Restaurant Return-To-Work Tax Credit

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Overview

The $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program provides an incentive to COVID-impacted restaurants to bring restaurant staff back-to-work, and to increase hiring at NYS restaurants. Qualifying businesses are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 per new worker hired, up-to $50,000 per business.  The Program is open to eligible restaurants located in New York City, or in an area outside of New York City that was designated an Orange or Red Zone for at least thirty consecutive days. 

To be responsive to the needs of COVID-impacted restaurants, the Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit provides a Fast Track Option, which allows a business to claim the credit before the end of the tax year. 

Restaurants may claim the credit after August 31, 2021 (Fast Track Option), if the business can demonstrate a net employee increase of at least 1 full-time employee as measured from April 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021.

Alternatively, restaurants can choose to claim the tax credit on their 2021 NYS tax return if the business can demonstrate a net employee increase of at least 1 full-time employee as measured from April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. 

Program Overview

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Eligibility

  • The program is open to all small independently owned and operated restaurants (excludes franchises) with less than 100 employees in New York City or in areas that were designated by the NYS Department of Health as either an Orange or a Red zone for at least 30 consecutive days 
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate COVID-related losses of at least 40% in gross receipts or full-time equivalent employees
  • Applicants must hire at least one full-time worker at the restaurant

Eligible businesses are full-service and limited service food and beverage establishments in New York State that predominately support on-premises, in-person dining, such as:

  • Full-service restaurants (i.e. waiter/waitress service)
  • Limited-service restaurants - where patrons generally order food at a counter and pay before eating
  • Bars, taverns, nightclubs, or other drinking places
  • Certain breweries/wineries/cideries/distilleries/meaderies with a tasting room
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How to Apply

Businesses must ensure that they have at least one qualifying restaurant location in New York City or in an area that was designated as an Orange and/or Red zone for at least 30 consecutive days. Qualifying locations include New York City and certain areas of Chemung, Erie, Monroe, Onondaga, Orange, Rockland and Westchester Counties.

To aid in determining eligibility, please complete the eligibility questionnaire.

If you have a restaurant location in a qualifying area and meet the eligibility requirements, you will be invited to submit an application via email.  To help you prepare, please view the information below to prepare what you will need to submit a complete application. 

To sign-up for updates and notifications on this Program, please click here.

Documentation Requirements

Copies of the documents as indicated below must be uploaded at time of application. An application will not be considered complete and approved without all the necessary supporting documentation uploaded.

  • EVIDENCE OF ECONOMIC HARM FROM COVID-19:
    • 2019 and 2020 Business Income Tax returns
      • For partnerships – include IRS Form 1065 and Schedule K-1
      • For sole proprietors – include IRS Form 1040 Schedule C
      • For Corporations – include IRS Form 1120 or 1120-S
  • EVIDENCE OF BUSINESS LOCATION AND CURRENT OPERATION: Two of the following documents demonstrating that the business is operating at the qualifying location(s):
    • Current lease; or
    • Utility bill; or
    • Current business bank statement; or
    • Current business mortgage statement; or
    • Business credit card statement; or
    • Professional insurance bill; or
    • Payment processing statement
    • NYS ST-809 or ST-100 sales tax collection documentation.
  • SCHEDULE OF OWNERSHIP: Listing of names, Social Security numbers or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), and percentage ownership for all owners.
  • EVIDENCE OF NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES:
    • NYS-45 documents for the following periods:
      • April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019
      • July 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019
      • April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020
      • July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
      • January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021

*NOTE* By October 15, 2021, employment data for April 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021 will be due for businesses applying for the advance payment option.  Please note that since you would normally submit your NYS-45 for July, August and September in October, a draft NYS-45 for the 3rd quarter of 2021 will be accepted.

Also note, If funds remain after the advance payment are made, businesses will have until January 14, 2022 to submit employment data for the April 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 period.

  • Evidence for Wineries and Breweries with tasting rooms
  • Documents evidencing that onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts for 2019 to include Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) Form 5130.9 for breweries and Form 5120.17 for wineries.

Frequently Asked Questions
 

Regulations

The above is the link to the Restaurant Return-To-Work Tax Credit proposed regulations. 

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Further Assistance

Click here for a list of Technical Assistance providers to help you complete your application.

If you have additional questions, please email ESD at [email protected]