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Navigating Employee Retention Credit Claims and IRS Audits: Claiming the ERC, Key Areas of Focus, Pitfalls to Avoid

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE/CPE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE/CPE webinar will provide tax counsel and advisers guidance for claiming the employee retention credit (ERC) and navigating IRS examinations of ERC claims. The panel will discuss guidance on eligibility determination, provide direction on how to claim the credit, and discuss recent IRS initiatives and the risk of an audit for ERC claims. The panel will also provide business owners and tax counsel tactics for managing IRS examination of ERC claims.


The IRS recently implemented a moratorium on ERC claims in furtherance of their initiative to examine a substantial number of ERC claims by businesses. Counsel must be prepared to assist clients who intend to file an ERC claim and prepare for potential audits for those who have filed such claims.

The ERC was implemented to help employers retain and pay employees during the COVID pandemic. However, these credits provided substantial amounts of money to businesses per employee and have been an area of focus for businesses and scammers, forcing the IRS to identify illegitimate claims. There is no doubt that even those businesses with legitimate ERC claims must be prepared for a potential IRS examination.

As a result of the ERC, many ERC mills were established purporting to assist companies in acquiring the credit. The IRS issued a warning on Oct. 19, 2022, that "warned employers to be wary of third parties advising them to claim the Employee Retention Credit when they may not qualify" and noted that these mills usually charge upfront or contingent fees for their services.

Those improperly claiming the ERC could incur steep penalties and may include a 20 percent accuracy-related penalty and a 75 percent penalty for civil fraud, as well as a criminal case against the taxpayer brought by the IRS.

Listen as our panelist discusses eligibility determination for the ERC, provides direction on how to claim the credit, and reviews recent IRS guidance and managing audits for ERC claims.



  1. ERC rules and IRS guidance
  2. Practical guidance in claiming the ERC
  3. IRS audits and enforcement actions related to ERC
  4. Practical guidance for handling an ERC audit


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • How to claim the ERC and pitfalls to avoid
  • Tools for handling an ERC examination
  • Preparing clients for ERC audits
  • Separating legitimate and illegitimate ERC claims
  • IRS key areas of focus in examining ERC claims


Frank, Cheryl
Cheryl R. Frank

Brager Tax Law Group

Ms. Frank is a former Senior Tax Attorney in the Tax Litigation Division of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in...  |  Read More

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