Jun 23, 2009

The Merits of Clear Creek vs. Hiring a CPA

I was asked the other day by a potential client why Clear Creek was a better alternative to their company's Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and trusted colleague. As I thought this was a great and legitimate question, I thought I would respond in this format. The most obvious reply is that although CPA's do have training in back tax resolution, their emphasis is in preparing, submitting and reminding their clients of their current tax obligations and considerations depending on the type and size of their business.

CPA's, upon setting out for themselves, rarely desire to pursue tax resolution because their accounting skill set has been rigorously tested in a formal and academic environment and as such, wish to keep current with new tax code specific to tax rules that will affect their clientele. Because tax resolution work is so different, CPA's are rarely abreast on how to negotiate, and deal with Appeals Departments and the overall manner in which best to protect a client and settle their outstanding tax matter. Furthermore, with the ever more complex U.S. Tax Code, they must ensure that the advice they give their clients is correct and not going to cause their professional reputation to be questioned. In other words most CPA's spend their professional time working with complex accounting and regulatory issues that are very different to the work in which Clear Creek specializes. And, as asset protection, and back tax negotiation and resolution is what our firm specializes in, we are simply better positioned to remain current with legislation and trends that best benefit our clients. We remain current with the aforementioned and have on our team an IRS Liaison Officer whose role is to remain current with such federal and state tax legislation so that our team of tax professionals and attorneys know how to best protect our clients, not to mention resolve their outstanding tax issues.

Furthermore, a CPA's role is to keep their clients from having a tax matter in the first place. This being said, we all know that misfortune, health, and other economic or financial issues can cause a company or individual to fall behind in their tax obligations, however, if a tax matter presented itself, there might actually be for lack of better words, a 'conflict of interest' as a CPA's role is to prevent such a calamity from occurring in the first place. And, to then represent a client in such a predicament may suggest to other clients that this is not the best CPA for their tax matters. Personally, I want my accountant to ensure I am not falling behind and am remaining current with my tax obligations and if for some reason something were to happen, I would question his abilities, and certainly not trust him to resolve the tax matter that he may have created or 'let' happen by not being diligent.

At the end of the day, we all now live and operate in a very specialized economy. We all know that there are car mechanic shops, however, it seems as though we have shops that specialize in transmissions, or brakes and alignment, or even diesel engines. I hope my point is understood, and being that many of you who are reading this blog have carved out your own niche and core competencies that enable you to compete in this economy, you understand that to remain competitive, one must specialize. In other words, the economic term of comparative advantage which roughly means one party is more efficient in accomplishing one task over another that specializes in another task, benefits both in that each can hone their specialization which better serves the community at large. Based on this principle, Clear Creek continues to set the standard for professionalism in the tax resolution industry just as a CPA should continue to strive to be the best in their industry which in and of itself has many complicated and specific niches.

I know that I can be longwinded which for better or worse may be my core competency, however, our firm does one thing and we do it very well which has been and continues to be the resolution of tax matters for businesses and individuals. Thanks for reading!

Jun 5, 2009

Going Above and Beyond

This past month I have spent some time with our Associate Attorneys to learn more about the work they have been accomplishing on behalf of our clients. As we all know, these are trying times for many, and the small business owner is not immune to this economic climate. In fact, from what many of our clients are saying, this is the worst economic climate many have seen in their lifetime.

As this is the case, it does, however, bring me great joy to know that Clear Creek is providing great relief to small business owners who trust our firm to represent them with their most pressing financial issues. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely well aware of how a tax lien can cripple your ability to do virtually anything financially until it is removed and resolved. With this in mind it must be noted that some of the more exceptional cases that we have completed this past month for our valued clients has more to do with the culture of our Services Department than with their trained expertise in tax resolution and negotiation. This culture of true sincerity and empathy cannot be and should never be understated. These professional not only work tirelessly to resolve our client's tax issues, they learn what created the financial problem in the first place and work toward creating a resolution that is not simply a 'band aid,' but a resolution to the larger financial problem at hand. In doing so, these dedicated consultants dig deep into a client's case and never settle until they have done all that can be done to assist those that have entrusted to work on their behalf. Because I was blown away with what we had accomplished, I desired to learn more and share some of these stories with you in this format.

In the first case, a railroad signalman in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania hired Clear Creek to manage a liability of over $58,000 owed to the IRS. Our client's wages had been garnished by the IRS for over two years, and he could not make contact with an IRS agent. He was losing as much as $1,000 per month to the IRS, on top of nearly $2,000 of court ordered payments to his ex-wife. He was five months behind on his mortgage, had no credit available, and was on the verge of having both his house and truck repossessed. The Associate assigned to the case spoke to several agents at the IRS and determined that the wage garnishment was improper and must be released. The Associate worked with the IRS and provided financial information and proof that the garnishment was incorrectly applied. The Revenue Agent with whom we finally made contact gave her approval for this designation and forwarded the case to her District Manager for final approval. The Associate is now working to release the lien on our client's 401K so that he can take a hardship withdrawal to catch up on his house and car payments, as well as an innocent spouse claim to protect his ex-wife which will ensure that she can get a low interest rate on a new home loan. Furthermore, we negotiated Status 53 for our client, which puts his remaining liability into an uncollectible status, and he will no longer have hundreds of dollars taken out of each paycheck by the IRS. And, with the 401K lien discharged, he will be able to avoid seizure of his house and truck by the lenders.

In another case, a medical x-ray and imaging company in Boardman, Ohio hired our firm to handle an IRS liability. Although we were successful in our negotiations with the IRS, it came about that our client was paying the company that financed their MRI, and CT equipment roughly $29,000 per month. Because this was crippling their business, the Associate was asked to renegotiate the terms of the contract to lower the monthly payment. This Associate was able to get payments down to $20,000, but the Associate assigned to the case didn't feel that was low enough. She then began to request buyout information from the finance company so the doctor could obtain a loan to buyout the equipment. The figure the finance company came back with was $746,554.19, unless he paid by it off within ten days. If our client was able to obtain a loan by that date, they would drop the amount to $559,915 which was not possible. The Associate was not satisfied with the figure, so she began to negotiate with more tenacity with the finance company. She was able to negotiate the buyout down to $418,237. This is over $328,000 of savings, and the loan does not need to be completed in 10 days, but within 45 days. The Associate also worked with the banks to determine the best rate, and now the doctor's payments to the bank are going to be around $10,000 per month.

The above are examples that I thought illustrated my point that our Associate Attorneys are not only well trained in negotiating tax matters for our clients, but are capable of uncovering what may be other financial issues that need to be addressed and complete these orders of business for them too. Due to this desire or culture in our Services Department of truly desiring to protect our clients and find creative ways to assist our clients, there are several more families and businesses in our great country that are now on more stable ground and positioned for better financial health in the years to come.

Going Above and Beyond

This past month I have spent some time with our Associate Attorneys to learn more about the work they have been accomplishing on behalf of our clients. As we all know, these are trying times for many, and the small business owner is not immune to this economic climate. In fact, from what many of our clients are saying, this is the worst economic climate many have seen in their lifetime. 

As this is the case, it does, however, bring me great joy to know that Clear Creek Consulting is providing great relief to small business owners who trust our firm to represent them with their most pressing financial issues. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely well aware of how a tax lien can cripple your ability to do virtually anything financially until it is removed and resolved. With this in mind it must be noted that some of the more exceptional cases that we have completed this past month for our valued clients has more to do with the culture of our Services Department than with their trained expertise in tax resolution and negotiation. This culture of true sincerity and empathy cannot be and should never be understated. These professional not only work tirelessly to resolve our client’s tax issues, they learn what created the financial problem in the first place and work toward creating a resolution that is not simply a 'band aid,' but a resolution to the larger financial problem at hand. In doing so, these dedicated consultants dig deep into a client’s case and never settle until they have done all that can be done to assist those that have entrusted to work on their behalf. Because I was blown away with what we had accomplished, I desired to learn more and share some of these stories with you in this format. 

In the first case, a railroad signalman in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania hired Clear Creek Consulting to manage a liability of over $58,000 owed to the IRS. Our client’s wages had been garnished by the IRS for over two years, and he could not make contact with an IRS agent. He was losing as much as $1,000 per month to the IRS, on top of nearly $2,000 of court ordered payments to his ex-wife. He was five months behind on his mortgage, had no credit available, and was on the verge of having both his house and truck repossessed. The Associate assigned to the case spoke to several agents at the IRS and determined that the wage garnishment was improper and must be released. The Associate worked with the IRS and provided financial information and proof that the garnishment was incorrectly applied. The Revenue Agent with whom we finally made contact gave her approval for this designation and forwarded the case to her District Manager for final approval. The Associate is now working to release the lien on our client’s 401K so that he can take a hardship withdrawal to catch up on his house and car payments, as well as an innocent spouse claim to protect his ex-wife which will ensure that she can get a low interest rate on a new home loan. Furthermore, we negotiated Status 53 for our client, which puts his remaining liability into an uncollectible status, and he will no longer have hundreds of dollars taken out of each paycheck by the IRS. And, with the 401K lien discharged, he will be able to avoid seizure of his house and truck by the lenders. 

In another case, a medical x-ray and imaging company in Boardman, Ohio hired our firm to handle an IRS liability. Although we were successful in our negotiations with the IRS, it came about that our client was paying the company that financed their MRI, and CT equipment roughly $29,000 per month. Because this was crippling their business, the Associate was asked to renegotiate the terms of the contract to lower the monthly payment. This Associate was able to get payments down to $20,000, but the Associate assigned to the case didn’t feel that was low enough. She then began to request buyout information from the finance company so the doctor could obtain a loan to buyout the equipment. The figure the finance company came back with was $746,554.19, unless he paid by it off within ten days. If our client was able to obtain a loan by that date, they would drop the amount to $559,915 which was not possible. The Associate was not satisfied with the figure, so she began to negotiate with more tenacity with the finance company. She was able to negotiate the buyout down to $418,237. This is over $328,000 of savings, and the loan does not need to be completed in 10 days, but within 45 days. The Associate also worked with the banks to determine the best rate, and now the doctor’s payments to the bank are going to be around $10,000 per month. 

The above are examples that I thought illustrated my point that our Associate Attorneys are not only well trained in negotiating tax matters for our clients, but are capable of uncovering what may be other financial issues that need to be addressed and complete these orders of business for them too. Due to this desire or culture in our Services Department of truly desiring to protect our clients and find creative ways to assist our clients, there are several more families and businesses in our great country that are now on more stable ground and positioned for better financial health in the years to come.