The COVID pandemic has undoubtedly dealt restaurateurs quite the blow. Facing employee shortages and reduced business, many restaurants struggled to turn profits and support payrolls.
However, Innovation Refunds, started by savvy entrepreneur Howard Makler, aims to change that. With a stellar team of attorneys, Innovation Refunds helps restaurateurs and small businesses alike to use pandemic relief programs to access important tax rebates.
The company began as a specialized firm whose goal was to provide client companies access to tax refund credits as part of pre-existing government programs, even prior to the creation of pandemic assistance programs such as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) or the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The majority of Innovation Refunds’ business centered around white label service on behalf of CPAs by providing their clientele with Research and Development (R&D) credit as part of a government program initiated in the 1980s.
Essentially, that program refunded corporations a portion of their income tax relative to the amount they spent on R&D programs. Few management teams, however, were aware of the credit back benefits: “it’s useful,” explained Makler, “because almost every company engages in some form of research and development activity qualifiable under the program guidelines.” With the intent of helping small sized companies earn back a little of their hard earned revenue by taking advantage of IRS programs, Makler began Innovation Refunds.
Makler’s business boomed during the pandemic thanks, in large part, due to the emergence of government assistance programs like the PPP and the ERTC. Already a savant in the realm of IRS support programs, making the shift to help alleviate companies’ pandemic-induced payroll difficulties seemed natural. With an investment from a consortium of 150 banks looking to enter into the ERTC rebate business, Innovation Refunds became fully involved in using pandemic relief funds to assist small businesses. Interestingly, the ERTC program had existed for a long time prior to the outset of the COVID pandemic, but recent modifications to its guidelines made by Congress in April of 2021 increased the scope of its coverage and made qualification much easier.
As a result, Innovation Refunds has enjoyed increased business, and restaurateurs can now benefit from significant increases in their tax refunds through the program. As the sister program of the PPP, restaurateurs could originally only claim benefits from either the ERTC or the PPP as part of the previous guidelines; moreover, to qualify for ERTC assistance, a business had to record a 50% or greater reduction in annual profits. Recent program amendments now mean restaurants can enjoy the benefits of both programs, and do not need to experience any reduction in revenue to qualify for the ERTC.
Together, these changes mean big rebates for small companies. The current ERTC provisions indicate that businesses with fewer than 500 employees can earn $7,000 per full-time employee for the first three quarters of 2021 in addition to the $5,000 per full-time employee for all of 2020; summatively, restaurants can earn back tax credits worth $26,000 per employee. Makler has only praise for the benefits provided under the ERTC guidelines: “The money back helps small restaurants a lot, especially with expanding business or purchasing new appliances, because it’s not a loan and is not taxed – it’s purely money back.” The ERTC, he has found, has been a boon for the smaller mom-and-pop restaurants that were affected most by the pandemic shutdown and workforce instability.
It is clear that both Makler and his firm have years of experience and success under their belts which, he admits, is not the only reason clients should choose Innovation Refunds when looking to get back tax credit. The most important reason companies should turn to him? “We use tax attorneys,” he stated with utmost conviction; “A CPA’s loyalty lies with the IRS and its tax code, while an attorney’s loyalty lies solely with their client.” He explains that tax attorneys warranty their work against audits whereas CPAs do not, meaning that an attorney can defend their client if legal trouble arises.
Moreover, Innovation Refunds dedicated significantly greater time to each case than other firms involved with providing tax rebates through the ERTC. “Ask anyone doing this for you,” Makler urges, “Is a tax attorney doing and signing off on calculations? If so, how many cases are they handling?” Many other companies, he warns, have become “tax mills,” dedicating little time to each case and using algorithms that often produce errors. Innovation Refunds, on the other hand, employs tax attorneys who spend countless hours on each case, perform calculations without inflexible algorithms, and do not charge legal fees until after the refund has been provided to the client.
Innovation Refunds work has clearly made a significant impact on the food services industry. By helping clientele to access rebate programs to earn back more than $25,000 as provided by recently amended pandemic relief programs, the company has proved itself to be a lifeline for small businesses. With a 100% success rate in winning clients back some of their hard-earned revenue, it is clear that Makler and Innovation Refunds are determined to help.
For more information about the services at Innovation Refunds, visit their website.