Rip-off “Tax Relief” Companies

Posted by Jeffrey Siegel on August 14, 2014

Tax Relief Company Agrees to Turn over $16 Million to Bilked Consumers

I see this all the time. Taxpayers who are in trouble hire these “tax relief companies” that advertise on TV, radio and internet, send them money after a phone conversation, and never get the services they paid for. In fact, they do not hear from these companies again until they want more money. In fact, these companies make my job harder, since all they have done is get the taxpayer into more trouble and the lack of trustworthiness reflects on the innocent taxpayer.

Under a settlement that the FTC, American Tax Relief turned over millions of dollars in assets the court had frozen, including bank accounts, jewelry and a Ferrari. The parents of one of the defendants also turned over bank accounts, jewelry, a Beverly Hills residence and a Los Angeles condominium.

The FTC said last week that affected consumers would receive, on average, 16 percent of the amount they lost. The Federal Trade Commission said it is mailing more than $16 million in refund checks to 18,571 consumers who had paid money to American Tax Relief, a company that allegedly bilked financially distressed consumers by falsely claiming it could reduce their tax debts.

A number of other tax relief companies have also run afoul of regulators and state attorneys general in recent years after advertising their IRS tax resolution services to consumers and been forced to shut down, including TaxMasters, JK Harris and “Tax Lady” Roni Deutch.   When a client has tax debts they cannot afford to pay, call Jeffrey R. Siegel, your Kansas City Tax Attorney at (913) 735-4829.