At Durward Jones Barkwell and Company we pride ourselves on providing a wide variety of services to our clients. These include traditional services such as audit and accounting, as well as income tax compliance and planning, but also specialty services such as:
- Business Transition and Family
- Enterprise Advisory
- Business Valuations
- Family Asset Division and Income Quantification
- Human Resources Advisory Services
- Loss Quantification and Litigation
- Support Mediation of Financial Disputes
- Wealth Management
However, another area that can have a significant impact on the operations and cash flow of a business, and for which we have some expertise, is government assistance. We do provide services in the area of Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit claims and we subscribe to an external publication providing annual updates regarding government grant and loan programs. However, that may not be enough to ensure that our clients are made aware of all possible opportunities.
There are firms that specialize in this type of work on a full time basis. Some focus primarily on SR&ED claims while others include or specialize in all forms of government assistance.
Unlike SR&ED tax credits, which can be claimed after you make the expenditure, most other government assistance programs require that the application and approval process precede the expenditure. Therefore, in order to maximize your opportunity to access such programs, you need to have knowledge of the available programs and plan your approach to access them.
Timing is almost always critical. Government programs typically become available toward the start of a government budget year, being April 1. However, the funds available for each program are almost always limited and often run out quickly. Therefore, you are likely best to work with a firm that can ensure your access to these programs and assist with the application process.
Whether you prepare your claim independently and have professionals review it prior to submission, or you have the professionals prepare the claim, external assistance generally serves three main purposes:
- Ensure information contained in the forms describes the project in the best manner to meet the established eligibility criteria.
- Review documentation available to support the claim.
- Review costs to determine funding eligibility.
Firms specializing in this line of service typically work on a contingency fee basis, often with an up-front “work fee” that is creditable against the final success based contingency fee. For their part, they generally maintain a roster of clients and the nature of their services, and match that against government programs as they become available. Hopefully that provides the best opportunity for success.
Please contact us should you wish to discuss this further and we can recommend options for assistance in the application process.
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