- Out of pocket – You and your staff’s non-billable time and expenses to investigate, analyze and present ideas to your client.
- Fees – What will this costs your client for your services and other providers’ fees?
- Opportunity costs – The alternative to tax credits is that your client doesn’t utilize the tax credit and pays the income taxes.
- Risks – If you don’t bring this up to your client, is it worth the risk of them asking why you didn’t mention tax credits to them, or someone else telling them?
- Learning curve – Your time, effort and resources required to get up to speed. If this is a strategic client, a competitive situation or vertical market that you are pursuing (for example, distribution), it may be worth the investment. Where can you go to quickly determine if the tax credit can benefit your client?
- Keeping up – What is your cost to stay abreast of tax credits? This may include keeping up with legislative issues, regulatory changes, expiration/sunset of the tax credits and other issues. Are there resources to help with this effort?
There could also be other costs associated with tax credits. These costs can be short term (such as non-billable hours) or long term (for example, client moving to a different CPA firm). So remember — regardless of the costs — reach out to your clients and find their tax credits!