial advisor or accountant if needed. With some effort, you could find alternative credits that suit your needs as a 1099 worker during these challenging times.

Qualified Wage Calculations

When calculating qualified wages, it’s important to exclude any compensation paid to independent contractors who receive a 1099. This is because the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) tax credit isn’t meant for these individuals, but rather for employees of a company. Independent contractors are considered self-employed and are responsible for their own taxes. Therefore, they don’t qualify for this particular tax credit.

Qualified wage calculations should only include the compensation paid to employees who work directly for the company in question. This includes full-time and part-time workers who are on the payroll and have been paid through regular payroll procedures. It’s important to note that only wages paid between March 13, 2020, and December 31, 2021, qualify for the ERC.

It’s also worth mentioning that certain wages may not qualify as ‘qualified wages’ under the ERC criteria. These include sick leave or family leave payments made under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) or certain health plan expenses.

Make sure you carefully review all guidelines when calculating qualified wages so that you can be sure you’re maximizing your eligibility for this tax credit.

Exclusions and Inclusions

Exclusions and inclusions play a crucial role in determining the qualified wages for the ERC tax credit. To calculate the qualified wages, you need to know what payments should be included and excluded from the calculation. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Qualified wages include salaries, tips, commissions, bonuses, and other forms of compensation paid to employees.
  • Any amounts that were already taken into account for PPP loan forgiveness or other COVID-19 relief programs are excluded from qualified wages.
  • Qualified wages do not include any amounts paid to independent contractors who receive a 1099 form.

It’s important to understand these exclusions and inclusions when calculating your eligible wage amount. If you don’t properly exclude certain payments or include all necessary ones, it can result in an incorrect calculation of your qualified wage amount. This could potentially disqualify you from receiving the maximum benefit of the ERC tax credit.

Make sure you carefully review all of your payroll records and identify which payments should be included or excluded when determining your qualified wage amount for the ERC tax credit. Remember that independent contractors who receive a 1099 form aren’t eligible for this tax credit but may qualify for another one offered by the federal government.

By understanding these exclusions and inclusions, you’ll be better equipped to maximize your benefits under this program.

Alternative Tax Credits

Don’t miss out on other tax credits available if you don’t qualify for the ERC. Exploring alternative options could still provide significant benefits for your business.

One option is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which provides a credit for hiring employees from certain targeted groups, such as veterans and individuals with disabilities. This credit can be worth up to $9,600 per employee hired.

Another option to consider is the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit. This credit rewards businesses that engage in research and development activities with a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their tax liability. It’s not just limited to scientific research; it also includes activities like developing new software or improving manufacturing processes.

You may want to look into state-specific tax credits that are available. Many states offer incentives for businesses that invest in their communities by creating jobs or making capital investments. These credits vary by state but can include things like job creation tax credits, investment tax credits, and property tax abatements.

Exploring these alternative options could prove beneficial for your business even if you don’t qualify for the ERC. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a tax professional who can help guide you through the process of identifying which credits are right for you and how best to take advantage of them.

Federal Government Options

Consider exploring other tax credit options available from the federal government that could provide significant benefits for your business. In addition to the ERC tax credit, there are several other credits designed specifically for businesses of all sizes.

Here are some of the most popular options:

  1. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC): This credit is designed to incentivize companies to hire individuals from certain targeted groups, such as veterans or those receiving government assistance.
  2. Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit: If your business invests in research and development activities, you could be eligible for this credit, which can help offset a portion of the costs associated with these efforts.
  3. Empowerment Zone Employment Credit: Businesses located in designated empowerment zones may be eligible for this credit if they hire employees who also live in the zone.
  4. Indian Employment Credit: Companies that hire Native American employees may qualify for this tax credit, which can provide significant savings on federal taxes.

By exploring these alternative tax credits, you may find additional ways to save money and improve your bottom line. Be sure to consult with a qualified accountant or tax professional who can help you navigate the eligibility requirements and application process for each option. With careful planning and execution, you could maximize your business’s potential while minimizing its tax liability.

Different Forms to File

You’ve got options when it comes to filing for tax credits. Different forms can help you maximize savings and improve financial health. If you’re an independent contractor who files using a 1099, you may be eligible for a similar credit offered by the federal government. However, this credit is filed using a different form and has its own eligibility criteria.

One of the most popular forms used by independent contractors is Form 1040-ES. This form allows you to estimate your quarterly taxes and pay them throughout the year, avoiding penalties and interest on late payments. Filing this form can also help ensure that certain tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), are reflected in your estimated payments.

Another option available to independent contractors is Form W-9. This form is used to provide taxpayer information to companies that hire contractors on a project-by-project basis. Accurately filling out this form ensures that any income earned from these projects is properly reported on both parties’ tax returns. It also helps companies determine whether they need to file Form 1099-MISC for their contractors at the end of the year.

As an independent contractor with a 1099 filing status, taking advantage of these resources can make all the difference in streamlining your finances and growing your business over time.

Criteria for Eligibility

Now that you know about the different forms to file for ERC as a 1099 employee, let’s talk about the criteria for eligibility.

To qualify for the ERC tax credit, you must meet certain requirements set by the government. These include having experienced a significant decline in revenue due to the pandemic and continuing to pay your employees during this time.

The percentage of eligible wages that can be claimed as a credit depends on several factors, such as how much revenue was lost and how many employees were retained. Additionally, there are limits on how much credit can be claimed per employee per quarter.

It’s essential to keep detailed records of your payroll and financials during this period to ensure accurate calculations when filing.

Overall, while 1099 employees may not be eligible for ERC, there are still options available through similar credits offered by the federal government. By understanding the criteria for eligibility and keeping organized records, you can take advantage of these programs and receive financial support during these challenging times.


Congratulations! You’ve now learned about the eligibility criteria for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and whether it applies to 1099 workers.

As an independent contractor who receives a 1099, it’s important to note that you’re not eligible for this tax credit. However, there are alternative tax credits available that you may qualify for.

It’s crucial to stay informed about your options as an independent contractor during these challenging times. Be sure to explore all of the available resources and consult with a tax professional if needed.

With proper planning and understanding of the various tax credits available, you can navigate these difficult times and continue to thrive in your career as an independent contractor.