When you are looking at different tax resolution services, you should also look up their complaints. Many companies have a plethora of complaints. If you find pages full of complaints, you might as well skip that company right away. If there are less than 5, they may be legitimate and just handle a high volume. Here are some of the common complaints and my assessment of them as a tax attorney:
Did Not Get The Promised Settlement
Lots of firms promise you an IRS settlement. The reality is there is a lot more in depth detail than could ever be covered in even an hour phone conversation to be 100% sure you will get a settlement. Your attorney or other rep really has to go through the data to determine it. A complaint you will often see of tax resolution services is “I ended up in a payment plan when the salesperson told me I was going to get a settlement.” This is often a legitimate complaint. Be warned: if you ask to speak with a licensed person and you can’t, just avoid that firm altogether.
They Charged Me an Additional Yearly Fee
This is a common complaint with tax resolution services. Many firms charge $1,500 or more in addition to your case fee if your case goes beyond one year. This usually is in the fine print and sometimes is not mentioned. At this point you are so invested you feel stuck paying the fee.
We have a way for customers to get out of that, please email me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a customer stuck with a firm charging a yearly fee, often we can take over your case for less than they are charging you to continue.
The longest Offer In Compromise case I have had lasted 2 years and 4 months. Although this is an extraordinary case and most offers are resolved in 4-7 months, it does happen. If our client instead hired a tax resolution services firm that charges yearly fees, they would have an extra $3,000 bill. We charge very low monthly fees until your case is complete. By the time most of our clients cases are in their 6th month, they are only paying $75 per month until their case is complete, substantially less than the $1,500 yearly charged by other firms.
They Didn’t Do Anything At All and I Got Levied!
Believe it or not, many tax resolution firms do nothing on your case. They sign you up, take your money, do nothing, and close doors within a year. You will see complaints of people who got garnished after they found out no one was working on their case. Many firms do not contact the IRS upon you hiring them, they either do nothing at all, or they only do document prep and mailings.
The ones that only do document prep often have one non-attorney, usually an Enrolled Agent paid a very low amount, doing 1,000+ cases. They physically could not call the IRS even if they worked 24 hours a day, so they can only prepare documents and mail them out. These are often called “Offer Mills” by industry insiders, as to indicate they just mail out Offers In Compromise to the IRS regardless if that is the best thing to do, and without every calling anybody at the IRS about the client’s case.
Sometimes the complaints regarding being levied are not legitimate. This happens when the client repeatedly fails to send documents to their representative. The rep can only get so many holds from collections to provide the information to put your case in whatever status they are going for. If you do not send any documentation to your attorney, they can’t work your case, and eventually you will get garnished.
The Company Closed
Very often tax relief firms close. Nationwide Tax Relief, JK Harris, American Tax Relief, TaxMasters, and others that have graced the radio and TV are now completely closed. Their clients are left without help and out the money they spent on services with little to no recourse. The reason they can close with no recourse is they have no obligation to complete your case if it is not financially viable for their company. Here at TRP, since we are a law firm, we have to complete your case regardless of our finances. Since we do not rely heavily on advertising and more on client referrals, we do not have expensive ads running and thus can also pass that savings on to our clients.
Any other complaints you have had with tax resolution services? Leave a comment below!
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