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How Long Does It Take to Get an ERC Refund?

The federal government established the ERC tax credit under the CARES Act to provide financial relief to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. There are many businesses across the U.S. that paid qualified wages to employees in 2020 during the height of pandemic restrictions, even while taking a serious financial hit. As a reward, the ERC tax credit could earn businesses up to $21,000 per employee.




How to Check the Status of an ERC Refund

Waiting for your ERC tax credit can take months. The overall timeline consists of three stages. 1) Document Gathering 2) Application Preparation and 3) IRS Processing.

The first two are in your control. The faster you gather your documents, the sooner they can be compiled for your application submission to the IRS. The ERC application processor is also going to impact the overall time table. The more efficient processors can turn the application around within a week. Once your application is submitted, the IRS is estimating 4-9 months to receive your check(s). Once submitted, you may be eagerly curious regarding the status of your ERC application, especially to make sure that your application is still being processed smoothly without any issues. To check the status of an application, you must contact the IRS helpline or visit their website.

When you contact the IRS, you will need to have the following in order to check the status of your application:

  • Employer ID number

  • Social Security number

  • Tax return information

It may take four weeks for the IRS to respond with an update on the status of your ERC refund. This is why having an ERC consultant like Five Star ERC Experts is critical to avoid potential errors that could delay the processing time further.

ERC Refund Processing Time

Because of delays at the IRS, the ERC refund processing time can take up to nine months. For this reason, applying as soon as possible is crucial to receiving the tax credit. This tax credit can help businesses recover lost expenses during the pandemic, pay employee wages, and pay for other parts of their business.

If the IRS has questions about your application, it could take longer to receive your ERC refund. Having an ERC consultant by your side helps you avoid any errors that could delay the processing time even longer.

To process ERC applications, the IRS has a team of highly trained IRS staff hand-processing applications. This application is in high demand with small businesses, causing a serious backlog for the IRS to approve the tax credit.

Can I Speed Up the IRS Process?

The part of the process prior to submission to the IRS is the most impactful to the processing time. Being organized with the necessary documents, choosing a reputable provider who has tight processing and having access to your case manager will all help you take as much control as you can regarding the speed of the end-to-end process.


Once the application is submitted, unfortunately there is no way to expedite the IRS process. Once your application is in line with the IRS, it is up to the IRS to approve the application. Because of delays, this could take months. However, the fastest way to speed up the total ERC process is by hiring an ERC consultant.

An ERC consultant can get you in line with the IRS faster, so all you are waiting on is approval from the IRS’ ERC-trained staff.

Delays with the IRS

The IRS has been experiencing delays with approving applications for the ERC tax credit for both the 2020 and 2021 tax years. This is because of the high volume of applications they have received. Right now, the delay could mean that you do not see your IRS tax credit for up to nine months.

Because this is dependent on the volume of applications and the small highly trained IRS staff, delays could take even longer at any given time. At the same time, you may receive your refund before the nine months, especially when using an ERC specialist to help complete your application and submit it to the IRS.

Could I Be Denied for ERC?

It is possible to be denied for the ERC tax credit. The most common reason for a denied application is not having enough supporting documentation. If you are denied with the IRS, it may take even longer to receive a refund if you qualify because you will have to appeal the IRS’ decision.

When you work with an ERC consultant, they will make sure that you avoid common mistakes that lead to denials for ERC applications. They can also answer any ERC questions you have about your tax returns or the application. The IRS can also audit ERC tax credit approvals, especially when there is fraudulent information on your application.

Using a Third Party to File for ERC

If you are ready to amend your 2020 or 2021 tax returns and apply for the ERC tax credit, contact an ERC specialist as soon as possible. ERC specialists come from financial backgrounds with expertise on submitting applications to the IRS for your specific industry. They can help you get in line faster with the IRS than applying by yourself.

When choosing an ERC consultant, you will want to pick a reputable business like Five Star ERC Experts, who offer full compliance and audit protection, to maximize the credit you receive from your application. They have experienced tax attorneys and certified tax agents on staff who have extensive knowledge of state-by-state qualifying restrictions with on-site case management to provide you with rapid processing times.


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