Each year, approximately 7 to 8 million individuals and small businesses accrue new tax debts to the IRS. I’m sure the number will be higher for 2020, and we should have those stats from IRS in a few weeks.
Pop Quiz: Do you believe that most of these tax debtors do or do not file their tax returns?
The answer may surprise you.
Ready for it?
Can you handle the truth?
According to IRS SOI data for FY19, the latest stats available, 71.5% of new tax debt accruals are based on tax returns that are, in fact, filed in a timely manner (including extensions).
Yep. Most tax debtors file their returns on time. Did I just blow your mind?
Compare that to the percentage of tax debtors that have a tax lien filed against them: Less than 5%.
Back in the stone age, when I first got into tax resolution, marketing to tax liens was the be-all, end-all of tax resolution marketing. The IRS used to file over a million liens a year, the filing threshold was only $5,000 of tax debt, and NFTL’s were flying off the mail trucks and into county clerk’s offices faster than a penguin sliding down an iceberg.
Not so anymore.
The last few years, the IRS only averaged about 500,000 tax lien filings per year. For 2020, I’m guesstimating the number will be around 250,000. For the entire year. We’ll find out at the end of the month how wrong my guess is.
Combine that with the fact that now there are FIVE TIMES as many large, national tax resolution firms and marketing companies chasing a shrinking pool of tax liens, and it’s clear to me that the Golden Age of Tax Lien Marketing is behind us.
This was a large part of why I shut down my tax lien data service for tax resolution practitioners last October.
Now don’t get me wrong, servicing those NFTL filings is still a $1.5 billion a year industry unto itself. But it requires either expensive and innovative marketing tactics, or doing the dreaded cold calling slog. If I were dead broke again, living in my car, and starting from scratch, then yes, absolutely, I would be cold calling tax liens for 6 hours a day just like I did a decade ago.
But I would also be spending 30 minutes to 1 hour per day doing the much easier, much cheaper, and much more productive tasks necessary to access this much larger pool of tax debtors that are filing their tax returns.
So, the obvious question I would expect you to be asking by now: How do you reach these 5.7 million new tax debtors?
That’s easy: You ask their tax preparer to give you the client.
“Wait, what?!?! You want me to ask my competitors to give me their clients?!?!?!”
Yes. That’s exactly what I’m saying.
Here’s the reality of the situation:
- Most CPAs, EAs, and tax attorneys won’t touch tax debt representation with a 100-yard pole.
- 98% of the nation’s 65,000 Enrolled Agents really only do tax prep.
- Less than 30,000 of the nation’s nearly 800,000 CPAs ever even occasionally dabble in resolution engagements.
- The nation’s 400,000 or so unenrolled preparers can’t legally sign a Form 2848 to do the representation work at all.
So yes, you should ask tax preparers for referrals to their tax debt clients. And yes, they will refer those clients.
Back in 2017, when I did the first in-depth training on this tactic, one of our Academy members in Phoenix took immediate action on what I taught. Within two months, this Enrolled Agent had booked $20,000 in new tax resolution work — all of which was referred to her by CPAs in her local area that had tax prep clients with a liability they couldn’t pay in full. Within the following 12 months, she had generated $125,000 in new revenue just from these CPA referral sources. Now of course, I can’t guarantee you similar results, but it definitely illustrates the power of taking action on a tactic that works.
Here’s the real kicker: Because we’re in the middle of filing season, when all the return preparers are seeing (or, at least speaking to) all of their tax prep clients, those with a tax debt are top of mind. Front and center. Actively facing the problem.
That means RIGHT NOW is the best time of the year to be obtaining referrals from these tax preparers.
You might be asking yourself:
- It’s busy season. How do I reach them?
- Hello? Pandemic! How do I network right now?
- Won’t they be afraid I’ll poach their tax prep client?
- Should I pay them a referral fee?
- How much of a referral fee if I choose to and am legally able to pay them one?
You have questions, I have answers. And those answers are contained in the Tax Resolution Referral Marketing Toolkit.
In this Marketing Toolkit, you’ll receive:
- That original 2017 training.
- Bonus tips from a follow up Q&A session in 2018.
- The completely revised and updated edition, recorded in July 2020.
- Instructions for accessing the necessary lists and ancillary services.
- Two template letters that you can use for mail, email, convert to phone script, etc.
- A special bonus strategy that will position you as an authority in the eyes of local accountants, such that they come to you out of the blue for help with these clients.
All in all, this course provides 6 hours, 20 minutes of in-depth training, answering all of the questions you’ll have about implementing a referral partner strategy with other tax pros — and in such a manner that they won’t perceive you as a competitive threat to their business.
Since these return preparers are literally servicing these tax debtors right now, while filing their returns, the time to implement this is right now.
To snag it, go to:
To more referrals,
Note: If you’re an active Tax Resolution Academy® member, you already have this same material in the Marketing & Sales Course.