The IRS warns about COVID-Related employer tax credits (ERC) criminal abuse. The ERC is a little-known tax credit but has been exploited by criminals. The ERC is a refundable tax credit designed for businesses that continued paying employees during shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic or had significant declines in gross receipts. Scammers are soliciting small companies and individuals into applying for the credits when they do not qualify. They may charge fees or up-front costs to apply for these credits, leaving the business or individual responsible for repaying the credit along with other penalties and interest.