Business Owner Befriends Taxpayers –

Nobody wants problems with the IRS and for eight years that included problems with Michael Raanan, who served as a revenue officer for the small business/self-employed division of the IRS.

“Dealing with the IRS can be an emotionally – not to mention financially – draining experience for most taxpayers,” Raanan said. “Individual and business taxpayers alike often feel overwhelmed with the complexity of the tax code. And receiving a letter or notice from the IRS only makes matters worse.”

Now Raanan, 31, is more of a welcome guest into the finances of taxpayers. He is the founder and president of Landmark Tax Group, a professional tax firm in Southern California. Raanan’s experience with the IRS proved valuable because he said it takes only a few minutes for him to ascertain a taxpayer’s situation.

“Being able to put the taxpayers at ease by helping them understand their tax situation and getting them back on track is extremely rewarding,” he said, “as well as being in a position to advocate for taxpayers and make their lives a little easier.”

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Raanan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Florida State University as well as an MBA from The University of Phoenix, said his degrees have taught him how to manage client relationships and expectations.

“One of the first things you learn about in business school is how important it is to keep your customers happy,” he said. “Customer service and client satisfaction are by far the most important tenets of my firm.”

Raanan said he is able to demonstrate the skills he acquired in business school daily in his career in the tax industry.

“Staying organized while multitasking is an essential skill that has carried over well from my days in academia,” he said. “In my line of work, there is no routine, so you have to be flexible. On any given day, I am fielding phone calls, sorting through taxpayer emails and IRS correspondences, communicating with various levels of the IRS, preparing financial analyses, and advocating on my clients’ behalf.”

Raanan said he hopes to pursue his Ph.D. in behavioral economics in the future because “discovering how and why people make certain decisions, including those that are seemingly irrational, is fascinating” to him.

For those aspiring to have their own business one day, Raanan said they should learn everything they can about the industry and type of work they’re seeking.

“Benchmark successful companies in the industry and incorporate their best practices into your business plan,” he said. “Complete as much of the legwork as possible while at your current job and, when the time is right, plan your exit.”

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