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Best Seattle ERC Audit Lawyers?

The Best Seattle ERC Audit Lawyers: A Comprehensive Guide

You Claimed the Employee Retention Credit, Now What?

So, you claimed the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) on your business’s payroll tax returns – but now, the IRS is auditing you. Don’t panic, but – take a deep breath. Getting that dreaded audit letter can be stressful, we get it. But having the right legal team in your corner, can make a world of difference. At Spodek Law Group, our Seattle ERC audit lawyers have extensive experience defending businesses just like yours, against IRS scrutiny. We know the ins and outs of the ERC, the audit process, and how to build a rock-solid defense, to protect your claim. So, what should you do if you’re facing an ERC audit? Keep reading, we’ll walk you through it all.

What is the Employee Retention Credit (ERC)?

But first, let’s quickly cover what the ERC actually is. Established under the CARES Act in 2020, the ERC was a refundable tax credit, designed to incentivize businesses – to keep employees on payroll, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible employers could claim a credit, for qualified wages paid to employees.The rules around ERC eligibility were complex, covering factors like:

  • Suspended operations due to government orders
  • Significant declines in gross receipts
  • The number of employees
  • Qualified wage calculations

With potential credits worth thousands, or even millions of dollars – it’s no surprise the ERC was a popular program. But, it also opened the door for errors, abuse, and now – audits.

Why is the IRS Auditing ERC Claims?

Let’s be clear, claiming the ERC wasn’t illegal – when done properly. But, the IRS has raised concerns about inflated, or outright fraudulent claims filed by some businesses. They’re now tasked with separating legitimate claims, from those that don’t pass muster.

A few key reasons the IRS is auditing ERC claims:

  • Suspected inflation of qualified wages or employee counts
  • Lack of documentation to substantiate eligibility
  • Claims filed by companies that didn’t actually qualify
  • Improper calculations or failure to account for PPP loans

The IRS has trained hundreds of auditors, specifically focused on ERC examinations. So if you received an audit notice – you can be sure they’ll scrutinize every aspect of your claim, looking for discrepancies.

What to Expect During an ERC Audit

Okay, so you’ve been selected for an ERC audit, now what? First, don’t ignore that letter – responding promptly is crucial. The IRS will outline exactly what they need from you, which may include:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Payroll records and wage calculations
  • Documentation of suspended operations or declining revenues
  • Details on PPP loans or other COVID relief received
  • Proof of eligibility based on employee headcounts

The audit process generally follows these steps:

  1. Information Request: The IRS sends an Information Document Request (IDR), asking for specific documentation to substantiate your claim.
  2. Documentation Review: You submit the requested documents, which the auditor will carefully examine.
  3. Auditor Interviews: The auditor may request interviews with you, your accountants, or other relevant parties – to clarify information.
  4. Additional Requests: If needed, the auditor can issue further IDRs, for more documentation or explanations.
  5. Audit Conclusion: Finally, the auditor will make a determination on the validity of your ERC claim.

The timeline can vary, but most ERC audits aim for completion within 6-9 months. Throughout, clear documentation and open communication, are critical for a positive outcome.

Why Hire an ERC Audit Lawyer?

Look, we get it – legal fees are an added expense. But when facing an IRS audit that could potentially cost you hundreds of thousands in repayments and penalties – having expert representation is priceless. At Spodek Law Group, our Seattle ERC audit lawyers provide value that goes far beyond just audit defense, including:

1. ERC Compliance Review

Before anything else, we’ll conduct a comprehensive review of your original ERC claim and documentation. This allows us to identify any potential weaknesses or issues, before the IRS even looks at your file.

2. Customized Defense Strategy

Every business and ERC claim is unique. We’ll take a tailored approach, developing a defense strategy built around the specific circumstances of your situation. No cookie-cutter responses here.

3. Meticulous Documentation Prep

Documenting your eligibility is make-or-break in an ERC audit. Our team will ensure you have exhaustive documentation prepped and organized, to withstand the highest scrutiny.

4. Skilled Negotiation

If the auditor proposes adjustments we disagree with, we’re prepared to negotiate forcefully on your behalf. Our attorneys know how to make compelling cases and push back when needed.

5. IRS Procedure Mastery

ERC audits follow a very specific process with the IRS. We’re intimately familiar with the procedures, deadlines, and proper channels – so you can rest assured nothing falls through the cracks.

6. Audit Representation & Appeals

From the initial IDR response, through interviews, additional requests, and final determination – we’ll be by your side every step of the audit. And if needed, we can pursue all appeals options.

7. Tax Penalty Protection

If there are any proposed penalties, adjustments, or repayments after audit – we’ll fight vigorously to minimize or eliminate those liabilities, protecting your bottom line.Facing an ERC audit without professional representation is like flying blind. With so much at stake financially, can you really afford to take that risk? Our Seattle tax lawyers make the entire process easier to navigate.

How Much Does an ERC Audit Lawyer Cost?

Okay, this is probably the biggest question on your mind – what’s the cost of hiring an ERC audit lawyer? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. ERC audit costs can vary based on factors like:

  • The size and complexity of your claim
  • How much documentation is required
  • Whether the case goes to appeals or litigation
  • If you need additional tax or accounting services

At Spodek Law Group, we’re upfront about pricing from the very start. We offer flexible, flat-fee billing arrangements, so you’ll never be surprised by hidden charges. And we’re always happy to work within your budget.But here’s the thing – the potential savings from a successful audit defense, often far outweigh the legal fees. You could be looking at repaying the entire ERC credit claimed, plus penalties and interest. Suddenly, those audit lawyer fees seem like a bargain, right?

What If I Don’t Hire a Lawyer?

You’re not legally required to have an attorney for an ERC audit. The IRS will allow you to represent yourself if you wish. But the question is – should you? Handling an IRS audit on your own is extremely risky, especially when large sums of money are on the line. The rules around ERC eligibility are nuanced and complex. One misstep in your documentation or responses could potentially invalidate your entire claim. Not to mention, IRS auditors are literally trained negotiators. They know how to poke holes in arguments and identify inconsistencies. Going it alone puts you at a serious disadvantage. Then there’s the matter of properly following IRS procedures, meeting deadlines, and understanding all your rights and options for appeals. Miss any of those steps and you could be stuck with the auditor’s determination, even if it’s incorrect. At the end of the day, hiring an experienced ERC audit lawyer is about mitigating risk and putting your best foot forward. But the choice is ultimately yours to make.

What If My ERC Claim Was Improper?

In some cases, a business may realize too late that their ERC claim didn’t actually meet the eligibility criteria. Maybe the numbers were inflated, or the wrong calculations were used. Regardless of the reason – an improper claim can have serious consequences if the IRS catches it. But here’s the thing, admitting the mistake and taking corrective action is always better than prolonging the issue. Depending on the circumstances, our lawyers may be able to:

  • Pursue an ERC audit protection program
  • Voluntarily amend and correct past payroll filings
  • Negotiate to minimize potential penalties or repayments
  • Leverage the IRS’s voluntary disclosure programs

The key is being proactive and transparent. Burying your head in the sand will only make the situation worse when the IRS inevitably uncovers the improper claim. It’s better to get out ahead of it.

What to Look for in a Seattle ERC Audit Lawyer

Okay, so you’re convinced – hiring professional legal representation for your ERC audit is the wise move. But how do you find the right Seattle tax lawyer? Here are some key factors to consider:

1. Proven ERC Experience

You’ll want a firm with attorneys that have direct, extensive experience handling ERC audits and compliance issues. This isn’t the time for generalists – you need specialists.

2. Litigation Capability

While most ERC audits can be resolved administratively, you’ll want a firm capable of taking your case to litigation if needed. Comprehensive tax controversy experience is a must.

3. Responsiveness and Accessibility

Audits move quickly, with tight deadlines. You need a law firm that is communicative, responsive, and makes you feel like a priority – not an afterthought.

4. Transparent Pricing

There’s nothing worse than getting nickel-and-dimed by hidden fees. An upfront, flat-fee pricing policy helps avoid surprises later.

5. Attention to Detail

With so much documentation involved, you can’t afford to overlook anything. Your legal team must have an exhaustive, meticulous approach.

6. Tax Penalty Expertise

If the audit results in proposed penalties or repayments, you’ll want lawyers who can strategically minimize or eliminate those liabilities.

7. Professionalism and Discretion

Tax issues can be sensitive – you need a firm that handles things with utmost professionalism and discretion. Confidentiality is paramount.At Spodek Law Group, our Seattle ERC audit team checks every one of those boxes. We’ve successfully defended countless businesses against IRS scrutiny. Let us bring that expertise to your case.

A Final Word on ERC Audits

Look, there’s no sugar-coating it – an ERC audit from the IRS is a stressful, high-stakes situation for any business. But with the right legal strategy and representation, it’s absolutely possible to emerge successful.The key is being proactive, responsive, and leaving no stone unturned in substantiating your eligibility. Trying to navigate an ERC audit alone is simply too risky, when so much is on the line financially.

So if you’re facing an audit, or even if you’re just concerned about the validity of your past ERC claims – don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Spodek Law Group. We’ll guide you through every step of the process and put an actionable game plan in place. Because at the end of the day, you deserve a law firm that has your back and fights tooth-and-nail to protect your interests. With our Seattle ERC audit lawyers in your corner, you can rest assured you’re getting that and more.The ball is in your court now. Are you ready to bring in the big legal guns? Let’s do this – together. 

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