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Department of Taxation and Finance

Restaurant return-to-work tax credit

The $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program, administered by Empire State Development (ESD), provides small businesses that are COVID-impacted restaurants with an incentive to bring staff back to work and to increase hiring at New York State restaurants.

Qualifying businesses are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 per net new worker hired, with a maximum available credit of $50,000 per business. Certain credit recipients may also be eligible to request an advance payment of the tax credit. For more information, visit Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit.

Applying for the credit

To receive the credit, you must apply for a certificate of tax credit from ESD; visit Empire State Development at Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit.

Claiming the credit

When ESD approves your application, it will issue your qualifying business a certificate of tax credit. You will use the certificate to claim the restaurant return-to-work credit, either:

  • as an advance payment through your Tax Department Online Services account, or
  • on your 2021 tax return.

How to claim the credit as an advance payment

In order to claim the restaurant return-to-work tax credit as an advance payment:

  • the qualifying business must use August 31, 2021 as the end date to calculate the average ending full-time employment when applying to ESD;
  • you must submit information from the certificate of tax credit issued by ESD; and
  • you must claim the credit before November 15, 2021.

The Tax Department developed an application that will allow you to request the advance payment through your Online Services account. 

  • If your qualifying business is a C corporation, then you will claim the advance payment through your Business Online Services account.
  • If you are a sole proprietor, owner of a single-member limited liability company (SMLLC), partner, or shareholder, then you will claim the advance payment through your Individual Online Services account.

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Note: You must properly reconcile your advance payment on Form IT-655 or CT-655, Restaurant Return-to-Work Credit, when you file your 2021 tax return.

How to claim the credit on your tax return

Claim the restaurant return-to-work tax credit using Form IT-655 or CT-655, Restaurant Return-to-Work Credit, when you file your 2021 tax return.

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