There are no laws or regulations barring you from applying for the ERC yourself. You are allowed to find out if you qualify, calculate your refund, and submit your claim all on your own. However, this can be an extremely risky route to go down. The ERC, like most government tax programs, can be quite confusing and difficult for someone without professional tax experience to navigate. Based on recent announcements from the IRS, these applications are going to be reviewed with increased scrutiny. Submitted erroneous claims could open you to audit, fines and settlements.
Avoiding Errors When Filing for the ERC Tax Credit?
There are a plethora of errors that can be made while filing for the ERC tax credit. First, finding out if your business even qualifies to receive the ERC is not as straightforward as you may think. It’s not simply a matter of having owned a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, a business must pass either the suspension test or the gross receipts test. An error here could cause a business to apply for the ERC when they don’t actually qualify, wasting time and resources. Perhaps even worse, some business owners may mistakenly think they failed the qualification tests and can’t qualify, when in fact they were able to pass the test.
The next spot many business owners make an error is in calculating the amount of their ERC refund. The amount you will receive is based on the amount of qualified wages you paid to employees during the pandemic. Without the help of an expert, it is easy to accidentally leave out wages that would have increased the amount of your ERC refund. On the other hand, you could also include wages that should have been excluded when making your ERC claim.
So, why is it so important to avoid these simple errors? Any error you make has the potential to open you up to an ERC audit by the IRS. Just like a regular audit, this could end up with you having to pay a substantial amount in penalties for filing a false tax return. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you don’t try to apply for the ERC all on your own. Instead, as a responsible business owner, you should engage the services of an ERC specialist.
What Is an ERC Specialist?
An ERC specialist is a tax professional who specializes in helping businesses apply for and receive the ERC. They know all the ins and outs of the ERC program, including all of the common errors usually made during the application process. A qualified ERC specialist will ensure that no errors are made on your application, protecting you from the terrifying experience that is an ERC audit by the IRS.
Finding a Trusted and Experienced ERC Specialist
An ERC specialist should be a certified tax professional with experience handling applications to the IRS. There are plenty of ERC mills that charge ineligible businesses high upfront fees to send their applications to the IRS. Because of this, the IRS has received a recent surge in false claims for businesses who do not fully qualify for the IRS tax credit. This has led to a temporary pause in IRS acceptance of new ERC applications.
A huge advantage of using a trusted and experienced ERC specialist is both time saving and accuracy. Through a team of certified tax attorneys and tax professionals, businesses are ensured that they are in good hands.
How Much Do ERC Specialists Charge?
Five Star ERC Experts takes pride in using a compliant fee model that does not charge hefty upfront fees to businesses.
The amount an ERC specialist charges can vary, but more often than not, this is money well spent. A claim filed by an ERC specialist will be sure to include all qualified wages allowed, ensuring that your application is fully substantiated with the necessary supporting documentation. . When you choose a provider, choosing one with a tax attorney review also provides you the peace of mind of audit protection.
Avoid ERC Mills When Hiring a Specialist
Whenever there are large amounts of money changing hands, someone will inevitably try to take advantage of the situation. The ERC program is no different. With the creation of the ERC came a number of scams trying to steal money from business owners. The most prevalent of these scams are ERC mills. These are businesses claiming to be ERC experts, when in reality they have no experience in the tax industry. They will generally insist on being paid a fee in advance, instead of taking a percentage of the refund like a reputable ERC specialist would. ERC mills are known for submitting error-filled and fraudulent ERC claims, or even not submitting the claim at all after receiving their fee. Using an ERC mill can result in losing money, or even worse, being audited by the IRS for a fraudulent claim.