I was given a good marketing idea by an EA in the Chicago area. We focus on getting representation referrals from family law and bankruptcy attorneys. How about looking for referrals from un-enrolled preparers who can’t do what we do? There’s a lot more of them.
You can download a PTIN list for your state from IRS.gov. It’s in an Excel spreadsheet format.
For CT, there are about 8,500. After doing several sorts to weed out CPA’s, EA’s, Attorneys, big box store and CPA firm employees, I narrowed my list down to self-employed un-enrolled preparers in my immediate vicinity (about 5 miles) and sent out about 75 letters. I easily could have sent out 400 if I widened my horizon a little.
I offered a referral fee (% of my fee) to them that probably equals the cost of two standard 1040 returns for an OIC in the $2,500 – $3,000 range for anyone they sent me.
You can be as aggressive as you wish with the referral fee.