The Roz Report
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Why We Don’t Make Promises We Can’t Keep
As a lot of you know, this past summer I ran a 4-hour online training session on my Tax Resolution Domination System and Toolkit. The training was livestreamed to our audience, and I was really excited to do this training. We spent a lot of time planning, testing, and working with the broadcasting company to get everything ready. Ultimately, the training was a huge success, but there were some technical glitches that went sideways when we first went on the air. Despite our careful planning, when you do a live show, there are enough variables that there’s a possibility for something to go wrong. When we went live, a lot of people couldn’t see or hear the broadcast! We were able to get that fixed and were up running smoothly again soon enough. I ran an encore presentation a few days later for viewers who missed the training due to the initial technical difficulties. But this was a reminder that, no matter how much you prepare, you can never control the outcome of something. This isn’t to suggest you can’t aim for a certain outcome. We should always do the legwork, putting in the time to prep and research as much as possible. Imagine how poorly things might have gone during the livestream if we hadn’t worked out a lot of the bugs beforehand! But while you should commit time to preparing, you can’t become married to a certain result. Expectations are resentments under construction. When you set up a certain expectation and fail to meet it, people get understandably upset. This ties into the concept of guarantees — something people ask me about a lot. Many of our members want to know how much they can or should be promising their clients regarding the outcomes of their cases. What kind of guarantees can they offer to convince clients they are the right choice for their tax resolution needs? My advice is simple: Only guarantee things that are totally within your control. When I was starting out and only in practice a few months, a new client came to me and asked, “Michael, can you get my wage garnishment resolved?” I took a quick look at his case, and my novice self said, “Yes, I can.”My confidence quickly evaporated when I called the Revenue Officer at the
“Expectations are resentments under construction.”
IRS assigned to my client’s case and learned my client had tried to punch him out when the officer visited his residence a few weeks prior. Needless to say, I did not get my client’s wage garnishment lifted. He was lucky not to be in jail for assaulting a federal officer! I refunded his retainer deposit, withdrew from the case, and wished him“good luck.”
Michael and Roslyn before Online Training
Guarantee great client care and service, that you’ll return phone calls within 24 hours, and that you’ll pursue every single remedy in your power to try to resolve their tax problem. Guarantee that you will be a vigorous advocate for your client. You can also say that, “Generally, our clients never have to meet or speak with the IRS.” Guarantee some measure of support and relief during their trying process. But don’t guarantee certain results when it comes to the IRS, because you really have no control over the result. It’s also considered unethical to guarantee results per IRS Circular 230. When it comes to tax resolution, the IRS gets the final say. If anyone is hesitant to retain you because you won’t offer them a results-based guarantee, just tell them this: “If you were in trouble with the law, I doubt very highly that your attorney could promise you a guarantee of how your case would work out.”
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: BY ROSLYN ROZBRUCH THE MAGIC THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START SOMETHING
Have you ever pursued something in your life and found that you came away with an experience you never imagined? Think about it for a moment. Coming away from an experience different than you imagined might be more common than you realize. For example, say you decide to take a class with the intention of learning something in particular. Maybe you want to learn how to bake cupcakes, and you imagine you will learn how to make delicious cupcakes that your friends and family will enjoy and that will be it. But say you end up owning a bakery that people line up at to buy your baked goods. Sound far-fetched? A scenario similar to this happened to me 27 years ago. I enrolled in a UCLA Extension class thinking it was about public relations only to find out that I had signed up for a journalism class. I hated that class. I decided to finish the semester, but I told Michael, “I will never take a journalism class again.” Have you ever heard the saying, “Never say never”? One of the assignments in the class was to submit an article to a newspaper or a magazine. I wrote an article on how I remodeled my house in seven days and submitted it to the Real Estate section of the Los Angeles Times. They bought it, printed it, and everywhere I went, people who knew me said they read the article and loved it. It was great to receive a check, but more importantly, I loved the feeling I had from being acknowledged for my story in the city’s newspaper. I ended up going through the entire UCLA Extension journalism program and landed a job at a Los Angeles magazine as an intern moving up the ladder toward becoming an assistant editor. Now that’s what I call the magic that happens when you start something! I’ve had many more magical experiences since that time years ago, but this particular one is a great example of what I mean. Sometimes we drown ourselves in so much thought that all our attention goes to keeping our head above water and treading in place when instead we should
Be open to the possibilities of what you cannot imagine.
be swimming the length of the pool. Of course, not everything you start is going to be magic — or even if it is magic, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. More often than not, when I pursue something, it’s harder than I imagined. What I’ve found is I have to trudge forward, do the work, and then the magic happens. So, here’s what I want you to do the next time you decide to pursue something, whatever it is: Be conscious of your experience, and more importantly, be open to the magic. Whether your journey is easy or difficult, be sure to be open to the possibilities of what you cannot imagine. Going into an experience with the mindset of “I don’t know how this will all turn out, but I’m open to something wonderful” will bring the opportunity of a lot more magic to your life than you could have ever imagined.
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PRACTICE CORNER FROM THE Client Control: Providing Great Client Care
BY MICHAEL ROZBRUCH
In my cover story this month, I discussed what you can and can’t guarantee to a client. In today’s Practice Corner, I want to take that one step further. Believe it or not, providing great client care is as important as the result you can get your client! I know that might be hard to believe, but let me break it down. It’s a fact that if you don’t stay in contact with your clients during and even after their case is resolved, six months from now, they won’t even remember your name. Think about that for a second. How is someone going to refer you if they don’t remember who you are? The No. 1 complaint in the tax resolution business is “abandonment of client”— that is, the client is ignored, phone calls are not returned, emails are not answered, no case updates are given, and the overall client experience is horrendous. A client who you consistently and frequently (every 28 days) stay in contact with and give case updates to — especially when you are in a holding pattern with the
IRS — who perceives that you are providing exceptional client care even though you couldn’t obtain the results you thought you would, will refer a lot more clients to you than the client whose case you settled for $0.10 on the dollar and who feels like you treated him/her like just another number. For more detailed information on how to easily implement this system, be sure to review the 14 Touch-Point Client Control Management System in Volume Two of the Tax Resolution System and Toolkit.
Here’s to your success!
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CHRIS CHURCHWELL, CPA, CTRS, ELP Mastermind Member
For Chris Churchwell, CPA, CTRS, ELP, of Churchwell Hedman Tax Group in Joplin, Missouri, tax resolution is a family affair. Chris has supported his family as a successful CPA for almost 40 years, and 20 of those include tax resolution work. But it wasn’t until his daughters, Caley and Cejay, joined their dad in the practice over two years ago that he decided to make tax resolution a full-time venture. After earning her MBA in 2014, Caley obtained her Enrolled Agent license. She continues to expand her technical expertise in the field of tax resolution and enjoys working with clients to relieve them of their tax problems. Cejay is the case administrator and marketing director for the practice. She handles case management, sales and marketing, and administrative duties for the firm. About the same time Chris and his daughters decided to focus full-time on tax resolution, they also joined Michael’s Mastermind group. Chris says attending meetings with his daughters has paid big dividends for their firm, both in new ways to market their services and in expanding their knowledge base. “After every Mastermind meeting, we’re able to walk away with ideas that make us money,” he says. “After our first Mastermind group, we implemented the Audit Protection Plan and made an extra $42,000. After our next meeting, we felt confident enough to double our tax resolution fees. We’ve walked away with a series of ideas that have improved our practice after every Mastermind meeting.” Throughout his career, Chris has been interested in helping his clients who have tax problems. One case in particular stands out because it was an Offer in Compromise Effective Tax Administration case, typically a difficult case to prove. “We had a client who had lung cancer. He had plenty of assets, which is always a big hurdle to get over,” Chris explains, “but he had limited income because he had to retire. He owed about $150,000, and we settled for $1,500.”
moved down here from Alaska with no records, and the IRS had assessed him $200,000 for not filing a return,” Chris says. “Luckily, with the Offer in Compromise program, we didn’t have to go back and file back tax returns and correct all the substitutes for returns.” Chris and his wife, Christine, have seven children, all adopted, five of them from Korea. The three youngest children are still at home. The Churchwells also have two dogs and two cats sharing the family’s historic home in Joplin, Missouri. “Our house was built in 1889, so obviously there’s a lot of upkeep involved,” Chris adds, “but with it being a three-story home, there’s lots of room for everybody.” It seems all of the Churchwells have a focus toward accounting. Christine is involved in the business and handles the accounts payable and collections. Their oldest son is an Enrolled Agent working in Enid, Oklahoma, and Chris describes their youngest son as a “math whiz,” saying, “I have high hopes that Carter will end up going into practice with us when he graduates from college.” When Chris isn’t busy with his practice, he and Christine enjoy traveling with their family. He also plans to earn his certified tax planning certificate in the coming year.
In another case, Chris and his team settled a $200,000 liability with a $196 Offer in Compromise. “The individual
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MASTERMIND GROUP OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR 2019 Roz Strategies Platinum
I have selected the dates for my 2019 Mastermind group meetings. This will be my fifth annual Mastermind, and I’m very excited about the coming year. The returning members have been breaking through barriers and going to the next level! I have
several openings, and registration is now officially open for 2019. I’m looking for a few“top guns” in the tax resolution industry who are seeking to take their business to the next level, improve it, or expand it. A Mastermind group is the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people who
work toward a definite purpose in the spirit of harmony. Everybody comes to WORK, and work we do. I lead, facilitate, and consult. We meet three times a year in Los Angeles — two 2-day meetings, and one 3-day meeting. The first meeting is in early May. I combine my boardroom-style program with a hot-seat format, with me personally leading and providing input, as well as training and helping you establish your goals. I will help you with your specific business challenges. Everyone is guaranteed a hot seat at every meeting. We also have monthly accountability calls in between meetings. Selection and acceptance into the group is by application process only. If you are interested in more information, please email Becky, Manager of Client Happiness, at Becky@RozStrategies.com. Or go to RozStrategies.com and click on the Mastermind tab.
I’ve been in Michael’s Mastermind group from the beginning. I was a charter member, but I wanted more. I’m very happy that I made it to the Tax Resolution Platinum Mastermind group. It’s been everything and more. I got 125% out of this. The strategies are wonderful. Having access to Michael on an intimate basis is also wonderful as well as having access to sharp people. It’s been a great Mastermind. The cost is minimal compared to what you get out of it! –Charlie Price, Attorney
PlatinumMastermind Meeting Dates for 2019: May 8, 9, and 10, 2019
Aug. 1 and 2, 2019 Dec. 5 and 6, 2019 Hilton Universal, Los Angeles
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S H O U T
Michael with new member Faythe Clemmons at the FESA Conference.
Toph with his wife, Ashley, and their adorable baby girl at the ASTPS Spring Conference cocktail hour. This is their third child, but first daughter, and we especially love her name — Roz! How could we not love that Toph and Ashley named their daughter Roz? Although her middle name is Catherine, and not Strategies. David Rappaport sure knows how to make his twin sons smile. We hope his clients look this happy when he solves their IRS problems!
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O U T S ! Congratulations to the following members who mailed out their letters to their previous and existing client database: Paul Francetic, Keny Petit-Frere, Sheri Thomas, Anthony Mauriello, Jose Marquez, Spirit Seeker, Arlene Rheinfelder, Jose Ramirez, Dirk Danos, Kent Berkley, and Kenneth Smith!! Kudos to Dirk Danos for receiving $4,200 for a case evaluation and the filing of six returns! Congratulations to Dale Schwartzenhauer for adopting Value Pricing for your tax resolution cases, which is one of the easiest strategies to supercharge your profits® in your practice! Also, congrats on getting another CPA to refer clients to you because he’s uncomfortable doing tax resolution work. Good for you, Yolanda Leamon , for putting your Audit Protection Network plaque on your desk for all your clients to see! Thanks for sharing that your client who was in your office looked at it and purchased your Silver Plan — after you had already prepared their tax return! Congratulations to Peter Marchiano , his wife Jeanne, and their 13-year-old daughter, Jenna, on their growing family. They recently adopted two children: their son’s 4-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, and her 3-year-old brother, Ayden. They have been fostering the children since their son died in an accident 4 years ago. High-five to Victoria Blasiak who got her first Effective Tax Administration Offer in Compromise accepted! She settled the $300k amount owed to the IRS for $60k while the client had over $600k in assets! High-five to Gina Mewes for sending out her newsletters. Do you have a story or picture to share with us on something you’ve implemented, a client you helped with a tax problem, or anything else? If you do, email it to info@RozStrategies.com, so we can give a Shout Out to you!
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PRSRT FIRST-CLASS MAIL US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
11271 Ventura Blvd #612 Studio City, CA 91604 Inside This Issue pg 1 ∙
Why We Don’t Make Promises We Can’t Keep
pg 2 ∙ As I See It pg 3 ∙
From the Practice Corner pg 4 ∙ Mastermind Member Spotlight pg 5 ∙ Don’t Miss Michael’s Mastermind Group pg 6 ∙ Shoutouts! pg 8 ∙ IRS Terror Tale of the Month
IRS Terror Tale of the Month Former Highest-Paid Actor Hits Rock Bottom … Again
Less than a decade ago, Charlie Sheen was the highest-paid actor on television, making $1.8 million per episode on his popular CBS sitcom“Two and a Half Men.” But this was before the actor’s famous meltdown that got him fired from the
his “Scary Movie 5” co-star $100,000 to help cover the bills. However, it’s unlikely Lohan will be able to return the favor. In December 2017, the news broke that Lohan still owed the IRS over $100,000 in taxes from 2010, 2014, and 2015.
lucrative show and all his dirty laundry was put out before the public. Sheen has spent the last several years out of the public eye, but unfortunately, the behavior that led to the actor’s fall from grace, which included decades of reckless spending, is still catching up to him. Earlier this year, when a federal tax lien was filed against Sheen, it was revealed the actor owes the IRS almost $5 million for the 2015 tax year. This isn’t the first time Sheen has been involved with tax woes, but in the past, Sheen played a more heroic role. In 2012, after learning about actress Lindsay Lohan’s massive tax debt, Sheen loaned
Sheen’s latest drama is just the tip of the financial iceberg. In 2016, the actor was sued by American Express for an unpaid balance of $287,879.28. That same year, Sheen was also sued by both his ex-wives over legal battles regarding financial and child support. In the midst of all the bad publicity, it seems like Sheen is taking steps to deal with his financial mess. In February 2018, shortly after the tax lien was filed, Sheen listed his 9,000-square-foot mansion for sale for $9,999,999. If it sells, I’m sure the IRS will take any and all equity left over after the mortgages are paid off.
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