Build Your Practice by Becoming a Certified Tax Representation Consultant
The tax resolution industry is ripe for the picking. There are $688 billion in unpaid federal taxes every year, and the IRS is ramping up the audits and collection enforcement, especially against high-income earners and corporations. In September 2023, the agency announced that it was going to hire 3,700 new employees to focus on enforcement for partnerships and corporations.
Here's what it boils down to — individuals and businesses are going to need help resolving their IRS tax problems, and they're going to be willing to pay for high-quality services. To tap into this segment of the market, you just need the right training and marketing designed to acquire tax resolution clients.
Becoming a Certified Tax Representation Consultant (CTRC) is a great place to start, and this certification is also an effective way to expand your practice if you're already in the tax resolution industry. Here's what you need to know.
What Is a Certified Tax Representation Consultant?
A Certified Tax Representation Consultant (CTRC) is a tax professional who has completed training and passed tests about tax resolution topics. Certified by the Tax Rep Network, CTRCs know how to offer the highest quality resolution services to their clients, and they also know how to competitively price and market these services to make the biggest impact on their firms.
How to Become a Certified Tax Representation Consultant
To get certified as a CTRC, you must sign up with the Tax Rep Network. Then, you have one year to complete five training modules and pass five tests. Each module consists of four to five hours of video training, and once you've completed the training, you can take the test. To pass, you must get at least 70% correct on a 20-question multiple-choice test.
Prerequisites to Enroll in CTRC Training
There are no prerequisites for CTRC training. However, this certification shows you how to represent clients in front of the IRS, and you can only represent clients in front of this agency if you are an Enrolled Agent, a CPA, or a tax attorney.
In other words, you won't be able to use your CTRC credentials until you get licensed as a tax pro. The fastest option is to become an Enrolled Agent.
Topics on the Tax Representation Consultant Certification Test
The CTRC tests focus on IRS Audits, IRS Collections, Innocent Spouse Relief, Offers in Compromise, and Payroll Tax Issues. Here's an overview.
- IRS Audits: In the audit course, you learn everything you need to guide a client through an IRS audit, including fast-track mediation and appeals with the US Tax Court. This course also provides specific guidance on hobby-loss issues and cash-intensive businesses.
- IRS Collections: This course covers the IRS collection process including assessment, billing, and collections. It shows you how to appeal collection actions through CDP hearings, equivalent hearings, and CAP. It also outlines using bankruptcy to resolve tax debts, getting uncollectible status, and setting up payment plans.
- Innocent Spouse: The innocent spouse course teaches you strategies to win innocent spouse claims. It looks at case studies and guides you through the process from submitting the initial request to making appeals in Tax Court.
- IRS Offer in Compromise: In the OIC course, you learn about doubt-as-to-liability offers, doubt-as-to-collectibility offers, and effective tax administration (ETA) offers. The course helps you understand reasonable collection potential, OIC acceptance strategies, and how to market these services.
- Payroll Tax Issues: Payroll tax issues can be extremely expensive and exhausting. In this case, you learn about the enforcement landscape, personal liability for payroll taxes and penalties, and how to get the best resolution for your clients.
Cost of CTRC Training
As of October 2023, the cost of CTRC training is $995, or you can make two payments of $550 or three payments of $400. At the time of writing, the Tax Rep Network also offers three months of free Gold Level membership when you sign up for TRC certification.
Gold Level Tax Rep Network membership gives you support from the Tax Rep Network team, books on tax representation, and free registration to the IRS Representation Conference. Membership also includes access to on-demand tax resolution training videos, marketing training videos, case study webinars, downloadable forms and letters, and other resources. Currently, about 500,000 tax pros engage with these resources.
Tax Representation Consultant Certification Renewal
CTRC certifications only last three years. To renew your certificate, you must do one of the following in the last year before the expiration of the certification:
- Take a renewal class with the Tax Rep Network
- Attend the New England IRS Representation Conference
- Attend the Tax Rep Summit
Once you renew, the certification is valid for another three years, but you will need to complete the renewal process every three years. This helps to ensure that all pros with the CTRC designation have the most up-to-date training on tax resolution methods and processes.
Benefits of Becoming a Certified Tax Representation Consultant
By becoming a Certified Tax Representation Consultant, you gain the knowledge you need to break into a profitable and traditionally underserved area of services. Once you pass the certification tests, you will receive a certificate to hang in your office and a badge to put on your website. You will also enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased trust with prospective clients.
- Insights about how the IRS works.
- Advanced strategies to resolve taxpayers' individual and business tax issues.
- Knowledge about how to work tax resolution deals as efficiently as possible.
- Info about strategically pricing deals to build your client base and profits.
- Career growth and development.
- Ability to provide high-ticket services during the off-season.
A TRC certification doesn't just help you gain more tax resolution clients. It can also help you expand your tax prep and planning services. When taxpayers know that you have the skills to handle audits or any other issues that may come up, they are more likely to hire you to do their tax returns.
The Tax Rep Network — The Provider of TRC Certification
Training for Certified Tax Representation Consultants is provided by The Tax Rep Network, a training and coaching program for tax professionals. The organization has helped countless accountants and tax attorneys grow their tax representation firms. Nearly half a million people engage with the TPN and its services.
TRN was founded by Eric Green, a tax attorney and partner of Green & Sklarz LLP based in New Haven, CT. Eric has a stunning record of negotiating settlements with the IRS and the Department of Justice Tax Division. He has convinced the IRS to forgo criminal charges in thousands of civil cases.
Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked as a senior tax consultant for KPMG and Deloitte & Touche LLP. He's authored the following books: Accountant’s Guide to IRS Collection, The
Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Tax Debts, and The Accountant’s Guide to Resolving Payroll Taxes & Personal Liability.
The government has earmarked $80 billion in funding for the IRS over the next decade, and a significant portion of the funds are going toward tax collection and enforcement. The agency stalled many of its collection processes during the COVID pandemic, but now, the automated collection process is ramping up again.
This is an ideal time to add tax resolution services to your practice. A certification shows prospective clients that you understand these processes and how to get results.
FAQs About the Tax Representation Consultant Certification
Can you retake CTRC tests?
Yes, there are unlimited retakes for the CTRC tests. However, you must complete all tests within a year of signing up to get your certification. If you don't complete the process in that time, you will need to start over.
Does the CTRC training count as continuing education for tax professionals?
No, the CTRC training does not count as continuing education for tax professionals. However, if you decide to go to the Tax Rep Summit or the IRS Representation Conference, you can sign up for continuing education (CE), continuing legal education (CLE),, and/or continuing practice education (CPE) at both of those events.
What is the IRS Representation Conference?
Presented by Green & Sklarz, LLC, the IRS Representation Conference is an annual conference for tax resolution pros. The event offers panel discussions and interviews about diverse tax resolution topics, including criminal investigations, new IRS developments, enforcement trends, and all kinds of other topics. You can attend this event every three years to renew your certification.
What is the Annual Tax Rep Summit?
Organized by the Tax Rep Network and Tax Mentor, the Tax Rep Summit is an annual conference for tax rep pros. It provides education and networking opportunities for tax resolution professionals. You can attend this conference every three years to renew your CTRC designation.
Get Ready to Grow Your Firm
Want to learn more about the Tax Rep Network or the Certified Tax Representation Consultants? Then, check out the CTRC page of the Tax Rep Network website. For a limited time, the company has special offers for TaxCure marketplace members. To improve your reach and boost your visibility with TaxCure, sign up for a member profile today.