The Mission Statement of the Tax Resolution Blog?

We created the Tax Problem Resolution Blog to aid the average person to become more discerning buyers of tax resolution and tax representation services. Please read the index of articles below to learn more about the tax resolution industry and to assist you in solving your specific tax problem.

Jay Freeborne, Enrolled Agent at Washington Tax Services, open for business since 1989

NOT RECOMMENDED -- COMPANIES WITH D TO F RATINGS (OR DESERVE SPECIAL INCLUSION) --8 Companies

NOT RECOMMENDED --- COMPANIES WITH  D to F RATINGS AT BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (OR WHO DESERVE SPECIAL INCLUSION)- Investigate thoroughly before hiring these companies.

If you have already been ripped off by one of these companies: try our strategy for getting a refund here:  Getting Money Back from Tax Relief Companies

1. Tax Group Center, offices in Calabasas, CA and Post Falls Idaho, May 2008
(formerly known also as  Progressive Tax Group, San Francisco, CA , Innovative Tax Relief (California)) or Urgent Tax Care.)

The original company in this web of tax relief companies was Innovative Tax Relief which is now out of business  BCA/BBB - Innovative -- Their next creation was Progressive -- whose BBB record is self-explanatory:   BBB/BCA - Progressive Tax Group.  These two companies Innovative and Progressive are apparently NOW CLOSED.

Since 2008 - there seems to be one remaining company: Tax Group Center  www.taxgroupcenter.com whose BBB record rates a "D" for Calabasas:  BBB Rating - Tax Group Center and their Idaho office - UNRATED:  BBB - Tax Group Center Idaho (the Idaho company was also previously named Urgent Tax Care). The BBB recently removed Tax Group Center's "accreditation."

Regarding the now deceased Progressive, I did speak with a poker professional who had invested $7500.00 in Progressive within six months-- no results and Progressive wanted him to pay more.  Ouch.  ANOTHER UPDATE:   Their sales people charged another person I encountered three separate fees (all entirely new ones) within 45 days. They seem to look for reasons to get more money out of people.  Danger. There is also a James Phan who has his fingerprints on these companies:   my understanding is he is an attorney.

Update: October 1, 2013

A representative at Tax Group Center told a gentleman with $90,000 annual income who owed the IRS about $12,000 - that he would be able to get a settlement for him - due to his 62 year old age - for about $1200. Their fee to help him?  $4000.00.  Scary scary stuff people. Tax Group Center, what's up? You really have staff members that would sell this garbage? Hello? 

In Tax Group Center's defense - they're still in business! But with their previous trail of now dead companies and their D rating at the BBB...we are sensing that they still are putting sales over customer service. One would think that after 2 dead companies that they would get the third company (Tax Group Center) right?!

2. Clear Creek Tax Consulting, Inc., Louisville, CO., Greenville, SC (sales office only)  and Charlotte, NC (sales office only) March, 2005 -- TAX LIEN CALLER

Clear Creek like it's progenitor-- Omni in Colorado - does a lot of marketing by cold calling tax liens. The telemarketing office seems to be located in South Carolina and the service office in Colorado - but I think Colorado also has some sales/telemarketers as well.

I want to preface by saying that Clear Creek is NOT a fly by night company. Kudos must be given to them for their decent length of time in the business AND a verifiable process of providing services to their paid customers.  However, Clear Creek is a company in which you want to GET THE FEE FOR THEIR SERVICES IN WRITING BEFORE HIRING THEM! You definitely want to read the fine print.   Because these folks habitually charge MORE MONEY as the case goes along - for what seems to be any reason they can find. And not just a little money. A lot! And that, in essence, is why they are in the not recommended section.

Here are a couple of real live stories from people who we've met who hired Clear Creek:

Fall 2010 , we spoke to someone who paid the company $3500.00 but is NOW being pursued for another $3500.00 due to her receiving a Notice of Intent to Levy.  An "Intent to Levy" is a letter that one should expect from a client - not a surprise - that should warrant an extra fee. That's absurd.

June 2011 -- Just spoke with guy who hired them - he paid them $2550 in April to do an Offer in Compromise and get him out of collections and now they are asking for another $2550.00.   The client lost my name (I offered the service to him for $1500.00 originally).  Then he found my blog after googling Clear Creek Tax a couple of months later.

UPDATE May 2012 --Looks like the new sales pitch to businesses for Clear Creek by their telemarketers is a threat that the IRS is going to LIQUIDATE your business! This is a fear tactic and 95% not based in reality. The same telemarketer told a client of mine that only an Attorney can appeal an action of a Revenue Officer saying that an Enrolled Agent CANNOT appeal to a Group Manager. This is also an OUTRIGHT FALSEHOOD.

UPDATE May 2012 --  My opinion of Clear Creek really hit a low when I got off the phone with a business who paid them $20,000 to handle a 941 tax issue and NOW they were asking for another $5,000!!!  They had him pay basically $5,000 every 3 months to handle his case over one year.  The client called us after they issued him a bill for another $5,000.  Looking at the case our staff would have charged $4000 max. for the entire case. Ouch.

Update August 2013 -- I am talking to a guy -- who has paid Clear Creek $13,000 to resolve his $55,000 1040 issue -- the case isn't done. Guess what? They're asking him for another $2500 to do the case.  Attorney Generals? Hello? Where are you?

On a final note - I was told that one of their competitors in Colorado placed an injunction against them to simply "tell the truth" in response to recorded evidence that their telemarketers/salespeople were making stuff up. With all of the above said - their BBB record - which might tell the story better than anything written here -- 102 complaints and a C minus rating (which is in grade inflated Colorado - probably a F rating anywhere else) -BBB record 

Update January 2014 -- I will quote a fellow tax professional verbatim -- " Thought I would relay this story to you regarding the Tax Group Center. Yesterday I was doing an initial consultation with a potential client who were interested in an Offer in Compromise. They owed the IRS $38,000. They were collectible at about $3,000 per month, own a cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan with a FMV of $70,000 with no mortgage, and they have a IRA with a value of $100,000.  He was 62, she was 58. 

When I told them they did not qualify for an offer, they stated that they had been on the phone with Tax Group Center who told them that Tax Group Center would get them an Offer and that the fee was $5,000.00." In 2013 - Clear Creek has also been running ads as www.taxhelphere.com which claims to sell Tax Help for Flat Fees.

3. Tax Results, Clinton Township, MI, June 2010
Hey no offense to these guys - but getting a C minus rating at the BBB after being in business for less than three years is not a very good sign:  BBB record.  Aside from the concerns of that record - these guys have a nice marketing presentation and an enviable name: Tax Results. I wish them the best but I can't recommend a new company that has not handled complaints like their BBB record shows that they have. Their website:  http://taxresults.com/

4.  Wall and Associates - Blacksburg, Virginia , August 2001

Wall and Associates has built a very large tax representation business largely thru marketing on Yellow Pages. We created a separate page for Wall and Associates as it is pretty long  - CLICK HERE FOR LINK. By our latest account, Wall has affiliates or sales representatives in the following locations:

510 Plaza, New York City, NY
Indianapolis, IN
Columbia, SC,
Des Moines, IA,
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Pittsburgh, PA
Federal Way, Washington
Miami, FL
Dallas, TX

5.  National Tax Solutions, San Francisco, CA , December, 2010.
 According to BBB - company misuses their BBB rating as they have non:   BBB record  Slick site. National Tax Corp   They can be reached at 1-800-712-7200.  Saw their ad on Google. They also have another site which near the top of the google list:  banklevy.org  I really couldn't tell you whether this company is a lead generator or a real company - which is never a good sign.

6. Iconic Tax Solutions, Houston, TX   May 2012
Looks like ex-employees of Taxmasters - started a tax resolution firm. The name I see associated with this company is Scott Curley. Getting a F rating at the BBB after less than 2 years in business is simply NOT A GOOD SIGN. Their BBB record: BBB record. Their website: http://www.iconictaxsolutions.com/

7. Global Resources, LLC, Chicago, IL 2011
Stumbled upon this company - and learned of their Door-to-Door sales to business tax liens - pioneers in that bold marketing. The story about the liens is here:
http://www.gr-us.com#sthash.RmNnQ1O1.dpufStory on Door-to-Door tax lien visits  Their D plus Rating at the BBB is here:  BBB record and that is why they are on this "Not-Recommended" list.

8.  Authority Tax Services, LLC, Los Angeles, CA January 2011 TAX LIEN CALLER

After Optima Tax Relief, we would consider Authority to be the second largest spender of the marketing dollar in the tax resolution industry - at least in the L.A. area.  Their BBB record with an A rating but 49 complaints is here:   -- BBB record . That A rating is a good thing, because we sense that to keep that rating - they have had to refund money to their upset clients. We decided to move them to the "not recommended" list due to what we see as a pattern of the "salespeople" running the roost over there - and over promising results for unreasonable fees.

 Authority Tax Service really markets itself in multiple ways:  via google ads, via cold calling tax liens, radio - the gamut. As I have written multiple times on this blog -- the practice of cold calling tax liens is LEGAL if you are a licensed tax professional. It is NOT legal if you are just an unlicensed salesperson:  Cold Calling Tax Liens -- Legal?.

Authority Tax is also advertising on the radio and generating leads as Tax Care USA from their site:  taxcareusa.com  using the phone # 800-500-3968.  Another person emailed me to complain about their use of ROBOCALLS to his cell-phone:  Letter to Authority Tax/Pinnacle About Robocalls  Authority Tax Services ALSO has another website advertising itself: Tax Problem Center.  http://taxproblemcenter.com/#

According to my sources, Authority Tax Services is also handling all of the cases from the now defunct Tax Network USA and also Pinnacle Tax and Financial Service. Both Tax Network USA and Pinnacle were once F rated companies at the BBB before they folded:  Tax Network USA BBB/BCA Rating and  Pinnacle Tax and Financial Service BBB/BCA Rating so let's hope that Authority improves dramatically on those ratings). Nonetheless,  I am glad to see those two company's potentially orphaned clients go somewhere.

I know someone in our industry who "shops" other companies. He has told me that Authority - almost always prescribes a "Offer" or settlement to him even when he doesn't qualify. Not a good sign. The interviews which follow - are also not the most shining displays of competence and/or integrity:

Comparison Interview:  February 2013 - $950 vs. $4000

One of their salespeople did offer representation for a fee of $4000 to a gentleman who makes $22,000 a year and clearly qualifies for an Offer (he owes $23k to the IRS). Our fee? $950.00.  According to this gentleman - the salesperson at Authority does call him often to see if he's ready to go. They might not have the right read on this guy as he is in poverty and pretty broke - minus a small piece of land worth $3500.00

UPDATE: April 11, 2013

On the phone with gentleman in the Midwest - who is nearly done with his Offer in Compromise process. He just needs to appeal it and/or make another request of a supervisor in the IRS Offer department. Authority tax keeps slamming with calls offering to take over the case for $5000.00 - $2000 down and payments on the rest. This guy was naturally suspicious and I told him to keep working with the supervisor at the IRS and/or retain us for $600 to see if we can get this Offer thru --- or another $650 on top of that to start over with the Offer process.

UPDATE: May 29, 2013

Got off the phone with a gentleman in Florida who hired Pinnacle Tax Solutions which is now woven into Authority. He only owes $10,000 for 2010 - and will likely either - need to set up a payment plan on that debt OR show that he is uncollectible as Offers on debts that small are pretty rarely accepted.  Pinnacle is charging $3500 (!) to do his 2011 and 2012 returns and "negotiate" a settlement for him. Well -- that can't be a case that's going to turn into a satisfactory outcome for the client.  $3500? Wow - not very fair indeed.

UPDATE: May 2014

We spoke with someone who owes the IRS about $20,000 and was in an installment agreement with the IRS for about $300. He paid Authority $4000 to do....not sure - maybe an Offer in Compromise. He calls the customer service line - they answer - but never return his call.  

For what it's worth: Southern California tax relief companies have an abysmal survival record -- only one company out of 20 is still alive  that were started in 2006 or earlier!  Old Tax Relief Firms Survival Rate - Very Poor.  For their customer's sake, let's hope these guys buck these odds.

9. Advanced Tax Help, Burbank, CA, 2009
Not sure exactly if these guys are "lead generators" or a real tax resolution company.  But they have managed to get a "F rating" at the BBB: BBB record - Advanced Tax Help
Their website is advancedtaxhelp.com

10.  Coast One Financial Group, San Diego (Houston?), May 2013

I think these folks might "cold call" tax liens. They did quote a fee of $29,000 to represent a Payroll Tax case which we are doing for $5500 - a big case. An interview they did recently was worthy of a blog post:  Blog Post: Buyer Beware. Their BBB record is still untainted:  BBB record. Website is pretty typical with the fake business people stock photo:   http://www.coastonefinancialgroup.com/



http://www.gr-us.com#sthash.RmNnQ1O1.dpuf
http://www.gr-us.com#sthash.RmNnQ1O1.dpuf
Sadly, the final way station for these companies is the  Graveyard .  Not recommended companies that were once on this list include:   1. JK Harris 2. Taxmasters. 3. Roni Deutch, 4. American Tax Relief 5. Associated Tax Relief 6. Nationwide Tax Relief and many others...

Bottomline: dishonesty is not a good long-term business practice.