Title: “Utilizing COVID Pandemic Tax Credits”
Guests: Catherine Tindall – Dominion and Ed Burnham
Interviewers: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC & Evan Macedo – Sapers & Wallack / FEI Boston

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Well, hello, everybody out there listening to Radio Entrepreneurs, and we are over a million people. Who’ve connected with the show over the years, over 28 countries, kind of mind boggling when you think about it and where we started from, but we’re going to continue to do that as we continue throughout this year. And the changing economy, keep you up to, up to date on what’s going on my co-host for this event. That must mean that we’re an FEI sanctioned event is that Evan Macedo, VP of finance operations Sapers and Wallack. Welcome Evan.

Evan (34s):
Thank you, Jeffrey. I’m always happy to be on the show and always happy to talk to some new guests. Oh,

Jeffrey (41s):
Good. And we’re gonna say hello to ed Burnham, product supervisor Heartland and Catherine Tyndall, CPA, dominion enterprise services. Wow. That’s a long one for me.

Catherine (53s):
Good job.

Jeffrey (55s):
Welcome everyone. Evan. You’re usually so quick out of the box. Do you want to start?

Evan (60s):
Absolutely. I think I’ll get things kicked off over here. So, you know, we have ed and Catherine over here. Why don’t the two of you? Tell us a little bit about what Heartland does and then Catherine, if you can tell us a little bit what Dominion enterprise services does and we can start from there.

Ed (1m 19s):
Thanks Evan. Thanks for, thanks for having a sign again, you got, you all do a great job over at radio entrepreneurs and we really appreciate it. So I’m Ed Burnham, as Evan had mentioned, I live out in south Boston and Hartland just a, a really quick kind of overview of what we do truly broken down into two components. Main components. One is on the payment processing side of the house. So online payments e-commerce as well as brick and mortar like restaurants, doctor’s office credit card processing, things of that nature.

Ed (1m 60s):
The part of the business that I have expertise in and have spent the lion’s share of my career in is the human capital management space. So that’s, you know, referencing payroll, HR tax credit technology, applicant tracking as well as time and attendance features and POS. So that’s really what, what I focus on and I’ll pass it to Catherine and let her introduce herself.

4 (2m 32s):
Hi everybody. My name’s Catherine Tindall, I’m a CPA. I have a specialty focus in tax reduction, work for entrepreneurs and closely held businesses. So at dominion enterprise services, we do really proactive advisory with clients, helping them to navigate, you know, the changing, the changing tax landscape, as well as helping them reduce their overall tax burden through proactive strategies and advisory.

Jeffrey (3m 1s):
So what tax credits are still available today at this time at post COVID for people and corporations, obviously.

4 (3m 10s):
Yeah. So during the pandemic, there was a lot of, there were a lot of opportunities available. I know a lot of people were able to take advantage of the payroll protection program. That program is now closed, but one of the big programs that’s still available in 2021 is the employee retention credit. So back in 2020 people were, you know, businesses, employers were able to take advantage of up to a $5,000 credit per employee per quarter. And then for 2021, it’s actually, it was still left open for Q1 and Q2 for an even better benefit of up to $7,000 in payroll tax credits per employee per quarter. So that’s about 14,000 in payroll tax credits per employee, which, you know, can be a great benefit if your business is still experiencing some disruption due to, you know, the pandemic winding down.

4 (4m 4s):
And then on top of that, you know, there’s some permanent credits that are always available in the payroll space that were really enhanced because of the pandemic situations. So I know ed, one of the ones that you work on pretty frequently with clients is the worker opportunity tax credit.

Ed (4m 21s):
Yeah, absolutely. So, so thanks things, Catherine. So the, the worker’s opportunity tax credits an interesting one it’s it’s been around really for, for many years, actually since 1996, just got extended again for another five years. It’s extremely underutilized, particularly in the small business community. I think the main reason behind that is that small business owners just frankly, don’t have the time to research it, obtain the credit. It takes some paperwork and some going back and forth. So we’re uniquely positioned in the market where we actually take advantage and, and, and use our electronic onboarding tool as well as payroll really as a vehicle to pre-screen obtain and document this worker opportunities, tax credit for new hires within the small business community.

Ed (5m 20s):
So this credit ranges from 2,400 to $9,600 per new hire, and there’s different qualifications for it. Some of them are, you know, being a former veteran being on any supplement, supplementary income, as well as long-term unemployment. So the big one, obviously that has peaked a increase in eligibility is that long-term unemployment piece. So we’re seeing many of our small businesses being able to, you know, capitalize this on this tax credit,

Evan (6m 0s):
The, the, these sound like wonderful tax credits. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people listening to this saying, Hey, I haven’t really talked to my CPA about these for a while, or maybe they’re just unsure about it. How easy is it for somebody to take advantage of these and apply for them?

4 (6m 19s):
Yeah. So for, you know, the employee retention credit, I know ed, your company has been doing them, you know, on an ongoing basis. I think most of the people that I’ve been interacting with to try to get take advantage of these credits were we’re doing them on a retroactive basis. So for people who missed out in 2020, I know, you know, my profession was really inundated at the end of this past tax season with a lot of really crazy legislative changes. So I’ve been helping people over the summer. We actually go back and amend their payroll tax returns from 2020 in order to get them these credits. And for the most part, it’s a fairly straightforward process for the client. It’s just a matter of submitting the payroll information.

4 (7m 2s):
And then from there we’re able to go back and collect these for them.

Ed (7m 6s):
Yeah. And a few things to add to that. So moving forward, so the employee retention credit is running through 2021. There is a, another feature within that, which is the startup recovery tax credit as well. So if you’re a startup business that started and correct me if I’m wrong, Catherine, after February of 2020, yep. You can qualify for up to 50 per $50,000 within the employee retention credit guidelines. So it’s $7,000 per quarter. The way that Heartland’s taking advantage or, or utilizing this with our clients is you’re actually getting this in real time.

Ed (7m 53s):
So three to five business days after your payroll, you’re receiving that credit back. As Catherine mentioned, we can go back and certainly amend the returns and help with the CPA to, to be able to do that. But though that’s just another caveat to the employee retention credit that I did want to mention for startups, Evan.

Evan (8m 15s):
Yeah. I, I I’d like to say, you know, it, should everybody be taking advantage of these credits or is it somebody that is maybe, you know, struggling for business? No. Is there any reason for somebody not to take advantage of these credits? Can you talk about that a little bit?

4 (8m 34s):
Yeah. So my, my opinion with those is, you know, when Congress, when Congress wants to make changes in the economy, the easiest way for them to do that is to impact the tax code, to get people to behave a certain way. And so I think for a lot of people, you know, who were on the fence about the PPP loans or who were on the fence about maybe some of these credits, I think it’s, it’s good to keep in mind that, you know, if you’re meeting the eligibility requirements, which, you know, you had some, you were suspended or partially suspended during COVID, or you had significant declines in grocery seats to make you eligible for these credits. You know, Congress really put those things in place because they want to help the economy come back onto its feet and they want to infuse cash back into businesses to help them grow, to help them retain a talent and to help the economy pick back up again.

4 (9m 29s):
Now that things are opening up. So I think it’s, you know, it’s a personal decision for you as a business owner, but I think, you know, having a sense of pride about it, of, you know, oh, I don’t want to take a handout. That’s not really their intention with a lot of these programs. You know, there’s kind of ulterior motives with speeding up the economy that’s going on there. So it’s worth to note that

Jeffrey (9m 52s):
Just a little break for everyone. I remind everyone, we’re listening to ed Burnham, product supervisor, Heartland, and Katherine Kendall CPA, dominion enterprise services with my CO’s Evan mosquito, VP of finance and operations, sabers and Wallach. Evan, do you ever find as a CFO, their target that, that, that, that CFOs get too caught up in things so that they don’t address these issues that, that, that they’re bringing to us?

Evan (10m 21s):
I would say absolutely. Jeffrey, you know, there’s a lot of stress on a lot of people’s plates and there’s a lot of different business initiatives to be always looking into. And, you know, I don’t think this is something that’s widely talked about to the CFOs of the company in sometimes, you know, CFOs need to look into it on their own. So it’s great to have somebody like ed Burnham in Katherine Tyndall to kind of go over this with you and, you know, she might in the process for you. So I definitely think that, you know, if somebody hasn’t already spoken to you about this, it’s worth having this conversation with your CPA, and if you’re not having the conversation with your CPA, then I know ed in Katherine would definitely be a great resource to talk to about this.

Jeffrey (11m 7s):
And I didn’t know I was going to get this kind of endorsement guys, but, you know, I, I think that the whole thing is, and I’m asking it was really, you have to get this message out to CFOs and to owners of companies, correct. It just has to get out there more often more frequently.

Ed (11m 23s):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s part of the, that’s part of our message, right? Is, is it, it needs to be, if this is, you know, the first time you’re hearing of these credits or, you know, having this type of conversation, then, you know, Catherine and I are certainly happy to, to connect and kind of walk through your specific scenarios as a business owner.

Jeffrey (11m 49s):
You know, I know that these types of tax credits have really benefited some of my clients during the bad years. It’s nice to have that sort of found cash. And if someone’s looking for you, we’ll start with you first. We’ll say Evan for last it’s. I was almost looking for you when your assistants, how would they find you?

Ed (12m 8s):
Yeah, sure. So I’m easily find-able on LinkedIn. So Edward Burnham at Heartland’s, but I will also, because I don’t have a green background I’ll, I’ll kind of put it on my, on the screen now so that you can see just my contact information

Jeffrey (12m 30s):
That looks, that looks like the scuba logo.

Ed (12m 35s):
Yeah. There you go. Yeah. So instead of, instead of me kind of spelling it out on the video, I figured it’d be easier to see it visually for, for a couple of seconds here. So that folks, if they, if they do have any questions, you can feel free to reach out to me.

Jeffrey (12m 51s):
Well, ed, I’m a scuba diver. I was ready to run down in my basement and get my scuba equipment. So we’ll get and sorry for my jokes, Catherine, how do people find you?

4 (13m 3s):
Yeah, so like, I’m, I’m pretty easily, find-able on LinkedIn. If you want to connect my name, Catherine, Tindall, I’m a CPA CTC. So if you, if you Google that in the greater Boston area on LinkedIn, you’ll find me. And then you can also find my company, dominion enterprise services, you on the corner of my little logo here is how you, you know, you spell it and it’s just dominion E s.com is our website where you can, you know, learn more about what we do.

Jeffrey (13m 33s):
Perfect. Evan Macedo, my co-host and a CFO at Cypress and Wallach and FEI partner. How would people find you?

Evan (13m 44s):
Well, that’s very easy. You can just go to our website, which is Sabre’s hyphened, wallet.com. And just go to the about us page, click on our team. And you’ll find all of my information right up there. As long as the rest of our team members. I also do want to say that this is a FTI segment, and if you are a senior financial executive and you want to look into joining a great network with a bunch of other senior finance financial leaders, you can go to FEI, boston.org, check out our events and look into joining another networking group that will really help to take your career to the next level.

Jeffrey (14m 23s):
Again, my name is Jeffrey Davis, and you can find me@jdavisatmadeusa.com. And we’re going to have Catherine and, and ed back again, because we want to talk more about these tax credits later this year for entrepreneurs and for CFOs and remind everybody, this is Radio Entrepreneurs.

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