How to Work with Your CPA to Apply for R&D and ERC

How to Work with Your CPA to Apply for R&D and ERC

Unlock the power of ERC & R&D tax credits. Work seamlessly with your CPA and switch to TaxTaker for effortless benefits.

By Austen Legler ・ 4 min read
Guides and Tips

In 2019, businesses claimed over $13 billion in R&D tax credits, with the IRS expecting to distribute $148 billion in R&D tax credits between now and 2026. That said, 90% of eligible businesses miss out on tax credits because their CPAs don’t offer tax credit services. Tax credits are a highly-specialized accounting niche, one that requires a specialist. Think of it like going to a general practitioner versus a specialist for your healthcare; both partner with you to provide the best outcome possible. That said, you and your CPA should partner with a tax credit specialist to help you get the most money possible from tax credits. 

How tax credit specialists can complement your CPA 


The sole focus of a CPA firm is to ensure that you file your taxes promptly and adequately. R&D and ERC tax credits are a niche service for many CPAs, so often, they (and their firms) don’t offer these services. This is where a tax credit specialist can fill in the gaps. 

Tax credit specialists work with clients eligible for tax credits, so they’re well-versed in that part of the tax code. They have the expertise to guide companies through the tax credit application process. Additionally, they have the technical tax knowledge and experience to understand the business’s structure and how related activities could impact the company’s tax credits. Together, your CPA and tax credit specialist are your financial dream team.

Navigating the application process

A common misconception about applying for tax credits is that the IRS will deny your application and audit your company, which is one reason why CPAs tend to steer clear of tax credits. A tax credit specialist can work with your CPA to gather the proper paperwork and help you recognize qualifying activities. That way, neither you nor your CPA will have to worry about the risk of getting audited!

Essential Documents for R&D Tax Credit Claims: A Comprehensive Checklist

Streamline R&D tax credit claims for your clients with our essential, CPA-approved checklist!
Download Now

Understanding which activities and industries qualify for tax credits

Practically any company in any industry can qualify for a tax credit. But most CPAs don’t know that. A tax credit specialist can help your CPA identify which activities qualify for tax credits in the IRS’s eyes. You’re practically a shoo-in for an R&D credit If you can prove that you’re: 

  • Developing proprietary products and applying for patents
  • Improving existing products or processes
  • Creating a new business or manufacturing process
  • Developing new prototypes or models

Alternatively, you’re eligible for the Employee Retention Credits if: 

  • Your business had to partially or fully suspend operations due to COVID-19
  • Your revenue declined by 20% or more in any quarter in 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2019 (or 50% in 2020 compared to 2019)
  • You started a new business (or new trade within your company) after February 15th, 2020, and have less than $1M in revenue

How can my CPA and I find a tax credit specialist?

The first course of action that you can take is to ask your current CPA for a referral for a tax credit specialist. Together, the three of you can work together to navigate the tax credit application process. 

Another option is to partner with a service like TaxTaker, which can work with you and your CPA to get a tax credit. TaxTaker can help your startup get more money for the activities you’re already doing—like R&D and paying your employees—to help you hit your next milestone and grow your company. We don’t want to change how you operate but rather maximize the amount of money you can receive from government credits, so let us work with you and your CPA. 

Partner with TaxTaker to get an R&D or ERC tax credit  

At TaxTaker, we work with you and your CPA to get your R&D tax credit. We get that it took you a lot of time, research, and vetting to find the right tax expert, but we also want to ensure you’re taking full advantage of your eligible credits. So, apply for your R&D or ERC tax credit today. 

CPAs, if you have clients that need a tax credit expert, we take referrals! 

Essential Documents for R&D Tax Credit Claims: A Comprehensive Checklist

Download Now
Streamline R&D tax credit claims for your clients with our essential, CPA-approved checklist!

About the author

Austen Legler
Head of Partnerships

Austen Legler, an experienced marketer and sales professional, has worked with fortune 500 companies, startups, and more. As TaxTaker's Head of Partnerships, he leads the partnership strategy and is focused on building out TaxTaker's partner ecosystem.

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