SUMMARY OF OUR PROCESS
STEP 1 – Initial Consultation
Schedule your first appointment with our team. (if you were referred to us, you’ve probably already completed this step).
During this initial consultation a highly trained member of our team (not some dodo head) will lead an intelligent discussion with you to explore the impact COVID may have had on your business.
This will allow us to save you (and us) some time by making a preliminary determination of whether and for how much of an ERC refund your business may qualify. Many companies find their way to us only after being discouraged from applying or outright told they were not entitled to the ERC refund based on mistakes, outdated information, or faulty analysis. So we’ll be happy to do some work for you up front at no charge to help you decide very early in the process if you think it’s going to be “worth it”; because if we decide to proceed someone from your company is going to have to do some homework to gather the necessary documents we’ll need to do things the right way, for your protection (and ours).
Step 2 – Engagement
You may think it odd, but some business owners will not take their tax refund because they think it is too small. Some say, “It’s only $100,000!” Others cry “Only $200,000? Not worth it”.
No-one at Carrier Robins is going to pressure you to claim your company’s ERC refund if in your opinion it’s not going to be worth it. After all, we aren’t (yet) intimately-enough familiar with your overall business strategy, opportunity costs or the impact that the money might have in your business; or in the life of the owner(s) of the company. Keep in mind that unlike the Payroll Protection Program, there are absolutely no requirements that your company’s ERC refund be used to any particular purpose. You can do whatever you want with your net-refund. Though you will still have to pay taxes on the refund as it is additional income to you.
But if you decide the amount we tell you we believe your company will qualify for is “worth it”; and if during our initial consultation we believe we can support your claim with proper research, analysis and documentation we will accept an engagement to help your company prepare and file its claim for one or more refunds under the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
The terms of our engagement are simple, fair and straightforward.
You will know up front exactly what we are promising to do and how much you can realistically expect to receive and pay us for our services because our “plain English” engagement agreement spells it all out (no fine print).
STEP 3 – INTAKE & DOCUMENT COLLECTION
If you choose to engage our services, your file will be assigned to one of our Intake Specialists who will provide a list of documents our professionals will need to get to work on your company’s refund. Our tax preparation attorneys and accountants need these materials to appropriately research and analyze the facts. Ensuring that your company makes its legitimate claim for every dollar of ERC refund it deserves. Not a dollar more; but not a dollar less.
When books and records are organized and well-kept, intake and collection are very, very simple and fast. If your books and records are not very well kept, obviously it will take more time and effort.
Don’t worry! Our Intake Specialists have worked with more than SEVEN THOUSAND (7,000) businesses of all shapes and sizes. They’re up for the occasional scavenger hunt.
Seriously, we’re here to help you figure it out.
STEP 4 – ACCOUNTING TEAM REVIEW
Our team of accountants independently review all your documents to doublecheck that everything is in order. This part of the team works independently from the rest. This is another example of the checks & balances we’ve engineered into our processes for your protection, and ours.
STEP 5 – ASSIGNMENT TO ATTORNEY FOR PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS
Once the independent team of accountants verifies that all your documents, payroll records, and tax returns appear to be in order, your file get assigned to one of our attorney/tax preparers for preliminary review and analysis.
Please keep in mind, Carrier Robins is owned and operated by licensed attorneys and tax professionals, but the Firm is not a law firm. None of the services contemplated in this agreement constitute the practice of law. Carrier-Robins performs professional ERC tax preparation services pursuant to IRS Circular 230.
Does Carrier Robins “need” utilize trained attorneys to perform these services? No, we do not. And you are probably already all too well-aware that there are plenty of outfits out there claiming to help business owners research, analyze, prepare, and file their ERC refund claims using “machine learning” and “algorithms”.
We believe it’s better to rely on US-based attorneys who have training relating to research, analysis, the marshalling of facts, attention to detail, persistence, expressing themselves in writing, applying general tax concepts and documenting your file for your protection.
But as we have said throughout this website Carrier Robins isn’t a law firm. And the services we provide do not constitute the practice of law. We are a business advisory firm with deep experience securing prosperity for thousands of small business owners through thoughtful tax strategies, creative asset protection, innovative financial & estate planning, and other valuable and unique business advisory services that do not constitute the practice of law.
STEP 6 – IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW FOR YOUR PROTECTION
It is disappointing but perhaps not surprising that many so-called “professionals” have such low standards as to prepare and file something as important as your company’s ERC refund claims without conducting a personal, in-depth interview to verify important information, answer all of your questions, and prompt you to consider some of the many non-obvious ways your business may have been affected by COVID governmental orders, which could dramatically impact the value of your claim.
Your personal interview with a tax preparer/attorney is a centerpiece and keystone of the Carrier Robins process. Numbers don’t always speak for themselves. That’s why we insist on having one of our attorneys speak with you to discuss and help you document the impact that COVID governmental orders had on your business.
This way, when you receive your refund check(s) and you’re spending (or investing) your net proceeds on anything you like, you’ll be comforted to know the calculations and documentation backing up your claims are the result of your having had a deep conversation with a highly trained, conscientious professional who will share insights and inquiries based on similar conversations with hundreds of other similarly impacted business owners.
Beware of tax preparers who don’t care enough about your protection (or even their own) to insist on conducting a personal in-depth interview to verify important information, answer all of your questions, and prompt you to consider some of the many non-obvious ways your business may have been affected by COVID governmental orders, which could dramatically impact the viability of your claim.
STEP 7 – WE CO-SIGN YOUR DOCUMENTS & MAIL THEM TO THE IRS
Now the ball is in our court. You have fought the good fight, run the race, finished the course. Carrier Robins will now print out your tax documents. A real, live Carrier Robins professional tax preparer will review and “wet sign” (that means with ink) everything necessary, seal the envelope and our staff will mail everything off to the IRS by certified mail, for you.
Then the waiting game begins. Near the end of July 2023, the IRS issued a press release claiming that it had eliminated the ERC refund backlog. But no one knows how long it will take to get your refund check(s). In the last year, we have seen it take as little as 6 weeks and as long as 9 months. But we can track the progress of your ERC 941Xs and refunds every step of the way and can keep you up to date.
Beware of tax preparers who won’t co-sign your documents. And be even more wary of any tax preparers who claim to have some sort of “in” with the IRS that can speed up your claim. Those “tax preparers” are lying to you and often charge upfront fees.
For your added peace of mind, you can (and should) ask any attorney you speak with from Carrier Robins for their bar number which you can instantly look-up online to verify you’re working with a real professional.
STEP 8 – PAY DAY!
We subscribe to a program that allows us to track the progress of your ERC 941Xs and refunds every step of the way. This program does not allow us to influence the speed with which the IRS will process your claim. But we can track your file and keep you up to date. So we can let you know as soon as we get an alert that the IRS has approved your refund.
Then when your check arrives, simply pay us the agreed fees and spend, invest or save your Employee Retention Tax Credit Refund however you see fit. Unlike the PPP program this isn’t a loan you have to pay back or seek forgiveness for. And there are absolutely no restrictions on what, when or how your business must utilize the funds. It can even make a distribution to you, as the owner to spend or invest any way you like.
STEP 9 – AMENDED TAX RETURNS?
Almost all our ERC refund recipients will need to re-evaluate their tax returns for 2020 and 2021. Your company probably took tax deductions on the payroll expense it paid in 2020 and 2021. Well, now you are getting some of that money back as a refund.
You may wish to have your own CPA or tax preparer handle these amended returns.
Or, if you wish, Carrier Robins offers a unique fixed-fee program specifically developed for business owners needing to amend their corporate and/or personal tax returns due to having received a refund under the Employee Retention Tax Credit program.