March 25,2020

Wyden Announces Retention Credit To Keep Workers On The Job

Washington, D.C. — Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced an employee retention credit to prevent further mass layoffs is included in the bipartisan agreement to respond to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the Trump administration’s failure to ensure widespread testing.

“Our goal is to prevent as many layoffs as possible and keep workers on the job. If workers are kept on the payroll they will be able to pay their bills and stay connected to their health care and other benefits,” Wyden said. “Small businesses are being hit especially hard. Without additional support, many will be permanently shuttered by this crisis.”

Employee Retention Credit

  • A 50 percent employee retention payroll tax credit for wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 emergency. The fully-refundable credit would be available to any business or non-profit that has a furloughed or reduced workforce as a result of a forced closure due to a federal, state or local government directive or as a result of quarantining of employees. The credit would also be available to any business that has seen a 50 percent drop in gross receipts. 
  • The credit is limited to $10,000 per employee and is refundable against payroll tax.
  • The Treasury Department would provide advance payments to get money to businesses more quickly. 
  •  A special rule applies to eligible small employers (those with 100 employees or less) that provides a 50 percent credit for all wages paid, regardless of whether employees are furloughed or not.
  • The credit would be available to businesses that do not receive Small Business Administration loans. Business owners would be able to choose whether an SBA loan or employee retention credit is better suited to their situation.