The Employee Retention Tax Credit Is the Biggest Covid Scam

The pandemic tax break was supposed to cost $55 billion. The bill so far: $230 billion, and rising.

It’s hard to feel sorry for the Internal Revenue Service, but cleaning up for Congress is never fun. The Covid employee retention tax credit is turning into a classic case of government waste and fraud. Congress created the mess, leaving it to the IRS to mop up.

Pandemic transfer payments and student-loan forbearance ended this year, but the employee retention tax credit (ERC) is a Covid giveaway that keeps on giving. The government has paid $230 billion in claims, including about $120 billion this year. The taxpayer bill will keep growing since employers have until April 2025 to claim the credit on wages paid through 2021.

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