Tax season captured in one word is: insane. There is this crazy influx of work all at one time. The hours are long, the work stack is tall, and the clients are anxious to get their tax returns filed quickly (especially if they are planning to use refund money for a trip or home improvement). In the midst of all of these taxpayers are the clients who are struggling to pay taxes and have pretty big messes on their hands. They may already owe the IRS for the last several years and have challenges that require extra guidance.
Seriously, who has time to add tax resolution clients to the workload during tax season when the ROI is good? The answer… accountants who want to build a steady flow of revenue year-round.
There is a need for accountants who specialize in tax resolution. Not only do delinquent taxpayers need professional help digging out of their current situations, but they will continue to need a smart accountant’s advice to stay compliant with the IRS for tax years to come. And it is no secret, there is profit to practicing in this niche. Solving IRS tax problems yields an average of $3,000 to $5,000 per case.
For accountants looking to escape the tax return grind, taxpayer representation could be the answer. It is more than plugging numbers into a software program and spitting out hundreds of tax returns. The work is exciting and by no means routine as it includes interviewing, working with Revenue Officers, and strategizing plans to obtain the best deals possible for clients. For many of these clients, something happened that made paying taxes not the priority, or just not possible. Serious illness and huge medical bills can be the culprit. Getting dragged into the IRS problems of a new spouse can be at the root. The life scenarios are diverse but all potentially lead to the same place: wage garnishments, levies and liens, and IRS harassment. It is not a pretty picture, and even the folks who have set up payment plans with the IRS are not able dig out of trouble as penalties and interest accrue.
This is where a knowledgeable taxpayer representative comes into play – providing much needed relief to these individuals by helping them to get their lives back on track.
According to American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS), many accountants and other professionals considering tax representation don’t realize is that they collect a retainer from the client prior to starting the work. Yes, it is puzzling how the troubled taxpayer comes up with the retainer when they are challenged to pay taxes, but they do. This is opposite from having to chase down receivables from other clients. The money from tax representation is consistent. And ironically, the firms competing heavily now for tax return preparation become strong referral sources, as their focus is not on tax resolution.
To create a revenue stream as a taxpayer representative, continuing education is key. This is where the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS) is uniquely positioned to help. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing taxpayer representatives with the education and support needed to solve cases. We keep new and seasoned professionals informed about the latest IRS and industry news through seminars, webinars, and consultations. And in addition to our live training opportunities, we offer a membership site that provides links to on-demand webinars, the course-of-the-month, a member toolkit, and more. If you would like to learn more about being a tax representative and to see first-hand how we can help you build a successful practice, claim your free 10-day trial membership. Then get on our website and explore. There’s nothing to lose, just knowledge to be gained.
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