2021 Will Almost Surely See a Spike in TFRP Cases

One of my favorite things about taxpayer representation is that it is a recession-proof business.

In fact, on the IRS Collections representation side of things, it’s a business that booms during a recession. Despite the ’07-’08 recession throwing me into bankruptcy, I was incredibly fortunate to then stumble into an industry that was poised to take off like a rocket.

In much the same way as back in 2008, small businesses today are suffering. Hundreds of thousands of small business owners are being forced to make painful decisions, right now, about what to do with their limited capital. Since they often fail to understand the long-term consequences, they frequently opt to stop paying their payroll taxes during times like this, to instead pay suppliers and employees. That’s just the reality of the situation for them to continue operating right now.

But, of course, today’s missed Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) is tomorrow’s Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) assessment.

Most of the new 941 tax debt cases being created right now won’t really start being worked by SB/SE Collections until mid to late 2021. That’s just another reality of the current situation. By then, those tax debtors will have accumulated 4 to 6 quarters of 941 liability.

Are you going to be ready and able to represent such tax debtors next year?

To help you get started in this arena, on Dec. 10 at 10am PST I’ll be presenting the next installment in our Sweeping Overview series of CPE classes, covering the TFRP. This class will be a 1-hour, big picture overview of a variety of TFRP representation concepts. To create this class, I’m literally extracting specific slides from the PowerPoint decks that make up the much deeper 8-hour TFRP arc contained within our CTR™ curriculum. So, just like the rest of our Sweeping Overview courses, this class is exactly that: A sweeping overview of basic, high level concepts. These classes are really intended for those tax professionals that have zero prior exposure to the topic, but they’re also a good “knowledge check” class for experienced taxpayer representatives.

Course objectives for this class are:

  • Recognize the role of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty in the IRS Collection process.
  • Describe the IRS trust fund investigation process.
  • Identify the most common defenses against TFRP personal assessment.
  • List the steps in the TFRP appeals process.

Registration for this class is only $10, and seating is limited to the … Continue reading

Creating consistent tax firm growth is actually kind of boring

Back when I first started consulting with other tax resolution firm owners, there was one form of business behavior that constantly struck me as odd.

Many firm owners would show me the things they were actively doing to generate new clients.

Then they would show me the things they used to do that generated new clients.

Then they would should me the bright, shiny new thing that they were planning on doing soon to try generating new clients.


No, no. Full stop.

Inevitably, I would ask them, “Why did you stop doing X that was already working? Why did you change to Y? Why are you even thinking about Z?”

Most of them would reply with something akin to, “Well, I need to be constantly innovating.”


Yes, innovation is important. But you need to carefully pick and choose what and how you’re going to innovate.

If a marketing strategy is working, why burn it to the ground?

When I was running my own firm, I tested quite a few marketing strategies. But I consistently ran with the three of them that worked. Sure, I continued to test, measure, and tweak, but those three tactics were what I went back to time and again.

As a consultant, this sometimes made my job really easy. I just had to go back through the firm’s past marketing campaigns and re-implement what worked, with maybe some minor improvement.

This critically important lesson — consistency — is the core principle from which Martin Bissett presents his new course, Marketing Momentum.

In this 13-video series, Martin shows you:

  • the one true purpose of marketing
  • how to drastically increase your probability of marketing success
  • the practical difference between “marketing” and “business development
  • key steps to take in order to eliminate the revenue roller coaster
  • the proper lens through which to view your marketing plan in order eliminate the potential for failure
  • how to implement marketing in a manner that creates predictable revenue
  • the ONE way you should be evaluating the efficacy of your marketing efforts
  • a template for implementing marketing consistency
  • how to determine the marketing methods that actually work for your firm, with your services, to your target market
  • how to prioritize marketing amongst all the other demands on your time
  • how to create predictable revenue through consistent marketing
  • the difference between “good marketing” and “bad marketing” so that you can recognize them when you see
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The benefits of adding webinars to your tax firm marketing mix in 2020

I get it: Like many residents of Taxlandia, you might be sick and tired of webinars by now.

Perhaps you’re yearning for the return of the live CPE seminar — or maybe you’re not. After many, many years of travel, I’m finally content with just staying home.

But even if you’re sick and tired of webinars, one thing is for sure: Not everybody has reached the same level of webinar fatigue.

The reality is that your average consumer rarely attends webinars. Many people have never attended one at all. And if they have, it’s likely for many consumers that 2020 was the first time they ever attended any sort of online event.

But here’s the thing: People still crave interaction with other people.

If they can’t meet with you face-to-face, how else can you go about creating that KLT (know-like-trust) factor that is so important in converting leads into paying clients?

The answer is webinars.

When you hope onto a Zoom, Google Meet, or whatever online meeting with somebody, it’s the closest thing to face-to-face as can be.

We all know (or, if you didn’t, you will now…) that live seminars sell billions upon billions of dollars of professional services every year. In all sorts of industries, from insurance and financial planning to real estate brokerage and, yes, tax and accounting services, the live educational seminar has been a very successful lead generation and prospect conversion tool for decades — going back to at least the 1950’s that I’m aware of.

But today, in many places, you just can’t do that. Virus, and whatnot.

So, enter webinars. The professional service providers — in a multitude of industries — that are moving from live seminars to webinars are finding them to be nearly as good as the live thing. They’re definitely not as good as face-to-face, but the conversion numbers are still good enough to make it worthwhile.

That’s why you should add webinars to your marketing mix in 2020.

To summarize:

  • Webinars are the next best thing to face-to-face to help you connect with prospects and convert them to clients.
  • The general public is not yet experiencing webinar fatigue to the level that you might be.
  • Webinars are the perfect tool for doing one-to-many marketing.
  • When you get up and speak in front of the crowd, you are the expert, and you will generate questions (which means “interest in your services”).
  • If you
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