Serial entrepreneur Stan Samole has run a few different businesses over the years, but says none has been as fulfilling as his current company that helps Canadians taxpayers get lost money back from the government.
Samole is the founder and chief executive officer of Family Tax Recovery Inc., a Toronto-based company that conducts 10-year personal income tax reviews. It caters to Canadians looking for additional funds from missed or overlooked items in their tax returns, such as a child’s tuition credit or charitable donation. Family Tax Recovery only gets paid when its clients receive a refund.
Since it began operating three years ago, Family Tax Recovery has uncovered refunds for about half of its clients. The company has found more than $20-million in refunds and amendments for about 7,000 taxpayers so far, Samole says, which amounts to an average of about $3,000 per person. Revenue has grown by 1,069 per cent over the past thee years.
“It’s far and away the most rewarding business I’ve ever had. We are making a real, tangible difference in people’s lives,” says Samole, who came up with the idea after an accountant friend offered to review his personal income taxes going back several years. The result was a refund of $21,640.
The outcome inspired Samole, who isn’t an accountant, to start Family Tax Recovery in 2015 at the age of 65. In 2016, the company sent out its first invoice. Family Tax Recovery has since grown from three employees to more than 35, including consultants.
“I don’t know of any other company that does what we do,” Samole says. “As a business owner, when you have products to sell, people might like them or they might not. With this business, everyone wants or needs more money.”
The company promotes its service mainly through social media advertising. Having your taxes reviewed for missed deductions, benefits and credits, he says, is something “most people don’t know is possible, and frankly, neither did I,” until a few years ago. The service is powered by the company’s proprietary tax and automation software that enables it to conduct in-depth tax reviews at a larger scale than if done by humans alone, he says.
Family Tax Recovery charges its clients 33 per cent of the first $25,000 refunded as a result of its review and as little as 10 per cent for larger refunds. The Canada Revenue Agency sends the refunds directly to the taxpayer, Samoleʼs clients, who in turn pay the company.
Samole says many of his clients desperately need the money and can’t afford to pay in advance to have their taxes reviewed. Some use the money to help them get out of difficult situations. One client, he’s gratified to say, was able to escape from an abusive relationship together with her children with the refund from her tax review.
“Everyone in the company is very charged about what we do here. It’s a blessing,” he says. “This is a business where we’re helping people because everybody needs more cash. The money we recover belongs to the people but was lost.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.