Are Performing Arts Organizations Eligible for Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

Performing Arts Organization
Unlocking Eligibility: Employee Retention Credit for Performing Arts Organization’s Staff

Key Takeaways

  • Performing arts organizations may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) if they meet specific criteria.

  • A common misconception is that only for-profit entities are eligible; non-profits in the arts can also apply for the ERC.

  • Reductions in gross receipts or full/partial suspensions due to government orders are key qualifiers for ERC.

  • Businesses that began after February 2020 have distinct provisions for claiming the ERC, with potential refunds up to $100,000.

  • Engaging with a knowledgeable team like ERTC Express can streamline the process and maximize the potential refund.

Are Performing Arts Organizations Eligible for ERC Refund

The ERC is a refundable tax credit that was part of the CARES Act and later modified by subsequent legislation. It’s designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on the payroll, even during tough times. If you’re a performing arts organization, whether for-profit or non-profit, there’s a good chance you could be eligible.

In the face of pandemic-related challenges, performing arts organizations have adopted several measures to navigate restrictions and ensure the safety of patrons and performers:

  • Implementing rigorous cleaning and sanitization protocols in theaters and performance spaces to minimize health risks.

  • Adopting virtual platforms or limited-seating arrangements to comply with social distancing guidelines, significantly altering the traditional live performance experience.

  • Adjusting to government-imposed restrictions that have led to postponements or cancellations of live events, impacting revenue streams and operational viability.

  • Addressing supply chain disruptions affecting the availability of essential production materials and equipment.

These adaptations have enabled performing arts groups to continue engaging with audiences, albeit in modified formats. The sector’s resilience and innovative approaches make it eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).

Performing Arts Organizations
Can Performing Arts Organizations Benefit from Employee Retention Credit Refunds? An In-depth Examination

Common Misconceptions about ERC Refund for Performing Arts Organizations

Before we go further, let’s clear up some myths around the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) can significantly benefit performing arts organizations:

  1. Partial Operations Matter: It’s a common misconception that only fully closed organizations qualify for the ERC. In reality, performing arts organizations facing partial shutdowns, such as limited audience capacity or canceled shows, are also eligible.

  2. ERC: A Credit, Not a Loan: There’s confusion between the ERC and loans that need repayment. The ERC is a tax credit, providing direct financial relief without the need to repay, making it distinctively advantageous.

  3. Open Claiming Period: Many believe the window for claiming the ERC has closed. However, performing arts organizations can apply for this credit retroactively for wages paid up through the eligible period, offering a critical opportunity for financial relief.

  4. All Financial States Qualify: Another misconception is that only unprofitable organizations are eligible. The ERC focuses on employee retention amidst the pandemic, allowing both profitable and struggling performing arts organizations to qualify.

  5. Navigating Complexity with Expertise: The perceived complexity of claiming the ERC deters some. Yet, with expert guidance, performing arts organizations can navigate the process efficiently, ensuring they maximize their claim and support their operations and employees during these challenging times.

Understanding these clarifications can empower performing arts organizations to leverage the ERC effectively, providing essential financial support to navigate the pandemic’s impacts.

How ERTC Express Help Performing Arts Organizations Maximize ERC Benefits

So, you’ve got a handle on the basics and you’re ready to claim your credit. How do you ensure you’re getting the maximum benefit? This is where a specialist like ERTC Express comes into play. Think of us as your backstage crew, making sure the spotlight shines just right.

Step-by-step Guide: How ERTC Express Optimizes Your Refund

ERTC Express Step-By-Step Guide
ERTC Express Step-By-Step Guide


We start by confirming your eligibility, which is crucial. There’s no point in pursuing a claim if you don’t meet the criteria.


Once eligibility is confirmed, we handle the paperwork. This is where our expertise shines, ensuring every ‘t’ is crossed and ‘i’ is dotted.


Finally, they assist you in submitting your claim and guide you until the funds are in your hands.

It’s a three-step process designed to be as smooth as possible. With our knowledge of the arts sector and tax credit intricacies, ERTC Express aims to take the weight off your shoulders. And it’s not just about the paperwork. ERTC Express understands the arts. We know that every dollar saved is a dollar that can go towards your next production, your crew, or your community outreach.

Performing Arts Organization
ERTC Express: Unlocking Maximum ERC refunds for Performing Arts Organization—Fast, Efficient, and Reliable

Get Maximum Performing Arts Organization Organizations ERC Refund with ERTC Express

Now, let’s shift our focus to performing arts organization. Just like nonprofit organizations, performing arts organization have faced their own set of challenges during the pandemic. The good news is, they too can benefit from the ERC. With ERTC Express, these organizations can navigate the complexities of the tax credit and maximize their refund.

ERTC Express assists by evaluating your specific circumstances against the eligibility requirements. We understand the nuances of the performing arts industry and can pinpoint exactly where your business fits into the ERC framework. Our goal is to ensure that every eligible company claims the maximum credit they’re entitled to.

  • IRS Compliance: ERTC Express stays up-to-date with the latest IRS guidelines to ensure your claim is fully compliant.

  • Trusted by the AICPA: Our reputation is backed by the trust of the American Institute of CPAs, a mark of their expertise and reliability.

  • U.S.-Based CPAs: Our team consists of U.S.-based CPAs who are well-versed in the intricacies of U.S. tax law.

  • Power of Three – Audit Defense: We not only help you claim the credit but also stand by you in the unlikely event of an IRS audit.

  • Refund Maximization: Our process is designed to identify all eligible expenses to maximize your ERC refund.

Performing Arts Organizations
Harness the Full Potential of ERC Refunds for Your Performing Arts Organizations with the expertise of ERTC Express! 

Choosing ERTC Express means partnering with a team that’s committed to your financial recovery. We take the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on running your business while we handle the financial legwork.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Small Performing Arts Organizations Claim the ERC?

Yes, small performing arts organizations can claim the ERC, provided they meet the eligibility requirements. The size of your organization does not preclude you from claiming the credit. What matters is the impact of the pandemic on your operations and whether you meet the criteria for a significant decline in gross receipts or were subject to government-mandated full or partial suspensions.

What Period Does the ERC Cover for Performing Arts Organizations?

The ERC covers wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2022. For each eligible quarter within this period, performing arts organizations can claim a percentage of qualified wages and health insurance costs paid to their employees. It’s crucial to identify the specific quarters during which your organization was impacted by the pandemic to accurately claim the credit.

How Does the ERC Interact with Other Relief Programs for the Arts?

The ERC can be claimed in conjunction with other relief programs, but with some stipulations. For example, wages that were used to obtain forgiveness for a PPP loan cannot be used to claim the ERC. However, wages that are not covered by PPP may still be eligible.

It’s important to coordinate the various forms of aid to maximize your benefits. For instance, if you received a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, you’ll need to ensure that the ERC is claimed on different payroll expenses than those covered by the grant.

Can Organizations Apply for ERC if They Did Not Suffer a 50% Decline in Receipts?

Yes, organizations can apply for the ERC even if they did not experience a 50% decline in gross receipts. For 2021, the threshold was lowered to a 20% decline in gross receipts compared to the same quarter in 2019. This change makes the credit more accessible to a broader range of organizations that were impacted by the pandemic.

And remember, a decline in receipts is just one path to eligibility. If your organization was subject to a government-mandated suspension of operations, that can also qualify you for the ERC, regardless of your gross receipts.

What are the Next Steps if My Performing Arts Organization is Denied ERC?

If your claim for the ERC is initially denied, don’t lose hope. The first step is to review the denial with a tax professional who can help you understand the reasons behind it. Often, it may be a matter of providing additional documentation or clarifying the information on your application.

You have the right to appeal the decision, and a team like ERTC Express can guide you through the appeals process. Their expertise can be invaluable in ensuring that your organization gets the credit it deserves.

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