The Abundant Accountant Podcast

AA Bonus | Tax Rep Network

 

What is it that you really want in your life and career? Do you feel like you’re constantly running on the hamster’s wheel of something that you don’t really want to do? Tax Rep Network founder, Eric Green has been in this situation and out – a story that he shares with Michelle Weinstein in this bonus episode. Eric is a managing partner at Green & Sklarz LLC, a boutique tax law firm and host of the bi-weekly Tax Rep Network Podcast. Eric provides coaching services to other lawyers and accountants who are or want to get in the tax representation practice. He is now in a space of what he considers abundance, but he didn’t start that way. Listen to this episode and learn that in many aspects of your life and practice, you get out what you put in.

Listen to the podcast here:

Engineering Your Dream Practice Backwards – “You Get Out What You Put In”

This show is brought to you by Abby Connect. As the business owner, I know you want growth and steady growth comes with great customer experiences which start from that very first phone call. Do your calls go to voicemail? If so, there are many missed opportunities. Did you know that 85% of callers who only reach a voicemail will hang up and ultimately get very frustrated? You’ve got to capture those opportunities and without paying for a full-time receptionist, you can with Abby Connect. Abby Connect is totally unique. You will be assigned a small team of receptionists that customize all of the call handling for you. Unlike the competition, they won’t nickel and dime you with add-ons or extra fees. You’ll get all of the upfront pricing options in advance. Get your free trial along with a very special offer over at AbbyConnect.com and make sure to mention The Abundant Accountant podcast when you set up your free trial.

Welcome to the show where accounting professionals come to learn the most efficient and powerful ways to grow their firm, sharpen their skills and have consistent increasing revenue and even new revenue streams. We cover topics from pricing, value pricing, ideal clients, who to fire, who to get rid of, how do you manage and increase your cashflow, how do you set boundaries with clients, so you can stop giving away your time and expertise away for free. You can start getting paid for your value and your worth, which we’re talking about with our special guest. You’ll learn tips and strategies as well as learn from personal interviews from successful accounting professionals in the industry. This show will show you exactly how to create the firm of your dreams full of abundance, depending on how you define it.

If you have a quick second, I would be grateful if you would leave a written review and also rating on Apple Podcast or Google for the show. I always love hearing from you. If you’re an accounting professional, then you might be frustrated and stressed trying to get those right clients that you have control over who you work with and how much you can charge. Not all of them are paying you what you’re worth. If you need a little support with that, head on over to the FiveStepsToAbundance.com to get my simple five-step process that accountants have used to go from waiting around for clients or busy season to closing bigger deals with high-level clients who say yes to paying you for what you’re worth, no matter how much you charge, and they appreciate the work you do for them.

Our special guest is Eric Green. He is the Managing Partner of Green & Sklarz LLC, which is a boutique tax law firm with offices in New York and Connecticut. He’s an attorney and CPA. He’s got a Master’s in Tax and also the Founder of Tax Rep LLC, which is a coaching program for accountants and attorneys to build their IRS representation practice. He hosts a podcast called the Tax Rep Network Podcast. You can find that in Apple Podcast and Google. Eric is also the author of The Accountant’s Guide to IRS Collections, The Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Tax Debts, and The Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Payroll Taxes. Let’s welcome Eric to the show.

Thanks for having me.

It’s awesome to have you here. This is going to be the first of a few. For those that are reading that don’t know what Eric does, why don’t you share with them who you are, where you’re at and what you’ve created?

I am one of the founders of a boutique tax law firm Green & Sklarz. We are 22 people and three offices in New York and Connecticut. I also created Tax Rep Network, which is a biweekly podcast, but it’s a coaching program for accountants to build their IRS representation practices. What I do is I represent taxpayers before the IRS and Department of Justice in civil and criminal tax matters.

I’m a big fan of the Tax Rep Network. I know a bunch of people reading have heard me on your webinar and podcast. Eric is going to share a personal story too. He’s going to give us an update if you’ve been following the story, but nothing is that easy. For a lot of people who are trying to grow a firm with less clients, more revenue, higher lifetime value of a client, it sometimes feels like you’re spinning your wheels or it’s like you’re on this hamster wheel. For those that are trying to build up their IRS representation case part of their business, which is going to be the more valuable work you can do in value price and by the way, Eric can teach you all that. It’s hard and it’s not easy. Eric, what’s your definition of abundance? You have the firm of abundance. You’ve got Tax Rep Network, which is creating that life of abundance for you. How would you define that so the readers can understand your perspective before we learn your stories?

To me, it runs parallel with the way I define freedom. What is freedom? Freedom and abundance aren’t about a particular amount of dollars. What it is, is having the freedom to do what you want. For instance, to make enough money so you’re comfortable, you’re not a hamster on a wheel, to be able to spend time with friends and family, to do those things. You’ve heard the saying, “No one at the end of their life ever wished they spent more time in the office.” To build something, whatever that is, that works for you, that you’re not working for it.

“You’re not working for it,” is the key ingredient right there. I haven’t met anyone that says they wish they spent more time in the office. Have you?

Certainly not at the end of their life, but it’s very easy to get caught up. I was there a few years ago.

Can you share that time in that moment when you were caught up? We all get caught up and we all run into these roadblocks and hurdles. At some point, you get so caught up that you hit this breaking point. What was that for you?

Find your discipline and just do it. With discipline comes freedom. Click To Tweet

I was interviewed by one of the large national organizations and the person interviewing me made a comment about how I’ve always been uber successful. It disturbed me a lot more because that’s not what happened. What happens is it writes you off because you’ve already done it. You’re there. I was an accounting major from Hofstra. I was not a great accountant. I never loved it, but I knew it was something that was good to be involved in. It was the center of business and so I became an accountant and I hated it. When you hate something, it shows. I ended up becoming an internal auditor and I went to law school at night at New England School of Law.

I would be at work at 7:00 AM until 4:30 PM, walk over to the law school and grab something to eat. At 5:45 PM, I attend classes until 9:30 PM, Monday through Thursday, then Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I work. I got out and went to KPMG who laid me off after two years. I went to Deloitte who laid me off after two years. The comments that I was getting were, the way they had put it at Deloitte was, “Eric, you have to let the game come to you.” Meaning, I’m clearly stepping on people’s toes. It got to the point where I lost jobs three times in a row. Not because I wasn’t smart enough, not because I couldn’t do it, but what dawned on me is I’m not happy and that’s clearly coming through, and you cannot be good at something you don’t like. It’s very hard to fake it.

I ended up starting my own practice, which was estate planning. We had bought our first house, had our first child, met with clients and I would go at night. I remember my wife saying, “Why are you running around at night? They should come to you.” I needed to work. I’m not going to sit there and say, “If you don’t come to me, I’m not going to do it.” I would go to them at night. That’s when couples wanted to meet, who want to do their estate plans. I would get them out a letter the next day. I had months where I would get the retainer checks on Friday, they would show up in the mail. I would work all weekend so I could bill and collect on Sunday, go to the bank on Monday, pulled up cash out and pay my mortgage.

It was retainer check to retainer check living.

It was a grind, but I ended up having a client that got into tax trouble and I don’t know what I’m doing. I go on and meet with this revenue officer. I’m trying to explain this big picture. He’s retired and his name is Jim. He looks like Santa Claus. He looks at me across the table and said, “You have no idea what you’re doing. Do you?” I figured he knows. I’m like, “Nope.” He said, “You’ve got to get these people into compliance.” I’m like, “What’s the compliance?” He said, “Let’s start from the beginning.” For the readers, back then, there used to be these things that the IRS called people, and you could meet with them, and they taught me how to do this. There’s a tremendous opportunity now in this, but there aren’t people at the IRS to deal with. The pressure is on for people to be trained. At the time, that’s what I did. I helped this one client. You would think that people keep tax troubles to themselves. No. They went and told everyone at the country club.

Because they all had the same problems.

“My son owes sales tax and this and that.” I ended up going and getting involved in what is my national association, the American Bar Tax Section, which is huge. I hardly know anyone. At some point, the big Criminal Penalties Committee said, “We need someone to work on this project,” which didn’t sound fun, but I volunteered figuring I need to meet people. I became friends with a guy, Chuck Rettig, who many years later is our IRS commissioner. That’s the network I did. You get out of that stuff what you put into it. You may hear this with a lot of people, “Why do I belong to AICPA? Why do I belong to NATP?” If you don’t do anything, you’ll get nothing out of it. If you go and get involved, you will meet incredible people from all over the country, from inside the government, in private practice, and in private industry. In fact, my firm imploded. Let’s say I had a fight with my friends, I could take my practice, move anywhere in the country and I’d have a practice to go sit with. I have friends all over the country.

You put in the re what I call relationship capital. You’ve built these relationships similar to what you and I are building and others in the industry. When you build this relationship capital, you get in what you get out of it. You can belong to five different groups but if you don’t show up to anything, you don’t help any of the people. When we give more, you get more in return. Eric, if you had to give someone an actionable step that worked for you when you built relationship capital with Chuck Rettig and you could get up, pick up, move and end up in Scottsdale, Arizona if you wanted to be totally good. For someone who’s part of three different organizations, what are the two different things that you would say they should do right now to get something out of it?

Before that, as part of it, I’m a big fan of what I call engineering backwards. For instance, what do you want your day, year, life and practice to look like? Whatever it is. I don’t care how high in the sky it is. What is it? For me, it’s to have a personal assistant. I wanted to have a staff of people who would do this. I wanted to deal with clients and mostly sell because when I looked in the mirror, dealing with people was my strength. Sitting strapped to a desk and banging through numbers was not. You could look at my earlier career. I tried to do stuff that I wasn’t well suited for. I didn’t have an interest in it.

Being honest with myself, that’s what I want. I looked around and found people that were like that. Chuck Rettig was one of them. He was a big rainmaker at his firm. He spoke everywhere. I’m going to tell you something. I speak for AICPA, NATP, CCH, ABA Tax. I am not a rocket scientist by any stretch of the imagination. You look at people that are doing what you want and copy them. It’s not that hard. Chuck was speaking. I volunteered for a committee and the committee would say, “We have to put together a panel.” What I would do is, I would put together a panel, but I would find people that I wanted to meet.

For instance, I needed to know the director of collections. I do a lot of resolving tax debts for taxpayers. Since then, Fred Schindler and I have been very good friends for twenty years. I text him on the weekends. I know his kids and wife. He met my wife. What I would do is I would arrange things to meet them. I want to do a panel on this so the committee would help put me in touch with them. “We know Mr. Schindler. Let’s give him a call.” “Fred is my age. I’ll do the panel with you.” We would do that and you get to know them. Now, I can pick up the phone and call and say, “There’s something screwy with this case, can you have someone look at it?” and they do.

It’s not that Eric is magical or so brilliant. I built those networks. What you do is you start with what do you want to do, then you look at your organization. If you’re involved in AICPA, I have been working with Sid Kess for AICPA let’s say IRS representation to do more of that. You’d tell AICPA, “I like to join that committee,” but participate. Get on the monthly call, which is a pain in the neck. You’re spending time and no one’s paying you. I know the pressures of having to run and pay the mortgage and do the other things.

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Tax Rep Network: Look at the people who are doing what you want and just copy them. It’s not that hard.

 

You used to do that on Sunday and you would collect retainers and go to the bank on Mondays. You put in the effort to get the result out of it. If you’re going to be on the AICPA and you’re going to join the committee, you can’t not show up to the calls every month. It’s funny, you should bring this stuff. I was doing this other group thing and it conflicted with my schedule. There was no way I could make this once a month meeting. When I could, I would always show up about an hour late. I felt disconnected. If you’re in an organization or in a group and you feel that way, I don’t know what your point of view is. For me, I would say either step up and make it work or step away. It’s not doing you any good except having these cycles in your thoughts like, “It’s such a waste. I’m part of four organizations. I’m not getting anything out of it.” You have to think about where do you take responsibility? What are you putting in to get out like Eric was saying?

First of all, I have my law practice. I have the coaching program. I’m speaking at least four times a month on webinars. It used to be in-person, but mostly webinars now because of the pandemic. It doesn’t have to be the IRS. If you want to do estate planning, go join that committee and get involved. You will get back what you put in. The fact is everyone has time. I don’t buy people that say, “I have no time.” I got up at 5:00 in the morning and I worked out. By 5:45, I got my workout out of the way. I got my coffee. I went through my emails by 6:15, and I can do what I need to do. I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV. I’m doing a lot of marketing.

If you’re working somewhere and you want to build something, you have time. You can work 9:00 to 5:00, spend a few hours with your family. Let me tell you something because I did this. From 8:00 to 11:00 at night is plenty of time to do damage, to do your marketing, do your webinars, write your newsletter, do your podcast. There is time to do that. If you’re watching the TV, turn the TV off and put your effort into something. Find your discipline and go do it. In many ways, it’s weird. I have more freedom because I have discipline to get up in the morning and get my workout done.

We have that in common. Every day, I will wake up and go to the gym. I get it out of the way and it’s a great start to my day. Someone who’s reading might be like, “I don’t work out.” Maybe you can go on a walk, read a chapter in your book, listen to a meditation. It requires discipline. At the end of the day, that’s the home run takeaway. What can you do to create discipline? Also, out of these organizations that you’re a part of, choose one and go all in, and then make that work. Join the committee, but participate like you were saying, Eric. I think that’s huge. When you were paying retainer to retainer, week to week, paying the mortgages, how many years ago was that?

We moved to Connecticut in 2001. I got laid off in 2003. I started my own practice with a friend of mine. He bought in an accounting practice so I started my own law practice and we shared space. That would have been probably around 2004. I joined a corporate firm. I didn’t want to do corporate work. I hooked up with some former IRS trial attorneys who gave me a desk, but they were there so I can bounce information off of. It’s amazing how you can become a great marketer and speaker when your back is against the wall. I’ve spoken at Las Vegas for AICPA, but I’ve also spoken at a bar where someone fell asleep in the front row. It was a forensic accounting group here in Connecticut and it was at a karaoke bar at 6:00 PM is where they hold their meeting. It was cheap because the bar wasn’t going to get going until 8:00.

That guy that fell asleep in the front row, did he have too many cocktails?

I think he was tired to work and found me uber exciting.

From the webinars I’ve been on with you, they are very uber exciting. What you’re doing is super important and clearly a lot of people need your help like the one guy you were talking about that looks like Santa Claus, Jim. He told all his buddies at the country club and now you’ve got a slew of clients.

The other thing too is you’re going to want a board of directors. The law firm is going and I’m grinding myself to death. I’m reaching breaking point. There aren’t enough hours in the day. I am stressed out. I can’t keep up because I’m bringing in the work, and then I got to do the work. It reached a point. Meanwhile, the coaching program is tapped out. It wasn’t moving anywhere and I’m walking around and telling my wife and my law partner, “The accountants here are simply too cheap. They don’t understand the opportunity.”

As it turns out, I’m driving in on a Saturday. I’m going in to work, which pisses my wife off, it pisses my kids off, it pisses me off, but I’ve got to do it. I’m listening to an interview with Bedros Keuilian who started Fit Body Boot Camp, which has nothing to do with anything, except that he told this story where he couldn’t get people to buy. He was telling his mentor, “People are too cheap. They don’t get it.” Does that sound familiar?

This is a great discussion for those reading because they do hear it, “People are too cheap. They don’t want to pay a lot. They don’t want to buy.” Tell the Fit Body Boot Camp story because I don’t know this and I’m a huge fitness fanatic.

His mentor looked at him and said, “If they’re not buying what you’re selling, the problem is you. It’s your messaging.” I thought about that on the drive and I’m like, “He’s right.” The problem is me. Whatever it is I’m saying is not enticing to the accountants on the other end to say, “I see whatever Green sees.” I found somebody who was in the accounting world, who is a marketer and is very successful. I call her and she picks up on a Saturday. I told her who I was. She’s like, “I’ve heard you speak,” and I told her my story. She said, “I do coaching. I’ll send you a PayPal link pay for the first month, but I have to warn you. I’ve got to spend 1 or 2 weeks looking at your stuff. Please send me the links.” I send over the stuff. She calls me three days later and she says, “You have something everybody needs. You have something that people can make a lot of money at, but your messaging sucks.” I said, “Exactly.”

If people are not buying what you’re selling, the problem is you. Click To Tweet

She said, “I want to rewrite your copy with you. I want to work on your SEO, which will help, but you’re approaching this the wrong way. You’re approaching is you can give these people expertise, which you’re not explaining to the accountants is how do they turn this into a practice and with the bottom line.” It was a slight tweak, but when I suddenly begin explaining how we help people and why we make the money that we make, my membership may have doubled in about a month. I hate to say pitch because it’s not so much the pitch, my members don’t quit. I’ve had members now for 5 or 6 years consistently.

Do you know why? Because they put in what they get out. If they show up, they’re getting value and they’re not just paying a membership and not doing the work. They’re doing the work.

The fact is I’m always still learning. I’m doing my podcast and I have a guest. I mentioned to the guest, “I’m $500 an hour. I charge $500 for a consult.” My guest, Michelle Weinstein, on my podcast in front of my audience tells me, “You’re too cheap. Double it. You’re $1,000 starting tomorrow.”

I asked your permission first.

Here’s the interesting thing because we’re all working from home, I got my personal assistant and my chief lieutenant, Amanda, and I mentioned what had gone on in the podcast. The first thing they said is, “It’s about time.” I said, “Really?” They notice it. They said, “We are so busy. We should get more upfront. We’re telling people how to resolve their matters. You’re giving advice that is saving people. In one case $27 million but in most cases, tens of thousands or sometimes hundreds of thousands. You tell people about just calling it for first time abatement. We had someone a few months who owe $37,000. They knocked off,” and so we did. I didn’t do $1,000, I did $950. We went from $500 to $950, 12 out of 12 signed and paid without a question.

Are you up for a new challenge, Eric and anyone reading? Others have followed suit because I heard from them. When we did that podcast on your show that I heard that some people followed suit and we’re doing phone calls for people, 30 minutes to 1 hour and never charged. They started charging $500. You did make an impact, but if you’re batting 100%, you’re missing opportunities.

I told Amanda I was coming on your show. She said, “If you want to double it, tell her. I think it’s too much, but $1,500 is what we should do.”

Let’s do $1,497 or do you like $1,495?

I like the $1,500.

$15,000 it is. Amanda, you can report results and we’ll have Eric back here on the show again in the future to report. If any of you are reading who are saying, “If Eric can do that,” you can do it too. All it is is a slight tweak. When we make a slight tweak and giving away expertise or sharing your knowledge with people or helping them with a first time abatement, and then all of a sudden you save someone $37,000, I don’t even know what that means, but that doesn’t matter. If you don’t charge for your time and you’ve been doing this for a long time. You’ve got a lot of expertise and you’re one of the top in the industry.

I like the jump to $1,500 right away, but I think we’re going to see another jump here in the near future. What I want to share with the readers is what are some of the objections or things that you hear from people that maybe haven’t engaged with you. What I want to do is have a discussion to tie it all up for the people reading. If you’re not getting people to engage with you or you have people telling you, “You’re too expensive. I can’t pay that. I owe the IRS money. How do you think I could pay you if I owe the government $100,000? How is that even possible?” What’s one thing that you traditionally hear and then let’s go over a few different options for the readers to overcome it.

Let’s be honest. There are some people you don’t want as clients. I don’t say, “I want $950,” because I want $950. It’s Nicole, my assistant, who does this. What she’ll say is, “Here’s what we need. We need the last three income tax returns. We need proof of your income. If you’re self-employed, please get your profit and less them. Without it, there’s not much we can do.” We give them a list of stuff. What Nicole then says is, “You’re going to spend this time. Afterward, you should have a good idea what you can do and why? We charged for that.” What it is, my clients realize it isn’t like we’re going to have a ten-minute phone call for a $1,000. He’s going to look at my stuff. We asked for it in advance and I tell them that our consult is only as good as what you provide me.

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Tax Rep Network: If you really want to build something, you will find the time to do that.

 

It’s similar to being a part of a committee. You get out what you put in. It’s a great analogy to share with your clients. I love analogies because I’m sure Nicole’s probably dealt with, “Why do I have to give you three years of returns? I don’t even know Eric.” I’m sure you’ve heard the gamut, but if you share with someone the documentation you provide is only as good as the information in that hour that you’re going to get with Eric, it’s a game-changer. You’re setting what I call the foundation on the front end.

The interesting thing is it’s not often, but I do get people that will say something. Nicole, Amanda and I are all trained. I have law partners, Noelle and Lisa. We’ve agreed that, “I don’t think we’re the right firm for you. We wish you the best of luck.” I have people that are trying to negotiate with me. I’m not negotiating it. We do a lot of pro bono work through the clinics. If I get a call from the low-income taxpayer clinic, we do an unfair amount of pro bono cases. I like to tell my members, “I’m all for pro bono work. It’s a wonderful thing. We should all be giving back, but I’d like to pick my pro bono cases and not have them pick me.”

The person that thinks they’re going to start negotiating, it’s not negotiable. The reason again is we’re going to do this. For instance, I mentioned the first time abatements. What I will tell my members and I’m going to tell your audience, if you decide you never want to do an offering compromise and you never want to resolve a tax debt, but you have someone who has a balance to it, there is a very simple, easy way to make, I would have said $1,000, but now it’s going to be $1,500. You do the consult. The IRS now has a program. It’s a streamlined installment ring. What that means is if you owe less than $250,000 and you can full pay within the time remaining on the ten-year collection statute, they don’t need a financial, there’s no analysis, pick up the phone call and they will set it up right over the phone.

I have enrolled agents in my office to do this and we have a service that we get right through to the IRS under three minutes. They will call with a power of attorney, fax it over to the personnel at automated collections. We ask two questions. Number one, does the client qualify for first time penalty abatement? If the taxpayer for the three prior years hadn’t been penalized, you can get an automatic abatement, a failure to file, a failure to pay penalties on the first year. It will tell you right over the phone. How do I know if they qualify or not? At this point, I don’t but if you don’t ask, they’re not going to offer it, so ask. The worst thing they’ll say is, “I’m sorry. They don’t qualify. They were penalized two years earlier.”

The next thing is how much is it for the streamlined agreement? They’ll do it. For $1,500, we can knock whatever penalties off we can and set them up in an agreement. It takes my staff under an hour on the phone, usually 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes up to 30 minutes and maybe I spent 1 hour with them. It’s a money spinner and it’s simple. That’s understanding the process, understanding there’s a streamlined agreement that’s now $250,000 as of April, and understanding first time abatement, simple concepts. Tax resolution is not complicated. I can teach every one of your readers in two hours how to do an offer that gets accepted. It’s not complicated. It’s just that no one teaches this stuff.

It’s like my sales stuff. No one teaches accountants this stuff.

They teach you accounting, but they don’t teach you business. I have my Accounting degree, Law degree and Master’s in Tax. No one teaches tax resolution anywhere. It’s one of those things that I learned by doing and now I teach it. There were no courses when I first started doing this. You learned by doing it.

When you say learn by doing it, for someone reading, who wants to make the transition out of regular bookkeeping, tax prep, compliance work, they want to shift into this tax resolution niche per se, what are the first two steps? They want to create the life of freedom to do what they want and when they want. They don’t want to be doing pro bono work when it’s not giving back, where that pro bono work is choosing them because they keep answering people’s questions when they call. What do you think is a couple of steps that they should make a change?

The first thing to do resolution work is you have to be a CPA, an enrolled agent or an attorney. I do not recommend becoming an attorney if you’re not one. CPA is also a long haul. If you are a bookkeeper or tax preparer who is not enrolled, the first thing you do is go get your enrolled agent. Study it, pass the exam and get that done. You can be on a power of attorney. Instead of charging $80 to $90 to $150 an hour, you’re immediately $250 an hour. In Tax Rep Network, we do discount for the first few months. $297 a month is a no-brainer if you’ve got cases and are building your practice. If you’re just starting and wanting to get your feet wet, I would get the books. I would get The Accountant’s Guide to IRS Collections, The Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Tax Debts, The Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Payroll Taxes. All three books are $240. You’ll read them in a weekend.

First of all, see if this is something you’re interested in or if you find the strategy interesting. The books walk you through from start to finish. Once you get started, what I tell people is, “You’ve got to start getting clients.” That’s when you’re sitting there saying, “I think I know what to do,” but now you’ve got your $5,000 retainer. Joining Tax Rep is a no-brainer and you can go in and say, “Eric, Amanda, here’s where I am. Do you think I’m doing this right? What do you think I should do?” That’s what it is. We do training. It’s a coaching program. We have a couple of platinum members that are doing over $1 million a year. They have built their practices and they wanted to buy more time. We used to do the $100,000 challenge, which the idea was to try to get our members $100,000.

In revenue for tax resolution work.

It’s too low. What we found is after the second year, everybody did it. It wasn’t much of a challenge.

Nobody teaches tax resolution to accountants, but there is so much opportunity here if you want to get out of the hamster wheel you’re in. Click To Tweet

What’s the average revenue that your membership is doing?

I don’t know across the board the average for total revenue, but I will tell you this, we surveyed our members at the end of 2018. There are ten million non-filers that the government already knows about. Forget about the Coronavirus and everything else, that was at the end of December of 2019. The average fees my members had from non-filer cases is $17,800 for one case. Why is that? The non-filer comes in and let’s say they have to file the last four years of returns. There’s bookkeeping and there’s returns. We have to resolve the federal problem. Often, if you’re in a state that has a state income tax, they probably have a stated income tax problem. If they’re self-employed, they may have a sales tax problem.

There’s a lot of revenue to be made in this. Is that what you’re telling me?

Exactly. You mentioned this, Michelle. There’s misinformation about, “Why would I want to help these people? They’re broke.” They’re not broke. If they’re truly broke, we refer them to the low-income tax clinics. Let them get free help. If they’re living at 2.5 times below the poverty line, get them to a low-income clinic. They are better served having the clinics help them for free. For instance, I made a family in New York uncollectable. They’re making $165,000. They don’t have enough money to pay the back taxes and pay their current taxes and pay all their living expenses.

It’s like these people have massive cashflow problems.

I have people that have had horrific things happen to them that you’d never wish on anyone. I’ve had people who unfortunately cannot manage their finances. When I first started many years ago, I’m driving a Hyundai Sonata. That was a car I could afford. That’s what I did. I had people coming into me that owed hundreds of thousands who are leasing Cadillac Escalades and have Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They’re spending $1,200 a month on vehicles.

You get to teach them about finances and P&Ls.

They’re beginning to get the sense of why you’re in trouble. There is an education aspect to it. The fact is at the end of December 2019, there are 15 million and 2,000 accounts in the collection division inventory and 10 million non-filers that had been identified. There were 25 million in trouble. The survey that was done by the Tax Practice Advisor magazine newsletter came back that 1/3 of the taxpayer surveyed will not be able to pay their 2019 taxes in October. What I’m hearing from the IRS executives that I’m friends with is they’re very concerned of that 25 million individual number becoming 75 million.

There’s so much opportunity here. What you’re saying is if the average revenue of your membership is $17,000 per person, imagine a firm owner here. You get one of those clients a month or one every other month. That’s a great opportunity for you to transition out of the rat race or the hamster wheel that you’re on and create what your definition of abundance is. It’s freedom to do what you want and when you want. It’s not always about the money, but the increase in revenue per client and you being able to help people get out of their situations probably bring you a lot of joy and happiness. I want to say thank you for being here with us on the show. I’m very excited that your consultation fee is now going up to $1,500. A lot has changed. We’re going to have you back on to get an update, have more discussions and get more into the details of some of the challenges that you have when enrolling these clients and we can go through some role-play scenarios. We’ll call this part one. What do you say?

That sounds fine. I’ll leave you with this, the coaching thing, just a background. As I told you about speaking in the karaoke bar, I would get my clients by inviting accountants in and speaking. I had a CPA come up to me many years ago, who said, “I’ll pay you if you would teach me to do this.” I said, “Don’t worry about paying me.” That was fascinating. I created this coaching program. I licensed it to CCH for a few years. It was the IRS Rep Certificate Program. I got the rights back. We have relaunched that. If there are people who are interested in learning this, it’s twenty hours, audit collections, offers and compromise, resolving payroll taxes, and innocent spouse. There are twenty CPE credits. If people are interested, if you go to Tax Rep LLC, you can check out the certificate program. Michelle, thank you for both your consulting with me and having me.

I love teaching sales to all of you who are offering tax resolution. You can change up your messaging. As Eric said, it has to do with you. You’re the problem. It’s like the Fit Body Boot Camp story, if they’re not buying what you’re offering, the problem is you. Until you change, you’re not going to get different results. Thank you so much, Eric, for being here. It was always fun. I will be in touch for our part two episode.

What an amazing episode with Eric Green. I’m super excited to see what you end up charging. I know you’re going to charge $1,500 for consultation, but for the readers who’s charging $500. I got some emails from some of you. Maybe you want to go up to $950. If you are going to be doing the first time abatement, you should start charging for that. Send me an email or post on the Apple Podcast a review about how much you love this show, and then add in there what you started charging for first time abatement if you do a representation work.

AA Bonus | Tax Rep Network

Tax Rep Network: There are some people you just don’t want as clients.

 

I love his two-step approach. For those of you that are offering this, it sounds like an easy streamlined process for those that owe under $250,000 to the government. That’s a lot of money. I’m glad I’m not ever going to be a part of that department. As you all know, I love sales and I teach it to you. If the clients aren’t buying what you’re selling, then the problem is you. If you need to change yourself and you need a little bit of help, the first step for you to do is go to the FiveStepsToAbundance.com. It is my five-step process that a lot of accountants have used to go from waiting around for clients to show up in their inbox, to closing high-level clients like Eric talked about, average value per client $17,000 annual revenue.

Having them say yes to paying you what you’re worth and not how much you think they can afford or what you think they should pay you, but going based on your worth, and how people and clients appreciate the work you do for them. If people are not buying what you’re selling, then it’s a you problem. Let’s focus on you. I can start helping you. It is completely complimentary. If you’re interested in collecting higher fee type clients that are averaging $17,000 in revenue, doing it with confidence and getting paid like the expert that you are. It was lovely being here with you and Eric. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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About Eric Green

AA Bonus | Tax Rep NetworkEric is a managing partner in Green & Sklarz LLC, a boutique tax law firm with offices in Connecticut and New York. The focus of Attorney Eric L. Green’s practice is civil and criminal taxpayer.

He is the founder of Tax Rep LLC which coaches accountants and attorneys on building their own IRS Representation practices, and is the host of the weekly Tax Rep Network Podcast.

Eric is also the author of the Accountants Guides to IRS Collection, Resolving Tax Debts and Resolving Payroll Tax debts.

 

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