Hiring a SR&ED consultant is a serious matter because it concerns your SR&ED claim submission and tax refund. The consultant plays a critical role in making sure the SR&ED claim submission process is handled and managed properly without any undesirable consequences. Do not make the mistakes of finding out an unqualified and inexperienced consultant only after you have contracted the service. This could jeopardize the final outcome of getting your tax refund.
You ought to know some basic and essential criteria for choosing your SR&ED consultants. The consultant will be someone who will be with you, your company and your employees throughout the claim submission process. This person will have access to confidential and private information of your company.
When your tax refund is determined through project eligibility assessment criteria, its success and failure also hinges very much on doing the R&D tax credit claim submission correctly. Since you will be paying the consultant for handling your tax refund, you might as well hire the most suitable candidate for the tasks to maximize your tax refund.
Experience and Professionalism of SR&ED Consultant
One most important aspect of a good SR&ED consultant is his/her experience in filing SR&ED. If your candidate is experienced, he/she would have no problem telling you the number of filing done in the past. This is not the time to shy away from what you need to know. You could probe your prospective consultant deeper in terms of the number of successful filing and any experience in handling claim review or audit. You want to be prepared for the worst case scenario. If your SR&ED consultant has never had the experience of dealing with review and audit, then you might be pushing your risk higher and might ended up in a situation of claim review and audit.
Another important characteristic of a good consultant is staying updated with the current status of SRED matters. Your consultant must know all updates and recent changes to the R&D Tax Incentive program. If he/she is not informed of the latest news and updates of the program, then you can do better without their help. It might be wise to request some client referrals if your consultant is experienced in SR ED filing.
Area of Expertise
SR&ED program is applicable to various industries. As a result, your consultant needs to have a decent knowledge pertaining to different industries. Each industry has different standard practices. Likewise, the research and development activities for each industry will vary accordingly. An adequate knowledge of the technical aspects of an industry is essential to understand and to evaluate the eligibility of a Research and Development project. Depending on the nature of your industry you might want to have a consultant who is fairly knowledgeable and well-versed in your particular needs.
Consultant Fees & Payment
Apparently you need to know how much you need to pay for the consultant. Definitely you need to agree on the fee structure and payment before sealing a service contract. While there is no hard and fast rule on the consultant fee, some common practices can serve as a guideline for you. Your consultant may ask for a flat fee or a tiered percentage. SRED Consultant fee is usually based on a percentage of the successful tax refund. Flat fee simply means a fixed percentage of the successful claims. Tiered percentage means a fixed percentage at a specified sum of successful claim. As the total amount of claim increases, the percentage of consultant fees decreases.
Once the consultant fee structure is agreed upon, you still need to address the payment schedule. Some will wait until your claim submission is done. Some will ask for upfront payment before the submission process is complete. Fairness is not the rule here. You must know what you are into and be certain of your commitment. Check out Kelid’s competitive contingency fee and save $1000’s in fees.
Finally, take serious consideration of your candidate when hiring your SR&ED consultant. He/she is someone whom you might be relying on and working with for more than one year.
For a 30Mins free no obligation consulting service contact us. We also invite you to join our monthly news letter or follow us on Twitter, Linked-in, Facebook, or Google+ for latest government funding news and articles.