Roz Strategies May/June 2019

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Life’s Struggles Overcome Challenges by Changing Your Habits

I want to share a story about one of my personal struggles. I’ve been smoking for a long time, except for a period in my 30s when I stopped for almost 10 years. Then I started back up again, first by smoking cigars on Saturday nights or at special events. Little by little, that led to cigarillos, which then led to full-blown cigarettes again. I’ve been smoking over half a pack a day for the last 20 years. Over the years, I’ve overcome some health challenges and quit some other bad habits. I passed a stress test, an EKG, and was given a clean bill of health. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that my doctor commented on how clean my lungs were! I figured I could keep smoking since everything else looked good. Then on NewYear’s Day, Roslyn said something to me that convinced me to get my act together. This really sunk in. I decided to quit cold turkey on Jan. 1, 2019. Unfortunately, I relapsed about 30 days later. But that’s okay, because I quit again on March 2, hopefully for good this time. Everyone deals with struggles in life, whether they’re personal challenges or obstacles in business. Maybe you’ve fallen off the wagon on your NewYear’s resolution to eat healthier or stop drinking—or maybe the newmarketing tactic you’re trying isn’t working. Slipping up or going backwards doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. It’s an opportunity to re-examine your situation from the bottom up and look for ways to improve. When I quit this last time, it felt a lot better than my Jan. 1 quit date because I went in with a new plan. Instead of quitting cold turkey, I made a point to change my habits around smoking. Over the years, I developed smoking rituals, like grabbing a cigarette after a meal or smoking while having my morning coffee. Now I’ve changed up my habits so my daily routine doesn’t remind me of smoking. “What?” she asked. “Are you waiting for the doctor to tell you you’re sick and it’s too late to do anything?”

my desk drawer. When I quit again in March, I threw them out and started chewing nicotine gum to help me get through the rough days. I feel like this time, I’m really going to kick the habit. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still been really hard. But I feel like I’m going to be able to stick with it in the long run because I started at the bottom and changed my habits to achieve my

“It is so important to remember that if you slip up, you should not throw it all away and just give up.”

goal. What if I slip up and find myself buying another pack in a fewmonths? Yes, that will be disappointing, but it’s not the end of the line. As they say, it’s “one day at a time.” It is so important to remember that if you slip up, you should not throw it all away and just give up. You can start again. That’s what I’m doing. Just because you don’t overcome some challenge on the first try doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Success takes time. When things don’t work out, take a step back. Ask yourself, “Why didn’t this work?” and“What do I need to do so it works next time?”Then put your plan into action and commit to changing for the better.

We all have struggles in our personal lives and in business. You’re going to stumble, and that’s okay. The great thing about life is that you can try again— as long and you stay committed and don’t give up.

I’m also more committed to changing this time. When I tried to quit in January, I had packs of cigarettes and cigarillos sitting in

–Michael Rozbruch

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A few months ago, my friend and bookkeeper, Barbara, was helping me close the books. Michael came into the room and, for whatever reason, he was in a bad mood. When he left, Barbara made a mention of it, and I ran down a list of items that could have possibly explained his surly mood. I finally said, “Oh, and he quit smoking several weeks ago.” She replied, “Well, that’s the real reason for his mood.” Most likely Barbara was right. Smoking is one of the hardest habits to kick, and I’m sure it played a role in his attitude that day. But it got me thinking, for the most part I would say that I am a happy person with a good

attitude. More things bother Michael than me; like cars driving slowly on the freeway, people not using their turn signals, and long lines to get through TSA. Oh, those bother you too? Here’s the thing: Even though I have a positive outlook by nature, it doesn’t always happen naturally. A lot of the time, it requires a conscious effort on my part. A conscious effort is in play when we decide to add an exercise routine to our schedule and then decide what that workout will be. It’s in play when we decide what our careers will be, from figuring out what classes we need to take as well as the money and time we’ll invest to reach those goals. It’s in play for our personal lives when we decide the type of person we want to marry, when we will do it, and how many children, if any, we want. Somehow, when it comes to having a positive attitude, we sometimes take for granted that a good mood is just going to happen, or that something needs to happen in our day for it to happen. But just like it’s easier to watch TV than go to the gym, and post on Facebook than do marketing for your business, it’s easier to complain about everything out there in the world than be happy. Oh sure, good moods can happen spontaneously, but to have one most of the time requires a conscious effort just like everything else in life.

Even if you start your day with meditation and set your intention for it, that might not be enough. A good attitude is about mindset, what you believe to be true and your perception of what is happening around you. For example, when I start my day, not only do I set my intention of what I want it to be, but I also ask for strength to handle the challenges I will come up against during the day. I can start my day off good, but life happens, and when something goes sideways, I don’t want my mood to go with it. Don’t expect a perfect day; instead be conscious that you want a good day and it will be good even if something goes wacky in it. Moods are like sleep patterns: They go in waves. So, even if you’re aware, know something is likely to annoy you during the day, just don’t let your mind run amok with negative thoughts like the bulls running through the streets of Pamplona. Let’s face it, some days are crummy, and when that happens, it’s okay to feel lousy. It’s okay to acknowledge a bad day. Every day isn’t going to be your best day ever, and every moment isn’t

going to be filled with bliss. But if you make a conscious effort to have a positive attitude when you start your day, the chances of you having it are higher than just hoping it will happen. –Roslyn Rozbruch

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PRACTICE CORNER FROM THE CASE RESOLUTION: The 6 Secrets to Getting an IRS Levy Released

The IRS releases thousands of levies every day. Below is “The Checklist” of what to do to be a hero to your client. The IRS levied and/or garnished over 446,000 taxpayer bank accounts or paychecks last year alone. A levy is the physical seizure of a taxpayer’s property or rights to property in order to satisfy a tax debt. A levy generally occurs when the taxpayer has ignored all previous notices to resolve the debt and the IRS has waited long enough and inflicts serious harm by taking the taxpayer’s income or assets, leaving them very little to live on. An IRS levy can be devastating to the person on the receiving end. The IRS is allowed by law to take up to 90 percent of the taxpayer’s net pay to satisfy the debt. Contacting the IRS immediately to request a release of the levy is paramount in resolving your client’s tax liability. After the client signs your bulletproof engagement letter and has paid you based on a value pricing fee schedule, it’s time to get busy! The Checklist: 1. File and register your power of attorney, Form 2848. 2. Obtain and review IRS transcripts and the record of account. 3. Make sure all legally required tax returns are filed and are reflected as such on the tax transcripts. 4. Complete Form 433-F or Form 433-A (if a business, complete Form 433-B) if you are requesting a release under financial hardship. 5. Contact the phone number on the levy notice. 6. Request a full release of the levy and negotiate a properly structured installment agreement, or a partial pay installment agreement or a currently not collectible (CNC) status.

Here are the most common reasons the IRS accepts for removing a levy: • If the IRS releases the levy, it will help you pay your current taxes. • The levy creates an economic hardship preventing you from paying for housing, utilities, food, transportation, or health care. (These are all basic or reasonable living expenses.) • The 10-year collection period expired prior to the levy being issued. • You already paid the amount you owe. • You are entering into an Installment Agreement or CNC. • The seizure was in error. • The IRS was negligent in following their own procedures. • The IRS wrongfully seized your property (you are not the taxpayer that owes the money to the IRS). Here’s to your success,

–Michael Rozbruch

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Paul Witzke, CPA, PFS, CTRS, & Zeb Elkinton Member Spotlight

When ex-IRS agent and CPA Paul Wizke, who has 42 years of experience in tax preparation, joined forces with business management expert Zeb Elkinton, who has 15 years of experience, to create Tax Debt Strategies in 2017, they became a dynamic duo. Creating their tax resolution firm was an easy fit for the two, since they already worked together in a separate firm. Paul is one of four partners of Tax & Wealth Management, LLP, in Corvallis, Oregon, where Zeb Elkinton is the COO. When Paul sold his interest in the tax preparation part of the business, he joined forces with Zeb to form Tax Debt Strategies, where Paul serves as CEO and Zeb serves as COO. The duo began their foray into tax resolution to help their Tax & Wealth Management clients who had problems with the IRS rather than refer them to an outside firm. “Some of our current clients had some needs that we were sending out the door,” Zeb explains. “The comfort level with us was already built, so why not try to do it in-house? We’ve been able to help them get back on track.” Paul and Zeb shared one of their success stories regarding long-term tax prep client Bill, who was a logger in the Pacific Northwest. Due to increasing constraints on logging, he had gotten behind on payroll taxes. “By the time Bill came up for air, he owed about $140,000,” Paul says. “He had the trust fund recovery penalty on the personal side plus the corporate tax liability. We told Bill that our fee for taking care of him was going to be $20,000. He accepted that, and so we did two offers in compromise.” Zeb picks up the story, saying, “Our biggest hurdle with that case was dissipation of assets when Bill sold his home and paid off everybody but the IRS. We helped the IRS see that, in order to keep his business alive, he needed to pay off those other debtors. Painting a picture for the revenue officer was really important for us. We were able to settle under $20,000 for both OICs, which $16,000 was for his nonliable spouse’s camping trailer that he paid off.”

When Paul and Zeb began doing tax resolution work in 2017, they researched ways to educate themselves and learn the marketing so they could develop a successful business plan and implement effective strategies. Paul joined Roz Strategies and the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS) and earned the Certified Tax Resolution Specialist credential (CTRS). Paul and Zeb have both attended the Roz Strategies Tax Resolution Success Summits in 2017 (Nashville) and 2018 (Austin), where the takeaways were a great marketing action plan and great barbecue! “The first year at the

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Date: Thursday, Aug. 22 Friday, Aug. 23 Saturday, Aug. 24 Where: Dallas Marriott City Center, Dallas, TX Register now for early-bird pricing. For more details: You’re just one strategy away from retaining more clients! But do you know which strategy will get you there? How is this event different than any other event you’ll attend? Because, within a span of 2 1/2 days, I am going to teach you my detailed, step-by-step framework for growing your practice that includes specific actions to take. At this interactive group workshop, we’ll create your very own marketing plan and budget for the next 12 months. Then I’ll give you the marketing strategies and the order in which to implement them to hit your goals! Besides sharing my secrets and strategies, I will have a few surprise speakers that will also give you specific tips that will supercharge your tax resolution practice. This is like no other tax resolution event! This August, over 200 tax resolution practitioners will gather for the industry’s most sought-after event. This year’s 4th Annual Success Summit promises to be even better than last year! For more details:

I’LL BE TAKING YOU ON A JOURNEY — Would you like to join us?

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Success Summit was kind of a firehose for us,” Zeb recalls. “I don’t think we were prepared mentally for what it would take to execute. Ultimately, we decided to attend the second year, and we’re glad we did, because that’s where we started really putting on paper what our action plan was going to be.” He added, “The great thing about Roz is there are so many different avenues and ways to do marketing. He just gives it to you.” Part of their action plan included creating a dedicated website for their tax resolution practice, advertising, and sending marketing letters to obtain referrals. They are also in the process of writing their first book to become known as tax resolution experts in their community. Paul and his wife of 52 years have four children. He likes swimming and sailboarding on the Columbia River next to Hood River and says, “I have a small farm and spend a lot of time out there cutting trees and playing with my chainsaw.” Zeb grew up in Oregon, where he met the girl who would become his wife. “We’re high school sweethearts,” he says. “We’ve been married for 13 years, and we have two kids, a son and a daughter, both under the age of 3, so I have my hands full there.” Together the dynamic duo is enjoying being part of the tax resolution industry. Zeb says, “We’ve networked with so many people from Roz and ASTPS. It’s been a wonderful experience for us.” “Member Spotlight” continued from Page 4 ...

Congratulations to Jeffrey Schneider for publishing your second book! Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle edition.

Do you have a story or picture to share with us on something you’ve implemented, a client you’ve helped with a tax problem, or anything else? If you do, email it to info@RozStrategi so we can give a shout out to you!

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O U T S !

Congratulations to Mark Klecka for sharing all the great feedback you’re getting from new clients about your Tax Resolution Times newsletter! Keep up the good work and keep mailing them out! It works! Kudos to Charlie Monteccino for regularly appearing on the “Ask the Experts” WTEL-AM radio show in Philadelphia! Now that’s what we’re talking about! Congratulations to Craig Wooten for sending out 5,000 referral letters! Good luck, and be sure to send follow-up letters. Congratulations to Victoria Blasiak! In the months following our conference in Austin last year, she’s doubled her fees. Before, she was charging $5K–$10K per case, and now she’s increased those fees substantially and is getting fees of $12K–$20K for the same work. “I’m really glad I attended last year and listened to you. Thank you for encouraging me not to undervalue my services. Definitely worth attending.” Other shout outs for sending out referral letters go to: Roger Kennard, Aaron Kenyon, and Ralf Reinberg. High five to Patrick Chemnogorem for getting his CPA license!

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11271 Ventura Blvd #612 Studio City, CA 91604 Inside This Issue pg 1 ∙ Life’s Struggles pg 2 ∙ Food for Thought pg 3 ∙

From the Practice Corner

pg 4 ∙ Member Spotlight pg 5 ∙ Tax Resolution Success Summit pg 6 ∙ Shout Outs! pg 8 ∙ IRS Terror Tale of the Month

IRS Terror Tale of the Month R&B Diva Can’t ‘Un-Break’ the Bank

For most people, starting the year off with a highly publicized breakup would be the worst of your troubles. Unfortunately for rhythm and blues singer Toni Braxton, the celebrated artist is as famous for her astounding money troubles as she is for her beautiful voice. In January of 2019, just days after calling off her engagement to hip hop singer Birdman, court records came out revealing the IRS had filed a lien against Braxton for over $340,200 in back taxes for 2017. At the same time, the California Franchise Tax Board also filed a tax lien against her for over $116,100, leaving the singer with nearly half a million dollars in debt. Both the IRS and the state of California warned Braxton that if she failed to pay her dues, they would start the process of seizing her property. This isn’t the first time the Grammy winner has found herself with money troubles. Last year, Braxton was hit with four tax liens — two from the state of California and two from the federal government. At the time, the singer owed $780,808.29 in back taxes from 2015 and 2016.

Braxton has also filed for bankruptcy twice in the past. She first filed for bankruptcy in 1998, later blaming a bad record deal as the reason for her money troubles. Additionally, Braxton has claimed she spent most of her money on“girly things” like dishes, houseware, and Faberge eggs. Later, when Braxton filed for bankruptcy again in 2010, she

cited health problems that forced her to cancel a number of shows. Braxton reportedly had $10 million in debt erased after her second bankruptcy. Braxton has been very open about her financial struggles, saying she hopes to be a cautionary tale for aspiring young artists about keeping a tighter grip on those Gucci purse strings. Ideally, they won’t hold so tight that they try to cut the IRS out of their share. Hopefully Braxton and the IRS will be able to work out a deal and she won’t be saying, “The third time’s the charm!”next year.

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