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Our Process

Since 2004, we have continuously improved our people, processes, and technology to help us achieve our goal of being your best business partner.

We will collaborate with you, following our proven methodology, to get the job done right and deliver results. The four phases are:


We will learn about your business, your people and their work. You will receive a no-cost analysis of our findings with a go/no-go recommendation based on the investment, estimated savings, and overall ROI.



Under the direction of your project manager, we will collaborate with you to plan, execute, and keep you informed every step of the way.


In addition to providing tax forms to your CPA, we will provide a robust electronic deliverable, often several hundred pages in length, supporting your credit.



We color between the lines — meaning, we aren’t going to leave any money on the table, and, we aren’t going to claim a credit we can’t defend. We have your back should questions arise.

Does Your Business...


Make or improve products/processes?

  • Discuss requirements with customers?

  • Evaluate material/design options?

  • Provide fixed-price quotes?

  • Do programming?

  • Design and make tools/fixtures?

  • Iterate during the set-up and POC phases?

  • Have quality approval?

  • Design unique shipping packaging?


Develop or enhance software products/processes?

  • Gather requirements?

  • Document specifications?

  • Do design?

  • Build software?

  • Do testing?

  • Iterate until it's right?

  • Deploy

  • Continue to enhance?

The "Four-Part Test"

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Permitted Purpose

Activity is intended to develop or improve a product, process, or technology:

  • Functionality

  • Performance

  • Quality

  • Reliability

  • Cost Efficiency

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Technical Uncertainty

Uncertainty in achieving goals in terms of:

  • Methodology

  • Appropriate Design

  • Capability (Less Common)

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Process of Experimentation

Evaluation of Alternatives:

  • Prototypes

  • Testing

  • Modeling (Such as CAD)

  • Simulation

  • Systematic Trial and Error

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Technological in Nature

Activity must rely on the principles of one of the following sciences:

  • Engineering

  • Computer

  • Physical

  • Biological

What Our Customers Have To Say

“The reason we feel that the R&D Tax Credit is important is simple — it saves us money. This is money we can reinvest back into our business. We have been extremely satisfied with Black Line Group’s services. They make the process relatively easy and have contributed to the reduction of our tax liability. After three consecutive years of engagement, we can confidently say that they are the experts in the R&D Tax Credit field.”

“Our company has worked with Black Line Group and filed for an R&D Tax Credit since the 2010 tax year. We had filed for this credit in the past, but got away from using it for several years until engaging Black Line Group. It is a detailed process that Black Line Group has a great deal of experience in, and not something we would have been successful in doing ourselves. We know and hear from other NTMA members that there has been a lot of concern regarding audits by the IRS in regards to companies that file for this credit. In most of the instances of audit, it was a result of trying to go back and amend prior year returns. In our case we chose not to go back and amend, but to simply claim credits for the current tax year and beyond."

“We would like to say thank you for the great service we received from Black Line Group regarding the R&D Tax Credit Study you performed for us earlier this year. We noticed your booth at the NTMA conference in Colorado and realized it was time to get started on identifying and tracking our R&D efforts. LeanWerks is a production manufacturing facility and Black Line was able to help us identify all of our qualifying expenses for three years via a smooth and organized process. In addition, the documentation was provided for our tax accountants to immediately begin the amendment process without any further work on our part. The fee for this R&D service was fair and it more than paid for itself in credits. We received substantial federal and Utah state tax credits to apply to previous taxes and/or carry forward for future years. We would highly recommend the Black Line Group to other companies! We look forward to seeing you at the NTMA conference next year! Thanks again!”

“I would like to take a moment to thank you for the experience we had with Black Line Group. R&D tax credits are very important to organizations like ours. Custom Manufacturers in the US must find ways to add value through the best technology. We do this through engineering excellence. R&D tax credits provide a means to cushion the heavy costs that many times may never be recovered. Black Line Group made the sometimes exhausting preparation seem simple. I was personally involved with the process prior to Black Line and with Black Line. Black Line assigned an individual that actually knew something about our industry and our processes for R&D activity. Black Line is clearly the right partner for organizations like ours.”


How Big is Your Credit?