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Having prioritized your employees’ well-being during the pandemic, it’s now crucial to ensure that your business receives the rightful refund it deserves.

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) serves as a refundable tax credit specifically designed for businesses that maintained their workforce throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. By meeting the eligibility criteria, your business could potentially receive up to $26,000 per employee, spanning across the years 2020 and 2021.


Who is eligible to claim the credit?

There are two methods by which businesses can be eligible for the ERC:

1.  Decline in gross receipts

Popup Link with Text (Mobile Responsive) Your business experienced a significant decline in gross receipts in quarters during 2020 or 2021. See more guidance on how this is defined here.

2. Direct or indirect suspension

Popup Link with Text (Mobile Responsive) Your business operations were disrupted due to governmental orders that affected your business, suppliers or customers. Learn More

Eligibility based on a full or partial suspension

If your company’s operations were suspended as a result of a governmental order limiting commerce, travel or group meetings as a result of COVID-19, you may also be eligible for ERC. The suspension may be full or partial and may affect one or more of your locations.

If your company had operations in multiple locations, you may have been affected by governmental orders requiring a partial or full suspension in only some locations, but not all. However, you may have chosen to implement a standard, company-wide suspension policy compliant with local regulations, as well as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance, to ensure consistency across locations. In this instance, even though some of your company may not have been suspended due to a governmental order, but rather your decision to implement CDC or DHS guidelines, your company may still be considered to have suspended operations in all locations. See more from the IRS here.

Direct suspension

Here are some common examples of businesses being directly affected by a partial suspension.

Eligible scenarios:

  • A retail business must close its physical locations due to a governmental order. However, online sales continue and increase compared to prior periods. The closed storefront locations represent a more-than-nominal portion of the business’s operations.
  • A physical therapy facility must close due to a government order as it was not deemed an essential business. The facility moved to an online format and was able to serve some clients remotely, but not all clients. Employees also could not access equipment or tools typically used in therapy, and these are deemed central to operations.
  • A restaurant must limit their on-site dining capacity (for example by 30%) due to a governmental order. However, it is allowed to continue food or beverage sales on a carry-out, drive-through or delivery basis.

Non-eligible scenarios:

  • A grocery store is deemed an essential business. However, a government order requires grocery stores to discontinue their self-service offerings (e.g., salad bar). It modifies its business operations in compliance with the order. However, the salad bar is not a more-than-nominal portion of the business and discontinuing the self-serve services did not have a more-than-nominal effect.
  • A consulting firm is required to close its offices due to governmental orders. Events and travel were a nominal portion of operations, and all employees were able to transition to teleworking and conduct operations in a comparable manner within a reasonable amount of time.​
  • A software company is not deemed an essential business and was required to close due to a governmental order. Prior to this, employees teleworked approximately twice a week. Following the order, all employees begin teleworking on all days. The company was able to continue its business in a comparable manner. ​

Indirect suspension

Here are some common examples of businesses being indirectly affected by a partial suspension.

Eligible scenarios:

  • A raw materials supplier is required to shut down due to government orders. As a result of suppliers’ shutdown, and the inability to source an alternative supplier, a manufacturer is not able to perform its operations.
  • A hospital is deemed an essential business but under governmental orders elective procedures are discontinued. These elective procedures are a more-than-nominal portion of the hospital’s operations.
  • A manufacturer experienced a breakdown of equipment for a product line that accounts for 30% of the business’s operations, for example. The equipment servicer is based outside the US and is unable to travel due to a government order. The equipment is highly specialized, and alternative services were not possible to source.

* More-than-nominal portion of business operations is generally considered a portion of the business that represents at least 10% of the business’s 2019 gross receipts or employees’ hours of service.

** More-than-nominal effect on business operations is generally considered an impact of at least 10% on a business’s ability to provide goods or services.


Claim your ERC in four easy steps

Our streamlined procedural phases make it simple to understand exactly how we will help you through the ERC claiming process.

Step 1

Eligibility Assessment

Step 2

Prepare Tax Forms

Step 3

Monitor Status

Step 4


Cloud9 C.A.R.E.S.!

We ensure accurate and compliant tax filings, giving you confidence and peace of mind.

With our experience assisting businesses of all sizes across all sectors, we have the knowledge, processes and technology needed to calculate your ERC.

Why Cloud9?

We are a distinguished CPA firm based out of Boston, dedicated to providing expert financial services.

In these ever-changing economic landscapes, securing the financial stability of your business is crucial. That’s why we want to draw your attention to the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a tax credit meticulously crafted to assist businesses like yours in receiving the rightful refunds you deserve.

The ERC stands as a testament to businesses that persevered through the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic by retaining their workforce. At our CPA firm, we recognize the significance of this credit in bolstering your financial health. By meticulously meeting the eligibility criteria, your business stands the chance to unlock substantial benefits—an impressive potential refund of up to $26,000 per employee, extending across the pivotal years of 2020 and 2021.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Employee Retention Credit?

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit for businesses that continued to pay employees while shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The potential credit available for eligible businesses between 2020 and 2021 is $26,000 per employee. 

Who is eligible? / How am I eligible?

Eligibility can be determined based on various factors including government orders issued during the pandemic and decline in gross receipts. C9 uses several factors to determine eligibility, ensuring ERC is maximized for your business.

What is the application process to receive ERC Tax Credits with Cloud9?

Cloud9 has been assisting businesses with this process since the inception of the C.A.R.E.S. Act, helping our first client in June 2020 and helping 49 other businesses since. 


Cloud9 has streamlined this process through the use of 4 procedural phases to ensure the success of your business in obtaining ERC. 


Phase 1 – Eligibility Assessment: In this phase, we collect gross receipts, payroll details, and PPP data. We work with your business to discuss the impact of government orders on the operations of your business and provide you with a range of ERC benefits and timing. 


Phase 2 – Prepare Tax Forms: In this phase, we prepare amended tax forms and supporting worksheets, co-signing the form as your paid preparer. 


Phase 3 – Monitor Status: In this phase, we monitor the status of your tax claim and offer support through communication with the IRS, preventing time delays. 


Phase 4 – Bookkeeping: In this phase, we assist your business with bookkeeping entries and provide you with the necessary post-ERC documentation for future IRS audits. 

Why should I use Cloud9 to help my business get ERC?

Since the inception of the C.A.R.E.S. ACT, C9 has been assisting clients with ERC and continues to do so. We helped our first client with this in June 2020 and have since helped 49 other companies. Of these 50 companies, all 50 received refunds and Cloud9 has a 0% rejection rate. Between 8 and 10 million dollars has been refunded across these 50 companies since working with Cloud9. Our team of qualified CPAs, who are approved by the IRS, will work on your claim!

How does Cloud9 ensure companies receive maximum credit?

Cloud9 C.A.R.E.S.! We have set ourselves apart with our 3 A’s: Advocate, Assist, Advise! 

Advocate: Cloud9 will speak with the IRS directly to eliminate time delays. 

Assist: Cloud9 will personally work with you to prepare tax forms, file work sheets and aid with your bookkeeping entries. 

Advise: Cloud9 will advise you through the ERC process, monitor your claim status, and answer any questions you have. 

How can I protect myself from ERC scam promoters?

The IRS has been reminding businesses, tax-exempt groups and others being approached by promoters that they can take simple steps to protect themselves from making an improper Employee Retention Credit claim.

-Work with a trusted tax professional. Eligible employers who need help claiming the credit should work with a trusted tax professional: the IRS urges people not to rely on the advice of those soliciting these credits. Promoters who are marketing this ultimately have vested interest in making money, in many cases they are not looking out for the best interests of those applying.

-Request a detailed worksheet explaining ERC eligibility and computations used to determine the ERC amount.

-Don’t accept a generic document about a government order from a third party. If they say you qualify for ERC based on government order, ask for a copy of the government order. Review it carefully to make sure it applies to your business or organization.

-Don’t apply unless you believe you are legitimately qualified for this credit. Details about the credit are available on, and again a trusted tax professional – not someone promoting the credit – can provide critical professional advice on the ERC.


Our team of qualified CPAs have been approved by the IRS and will work on your claim.