The Employee Retention Credit Can Benefit Employers in the Hurricane Disaster Zones

The Employee Retention Credit Can Benefit Employers in the Hurricane Disaster Zones

Posted by Jeffrey M. Feingold on 01.11.18

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 Section 503 was signed on September 29, 2017 to give tax relief to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. This law includes an employee retention tax credit to assist employers that continued to pay wages to any employees displaced by inoperable work locations.

Companies that qualify within the disaster zones can qualify for a retention tax credit if they continued to pay their employees during the period that the business was affected by the hurricane. Employers can receive a 40% credit of the qualified wages (up to $6,000 per employee) during the time frame the business location became significantly impacted due to the hurricane(s) up until the date the location resumed full operation, or until January 1, 2018. The damage doesn’t necessarily have to be to the employer’s place of business. A business is considered inoperable if for instance the business is physically inaccessible to employees via local roadways or public transportation, if the business utilities are not operating, or another example may be that materials could not be delivered due to the disaster.

The designated disaster zones (http://www.fema.gov/disasters) for Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria currently includes:

Hurricane Harvey (Effective date August 23, 2017)

41 Total Texas Counties: Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Kleberg, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Polk, Refugio, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton

Hurricane Irma (Effective Date September 4, 2017)

48 Total Counties in FL: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia

7 Total Counties in GA (Effective Date September 6, 2017): Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Coffee, Glynn, Liberty, McIntosh

2 Total County-equivalents in US Virgin Islands (Effective Date September 5, 2017): St. John’s Island, St. Thomas’ Island

Hurricane Maria

All of Puerto Rico (Effective Date September 17, 2017): 78 municipalities

To determine if your business can benefit from the employee retention credit, contact Tax Point Advisors for a free consultation and IRS filing guidance at (800) 260-4138 or please leave us a message below.


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