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Preparing for Employee Retention Credit Audits: Withdrawing a Claim, Handling the Exam, Credit Mills

A live 110-minute CPE webinar with interactive Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Friday, April 26, 2024 (in 13 days)

1:00pm-2:50pm EDT, 10:00am-11:50am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This webinar will provide insights into preparing for the IRS' ongoing examinations of Employee Retention Credits (ERCs) claimed by businesses. Highly advertised and often promoted to ineligible taxpayers, these credits were spotlighted on the IRS 2023 Dirty Dozen list of tax scams. Unfortunately, the bad players have heightened the risk of an audit for even legitimate ERC claims. Our panel of former IRS attorneys will prepare business owners and tax advisers for these audits.


The ERC was implemented to help employers retain and pay employees during the COVID pandemic. However, with the large amounts of potential credits also came credit mills and scammers. ERC mills sold companies on being able to easily qualify for the ERC without diligently determining whether the companies qualify.

On Oct. 19, 2023, the IRS implemented a policy that allows employers to withdraw erroneous ERC claims. Penalties for improperly claiming the ERC are steep and could 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. As if this wasn't enough, these payroll-type audits can open the door to income tax audits of the business itself. Tax practitioners working with businesses that have taken advantage of ERCs need to prepare for IRS scrutiny.

Listen as our seasoned panel of tax attorneys reviews eligibility for ERCs, outlines the ERC withdrawal process, and offers practical tips for handling an ERC examination.



  1. Overview of ERC
    1. Statute and IRS guidance
    2. Risks associated with less-than-reputable credit mills
  2. IRS audits and enforcement actions related to ERC
    1. IRS public statements on ERC audits
    2. Usual steps in IRS ERC audits
  3. Withdrawing prior ERC claims
  4. Practical tips for preparing for and handling an ERC audit


The panel will cover these and other critical issues:

  • Understanding ERC eligibility
  • Practical advice for handling an IRS audit related to the ERC
  • Useful tips to prepare clients for ERC audits
  • Separating legitimate and illegitimate ERC claims


Warner, David
David J. Warner

Tax Attorney, Shareholder & Managing Principal
Holtz, Slavett & Drabkin

Mr. Warner is a Tax Attorney and the Managing Attorney of the Orange County Office of Holtz, Slavett &...  |  Read More

Weiss, Michele
Michele F.L. Weiss

Holtz, Slavett & Drabkin

Ms. Weiss has over 20 years of experience in tax controversy and litigation matters. She helps her clients resolve...  |  Read More

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CPE On-Demand

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