You are well-versed at a variety of financial services ranging from bookkeeping and getting loans, to tax planning and tax resolution services. Yet, there’s a common misconception that accountants and other tax professionals only do taxes. This is because financial experts are reluctant to promote themselves. But now, more than ever, it’s crucial that you communicate your expertise. Without proper communication at opportune times, your clients will never know all the ways in which you’re qualified to help them.
An Economy in Trouble
The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged our economy, causing the national unemployment rate to soar while simultaneously stunting sales and manufacturing. With reports of over 100,000 small businesses closing their doors in the first half of the year alone, economic recovery is expected to be slow and gradual. More and more, taxpayers are being forced to prioritize basic necessities over paying off debts such as taxes and credit cards. Businesses and individuals will be left with unpaid debts, including back taxes to the IRS. Tax professionals like yourself can make such a vital impact. The key is to find daily opportunities to communicate what you do and to become more comfortable with promoting your services.
Ask The Tough Questions as Early as Possible
In order to avoid daily interest, monthly penalties, or severe consequences, such as wage garnishments or repossessions, it is important that clients address taxpayers’ financial concerns as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your client leading questions to learn more about them and their financial situation. The best way you can address tax help is to be bold in asking your clients if they have (or have ever had) any challenges with the IRS. A good question to ask is: “Have you received any notices from the IRS this year?” This may seem uncomfortable at first, but many clients who need assistance with issues such as IRS back taxes avoid dealing with their situations head-on. The earlier a tax professional is involved, the more options a taxpayer will have.
Be Observant and Proactive on Their Behalf
Look at their history. If you see a balance due from last year, ask if they paid their back taxes from last year. IRS Solutions provides members with an insert to add to their annual organizers with these critical questions listed.
“Being more observant and digging a little deeper can help uncover additional tax resolution issues that you are in the perfect position to address,” says David Stone, EA, and Co-Founder of IRS Solutions Software.
Send Out the Message and Then Send it Again
Communicating all that you can do for your clients doesn’t have to be difficult. There are a number of easy ways to let people know that you are there to help. Take advantage of social media posts, email updates, and letters to remind your clients that you can do more than just taxes. If you don’t have time to make these materials, utilize assistance like the Marketing Toolbox for IRS Solutions software members. Prominently displaying plaques for certifications and specialties in your office for meetings or Zoom calls. You can also display your certifications and your additional services in your email signature for Outlook or Gmail.
Become a Trusted Consultant
Always remember to keep your messages positive, reminding people that there is no shame in financial hardship. People often feel embarrassed and discouraged if they are in a bad way financially. A little extra communication in these areas can quickly gain traction with your clients as well as their network of family and friends. Building trust and becoming a proactive consultant and advocate rather than “someone who files taxes” is invaluable. Sharing other services you offer will come naturally once you can bridge that gap and practice communicating and promoting yourself.
“Any person could put numbers on paper. That’s not what people are paying for. They really want someone to review the numbers ahead of time and meet with them ahead of the tax season to discuss any issues. This will also increase the monetary value of your services. There are many things you can look for with your clients that owe money to the IRS. Recently I was dealing with a client who had back payroll tax issues. They did not pay their payroll taxes to the government for 2018 or 2019. They owed over $50k. They received multiple notices from the IRS and did nothing about it. After their bank account was garnished, the client reached out for assistance. First, we brought the client into compliance for the current quarter — meaning we made them pay for this quarter and file it timely. We contacted the IRS and were able to buy time for the client so that they could pay the balance down and set up the installment agreement. We were able to show that the client really needed the money that was garnished. We were able to get the levy released and they were able to keep their business.
People are more than willing to pay your fee for this kind of work. Dealing with the IRS for tax resolution issues on their behalf is a huge value add for your clients.”
— David Stone, IRS Solutions Co-founder.
We’re Here to Support You
Like you, IRS Solutions does more than just tax resolution. We are your tribe and your support system. Our software also includes a marketing component that contains regularly updated social media posts, various template letters, inserts for invoices, email templates, and more. Members gain access to features such as our Facebook group for networking and a team of advisors to help you when you need it. Simply put, IRS Solutions Software was designed to empower tax professionals to be their very best.