Pitbull vs Canopy: Battle of the Tax Resolution Software Titans

“Should I use Pitbull or Canopy?”

“What’s the best tax resolution software?”

…and other variations on this same question have become the #1 thing I get asked on the “Ask Me Anything” webinars that I occasionally host.

Since it’s a question that inevitably turns into a 15-20 minute conversation about features, pricing, and user interfaces, I’ve decided to create this page to have a place to send all the folks that ask the question. So if I sent you here because you asked the question, please don’t be offended — I’ve simply gotten tired of repeating myself over and over and over and…

To cut straight to the chase…

1). There are only four full-service tax resolution software programs that I’m aware of. One of them is really old and archaic, one of them is too new and behind the 8-ball. That leaves Pitbull and Canopy.

2). What about Audit Detective from Tax Help Software? Yes, it’s a great tool — I used it myself when I was in practice. If you want a stand-alone transcript analysis tool without all the other features of a full-service tax resolution software package, then by all means get Audit Detective and don’t even bother looking elsewhere. But if you want a full package suite, that’s not what they do.

3). Don’t be a cheapskate on this. The price difference between Pitbull and Canopy is insignificant. Both platforms offer the exact same core features, such as client portal, document management, 433 questionnaire, resolution options determination, etc. They both offer additional features for additional fees. How they break out those features and fees is very different. For example, transcript service is included at no cost with Canopy, but Pitbull charges an extra $250/yr for it. They also both charge extra for practice management features, such as time tracking, billing, payment processing, etc. With Pitbull, you’re going to be in about $1500 per year for a single user license for the important stuff, at Canopy it’s $2000. You should ambivalent about that $500 difference, as one tax resolution case pays for your entire year of software.

4). In terms of overall features, there’s very little difference between what the two platforms actually do, which is the important part. Some people will argue that Pitbull’s fee quote generator pushes that platform in their favor, but hold the phone. I have long held strong opinions regarding how the big, national fly-by-night tax resolution … Continue reading

If they’re broke, how can a tax resolution client afford my fee?

This is the inevitable question.

On every webinar, every Tax Resolution Fast Start Boot Camp, every open Q&A call, and via numerous emails, this is the #1 most frequently asked question in the tax resolution universe.

As such, I figure it’s about high time that I write out a formal response that I can refer folks to in the future.

So if you sent me an email or otherwise posed this question, and I sent you here, welcome, and know that you are not alone. 🙂

First, I’ll give you the short answer: People find the money to pay for what’s important to them.

Here in the United States, the wealthiest nation in human history, there is no shortage of money. Money is literally everywhere. Compared to most other countries, and most other times in history, money is also relatively easy to get.

“Pfttt!” I hear some readers saying. But statistically speaking, it’s true. Here in America, even our lowest income earners make more money in a year than billions of people around the world make in 5 or 10 years.

But money here doesn’t just come from earned income. We also have one of the greatest credit facilities in the world (be that for good or bad). Many people (not everybody, but most), can tap into credit almost at will, and many people do exactly that in order to obtain the money to pay for what matters most to them.

Starting to make sense?

What you’ll find when you start doing tax resolution work is a very simple truth: People had the money to pay their taxes, they simply chose to do something else with the money instead. This is where tax debts come from in the first place.

Many times, people are using their tax money to support a lifestyle that is more grandiose than they should be. This applies equally across the socioeconomic spectrum, by the way. People making $25,000 per year can wind up with a tax debt just as easily as people making $250,000 per year.

So, the money is flowing through them, they’re just not doing with it what they’re supposed to be doing with it (in the eyes of the IRS, that is).

By the way, if you don’t believe me in regards to this matter, I’d encourage you to take the Trailer Park Challenge. This challenge doesn’t involve a bucket of ice water or … Continue reading

The Hero’s Journey

I’m currently engaged in a personal academic study of Homer’s classic Greek works, the Illiad and the Odyssey.

What? What??!!??! It sure beats my other recent academic inquiry into Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga. Yeah, you read that correctly.

Hey, I’m a twice divorced, middle aged, American, male. I…I….I kinda like the idea of an attractive, female werewolf that could rip my head off. Team Leah Clearwater, FTW!

Didn’t see that coming, did you? Actress Julia Jones, 38, is of Choctaw, Chickasaw, and African American descent, studied ballet from age 4, and is a graduate of Columbia University, for any of the other 54% of readers that are men. She recently portrayed the character Kohana in the HBO show Westworld, and currently appears in the Liam Neeson flick Cold Pursuit.

Ahem. 🙂

Wait, what was I talking about?

Uhhh, let’s see… Team Jacob, Team Leah, Team Quielute, Greek literature, Sirens, right, right…

At their core, both the modern literature of Twilight and the 8th century BC literature of Homer are about the hero’s journey.

That epic journey from nobody to somebody. From worthless to priceless. From peon to super-hero.

The generic story is as old as recorded history itself. It’s the basis of entire movie franchises, and, at risk of offending countless readers, the basis of entire religions.

From Abraham to Odysseus to Jesus to Muhammad to de Broglie, The Hero’s Journey is an integral part of what makes us human. In truth, it’s the very story of the human condition. And, it’s a story that will play out into the future as we colonize the Moon, Mars, Proxima Centauri b, and encounter extraterrestrial species that throw our entire concept of being into utter chaos.

But here’s what excites me: No matter what changes in the world around us, you, too, can have your own hero’s journey.

Maybe you want to pull a Jassen, and rise from American poverty to the American 5%.

Maybe you want help ensure a drought-free future to thousands of Eritrean farmers.

Maybe you want to ensure the economic survival of your rural town of 50 people.

Maybe you want to ensure your own child receives a college education.

Maybe you want to ensure that your own family has a meal tomorrow.

No matter where you start, and what your objective may be, there is a Hero’s Journey to be had.

I obviously don’t know who you, dear … Continue reading