Many of today’s iconic companies have taken great strides in the direction of technology or business due in part to strategic partnerships that they have formed. Often, such partnerships tend to be due to strokes of luck. How should a company go about their approach and ensuring that their hit rates are high? A wide lens and agile approach are two elements that take precedence in setting partnerships up for success. An increase in technological nationalism in the U.S. and other heavy hitting regions around the world has effectively made it to where collaboration is necessary. Moreover, corporations are constantly on the hunt to partner with startups to effectively accelerate innovation.
As a financial services firm, chances are you have likely built a trusted relationship with your clients over many years. The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) provides you with an opportunity to add significant value to this relationship by providing your clients with a sizable cash injection that in many cases, is life changing. Worth up to $26k/W-2 employee, it is easy to see how the average cash refund for a business is often in the 6-figure territory and in some cases, creeps into 7-figure territory. In turn, your clientele may subsequently place these funds under management with your firm. When the dust settles, this is nothing short of a home run for your client and firm. The Employee Retention Credit rewards eligible employers for retaining paid employees after March 12, 2020, and before September 30, 2021. The credit returns 50% of qualified wages paid during the specified period in 2020; wages can be counted up to $10,000 per employee. In 2021, the credit returns 70% of qualified wages and can be counted up to $10,000 per employee, per quarter.
The challenge, however, is that calculating this lucrative credit can be time consuming and painful for novice firms attempting to help their customers take advantage of this credit. Getting the maximum benefit for your clients can also be challenging. Partnering with a firm that has calculated this credit for 1000's of businesses is the fastest way to deliver for your clients. We are an expert team of payroll and tax specialists coupled with technology leaders on a mission to make it very simple for businesses to claim their Employee Retention Credit.
A Changing Landscape of Legislation
There has been a myriad of changes surrounding the rules as they relate to the Employee Retention Credit dating back to early months of 2020. First and foremost, under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, an employer that is eligible for the ERC can claim the credit even if the employer has received a loan(s) from the Paycheck Protection Program. This single piece of guidance that changed not only slipped under the radar for many, but paved the way for millions of businesses to become eligible for the credit overnight.
Establishing a clear path to eligibility for the ERC has been anything but simple. Employers, including organizations that are tax-exempt can qualify for the credit if they experienced a partial/full shutdown due to government mandates or experienced a 50% decline in gross sales in any quarter in 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. For 2021, an employer would need to have experienced a 20% decline in gross sales in any quarter in the year compared to the same quarter in 2019. Employers do not need to experience both a partial/full shutdown and decline in gross sales to qualify for the ERC.
Other common misconceptions include:
- we are an essential business, so we are not eligible
- we did not shut down our office, so we are not eligible
- our operations were suspended, but we were profitable, so we are not eligible
- we were told we needed a decline in gross receipts and our capacity must have been reduced
A Professionally Guided Service
Financial services firms like accountants, financial advisors and insurance advisors have two options. Take the time to learn the nuances of this credit and try to go it alone or partner with a company that has the software, expertise and resources to maximize this credit for your customers while providing your customers with an exceptional experience. We are looking to partner with accountants, financial advisors, and financial services firms that cater to businesses around the country. We have two partnership options available: referral and white-label. Under our referral model, we will develop a co-branded site specific to your company. Whereas under our white-label model, we will give you the opportunity to white-label our service as your own offering. Partners can expect the following:
- A strategic approach to your clientele.
- Content that will help you drive conversations.
- Support and webinars to help you and your clients.
- Increase your client retention.
- Receive more referrals from clients.
- Meaningfully grow your existing client relationships while creating new ones.
At ERT Credit, a personal payroll tax manager is assigned to each client. Our team members ensure that every aspect of the tax credit process is managed properly, and nothing slips through the cracks. Your dedicated payroll tax manager will:
- Explain the tax credit process from start to finish with both clarity and transparency.
- Establish expectations, deadlines, and any relevant dates.
- Ensure all credits are filed timely.
- Respond same day to any questions and concerns.
- Apply and maximize the ERC credit for all eligible quarters on behalf of the client.
Our goal is to make the process of claiming the credit as easy as possible for all businesses. From eligibility to amending the Federal Quarterly Employment Tax Returns (Form 941-X) for each eligible quarter, we offer our clients an end-to-end service with no heavy lifting required on the client’s end.
Business owners: if you have been discussing this credit with your financial services team, take a moment to share this article with them. Help your financial services team get this done for you.