What comes to mind is a Southern California tax relief company who we are NOT going to mention by name. They charged $10,000 to a family with a business with California EDD issues and who have never filed payroll tax forms with the IRS. They also owed a bit to the IRS personally. Well the company completely botched the case: the client was levied for the total amount of their 1040 taxes, for example. There's no excuse for that. Stopping your client from being levied is the minimum you should expect from a "tax relief" company..
BUT -- just as importantly, they had no system or professional who would take the reins of this somewhat complex case. What was required on this case was essentially DISSOLUTION as the company had more to lose being in business then by dissolving and STARTING a new ENTITY. The amount of money owed in payroll taxes if they filed all of their 941's was NOT a payable amount. So the best recommendation was for them to cut their losses, close their entity and start over with a clean slate -- being sure to pay their payroll taxes from the get go.
The sad thing about this case is it NEVER got off to a good start -- BECAUSE THE TAX RELIEF COMPANY DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT. They loved taking the $10,000 fee -- We are sure of that. But the case had too much complexity and nuance for them to handle it correctly. We took on this case and we are helping the family recover their $10,000 from the company. As we think this tax relief company is NOT a scam and has good intentions, we think they'll refund a lot of the fee. BUT -- IF we see this tax relief company do this again - we are going to name them in a blog post ( We are also planning to contact the owners of the tax relief company - to let them know about the botched case) .