Date: Jan. 26, 2024 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org WASHINGTON — IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) special agents will host a series of educational sessions geared specifically to tax professionals about employee retention credits (ERC) at its field offices across the country. The sessions will take place in February and are part of a nationwide initiative to ensure that tax professionals have the latest information about ERC claims and understand ERC eligibility criteria. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, tax credits and loans were extended to struggling businesses. We’ve seen many of these COVID-relief programs and credits misappropriated – sometimes knowingly and in other instances not,” said CI Chief Jim Lee. “These educational sessions will help tax preparers navigate the complexities of ERC claims to ensure they’re in compliance with U.S. tax laws.” CI special agents will walk attendees through ERC eligibility criteria, documentation requirements to receive ERC claims, and best practices for compliance and accurate reporting. These events will take place in 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and are specifically targeted to tax professionals who have claimed ERCs for their clients on previous years’ tax returns. Invitations to attend will arrive via the U.S. Postal Service. The ERC is a refundable tax credit for certain eligible businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees and were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The requirements vary depending on the time of claim, and it is not available to individuals. Businesses who filed a claim in error may be able to participate in the IRS’ voluntary disclosure or withdrawal programs. The disclosure program is part of a larger effort at the IRS to stop aggressive marketing around ERC that misled some employers into filing claims. The special disclosure program runs through March 22, 2024, and the IRS has added provisions allowing repayment of 80% of the claim received. The withdrawal option allows certain employers who filed an ERC claim, but have not yet received a refund, to withdraw their submission and avoid future repayment, interest and penalties. For updates on ERC or to report a suspected scam, visit IRS.gov/erc. CI is the law enforcement arm of the IRS, responsible for conducting financial crime investigations, including tax fraud, narcotics trafficking, money-laundering, public corruption, healthcare fraud, identity theft and more. CI is the only federal law enforcement agency with investigative jurisdiction over violations of the Internal Revenue Code, obtaining a nearly 90% federal conviction rate. The agency has 20 field offices located across the U.S. and 12 attaché posts abroad.