How I Got Here: From Working for the IRS to Helping YOU – A Message from the Founder of Landmark Tax Group
How I Got here from working with the IRS to starting Landmark Tax Group. Many of my clients aren’t big fans of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The department keeps pestering them, reminding them of money they owe, and inflicting more stress with each phone call and letter. But if it hadn’t been for the IRS, I wouldn’t be able to help my clients find relief from that very same department.
How I Got Started at the IRS
In 2004, about a year after graduating college in Florida with a degree in business and information technology, I found myself at a career fair chatting it up with some IRS agents. I hadn’t ever considered working at the IRS, until the agents informed me that the agency was hiring 1,100 people, and the deadline to apply was midnight — that night. I was immediately intrigued, so that night I took and passed the IRS’s 150-question quiz. Before I knew it, I was flying across the country on my own dime to Los Angeles for fingerprinting at 7:30 a.m., mock phone calls, and a one-on-one interview with the IRS.
I was eventually hired and began my yearlong training to become an IRS Revenue Officer. It was my job to knock on people’s doors and meet with them in person regarding the back taxes they owed, after paper and phone communication had failed. I was lucky enough to have a great coach for this job, but those initial meetings with taxpayers were nerve-wracking. I remember constantly walking on eggshells, knowing I wouldn’t be a welcomed sight as I flashed them my badge and talked to them about the money they owed.
A Huge Need for Taxpayer Help
But the part of that job that invigorated me the most was talking to people. I learned about the life situations and the fear that led people to this place in their life, and through my conversations with them and the expertise I gleaned during my tenure with the IRS, I was able to educate them about ways they could avoid this distressing situation, again. That lit a spark in me. It made me realize that helping people in this way was something I was meant to do.
After finding my passion for helping others learn about their tax debt and how to fix it, I knew I could open my own firm. Additionally, the eight years I spent at the IRS proved to be some of the best training for the future of my career. I was working at the core of our nation’s taxing system, and I was experiencing pieces of the process other professionals never actually see. Throughout that experience, I had been working across the table with big-budget companies that promised relief to taxpayers, and I saw firsthand their inability to fulfill their clients’ needs. It quickly became apparent that there was a massive need for professional IRS help, where a taxpayer could have a licensed representative advocate for them to resolve their back tax issues.
How I got here: The Start of Landmark Tax Group
In 2012, I left the IRS armed with the stockpile of knowledge I picked up while working there. I opened Landmark Tax Group in July of that year and immediately began helping taxpayers find consolation from the very organization where I once worked.
After helping taxpayers settle over $100 million over the last seven years of private practice, I’ve continued to learn about the intricacies of tax law and reconciliation while helping people through their very raw emotions. I’ve learned that the panic and anxiety most people experience is heavier than it should be because human brains exaggerate situations. My job is to help them see the less-stressful reality, and more importantly, I use my expertise to make sure they don’t end up needing my services ever again. Tax codes are complicated and confusing, but they’re concepts everyone can understand and find relief from.
I completely understand the fear. As a husband and a father, I’d do anything to make sure my family is happy and healthy. If my family and I were facing tremendous debt, I know I’d struggle through high stress and fear. I also know there’s a light at the end of what seems to be a very dark and long tunnel. And I’ve dedicated my career to helping people find it.
– Michael Raanan, MBA, EA
President & Founder of Landmark Tax Group