Why Aren’t You Giving Your Clients Hope?
The Roz Report
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Don’t Be in the Sales Prevention Department
Do you ever talk your clients out of spending money with you for the services you provide in order to save them money? Or, have you ever not even told a client about a service you provide, thinking they won’t want to spend the money? That’s what I call being in the sales prevention department. Here’s the thing: Whether you think you’re doing your client a favor or not, it’s important they know about all the services you provide so they have the option to make the decision to spend the money if they want to, because sometimes people want the extras more than they want to save money. This happened to Roslyn and me. We recently bought a home, and before we moved in, we had some work done in the house. We also decided we wanted to buy new appliances for the kitchen. The house is 11 years old, and so are the appliances. They work, but they’re not necessarily in the best shape. For example, with the refrigerator, the ice maker makes ice but can’t dispense it — and forget about trying to get water out of it. Roslyn and I decided to head over to a local appliance store that carries every brand out there from low- to high-end. Since we saved a lot of money by skipping vacations last year (due to COVID-19), we planned to use those funds to buy top-of-the-line products, including a Sub-Zero fridge, Viking double oven, and a Bosch dishwasher. When we got to the store, we knew what we wanted, but the salesperson had other ideas. Instead of asking us if we had anything in particular in mind to purchase, or even suggesting anything, he asked us what brand of fridge, oven, and dishwasher we already had. He assumed that we wanted the exact same brand and that we only wanted to replace them. So, instead of jumping on the opportunity to upsell us, he tried to convince us to stay with the Frigidaire and KitchenAid we already had.
the salesman. He was very nice and helpful, but I wondered why this perfectly nice salesman would try to talk us out of giving him a higher commission. Looking back on it, I think that the salesman was projecting his values and mindset onto us. He assumed we were trying to be thrifty because that’s what he would have done in our shoes, and he was afraid he’d look greedy if he tried to “There will always be clients who walk through your door with the expectation of VIP treatment, just like there will always be people like me and Roslyn, who had our hearts set on having top-of-the-line appliances.”
In the end, we bought the appliances we wanted, but I was baffled by the experience. Don’t get me wrong, we liked
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BET ON YOURSELF BY ROSLYN ROZBRUCH (FOOD FOR THOUGHT)
Are you a person who likes to gamble? Do you like Las Vegas and have a favorite game you like to bet on? Personally, I don’t like to gamble. I feel a physical discomfort putting money in a slot machine or down on a table. But over five years ago, Michael and I bet the house on us. We literally bet our house on us. For the record, I have no judgment for those who like gambling. I like to play mahjong, although bets are a quarter. For Michael, when he walks through a casino, he feels the “pull” to play poker and blackjack. He even joked when we sold our house that we should take the money from it and go to Vegas and wager a large sum on the roulette wheel saying, “Maybe we could double our money!” But I had a different idea. I wanted to bet on Michael and me, and that’s what we did. When we initially launched Roz Strategies over six years ago, even though Michael had over 16 years in tax resolution and helping others who owed the IRS, he didn’t have the experience of helping practitioners have successful businesses. For a couple of years, the idea swirled in his brain, and he shared it with me. It was like a shadow — he could see it, but it wasn’t a definite vision. I think we’ve all been in the position of wanting to do something but not willing to gamble on the idea that you want to pursue. Let’s face it, not every dream should be pursued. Then again, some risks are worth taking. Without going into all the details, because that’s another story, it was time for Michael to leave his company that he built from scratch. I kept telling Michael, “Let’s do it, let’s pursue your dream. We can sell our house and start all over! I’ll be your business partner. Won’t that be fun?” Michael did not think that was a fun idea at the time. I don’t know why, but for some reason, selling our home and starting over from scratch was empowering to me. Maybe it was partly because I believed so much in what Michael’s vision was, albeit a little vague. We had the money to start over, but there would be a risk. But isn’t everything a risk? Even not making a decision is a decision. And even though we were taking a risk, I’m still a sensible gal, so I put away enough money for another home when the time came to buy again. I knew I wanted to own a home again one day, but to have our kids grown and out of the house, not have the upkeep of a house, and focus 100% on our company was freeing
Michael and Roslyn in front of their new house.
for me. Until the pandemic hit, and California went into lockdown in March 2020, Michael and I traveled all over the country two to three times a month either learning from seminars, conferences, mastermind groups, or Michael speaking at his or other people’s events. The past six years have been a lot of work, time, and energy but also the best years of our life. What an adventure we’ve had! We’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people along the way, including many of you reading this column! And even though Michael was hesitant to sell the house and gamble on us, he’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him. And best of all, a few months ago, we finally bought our dream house and are homeowners again.
So, my question to you is this: What do you want to bet on for yourself? I’m not telling you to sell your home and start over, but I’m telling you to have faith in yourself and your dreams. Invest and bet on yourself because you’re worth the gamble to a better life, whatever that vision is. –Roslyn Rozbruch
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PRACTICE CORNER FROM THE
Is the IRS Really Offering Struggling Taxpayers Relief?
In an effort to help struggling taxpayers due to COVID-19 issues, the IRS announced a plan back on Nov. 2, 2020, to make it easier for people to settle their tax debt by setting up payment agreement options. But, have they really made it easier? Here is what they said: “To reduce burden, certain qualified individuals, who owe less than $250,000, may set up Installment Agreements without providing a financial statement (433A) if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient.” Some Roz Strategies’ members reached out to me and shared they were concerned, thinking this was going to be bad for their business. A few went so far as to say they thought they should lower their fees on installment agreements for people who owed less than $250,000. At first read, you might also think that this will hurt your business or think, “Taxpayers won’t need us to help negotiate with the IRS.” But before you do anything drastic, like reducing your fees, let’s take a closer look at the IRS’s statement. First off, what is a “certain qualified individual”? And, secondly, what do they mean “if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient”? We already have Streamline Installment Agreements (SIA) for amounts under $50,000, assuming the client can fully pay their tax liability in 72 months. The IRS phrase
“if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient” means that they must be able to full pay their tax liability in 72 months. How many prospects do you meet with that can fully pay $100,000, $150,000, $200,000, or $250,000 within 72 months? Not many, if any at all. Your client would have to shell out $1,389 (at $100,000 owed) a month to $3,472 a month (at $250,000 owed) to take advantage of this new initiative. My point is this: Do not be fooled thinking the IRS is trying to help taxpayers who owe money. They know that very few Americans will even come close to qualifying for this “relief.” In my opinion, it is window
dressing and good PR for the IRS, and it shouldn’t affect your fees or getting retained. Once I shared this info to the people who reached out to me with their concerns, they realized that very few of their prospective clients actually qualify for this relief, and then they felt relived. Let us not forget, the IRS is the most brutal collection agency on the planet. They are in the collection business, not the charity business. And collect they will, especially when they think you have their money. –Michael Rozbruch
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Rajneet Kaur, Founder’s Mastermind Member Member Spotlight:
LifeBack Tax Services is more than a corporate name. For the company director, Rajneet Kaur, LifeBack describes her mission to help people who are struggling. “I’m very passionate about the tax resolution industry,” she says. “I want to help people resolve their taxes and get their life back.” Rajneet and her family immigrated to the United States from India when she was 11 years old. Her strong work ethic and drive to succeed were evident from the time she was a young girl. She went from entering school in California as a student who didn’t speak English to graduating from high school as valedictorian and had her MBA by the time she was 22. But that’s not all; she also gained several years of experience working as an intern with Michael at his tax resolution practice while she completed her bachelor’s degree. “My goal was to become a CPA, but life happened,” she says. “I met my husband, got married, and had our daughter when I was 23. I went into private accounting and absolutely hated it. So, I went back to the resolution industry because I thoroughly enjoyed it and my skills are in financials. I learned at Michael’s company that the basis of all IRS collection cases are the 433A’s and cash flows. I ended up choosing to become an enrolled agent, and later I became a certified tax resolution specialist.” After working for other tax resolution companies, Rajneet’s extensive knowledge and experience in the industry led to her being handpicked to direct LifeBack Tax. Rajneet paved the way for success for LifeBack Tax. One of her favorite client stories
she likes to share came early in her practice. “My elderly client owed the IRS about $96,000. He signed a waiver extending the CSED with a revenue officer when his daughter had cancer — because at that time his daughter was all that mattered to him,” Rajneet recalls. “The original tax was paid off, so this amount was all just interest and penalties. He was stuck on a payment plan for $200 a month, and he didn’t miss a single payment. We submitted an offer in compromise, and we were able to get it accepted for $6,000.” In the beginning of running LifeBack Tax, Rajneet says it was a struggle, but her Roz Strategies membership helped her each step of the way. “I didn’t have an assistant, so I was doing everything,” she says. “As I learned about the laws and rules, my confidence increased. And of course, Michael was there to help all the time. Knowing I have a go- to person really helps.” She shares that she’s also grateful for her staff. “I have some very loyal employees who have been with me for about six or seven years now,” she says. “Knowing I can count on them and throw my work on them, it’s been great.” Rajneet is always pressing forward and joined Michael’s new Founder’s Mastermind to help grow LifeBack Tax. “What we are doing currently, it works. It’s profitable,” she says, “but to take it to the next level, I need Michael’s expertise on marketing, radio, back- end office work, and technical training.” Rajneet brings the same drive and work ethic to her family as she does to LifeBack Tax. She and her husband Navdeep have two children: daughter
Rajneet with her husband, daughter, and son.
Nimran and son Navneet. She says, “I wake up at 5:30 every morning and get my kids ready for school. Right now, they’re home because of the pandemic. I pack my husband’s lunch every day because I don’t like him eating out. I’m not very fond of eating out, even for my kids, so the rule is once or twice a week max because I feel like a home-cooked meal is the best meal.” In Rajneet’s spare time, she likes spending it with her close friends, watching Netflix, and traditional Indian dancing with her husband. “I think I’m the happiest when I’m on the dance floor. My husband and I both love dancing. In India, weddings are really huge, so whenever there’s a close family friend who is having a wedding, often my husband and I end up performing. So, it’s a lot of fun.”
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Platinum Mastermind 2 OPENINGS LEFT FOR 2021 ROZ STRATEGIES
I have selected the dates for my 2021 PLATINUMMastermind groupmeetings. This will be my seventh year leading the PlatinumMastermind group. I limit the group to 18 people, and I only have two spots open! My PlatinumMastermind group is my highest-level mentoring programwhere members have the most access tome. I’ve leveled up how I lead the group by adding in specialized trainings. For example, Hugo Fernandez and Isaac Park of Just Digital, Inc, who perform all of our digital marketing campaigns, personally consult withmembers to improve their online client acquisition process. Parham Khorsandi, foundingmanagingmember of Victory Tax Lawyers, LLP, who used to work at my former tax resolution firm and was in charge of our “Large Dollar” ($250,000) Unit, teaches casemanagement and advanced technical tax resolution strategies , and I help you with your specific business challenges. I combine my program with an “everyone is guaranteed A Hot Seat at all 3 meetings” format, with me personally leading and providing input and helping you establish your goals. I also have accountability calls with you in between meetings. Plus, Platinum members receive all the benefits of the Founder’s Mastermind program, including Diamond membership. Due to COVID-19 last year when we weren’t able to have in-personmeetings, we built a studio, and I conducted our meetings Zoom-zilla style, and I was able to interact with everyone and do breakout groups. I only have two openings available for 2021. I’m looking for a few“top guns” in the tax resolution industry seeking to take their business to the next level, improve, or expand it. Dates are:
May 5, 6, and 7, 2021 Aug. 5 and 6, 2021 Dec. 3 and 4, 2021
“Would I recommend this program? Absolutely! I made an investment intomy business, and it has paid off tremendously. The mastermind program truly has made a significant financial impact onmy business, and I only see it getting better and better! Thank you, Michael, for sharing
We are planning tomeet in-person for 2021 at the Hilton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles for all threemeetings. Acceptance into the group is by application process only. If you are interested inmore information and to see if you qualify, please email Ruthie at Ruthie@RozStrategies.comor go to RozStrategies.comand click on theMastermind tab.
your amazing secrets for success.” –Patrick R. Sheehan , attorney
Dedicated to your success, –Michael Rozbruch , CPA, CTRS STRATEGIZE * IMPLEMENT * MULTIPLY
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S H O U T
Thanks, Norman Wierer for sharing that your advertising is paying off in so many ways. Kudos for signing up a client who owes $52,000 and getting paid $5,000 upfront as well as letting us know your leads are increasing every month from all your marketing methods, including mailing out your monthly newsletter! Keep your foot on the marketing gas pedal. Congratulations to Carolyn Stipp for getting your first paying tax resolution client. This is just the beginning. Way to go, Antonio Nava for being one of the speakers at Latino Tax Pro! Congratulations to James Cha for sending out a press release. Great info! Good job, Harry Miller for posting “Celebrity Tax Problems” stories on your website from our newsletter. Very clever! High-fives to Roxanne Shipley, LuSundra Everett, Louise Hartford, Hopeton Scott, and Daniel Ogbonna for mailing out your referral letters! Keep up the good work. Nice touch and great info, Cliff Beacham for including a “Get Out of Jail Free” card with your referral letter.
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push the fancy appliances. That’s an understandable way to think, and appliance salesmen aren’t the only ones who do it. A lot of the tax professionals I work with are hesitant to recommend the highest, most expensive level of services they provide. They either don’t want to charge extra for services they do for their clients, or they undercharge for the services they provide because they are afraid of losing a client or worried about being too salesy. The truth is that if you never mention premium services you offer, then you’re working in the sales prevention department and missing out. This isn’t the smart way to run a business. If you want to succeed and grow your company, you need to make engaging your services, and every customer service interaction, as smooth as possible. If you throw boulders in the road, you’ll start losing the clients who don’t want to climb over them. Making the buying process difficult is just one of the cardinal mistakes we see many tax planning and resolution specialists make. There will always be clients who walk through your door with the expectation of VIP treatment, just like there will always be people like me and Roslyn, who had our hearts set on having top-of-the-line appliances. These clients want the very best, and if you don’t offer it to them, then the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Like the salesman in the appliance store, you’re throwing an obstacle between your company and your payday. This new year, do yourself a favor and resolve not to be in the sales prevention department. If you make the process to retain you easy for your clients — and don’t let your mindset get in the way — you’ll set yourself up for a lucrative 2021.
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O U T S ! Kudos to Dianne Omokaro, Joe Aguilar, Fanta Kaba, and Jonathan Donenfeld for mailing your referral letters and including your brochure and business card! High-fives to Erica Roach, Robert Korpas, and Traci Lowe for mailing out your newsletters. Save the Date for 2021
Thursday, Aug. 26– Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 More info to follow!
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 and we will 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 ∙
Are You in the Sales Prevention Department?
Bet on Yourself
pg 2 ∙ pg 3 ∙ pg 4 ∙ pg 5 ∙
From the Practice Corner
2 Openings Left for Our Platinum Mastermind!
pg 6 ∙ pg 8 ∙
Terror Tale of the Month
IRS Terror Tale of the Month A Charitable Billionaire Admits to Massive Tax Fraud
The ends do not always justify the means, and in the case of Texas billionaire and Vista Equity Partners CEO Robert Smith, his actions certainly didn’t justify his means. Smith made headlines across the country in 2019 when he offered to pay off the debt of the entire graduating class of Morehouse College, which is a good thing. But, he also recently admitted to an illegal scheme of concealing income and evading taxes by using offshore trusts and bank accounts for 15 years —not such a good thing. In October 2020, after a four-year investigation, Smith entered a non- prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. Smith admitted to forming two offshore entities (Excelsior Trust and Flash Holdings) to avoid paying taxes. He also failed to report more
than $200 million in assets and avoided paying $30 million in taxes, thanks to these accounts in Switzerland and the British Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, Smith didn’t use these extra funds for more student loan forgiveness. Instead, he went on a real estate and renovation spree. He reportedly snapped up a $2.5 million home in California and three properties in France (two for skiing, the third for commercial use). On top of that, he used $13 million of the unreportedmoney in 2011 and 2012 to renovate a home in Colorado and“fund charitable activities at the property,”according to The Hill. In the end, Smith did the right thing and cooperated with the investigation, so he won’t have to do jail time. However,
he will have to pay $139 million in tax penalties and give up $182 million that he was originally claiming in charitable contribution deductions. This will be a hit to the wallet, but considering Smith has a net worth of $7 billion, the biggest damage will likely be to his reputation. Luckily, nomatter what happens, the $34 million Smith donated to Morehouse graduates in 2019 is safe with them. One graduate, Elijah Dormeus, toldWSB- TV 2 Atlanta that he already used his portion of it to pay off over $125,000 in student loans.
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