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Leveraging ERC for Community Impact

Trusted Guidance for the Employee Retention Credit and the Self Employed Tax Credit for Small to Midsize Companies, Private Schools, Churches, and Nonprofits.

When you know better, you do better.

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Supporting Partners

Who is Eligible?

Small to Midsize Businesses

Nonprofits

Churches

Ministries & Organizations

Private Schools

Impact Possibilities

Small to midsize businesses and nonprofits could claim up to $26,000 per employee.

Expansion

New Jobs

New Equipment

Pay off Debt

Building Projects & Upgrades

More Charitable Donations

More investment = more impact in our community.

OneBridge Advisors in a consulting group in Richmond, VA that provides professional guidance on tax credits and other financial opportunities that are often overlooked. Current examples of this include the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and the Self Employed Tax Credit (SETC).   

“Businesses should seek out a trusted tax professional who actually understands the complex ERC rules…”

-IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, September 14, 2023

We only recommend professional firms that are under the counsel of tax attorneys and have third-party CPAs who sign the filings. The firms we recommend for ERC have the highest standards possible for compliance, accuracy, and documentation.

On September 14, 2023, the IRS published the ERC Eligibility Checklist and an FAQ section to make it easier for taxpayers to determine their eligibility for ERC.

OneBridge Advisors™ is pleased to provide our document, ERC Eligibility Simplified, which combines these two tools to help employers more quickly and accurately assess if they are a good candidate for ERC.

Self-Employed Tax Credit

Are you self-employed, a gig worker, a freelancer, a minister, or a business owner who pays self-employment taxes? You may be eligible for the self-employed tax credit (from 2020-2021) up to $32,220.

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Meet OneBridge Senior Consultant, Dean Francis

With over three decades of experience, Dean Francis established a strong reputation for simplifying intricate financial and tax concepts, providing substantial value to both businesses and nonprofits. Formerly a fiduciary financial advisor and now a seasoned business consultant, Dean collaborates extensively with business owners, CPAs, attorneys, and other professionals. His experience uniquely positioned him to grasp the complexities of tax credits and develop the advisory program at OneBridge Advisors.

 "The biggest mistake people make about ERC and SETC is expecting their accountant to fully and accurately know about them.   It's impossible for any professional to know everything about everything in their related industry.  Doctors and attorneys solve the problem by referring other doctors and attorneys who specialize in niche areas.    Unfortunately, accountants rarely do this.   Our diligent research enables us to connect people to trusted professionals in specialized areas like Covid-related tax credits in order to uncover significant value that is often overlooked."  - Dean Francis, 2024

In most cases, OneBridge Advisors recommends Jorns & Associates. Their commitment to compliance, accuracy, and documentation is exceptional. Their proven experience is unmatched in this space.

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How We Have Helped

CharacterWorks (Youth Theater) - $120,000 • Mercy Mall of Virginia (Non-Profit) - $62,000 • Restaurant Owner With 16 Locations - $4,900,000 • Insurance Agency - $120,000 • Inpatient Mental Health Provider - $3,500,000 • Little Lights Daycare - $387,000 • Walkers Carpets - $380,000 • Sweet Frog Franchise Owner - $280,000 • Nice Wildlife Service - $61,000 • JH Ranch - $489,000 • Office Technology Company - $1,900,000 • Office Equipment Provider - $170,000 • Crossfit Pushin Weight - $54,000 • Phillips Telecommunications - $85,000 • IT Services Business - $790,000 • Restaurant Owner With 4 Locations $2,200,000 • Used Car Dealer - $620,000 • Restaurant Owner With 1 Location - $520,000 • Superior Walls of Central Virginia - $770,000 • Landscaping Company - $1,200,000 • Cinco Christian School - $400,000 • Electrical Contractor - $1,400,000 • Jail Ministry - $280,000 • Church - $310,000 • Private Christian School - $2,000,000 • FourSquare Early Learning Center $373,000 • Bethel Bible Fellowship Church $98,000 • A Cybertechnology Company $775,000 • A Property Management Company $3,200,000
Discover why so many businesses have chosen to partner with OneBridge Advisors for their ERC filing. Explore our list of clients and watch inspiring testimonial videos that showcase the real-life experiences of businesses that have put their trust in us.

How It Works

We help guide you through the process.

ERC OVERVIEW VIDEO

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“The ERC is a misunderstood tax benefit – with small and medium business owners and managers of charities either not knowing about the ERC or being wrong (or more likely outdated) about what they do know.”

– Forbes February 15, 2022

“The ERC is a misunderstood tax benefit – with small and medium business owners and managers of charities either not knowing about the ERC or being wrong (or more likely outdated) about what they do know.” – Forbes February 15, 2022

Our CPA said our business (or non-profit) doesn’t qualify because we didn’t have a decline in gross revenue.

“ERC is an eligibility matrix.” Bloomberg Tax August 10, 2022.

ERC is complex. A significant decline in gross revenue is only one way to qualify. There are 200 pages of legislation and 165 pages of IRS guidance. In most cases, it’s best to retain a CPA firm that specializes exclusively in ERC to make this determination

We don’t qualify because we received a PPP loan.

This was changed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act that went into effect in 2021.

Our business remained open, so we don’t qualify.

“ERC is an eligibility matrix.” Bloomberg Tax August 10, 2022.

ERC is complex. IRS Notice 2021-20 expands the definition of “partial suspension” to include factors beyond closing your doors. In most cases, it’s best to retain a CPA firm that specializes exclusively in ERC to make this determination

Everyone qualifies because everyone was affected.

Unfortunately not. There has to be a nominal impact that was caused directly or indirectly by a Covid-19 government ordinance.

We will have to pay it back with penalties if we are audited.

This is true only if you don’t follow the rules and document it. This is another reason why we recommend a specialty CPA firm with tax attorneys and CPAs who specialize in this tax credit and guarantee their work. You can review the submission package prior to it being submitted to the IRS with your tax advisor as an extra “double-check.”

According to my accountant, I will be a target for an IRS audit if I use a 3rd party to make this filing.

The IRS has warned twice as of May 2023 to beware of 3rd party solicitations that seem ‘too good to be true.’ The IRS reminds taxpayers that they are responsible for all IRS filings. Similar to PPP loans and Social Security claims, there are always schemes and frauds. Rightfully so, the IRS is concerned by the number of seemingly unqualified companies now advertising for ERC. Creating more confusion, these companies are mimicking specialty CPA firms that use a contingency fee model to do this work. To read the IRS’ most recent warning, you can read it here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-renewed-warning-on-employee-retention-credit-claims-false-claims-generate-compliance-risk-for-people-and-businesses-claiming-credit-improperly

If you have received a cold call from ‘the funding department’, you might call them back just to see what the IRS is referring to. Much like some of the online ads, they make this sound easy, and often will ask for half of the contingency fee prior to filing. It won’t take you long to realize how unprofessional and unqualified these people are. Unfortunately, there are people who do. There is nothing unusual about a contingency fee for a complex tax credit filing. If you want to pursue tax credits for Research & Development, or R&D tax credits, you would use a 3rd party tax credit accounting firm. Much like ERC, it’s very time-consuming and not everyone qualifies. If you want to be evaluated under the more detailed ‘nominal impact’ part of the ERC legislation and guidance, it often requires 50-100 hours of work from a team of experts. Tax credit specialty CPA firms do this work on contingency fees to avoid a client taking the financial risk and align themselves best with the client.

My accountant said ERC is going to end up in the tax courts.  What does this mean?

There is definitely some truth to this, but it’s unlikely it applies to you. If you speak to someone who is a true expert on both the legislation and the IRS guidance, they will tell you there are some conflicts. The biggest issue is regarding a ‘lack of demand’. There is language in the legislation that opens the door to making a claim for this credit due to a lack of demand for your product or service that was caused by the pandemic. For example, consumers had to stay at home in some areas. However, the IRS Guidance says that consumers being required to stay at home is NOT sufficient to make this claim.

In the event of an audit, it’s quite possible an IRS examiner could disallow a filing made under ‘lack of demand’ for each quarter it was claimed. A tax attorney would suggest going to tax court and arguing based on the tax law created by Congress. Would he win? Some say it would just get settled for a much lower amount.

The problem with this is that few people want to risk suffering through the months of anxiety, knowing if they lose, the amount owed with penalties and interest would be painstaking.

The reason we believe that OneBridge clients do not need to worry about this is that our most recommended CPA firm, Jorns & Associates, steers away from this risk. They do not take positions they do not believe are clearly defensible, as they are on the hook for five years of audit assistance.

ERC FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is eligible for ERC credit?

The ERC is available to any employer—including non-profits, who paid W2 employees and experienced a significant decline in gross revenue, a full shutdown, or a partial disruption caused directly or indirectly by a Covid-19 government ordinance. The latter is complex and requires tax advisors who specialize in this tax credit.

What period does the program cover?

An eligible employer can currently claim the ERC for qualifying wages paid from March 13, 2020 – September 30, 2021.

Businesses and non-profits that began operations after February 15, 2020, can qualify for up to $50,000 per quarter, including the 4th quarter of 2021.

What makes my business ineligible?

You are not eligible if you do not pay W2 wages outside of owners and their family members by blood or marriage. You are not eligible if you did not experience a ‘nominal impact’ on part of your business from government mandates related to Covid-19. If you are the latter, it often takes an in-depth analysis to make this determination. There is no financial risk to do this.

Can a closed business apply for ERC?

Yes, if you closed temporarily but paid W2 Employees in some of the seven eligible quarters, you may qualify.

What is the minimum number of employees to claim ERC?

There is no minimum, but it can be problematic if you are less than five full-time employees. Before explaining further, determine how many ‘eligible full-time employees’ you had on average during the first three quarters of 2021. You must exclude any owner with 50% or more ownership of the business and anyone related by blood or marriage to that person. If you are part of a church or ministry, you cannot claim clergy who claim the housing allowance. However, as an example, if you have two part-time employees each working 20 hours, you can add them together to be one full-time employee.

If your number is fewer than five, we recommend asking your accountant if you qualify for any of the quarters available under “a significant decline in gross revenue.” This is a rather simple calculation, and if you qualify under one quarter for this, you can often claim one or two more quarters after this. You can also look at the IRS website to see these rules. If you do qualify for some of the seven quarters this way, ask an accountant with ERC filing experience to help you.

If you do not qualify under gross revenue decline for any quarters and have four full-time employees, we can sometimes get an exception. The problem is that the CPA firm that does this work for you often loses money because the claim is so small.

The majority of the money to be claimed is found in the first three quarters of 2021.   The more full-time employees you had then, the greater your possible claim is. 

What if the business was bought or sold during 2020-2021?

Whoever owns the EIN can file for this credit. The checks are made to the entity/EIN that paid the W2 wages during 2020-2021. As an example, if a business owner sold the assets of the business (customer list, equipment, logo, etc), but retained the EIN, they can still make this claim. If your number is fewer than five, we recommend asking your accountant if you qualify for any of the quarters available under “a significant decline in gross revenue.” This is a rather simple calculation, and if you qualify under one quarter for this, you can often claim one or two more quarters after this. You can also look at the IRS website to see these rules. If you do qualify for some of the seven quarters this way, ask an accountant with ERC filing experience to help you.

If you do not qualify under gross revenue decline for any quarters and have four full-time employees, we can sometimes get an exception. The problem is that the CPA firm that does this work for you often loses money because the claim is so small.

The majority of the money to be claimed is found in the first three quarters of 2021. The more full-time employees you had then, the greater your possible claim is.

What about clergy?

Clergy who claim the housing allowance are excluded from the employee count.   

What does it mean to be eligible by 'partial suspension'? 
Let’s start with an easy example. A restaurant is ordered to shut down its in-store dining, but that same restaurant was permitted to offer drive-thru, pick-up, and/or catering. It requires more rules to define partial suspension under supply chains or other situations that limit commerce, travel, or group meetings. Much of these rules are covered in IRS Notice 2021-20, which is 102 pages. For a shorter read, here are some FAQs from the IRS website. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-employee-retention-credits-determining-when-an-employers-trade-or-business-operations-are-considered-to-be-fully-or-partially-suspended-due-to-a-governmental-order-faqs
Where can I read what the IRS says about qualifying for ERC under 'partial suspension' or 'nominal impact'? 
The best place to read is IRS Notice 2021-20. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-21-20.pdf You can also read IRS FAQs. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-employee-retention-credits-determining-when-an-employers-trade-or-business-operations-are-considered-to-be-fully-or-partially-suspended-due-to-a-governmental-order-faqs There is additional IRS guidance on the IRS website in addition to the legislation. The original legislation is found under section 2301 of the CARES Act, but it was revised three times after this.

ERC IN THE NEWS

Forbes, February 2022

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has proven to be one of the most effective tax policies in helping small and medium businesses and tax-exempt entities weather the economic impact of the pandemic. The ERC provides employers with up to...

Forbes, December 2022

In 2021, I published a piece about the top myths regarding the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) that was preventing business owners, charity managers and Indian tribes from claiming this important tax incentive. Now, the misinformation has gone the...

Experian Employer Services, October 2022

Among the many and varied COVID relief measures instituted by the federal government, the Employee Retention Credit (the “ERC”) stands out as one of the most significant to US employers as well as one of the most complex. While the ERC has not...

ERC IN THE NEWS

Forbes,
February 2022

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) has proven to be one of the most effective tax policies in helping small and medium businesses and tax-exempt entities weather the economic impact of the pandemic...

Forbes,
December 2022

In 2021, I published a piece about the top myths regarding the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) that was preventing business owners, charity managers and Indian tribes from claiming this important tax incentive...

Experian Employer Services,
October 2022

Among the many and varied COVID relief measures instituted by the federal government, the Employee Retention Credit (the “ERC”) stands out as one of the most significant to US employers as well as one of the most complex....

Powered By OneBridge™ Advisors

OneBridge Advisors™ is an independent consulting group, not an accounting or law firm. OneBridge Advisors™ seeks to provide value by assessing a specific matter and connecting an employer or individual to a trusted source that can best serve that matter. OneBridge Advisors™ is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or tax preparation services. The information on this website is provided with the understanding that you are under no obligation to retain any services of those linked through our website. The case studies included are for example purposes only and do not guarantee results. More information can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/new-law-extends-covid-tax-credit-for-employers-who-keep-workers-on-payroll
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Invite Dean to Speak

Invite Dean to speak for your organization on ERC. Dean has spoken for many organizations, including the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia, the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, the Goochland Chamber of Commerce, the Powhatan Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, rotaries, and non-profit groups.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in inviting Dean to speak on ERC.

Invite Dean to Speak

Invite Dean to speak for your organization on ERC. Dean has spoken for many organizations, including the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia, the American Association of Christian Counselors, the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, the Goochland Chamber of Commerce, the Powhatan Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, rotaries, and non-profit groups.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in inviting Dean to speak on ERC.

Passion Community Church

PCC mistakenly believed they did not qualify. After a more thorough evaluation, they qualified for $683,000.

People's Advantage FCU

CEO Amanda Habansky originally tabled pursuing ERC due to a lack of clarity. After hearing Dean Francis speak at a banking event, she chose to retain a professional firm Dean recommended. People’s Advantage qualified for $570,000.  

Veritas School

Like most, Head of School Keith Nix was originally told that they didn’t qualify, but he refused to give up, and kept looking into it. Once he connected with one of our partner firms, Veritas qualified for a significant amount.

Southern Brick

Greg’s company Southern Brick saw an increase in gross revenue during 2020-2021. He was doubtful he would qualify, and almost didn’t try. After being evaluated under the nominal impact part of ERC legislation and IRS guidance, Southern Brick qualified for $1,024,000.

Philips Telecommunication Inc.

Tom’s bookkeeper helped him file for $19,000. After a more thorough analysis with a specialty CPA firm we recommended, Tom qualified for an additional $85,000.

DBA Advertising

Dan had already filed for ERC through a traditional accounting firm. Based on Dan’s employee count, we felt it was incomplete, and recommended a specialty CPA firm to do a more thorough evaluation. Dan realized $335,000 more.

Mercy Mall

Mercy Mall is a nonprofit based in Richmond, VA, serving families in crisis. One of their board members is a tax attorney. They qualified for $62,000.

Honey Lake Clinic

Mercy Mall is a nonprofit based in Richmond, VA, serving families in crisis. One of their board members is a tax attorney. They qualified for $62,000.

Character Works

Schedule an ERC Introduction Call

Please complete the form below.
A OneBridge Advisor™ will contact you within 48 hours, except on Sunday.

We have received your request for a call.
A OneBridge advisor will contact you within 24 hours, except on Sunday.

Schedule an ERC Introduction Call

Please complete the form below.
A OneBridge Advisor™ will contact you within 48 hours, except on Sunday.

Become an Ambassador

A charitable donation of $1000 to $5000 will be made on your behalf to a worthy local charity that you select for each qualifying referral you make.  

Clients

Businesses
Acrees Brothers Realty
American Association of Christian Counselors
Burger Bach
Buz & Ned’s BBQ
Cafe Y Sabor
Campbell Home Improvement
Car Credit Nation
Cobb Technology
CodeBlue Technology
Crossfit Pushin Weight
Dominion Lightworks
DRP Collision
Energy Pro Heating & Cooling
Ennas Technology
Fahrenheit Advisors
Gather Workspaces
Greenbrier Management Company
Hill City Electrical
Intrepid Impact
JayRay Holdings
JL Tree Service
Kinloch Capital
L&J Empowerment
Light Counseling
Lucky Road Run Shop
Magnolia Carpets
Minors Fences
Nice Wildlife
Phillips Telecom
Phoenix Roofing
Randy’s Automotive
Rebecca Angus Dentistry
Reeltime Construction
RichClean
Rockwell Medical
SJ Ryan Electric
Soccer Shots
Southern Brick
Stone’s Office Equipment
Sumser Insurance
Superior Walls of Virginia
The Restaurant Company
Timberland Mulch & Farms
Triumph Residential Services
Xponent 21

Churches, Private Schools & Daycares
Atlee Community Church
Chapel RVA
Coastal Community Church
Crossroads Church
Dwelling Place Christian Fellowship
Hartsville Christian School
Hope Point Church
Life Church & Academy
Life Church Roanoke
Lighthouse Church Gloucester
Little Lights Daycare
Passion Community Church
Veritas School

 

Non-Profit Organizations and Ministries
Better Together
Boys to Men
Central Virginia BBB
CharacterWorks
Chesterfield CASA
Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce
Children’s Hospital Foundation
Conexus Vision
Fatherhood Foundation
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry
Lackey Clinic Medical Ministry
Mercy Mall
People’s Advantage Federal Credit Union
Safe House Project
Virginia Down Syndrome Association
Virginia War Memorial

Learn More About ERC

Please complete the form below.
A OneBridge Advisor™ will contact you within 48 hours, except on Sunday.

Learn More About Elevate RVA

Please complete the form below.
A OneBridge advisor will contact you within 24 hours, except on Sunday.

Schedule an ERC Introduction Call

Please complete the form below.
A OneBridge Advisor™ will contact you within 48 hours, except on Sunday.