March 30, 2024 | 2 MIN

Strategies for Handling ERC Audits: Navigating the Complexities with Confidence

Discover effective strategies for handling Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) audits with confidence. Learn preparation tactics, response strategies, and navigating interactions with the IRS to ensure compliance and minimize risk.
Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) has been a crucial lifeline for businesses striving to retain employees amidst the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the intricate nature of ERTC regulations and the potential for audits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) necessitate businesses to be prepared to navigate the audit process efficiently. In this blog post, we will delve into valuable strategies for handling ERC audits, including preparation, response tactics, and navigating interactions with the IRS.

Understanding ERC Audits

ERC audits can be intimidating for businesses, but comprehending the audit process and potential triggers can assuage concerns. Audits may be initiated by the IRS to verify the accuracy and eligibility of ERTC claims submitted by businesses. Common triggers for ERC audits include discrepancies in quarterly filings, substantial ERTC claims relative to revenue, and changes in ownership or corporate structure.

Key to Success: Preparation

Preparation is paramount when facing an ERC audit. Businesses should conduct internal reviews of their ERTC calculations, documentation, and compliance procedures to identify any potential issues or discrepancies. Maintaining accurate records of payroll information, employee counts, and operational impacts is essential for substantiating ERTC claims and demonstrating compliance with IRS regulations.

Engaging qualified tax advisors, such as CPAs or tax attorneys, can provide businesses with invaluable guidance and expertise throughout the audit process. Tax advisors can assist with reviewing ERTC calculations, organizing documentation, and preparing responses to IRS inquiries, helping businesses navigate the complexities of the audit process confidently.

Responding Effectively to Audit Requests

When confronted with an ERC audit, it is crucial for businesses to respond promptly and cooperatively to IRS inquiries. This includes providing requested documentation and information promptly and addressing any concerns or discrepancies identified by the IRS. Working closely with tax advisors and legal counsel can help businesses effectively manage the audit process and ensure compliance with IRS regulations.

During the audit, businesses should maintain open lines of communication with IRS auditors and be prepared to answer questions and provide additional information as needed. Transparency and cooperation throughout the audit process can help build trust and facilitate a smoother resolution.

Navigating IRS Interactions

Navigating interactions with the IRS can be challenging, but businesses can take proactive steps to ensure a positive outcome. This includes staying informed about ERTC regulations and guidance issued by the IRS, as well as seeking clarification or guidance from tax advisors when needed. By staying proactive and informed, businesses can effectively address any issues or concerns raised by the IRS during the audit process.

In some cases, businesses may choose to appeal IRS audit findings or seek resolution through alternative dispute resolution methods. Tax advisors can provide valuable assistance and representation throughout the appeals process, helping businesses navigate complex legal and procedural requirements to achieve a favorable outcome.


Handling ERC audits requires a proactive and strategic approach, from preparation and response tactics to navigating interactions with the IRS. By conducting internal reviews, engaging qualified tax advisors, and maintaining open communication with IRS auditors, businesses can effectively manage the audit process and ensure compliance with ERTC regulations. With careful preparation and strategic planning, businesses can navigate ERC audits with confidence and minimize the risk of non-compliance.



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