When innocent American citizens are taken advantage of by dishonest tax resolution companies who make false and misleading promises, it angers the tax experts at the Tax Resolution Institute. Tax scams not only hurt the innocent, the resulting tax complaints also darken the reputation of our industry. The mission of the Tax Resolution Institute is to help people with serious IRS and state tax problems obtain a favorable result, leaving them happy instead of desperate.
A perfect example of such a tax scam was recorded in a tax complaint that a Southern California couple recently posted on the Internet. After receiving notices from the IRS demanding payment for an income tax debt of over half a million dollars, the couple hired so-called tax resolution specialists from an advertisement they saw in a reputable media source. Upon contacting the firm, the couple was pressured into paying the firm’s full fee of over $4000 up front. Since they were promised a swift and speedy resolution to their IRS income tax debt for pennies on the dollar, they thought the offer made sense. What they did not realize is that when an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is a red flag for a tax resolution scam.
After the couple submitted all requested paperwork and paid the fee up front, they were surprised when they did not hear from the scandalous company for several weeks and notices from the IRS continued to arrive in their mailbox, they tried to contact anyone at the company for an explanation. As the couple continued to receive notices and subsequent collection actions from the IRS in regards to their delinquent income tax bill, they were shocked that nobody they originally had worked with at the company would return their phone calls. When they did get in contact with anyone other than a secretary, they were treated rudely and inappropriately. They wrote the company multiple letters, called day in and day out, and did everything they could to get the tax resolution services they had paid for up front. But nothing happened and they realized they were the victims of a tax scam.
Due to the lack of response from the company and continued pressure from the IRS in regards to their income tax debt, the Southern California couple was forced to find new representation. With a bank levy and wage garnishment hanging over their heads, they had no choice but to hire a tax attorney. When the new attorney requested information from the dishonest tax resolution company originally hired, he was told that all of the case file contents were destroyed once the couple hired new representation. In addition, the couple had filed for bankruptcy with the belief that their IRS income tax debts would be discharged. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Their attorney did not tell them that taxes need to age before they can be discharged.
What is so frustrating is that if the Southern California couple had hired the Tax Resolution Institute, the outcome would have been radically different and positive. Once the couple contacted TRI they would have received a comprehensive consultation at no charge. Upon completing the consultation, the couple would have been given a concise estimate of costs. If they chose to proceed, they would have been sent agreement, including a power of attorney that would allow TRI to contact the IRS. Once they had reviewed and signed this necessary paperwork, they would have made a partial payment of the overall fee and their tax case would have begun.
Once retained, TRI would have reviewed the previous Bankruptcy by completing a Tax Dischargeability Analysis (“TDA”) to determine if the taxes had “aged” sufficiently to be discharged. If so, the tax attorneys at the Tax Resolution Institute would have made a case on behalf of the couple to the IRS and State. If the tax attorney did not allow the taxes to age sufficiently before “pulling the trigger” on the previous bankruptcy, TRI would proceed with efforts to negotiate on behalf of the client with regards to the collection issues.
The Tax Experts at the Tax Resolution Institute would find a solution to the couple’s delinquent income tax problems. Whether the solution was an Installment Agreement, an Offer in Compromise or Currently Not Collectible Status, the Southern California would have come away satisfied with the outcome. TRI would have remained in regular contact with the couple giving them consistent status updates and answering their questions and concerns as they arose. With an extensive list of satisfied clients and a impeccable reputation of delivering the best in tax resolution services, the Tax Resolution Institute is a light shining in the darkness of tax complaints, tax schemes and tax scams.
About Peter Y. Stephan
Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.