Business Tax Resolution – Help and Solutions for Small Business Owners

Published: November 14, 2023 by Emily Garman

Business tax resolution services for small business owners from Shaun Bull of Enterprise Consultants Group

In this episode of Experian’s Small Business Matters Podcast, Shaun Bull, founder and owner of Enterprise Consultants Group, explains what tax resolution involves and how his firm assists small businesses in efficiently resolving their tax matters to get them back on track.

He provides insight into the most common tax mistakes small business owners tend to make, and shares some success stories of clients his firm has helped turn around.

He also helps clear up a few myths around the IRS and whether they will negotiate IRS debt, even with business owners owing millions in back taxes. Listen in and see if a business tax resolution specialist might be able to help your business.

00:00 Introduction to Shaun Bull and Enterprise Consultants Group
00:11 Understanding Tax Resolution and Services Offered
01:20 Importance of Proactive Tax Management for Small Businesses
02:23 Common Tax Mistakes Small Business Owners Make
03:44 How to Start Resolving Tax Issues
05:10 Tips to Avoid Tax Troubles
06:45 Success Story: Resolving a Major Tax Issue
08:56 Understanding the Cost and Benefits of Tax Resolution Services
09:25 Debunking Myths about IRS Negotiations
09:54 Rewards of Running a Small Business
10:14 Conclusion and Contact Information

Watch Our Interview

What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our interview with Shaun Bull.

Emily Garman: Today we’re speaking with Shaun Bull, founder and owner of Enterprise Consultants Group, a tax resolution firm in Los Angeles. Shaun, welcome to the Small Business Matters podcast. What is tax resolution really?

Shaun Bull: We’re resolving tax matters. As we know, as small business owners, taxes are always a pretty large expense.

You may, get into a situation where you can’t afford to pay or you may get into a situation where you have for whatever reason gotten off track. And so our job in Enterprise Consultants Group is to listen to the business owners concerns as it relates to taxes and find ways to efficiently resolve the tax issue, whatever it may be, and get that business owner back on track.

Our goal after that is to try to maintain that relationship with that business owner and at least move forward with filing their tax returns on an annual basis. We offer other services such as incorporation services, all services related to opening or closing a business.

Emily Garman: It sounds like you can help a business from beginning to end. So if someone’s just thinking about starting a business, you can help them with the paperwork, getting everything set up correctly.

Shaun Bull: Being proactive about having your taxes under control is by far and away the best way to stay out of getting into tax trouble. As simple as it may sound, it’s very true. You want to have good advice going into it and make the right moves from the beginning, because if you don’t, once you start the business and running revenue, it can be increasingly difficult to get things set to where they’re supposed to be if you don’t start off that way.

So you want to start off on the right foot, we definitely do that here. We do a lot of consulting. We get a lot of calls from business owners who are just starting out. Want to make sure that they’re putting the right foot forward. And yes, I would say that we can definitely handle it from A to Z.

Emily Garman: Most of our listeners are small business owners, entrepreneurs. And I think it might be interesting if you can share with us the most common mistakes that you see small business owners making when it comes to taxes.

Shaun Bull: When it comes to getting into tax jams, I would say the most common would be, believe it or not, divorce.

What happens with small business owners, just like anyone else, is divorce wreaks havoc on the finances. A lot of what we see with small business owners is, they’ll have their spouse doing the books. If that spouse is doing the books and the other person is doing the work, you can already see where this is going. It creates problems and the business owner gets off track with the taxes.

They don’t know where to start in terms of wrangling the books, the numbers and it eventually leads to having some tax problems. So that is the number one. I would say the second would be not having a good accountant. It’s amazing in our industry, how many times we see where someone says, ‘everything was going great until my accountant died’ or ‘everything was going great until I stopped doing business with my accountant.’ That can, of course, lead to tax trouble.

Emily Garman: Where does somebody start when they’ve got back taxes or they have a dispute or they’re just in trouble in general, they make a phone call to you, right?

Shaun Bull: Right; in short, we go on a fact finding mission and we start by asking the business owner a series of questions to find out all of the necessary information. From there, we contact the IRS. We also do that for free. We call it a compliance check. They have a division of the IRS that’s set up exclusively for tax practitioners and we deal with them on a daily basis. We call them with the taxpayer or business owner and we look at it like popping the hood on a vehicle, right?

If you’ve got a vehicle that’s broken and you don’t know why the car isn’t running. Naturally, the first thing you need to do is pop the hood and find out exactly what the problem is so that you can find out what the repair will be and therefore what it will cost. And you go from there. It’s similar for us. We need to find out exactly, what the cause of the problem is, and if we can address it, and then design a business tax resolution plan to resolve the matter from there.

Emily Garman: What are some things that everybody can do to make sure to minimize the possibility that they’ll get into tax trouble later?

Shaun Bull: That’s a great question. I would say the number one tip to minimizing the chances of you getting into tax trouble would be to either A, have a bookkeeper who you are in constant communication with. If you’re communicating with them effectively, at least once a month. That would be the number one tip.

Number two, if you don’t have a bookkeeper, you want to do your own bookkeeping, which I’m a big fan of. There’s all types of software out there for bookkeeping. And I think that it’s important for small business owners to constantly watch their money. So using software like QuickBooks. You can, on a daily basis, see the transactions, you can see the money coming in, the money going out, and you can see the money getting categorized in with that information that you’re looking at on a continuous basis.

It will be difficult for you to get off track with your taxes, which could lead to you getting behind and then being in a situation where you can’t afford to pay.

So I would say, in short, it would just be to watch your money either have a bookkeeper that you’re working with. Where you can constantly watch the money or do it yourself, through software such as QuickBooks.

Emily Garman: Do any stories come to mind of people who have used your business tax resolution services, who have made a great turnaround or ended up as a real success story because of your services? Is there anybody whose lives have changed because of the work you were able to do with them, or the money you were able to save?

Shaun Bull: One of my favorite success stories where we were able to change a client’s life; this client is in the horse racing industry. He rehabs racehorses, like a Seabiscuit story.

It’s pretty cool. He rehabs horses and gets them out there to racing again. He approached us because he came across a business opportunity for which he needed a gaming license for the state of New Jersey. I believe he got behind on taxes. He had a few years where he hadn’t filed the taxes and he owed quite a lot of money.

It was over $250,000 to the state. He needed to get this gaming license by a certain date, but he had a tax lien filed by the state and there was no way that the state was going to issue him this gaming license.
With the tax lien, I knew that it was it was going to be a pretty difficult case because the state of New Jersey is pretty difficult to negotiate with.

And I also knew that the deadline that we were given, it was going to be pretty stressful, but it was doable. Long story short, we were able to get in, hear him out. Of course, we went through our same process where we go on the fact-finding mission.

Long story short, we were able to settle the tax debt with the state of New Jersey out of the over $250,000 that he owed. He only ended up paying back something like $30,000. He paid that $30,000. The lien was lifted and he was able to obtain that gaming license before the deadline.

Emily Garman: One of the things you mentioned a couple of times is that all of this investigation, and meeting with the person to get their story up front is at no charge. And that was something that was surprising to me. I figured that cost would be a barrier to utilizing your services. So what are some other things that you want to make sure people know about your business and what you do?

Shaun Bull: A lot of business owners don’t believe that the IRS will negotiate and that’s simply a myth. It’s not true. I have had business owners who have owed into the millions in tax debt, and we’ve settled for as little as $5,500. There are programs that you may or may not qualify for, and there’s absolutely a business tax resolution strategy that is required in order to see it through with success, but it’s definitely doable.

Emily Garman: So as a small business owner yourself, what’s been the most rewarding aspect of that for you, of being self employed?

Shaun Bull: The most rewarding aspect of running a small business for me is the autonomy. The ability to do things without having any limitations or any governance.

Emily Garman: Shaun, thanks for taking the time to be here with us today on the Small Business Matters podcast. I’ve learned a lot about business tax resolution and actually my own taxes in the time that we’ve spent together. Thanks for sharing your story with us. And can you let our listeners know where they can find you online?

Shaun Bull: Sure. Absolutely. You can send me an email direct Shaun G that’s S H A U N G at enterprise consultants group dot com, or you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

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