Are Universities Eligible for Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

Unlocking Eligibility: Employee Retention Credit for University Staff

Key Takeaways:

  • Universities can qualify for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), a significant federal tax incentive.

  • Eligibility for ERC is not negated by having received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

  • There are specific steps and guidelines universities must follow to maximize their ERC benefits.

  • ERTC Express can assist universities in navigating the complexities of claiming the ERC.

  • Understanding common misconceptions about the ERC can prevent universities from overlooking this financial opportunity.

Are Universities Eligible for ERC Refund?

Let’s cut to the chase: Yes, universities are indeed eligible for the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). The ERC is a refundable tax credit designed to encourage organizations to keep employees on their payroll during challenging economic times. And that includes universities, which are often at the heart of our communities, providing education and jobs. So, if you’re involved in the financial administration of a university, this is something you should definitely look into.

But what does it mean for a university to be eligible? Essentially, if your institution experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or was fully or partially suspended due to government orders related to COVID-19, the ERC might be within reach. It’s like finding out there’s a hidden scholarship fund you didn’t know about – it can be a game-changer.

Several government regulations impacting universities encompass:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols;
  • Social distancing policies and restrictions on the number of individuals in shared spaces;
  • Shifts to remote learning under stay-at-home orders;
  • Postponement or cancellation of in-person lectures and campus events;
  • Supply chain disruptions affecting laboratory, teaching, and operational supplies.

Common Misconceptions about ERC Refund for Universities

Despite the potential benefits, there are still a lot of misconceptions floating around about the ERC. Some universities haven’t claimed their credit simply because they don’t think they qualify or they’re worried about the complexity of the process. This is where clarity is crucial.

Most importantly, it’s vital to know that receiving a PPP loan does not automatically disqualify you from claiming the ERC. This was a change implemented in legislation after the initial rollout of the relief programs, and it’s a detail that could make a significant financial difference for your institution.

  • Having a PPP loan disqualifies you from ERC: This is not true. Businesses, including universities and colleges, that received PPP loans may still be eligible for the ERC if they meet the eligibility requirements.

  • Only small universities can claim ERC: Incorrect! The ERC eligibility does not depend on the size of the institution. Both large and small universities can qualify if they meet the necessary criteria.

  • The process is too complex to be worth it: While the ERC application process is detailed, the potential financial benefits for eligible universities can be significant, making it a worthwhile endeavor.

  • There’s no point in applying now: Not true! Deadlines for claiming the ERC for past quarters are still ahead, providing an opportunity for universities to apply for and receive benefits for eligible periods.

  • ERC only covers specific types of employees: This is incorrect. The ERC can apply to a wide range of employees within universities, not just those involved in teaching.

How ERTC Express Help Universities Maximize ERC Benefits

Now, let’s talk about getting you that credit. It’s one thing to know you’re eligible; it’s another to navigate the process of claiming what you’re owed. This is where ERTC Express steps in. Think of us as your personal guide through the maze of tax credits.

ERTC Express specializes in helping organizations, including universities, to claim the ERC. We understand the nuances of the tax code and how it applies to educational institutions. With our expertise, we’ll help ensure that you don’t leave any money on the table.

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

Here’s how ERTC Express can guide you through the process:

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


Our dedicated Account Executives are here to guide universities through the ERC application process from start to finish. They ensure all necessary documentation is gathered for submission and provide support for any additional information or questions throughout the process. This meticulous approach ensures that universities can navigate the complexities of eligibility criteria effectively, leveraging our expertise to establish a solid foundation for their claim.


Upon establishing eligibility, our specialized team of CPAs and Customer Success Agents takes immediate action to process your university’s filing. Employing our “Power of 3” system, we engage three independent CPA teams to review and agree on the final credit calculation for your university. This rigorous method significantly mitigates audit risk and secures the defensibility of your claim, exemplifying our commitment to precision and excellence in handling your ERC filing.


Universities will be invoiced only after the ERC funds have been received, aligning our success with yours. This ensures a risk-free partnership, highlighting our commitment to supporting your institution’s financial recovery and sustainability. Our process concludes with guiding your university through the steps to access the ERC funds, finalizing our role in bolstering your financial resilience through dedicated and expert support.

Maximize Your University’s ERC Refund with ERTC Express

Get Maximum Universities ERC Refund with ERTC Express

ERTC Express prides itself on getting the maximum ERC refund for universities. Our team of tax professionals knows the ins and outs of the tax code and has a deep understanding of the challenges universities have faced during the pandemic. We don’t just process claims; they’re committed to getting you every dollar you’re entitled to.

  • IRS Compliance: We ensure university ERTC claims meet all IRS regulations, providing compliance assurance with meticulous attention to detail.

  • Trusted By The AICPA: Our services for universities are endorsed by the AICPA, reflecting our commitment to quality and professional integrity.

  • U.S.-Based CPAs: Our team of U.S.-based CPAs specializes in university ERTC filings, offering expert guidance and support.

  • Power of Three – Audit Defense: Our “Power of Three” strategy involves triple CPA verification for each university’s claim, significantly strengthening audit defense.

  • Refund Maximization: We maximize universities’ ERTC refunds, outperforming standard estimates by 40-120% through expert CPA strategies.

If you’re ready to explore the ERC for your university, the first step is a free consultation with ERTC Express. We’ll assess your situation and give you an honest appraisal of your potential claim. There’s no risk to find out what you might be missing, and the financial upside could be substantial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can universities that received PPP loans also claim the ERC?

Yes, universities that received PPP loans may still be eligible for the ERC. The key is that the same wages cannot be counted for both the PPP forgiveness and the ERC.

What are the deadlines for ERC claims for universities?

Currently, the deadlines for ERC claims for 2020 and 2021 are April 15, 2024, and April 15, 2025, respectively. It’s important to act promptly to ensure your claim is filed on time.

How does ERTC Express ensure maximum ERC refunds for universities?

ERTC Express ensures maximum refunds by conducting a thorough review of your university’s operations and finances, identifying all qualifying wages, and applying the latest guidance from the IRS to your situation.

What information do universities need to provide for an ERC claim?

Universities will need to provide detailed payroll records, documentation of any operational disruptions due to government orders, and financial statements showing a decline in gross receipts, among other things.

How does ERTC Express protect universities from potential audits?

ERTC Express helps protect universities from audits by ensuring that all claims are accurately calculated, thoroughly documented, and in full compliance with IRS guidelines and regulations.

Speak To An Expert

Your time investment will be under 15 minutes – guaranteed.
And could be worth tens of thousands in free money.
Call and speak to an ERTC Expert Now.

Stay Connected To Our Community of Entrepreneurs Across The Country

Operating Nationwide. Office Locations in:
New York, NY | Tampa, FL | Nashville, TN | Atlanta, GA | Los Angeles, CA