When it comes to selecting a firm to help you with tax resolution services, do a Google search and you will usually find a ton of complaints about that company, especially if you have heard about them first on TV or Radio. Many will fall back on their Better Business Bureau Accreditation as a reason to give customers why they are legitimate.
The truth about the Better Business Bureau
The reality is the BBB does little to help consumers and is more of a shield companies buy to earn legitimacy. Search BBB for our company and it is not even the right listing, shows a company in Michigan that only handles tax preparation, and not tax resolution. If you had a real complaint about a tax professional, their state bar or CPA licensing authority would be the one to contact, not the BBB.
The reason the BBB does not matter is simple: The firm you are contracting to help you with tax resolution services of any kind should be owned by licensed professionals. The licensing board of those professionals is where complaints would be brought. The reality is most tax resolution companies are not owned by a licensed individual, so this BBB accreditation is a way of looking as if the company is licensed when it’s really a boiler room with outsourced work products.
Tax resolution companies and marketing
Why are most tax resolution companies high pressure, boiler room sales, that you call into from TV or Radio? Because tax resolution services that you hear about on the radio, TV, or see a billboard for, have an extremely high customer acquisition cost. Before they have you on the phone, they have already paid for an expensive advertisement, or are paying up to $200 per call to receive your call. This means they HAVE to be high pressure or their business closes. The sad part is most of them do close, leaving customers with no representation. Since they are only BBB accredited, and not licensed professionals owning the company, they have no obligation to complete clients’ cases.
JK Harris, American Tax Relief, Nationwide Tax Relief, Roni Deutch, and Taxmasters are all bankrupt, closed down, or shut down by the government. Anyone who has watched TV has seen commercials from at least one of these outfits in the past 5 years, and they are all done. On the other hand, most licensed professionals do not rely on the same type of high-pressure sales to get new cases. We get referrals from other clients who were happy with our service (or maybe by reading this article!). Most clients are not happy with the service of companies engaged in high pressure, false promise sales, and therefore they only get new clients with advertising. We never engage in high-cost advertising, as it only means high costs for customers, and we have a very high workload without a need for TV or Radio ads.
The BBB role in tax companies
The BBB is really a way for tax resolution companies to hide behind their high-pressure sales. If they point out their BBB accreditation when you point out a multitude of complaints online, believe the complaints from real people over the BBB which was paid to put out a good image for the company.
The most important thing is to check the license of the professional you are hiring. If you are hiring an attorney, get their state bar number and go to the state bar website for their admitted state. An attorney in any state can represent you for IRS tax matters anywhere, so their location is not that important, but the fact that they have a clean record is. Whether or not they have BBB accreditation….. is not relevant.