The tax credit industry made headlines this week due to a large consultancy’s alleged unscrupulous billing practices and toxic work culture.
While not surprised, OnCentive is enraged to learn about deserving businesses that were swindled out of a majority of government aid by false sales promises, confusing contracts, mismanaged files, and outrageous fees.
No matter what a client agrees to in a contract, it is immoral for the majority of the relief a business deserves to be eaten by fees.
To aid our nation's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which included the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERC), to assist the vast majority of small businesses that struggled to survive in the rapidly changing conditions. Functioning similarly to other disaster credits, the Employee Retention Tax Credit rewards business owners who went to heroic lengths to keep their employees on payroll, maintain health coverage, and offer flexible working environments for their teams during the pandemic.
This week’s news underscores the importance of properly vetting the company you chose to capture and process your Employee Retention Tax Credit.
When evaluating an ERC company, here are important red flags to look out for:
- Hourly rates in addition to contingency fees: Under no circumstance should a client be charged for communication as this is an expected and needed part of the qualification process.
- Requesting payment to evaluate your eligibility: While you will need to provide company documents, information, and personnel time to assist your ERC processor with determining your business’ ERC eligibility, you should not have to pay for this service.
- Requiring a portion of a “success fee” before filing your credit: Success is achieved at the finish line, and a PDF explaining your calculation is not the ERC finish line. A true success fee is collected at the time your company has received payment of the successfully claimed credit.
- Companies without a history in tax credits: It’s important to evaluate the credit expertise your provider offers. Without a track record of success, how confident can you be with a company’s ability to maximize your credit while keeping you in compliance?
- ERC-Only Pop-Up Shops: The CARES Act created a lot of pop-up ERC consultancy shops. But how is a solely ERC-focused company going to survive post-ERC? The truth is they won't survive and they don’t intend to. These companies will not be around to provide support in the event your organization needs backup materials or future questions.
- Providers that don’t offer clients protection: The pandemic caused enough sleepless nights for business owners. You should not lose any additional sleep over whether or not your ERC company has your company’s best interests at heart.
- Refusing to file credit on clients’ behalf: If an ERC provider believes in their findings, why won’t they put their name on it?
- Inability to provide references or case studies: A qualified partner with experience in ERC should have no problem providing you with references and case studies from similar industries.
At OnCentive, we believe that businesses deserve to receive the maximum credit owed under the law without assuming any financial risk.
Established by two of the nation’s premier tax credits experts, OnCentive’s foundational corporate value is Integrity. The integrity of our work and process is paramount to all other aspects of our business. Our clients and partners trust us to capture the relief they are owed and we do not take that trust for granted.
Integrity at OnCentive means:
OnCentive clients assume no financial risk and are evaluated for credits for no upfront cost. If we don't find you credits, you don't owe us a dime.
OnCentive operates SOLELY on 100% success fees. No hidden fees. OnCentive operates on clear billing practices & easy to understand contracts.
OnCentive files for and protects clients with 100% audit protection. In the extremely unlikely event that a credit is contested or overturned, OnCentive will defend our work and will fully refund any credits that are disallowed.
OnCentive increases your cashflow; you don’t pay OnCentive until the IRS pays you. IRS wait times are unpredictable. As your profitability partner, we know how important cash flow is to your business. We wait alongside our clients for ERC payments.
OnCentive provides a comprehensive report explaining the credit your company received, the calculations for what was determined, and the proof for the money you get back. We provide the documentation to prove your eligibility, qualification, and credit calculation.
OnCentive provides clients with the expertise needed to navigate clients to a risk-free credit. Our leadership has over 100 years of combined tax experience.
OnCentive has a proven track record of success. With $2.0 billion in incentives captured and $0 returned to the IRS, you are in expert hands with OnCentive.