To my knowledge, there is no central page anywhere on the Interwebs that a tax professional can go to for a list of resources for operating a tax resolution practice. On this page, I’ve collected resources that a professional taxpayer representative may find useful for managing a tax resolution practice. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I unashamedly mention many of the resources that I myself have created.
Starting a Tax Resolution Practice
If you don’t have an existing tax resolution practice, I’ve created an entire page outlining how to get started in tax resolution work.
Learning Taxpayer Representation & Associated Tax Law
I’m obviously biased towards my own training program, but it’s definitely not the only one.
- Grab some caffeine and read the Internal Revenue Manual. It’s far from sexy, but it’s generally well written and comes straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth. IRM Part 5 discusses field collections procedures.
- Read my book Tax Resolution Secrets. Yes, this book was written for consumers with 1040 tax debts, but it’s a great primer (I’m biased, obviously) for case work, plus it’s less than $30.
- The National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) offers their NTPI program. Their Level I program is an excellent introduction to a variety of representation topics, and I do suggest taking it. The NTPI Level 1 program can be completed entirely online, qualifies for CPE credit, and provides a solid foundation in IRS representation. If you’re not an NAEA member, the cost of the program is $768. The Level II and III programs are only available at live conferences and the national convention, and cost between $785 and $1,235 each. I’ve attended Level II, and was not impressed. Two instructors taught blatantly incorrect information (and “didn’t want to hear it” even with citations in hand), and the table discussion leaders were inadequately prepared to lead those discussions. It may be better in one year than another, however.
- My full IRS Collections Representation Fast Start Boot Camp is an intensive training program for learning IRS collections representation, and is a bargain compared to other programs. My boot camp provides a more in-depth education on the subject of Collections representation (tax resolution) than does either NTPI or ASTPS. However, my course does not cover examination (audit) and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) situations — I focus strictly on all things related to collections (including ACS, Revenue Officers, Appeals, Taxpayer Advocate, Technical Advisory Group, etc).
Tax Resolution Software
I use a tax resolution management system that I programmed myself, because when I started a commercial product for tax resolution firms didn’t exist. These days, things are different, and there are several different options available. However, I will only recommend that you check out two of them. My suggestion is to sign up for the free trial of both, and pick the one that feels the best for you. For a more in-depth analysis, read this Canopy vs Pitbull comparison.
Tax Lien Mailing/Telemarketing Lists
The majority of tax resolution services are sold to folks that have an existing tax lien against them. Tax liens are a matter of public record: You can get them from your local county clerk or courthouse. However, if you don’t want to spend the time physically going down to the county clerk to get them (it’s inconvenient, time consuming, and a pain in the rear), then there are a number of services that offer tax lien mailing lists for a fee. Here are two that I use:
- taxlienshq.net – Subscription based, phone numbers included, 17 cents or less per lien record, no extra fees for using any search criteria, liens usually pulled within a day or two of being filed. Very limited data coverage for rural areas, however.
- INFT.net – Multi-order system, 35 cents per record base price, additional fees for using various search criteria. Phone numbers extra. Much greater geographical coverage, including rural areas, but data won’t be as current.