Why Aren’t You Giving Your Clients Hope?
The Roz Report
Authorized member 2020
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Sending A Message of Hope What Your Clients Need Right Now
Sometimes I dread turning on the news. In these times of political strife, world tension, and COVID-19, it can feel like there’s nothing but bad news. “If it bleeds, it leads,” the old saying goes. Even some of the most popular shows on television seem to focus mostly onmaking their audiences get angry and/ or cry each week. I think that’s why a recent commercial for Keck Medical Center of USC stood out tome somuch. The commercial opened with a clip of two people having a verbal conversation. Words appeared at the bottom of the screen that read, “This person was told they would never hear again.”Then the commercial showed a new clip of someone driving a car with the caption underneath reading, “This person was told they would never drive again.”The commercial continued with these kinds of examples, showing people able to do daily activities that would have been impossible before their treatment at Keck Medical Center. Then the last image flashed on the screen, just great big words declaring, “We Only Take the Toughest Cases.” What a great commercial! It stood out from any other commercials I’ve seen in a long time by doing something unique in this day and age: It gave people hope. Through that commercial, Keck Medical Center was able to speak directly to people experiencing a serious medical crisis and tell them, “We can help you. Your future can be brighter.”This message of hope is a powerful thing, and I started to think about how our members could replicate it for their businesses. Picture this: The commercial opens with the words, “Ryan was told he would never be able to own a bank account again.”Then we see a man walking proudly into a bank to conduct business. The next image reveals, “Debbie was told she would never be able to own a house again.”Then we see a woman getting the keys and walking into her brand-new home. Follow that with the words “We Only Take the Toughest Cases”before cutting to the celebrity spokesperson or the tax resolution expert giving a message of hope to people who have IRS problems. When it comes to marketing, the long-standing advice is to use fear or target people’s pain points to convince them that they need you. I often used the same strategy when I
Michael on a social distancing walk at the beach
was in the tax resolution business. But today, it’s a good time to send a message of hope. People need hope right now, and besides that, marketing your message with hope will help you stand out from the crowd. Luckily, I don’t need treatment at Keck Medical Center, but it was inspiring to hear their message.
“But today, it’s a good time to send a message of hope. People need hope right now, and besides that, marketing your message with hope will help you stand out from the crowd.”
In order to be successful in marketing, you must pay attention to the marketing around you, even when it’s not for your industry. Some of the best marketing ideas I had came outside the tax industry. Look at what’s working and what isn’t working and use that knowledge for your marketing. Even if you don’t have the budget for a TV commercial, you can use that message in your other methods of marketing. If I was still doing tax resolution myself, I would have gone to the studio right after watching that Keck Medical Center commercial and taped one for my audience.
With the IRS stepping up enforcement, the coronavirus, and fears of the future of the economy, people need hope nowmore than ever. What message of hope can you give to your clients?
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CORONAVIRUS AND CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES BY ROSLYN ROZBRUCH (FOOD FOR THOUGHT)
I miss the ‘80s disco era when the biggest fear of my generation was kissing someone and contracting herpes. Times change, and so have our fear of viruses. Not that anyone wants herpes; it’s just not the No. 1 feared virus anymore. As I write this, California is on a stay-at-home order, and hopefully by the time you read this, instead of us all singing from the windows of our homes like they did in Italy, we will be on the other side of the curve. I realize the crisis varies state by state. Last night, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, gave his nightly television speech and warned us all of mass death, saying, “Giving people false hope will crush their spirits and will kill more people.” Well, alrighty then. I got it — I’m staying home. I’m not staying home 24/7, but I’m also not playing volleyball on the beach. And here the year 2020 started off so promising with everyone having such a “clear vision” of the future. But chaos happens, bad things happen, and how we deal with it is what matters most. Here’s what I am doing: I’m getting up every morning and getting ready for the day like always. And even though I don’t know how this will all play out, there are moments when I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm— the center of a cyclone, where it’s quiet, the sky is blue, and it’s calm. My eye of the storm here in Los Angeles is that it’s so nice to get in my car and drive! There’s no traffic. For many of you, you probably can’t relate to the traffic of LA, but it’s the thing we talk about here. It hasn’t been this traffic-free since the 1984 Summer Olympics when almost everyone left town because they thought it would be too crowded. The air is clearer than I can remember, and Michael and I are walking every night after work. This is the thing we’ve been talking about doing for years , and now we’re really doing it because there’s almost nothing else to do, and sometimes you need a break from binge-watching shows like “Tiger King” on Netflix. When the dust settles, or I should say when the virus is no longer among us, there will be change. David Bowie coined the phrase “ch-ch-ch-ch-changes” in his 1972 song, “Changes,” and even though he wasn’t singing about viruses, no matter what, change is inevitable because everything changes. Even as I write this, I see how many of you modified how you’re doing business. Right before the stay-at-home order was issued, many of you, our members, and even Michael and I set up our offices from home and made it so our employees could do the same. When you’re forced to adapt, it’s amazing how quickly you can learn, and
Roslyn and Michael on a social distancing walk
David Bowie coined the phrase ‘ch-ch-ch-ch-changes’ in his 1972 song, ‘Changes,’ and even though he wasn’t singing about viruses, no matter what, change is inevitable because everything changes.
everyone learned really quickly how to set up their Zoom accounts and share Dropbox files. Even socially, my friends are doing Zoom happy hours and book club meetings. I bet you each have a story of your own that shows your resilience and what you’ve done to make the best out of a bad situation. This isn’t the first time we as a country have been challenged by a crisis, and what I’ve seen in the past and what I see now is how it brings out the unity in people. Oh sure, there are those who will be selfish or take advantage of the situation, but for the most part, I see more caring and kindness.
I will always reminisce about the ‘80s, disco, and big hair, but I will also change with the times. Here’s to you. Stay healthy, focused, and adaptable.
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PRACTICE CORNER FROM THE
Best Practices for Federal Tax Lien Marketing in 2020
What if the IRS actually published a list of all the names and addresses of the 13.2 million individuals and businesses that have been identified by the IRS that owe back taxes? For those of us who offer IRS representation services, we’d all be millionaires! It would be the “mother” of all lists, as we would have a built-in lead generation source. Unfortunately, the IRS doesn’t publish such a list. However, the next best thing does exist! It’s called the Notice of Federal Tax Lien list. National Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) Facts The IRS issues a notice of National Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) when the taxpayer has ignored all previous attempts by the IRS to collect the debt. The lien puts other creditors on notice that the IRS has first “dibs” on the taxpayer’s property.
How-To for Mailing to the List Taxpayers who have liens filed against them are extremely motivated to take care of the problem. An NFTL can prevent someone from buying a car, buying a home, obtaining a loan of any kind, even gaining or maintaining employment, etc. I recommend mailing to people who have a lien in the amount of at least $10,000. For about $1.02 per name, which includes the cost of the list, a personalized merged letter, #10 windowless envelope, and first-class postage, you can embark on a marketing campaign to people who have federal notices of tax liens filed against them. For best results, mail to 1,000 names a minimum of three times over a 90-day period. If you do that, you can expect a .5% to 2% response rate. Since this group is highly motivated to resolve the issue, you should be able to close at least 50% of the callers, netting you 2–10 new clients from this campaign. The campaign will cost you $2,560 (3,000 times $1.02 minus $500, as you only have to pay for the list once.) The minimum average case size is $5,000. Therefore, this campaign should generate $10,000 to $50,000. That would equate to a 3.9-to-1 to 19.5-to-1 return on investment, which is money well spent.
When the IRS issues a NFTL against an individual taxpayer, that information is public record. The IRS files these liens at the over 3,300 county recorder offices throughout the U.S. So, for example, if a business has unpaid 941 payroll taxes and the IRS files a NFTL against that business at the county recorder, it’s also filed with the state’s secretary of state where the business was incorporated. Each county across the U. S. is different: Some will publish the info daily, others once a month. Some counties publish their NFTL data online, and for others, you’ll have to go to the county recorder’s office for the information. Buying NFTL Lists There are several list brokers and data compilers (data compilers actually own the information they compile) that “sell” this information, including the taxpayer’s name, address, the amount of the lien, and the type of tax owed. You can pick up a “fresh” list of 1,000 names for around $250. In 2018 (the latest period for which IRS stats are public), the IRS issued over 410,220 NFTLs. That’s down from the high of 1,096,376 NFTLs issued in 2010. However, it is highly anticipated that the number is on the rise again.
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Richard J. Ebbinghouse, Attorney Member Spotlight
Rick Ebbinghouse’s entire life has been devoted to helping people. In his career, he started as a litigation attorney who specialized in civil rights issues and helping low-income people access safe and affordable housing, and now he helps his clients resolve their IRS problems. “When I started out practicing law in 1977, I moved to Selma, Alabama, and helped open up a legal aid office there,” Rick says. “I brought litigation against the United States government to force a portion of the housing at the closed Craig Air Force Base to be for low-income people. As a result, 225 units of housing were created in a county where 52% of the housing was substandard.” Rick then moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he served as the senior staff attorney supervising attorneys and paralegals. Over the years, Rick opened his own practice and also worked for other firms throughout Alabama. In 2011, he moved back to Indianapolis in his native Indiana so that he could be closer to his aging parents. He joined his brother Tom in their law firm, Ebbinghouse Law Group. Rick has been using his extensive litigation experience to help his clients negotiate successful tax resolutions with the IRS since 2013. When Michael launched the Tax Resolution System and Toolkit in 2014, Rick purchased it and joined the Roz Strategies membership. “My personal interest professionally has always been how to use the law to try and help people have better lives,” Rick says. “I know a certain amount of tax law, but my background was not focused on tax.” Even though Rick is an attorney helping people with tax problems, for this lawyer, you can’t take housing out of the equation. He says, “In some tax resolution cases, sometimes you’re trying to help somebody save their house, too.” He shares one story, “My client owed many years of unpaid taxes, and the United States had filed a motion in district court to have his house sold. The client suffered from depression, and additionally, he had a daughter who had schizophrenia. He had been completely overwhelmed and hadn’t dealt with his taxes for a number of years. So, we had to get returns filed and a number of different things. But the upshot of it all was that they still are in their house.” When asked for a particularly beneficial strategy he’s learned from Michael, Rick is quick to say it’s to persevere. “Keep working and working and trying to find a way to solve the problem,” he says. “Michael is extremely tenacious, clearly
as a marketer, and you need that on the business side of your practice. But also, it’s clear that Michael was a tenacious advocate on behalf of his clients.” Rick adds that one benefit of the membership he likes, in particular, is the monthly Q&A calls where people can call in and ask Michael questions about how to deal with certain things. “It’s helpful to be able to bounce things off of people and get feedback.” When it comes to marketing to get new clients, Rick says that referral marketing has worked best for him. “My practice is not geared to be a high-volume practice where I’m going to run a large inventory of cases. I’ve partnered with CPAs and worked with them and their clients.” When asked about life outside the office, Rick says that years ago he became active in the Alpha course, which consists of people coming together to explore their questions about faith. Rick shares what drew him in: “One of the things that I liked about the Alpha course was that there was no question that was too challenging or off-limits.” He adds, “So, the great thing about it is that people have an opportunity to come in and explore their faith. In my own case, I had lost my wife to breast cancer a number of years ago, and so one of the things you are faced with is why am I still here? What am I supposed to be doing?” Rick found purpose in leading an Alpha course group in Birmingham for several years until he moved back to Indiana. Rick also enjoys spending time with his two pit bull rescues, Atlas and Rachel, and laughingly says, “I’m only working to support my dogs.”
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As the IRS gets ready to turn the enforcement switch back on, and as a CPA, EA, or attorney, you’re not only uniquely positioned to help many more clients than you ever did before, but also your competitors will be totally confused and not know what to do. At the 5th Annual Tax Resolution Success Summit 2020 in New Orleans, you will discover NEW best practices to help your clients navigate the new world of tax resolution, which is already underway. Think of it as an intensive training in tax resolution marketing, sales, management, and even some case resolution thrown in. As the coronavirus pandemic is coming to an end — will you be ready? It will not be business as usual. Your business, as you know, has changed forever, and you’ll need to know how to navigate the new normal … And I will show you the way! Unmask Your Potential
NEW ORLEANS ‘20
Join us in New Orleans for the 5th Annual Tax Resolution Success Summit on Aug. 27–29, 2020 Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans www.rozstrategies.com/nola I’ve already lined up some great speakers
for these changing times including: KEYNOTE SPEAKER BRIAN KURTZ
Growth expert and best-selling author of “Overdeliver,” Brian Kurtz is the authority on direct response marketing. He’s mastered the marketing of newsletters, books, and e-books and using email and social media in huge numbers. Brian’s insights alone are worth coming to New Orleans to hear. All attendees will receive a copy of his new book “Overdeliver.”
For more information, go to www.rozstrategies.com/nola, contact our concierge Ruthie at Ruthie@RozStrategies.com , or call our offices at 888.670.0303.
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S H O U T
There’s Flag Day, Valentine’s Day, and so many other days we celebrate in our nation, but Jong Lee is our only member (that we know of) who has a day declared just for him! Here’s a special shout out to him for having the Mayor of Oakland declare March 5 as “Jong Lee Day” ! Kudos to Crystal Cavanaugh on her new radio ad and for getting a great testimonial from it! And congratulations to Sharon Lewis for also getting on the radio. Way to go Lance Drury for increasing his revenue by 27%. Lance is on track to have another BIG seven-figure year representing clients before the IRS! That’s awesome, and remember to keep your foot on the gas pedal! High-five to Helen Ogbu for implementing what she learned from taking notes while watching the Tax Resolution Success Summit Dallas DVD on Google Advertising. Congratulations for not only getting hundreds of new visitors a month to your website, but for also getting your first two tax resolution clients in 30 days! Congratulations to Vicki Bott for getting 26 new clients in less than 60 days. Now that’s what we call Supercharging your profits®!
Good job Kevin Huston for getting your article on “Earnings and Profits of a C Corporation” published on the EA Journal by the National Association of Enrolled Agents. High-fives to Philip Garnett, Bob Jablonsky , Eric Stamps, and Stuart Fletche r for sending your referral letters! 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 you’d like to share? If you do, email it to us at info@RozStrategies.com, or mail it to us, and we will give a shout out to you!
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O U T S !
High-five to Kenneth Mullinax for adding a new service to his tax resolution practice by helping small businesses obtain SBA coronavirus disaster loans. Your electronic billboard looks great!
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11271 Ventura Blvd. #612 Studio City, CA 91604 Inside This Issue pg 1 ∙
Give Hope to Your Clients
Food for Thought
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From the Practice Corner
Tax Resolution Success Summit 2020
IRS Terror Tale of the Month
In January 2020, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, announced that they were going to step back as“senior”members of the British royal family and become financially independent. This unexpectedmove sent shock waves through the royal family as the United Kingdom prepared for the many changes this shift would bring. One thing that didn’t change? Even though Meghan and Harry have now moved to Los Angeles, she will still have to pay for U.S. taxes for the years she didn’t live in the United States. Though the former “Suits” actress married a British prince and spent the last several years splitting her time between the United Kingdom and Canada, Markle is still a U.S. citizen. The U.S. has a citizen-based taxation system, meaning citizens must file taxes with the IRS even if they live and earn their income outside of the United States. Currently, no documents suggest that Markle hasn’t been paying taxes on income she’s earned for royal appearances, allowances received from the royal family, gifts she has received, or investments earned in the U.K. or Canada, which is a good thing, because the IRS wouldn’t appreciate the duchess skipping out on such a hefty tax bill. IRS Terror Tale of the Month Duchess of Sussex and Royal Baby Must Pay US Taxes
Their son, Archie, is a dual U.K.-U.S. citizen. Under U.S. law, a child born abroad to an American parent automatically receives U.S. citizenship, provided the parent has lived in the U.S. at some point in the past five years. This means Archie is also expected to pay U.S. taxes. While the royal baby won’t be filing taxes himself, as a member of the royal family, Archie inherited investments that generate income that’s taxable by the IRS. It’s up to his parents tomake sure that royal tax bill is paid. As they step back from royal duties andmake their home in Canada or Los Angeles, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tax situation is expected to change dramatically. But while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be able to sever financial ties with the British royal family, as long as Markle and Archie are American citizens, they won’t be severing ties with the IRS.
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