The most important question for any tax relief company on this list: do their representatives create a "false urgency" for you to hire them? If they are scaring you to hire them, better check out their BBB record. How long have they been in business? How many complaints do they have (in spite of their rating)? Tread carefully.
Class of 1985 to 2004
1. Omni Financial or OFS Tax Resolution-- Broomfield, Colorado and Vero Beach, FL. , started March 1985. TAX LIEN CALLER. Omni clearly is one of the oldest companies in the "tax resolution" business. Over time - they have created two companies in Florida and Colorado. Historically, the Florida office handles the 1040 issues and the Colorado the business or 941 issues. Omni's marketing is strongly based on cold calling tax liens. Our understanding is OFS Tax Resolution is the name given by their Omni's telemarketers to potential clients. We have had some very good experiences with the licensed tax professionals at the Colorado office - and can attest to their knowledge and character. IMPORTANT UPDATE 2019: looks like Omni Colorado had to pay a $1 million fine to Colorado authorities for bad behavior as reflected on their BBB - Omni, Colorado . Their Florida record is BBB - Omni Florida. Omni's website is: https://www.omni-financial.com/).
2. Advanced Tax Solutions, Denver, OR 1996. Solid website: http://www.advancedtaxsolutions.com/. A + rating at the BBB: BBB record They did quote a $4000 fee to help a low income person with a $17,000 debt with IRS. WATAX's quote? $875 to do the same.
3. Tax Defense Partners formerly known as Tax Resolution Services (TRS), Encino, CA -- started Jan 1997. We think as far as experience and support staff this is a quality organization. These guys have been on the scene nearly as long as WATAX: 1997. However as our entry here shows: Five Different Interviews...Five Different Companies -- they are a company centered around strong salespeople. Nonetheless, their management, we believe, is dedicated to running a good shop. They have an enviable problem: how to provide good customer service to the high volume of clients that they are getting from their extensive advertising budget. UPDATE 2012: we recently offered our services to a client for $2550.00. TRS' fee for the same case? $12,000.00. Ouch. That's a big difference. UPDATE: Feb. 27, 2012: A salesperson a TRS insisted that uncollectible status wasn't adequate resolution of a person's case and offered to do more for them for a $5000 fee. Hmm. UPDATE: Oct. 31, 2012: Guy called with straightforward IRS representation case with balance due of $111,000 - might qualify for an Offer in Compromise - might not. We charged him $1750 to handle everything. TRS fee? $13,000 buckaroos. Wow. They recently retired their Tax Resolution Service's trade name and have become Tax Defense Partners. Their BBB record: BBB - Tax Defense Partners
4. Fix Your Tax Problem, Inc., Novato, CA. February 1998. Heard their ad on Sirius radio. Their BBB record claims they have been in business since 1998: BBB- Ameritax. In 2012: their company name seems to have switched to Fix your Tax Problem, Inc. from "Ameritax." Their website: http://www.fixyourtaxproblem.com.
6. BC Tax, Boulder, CO, Since 2004 TAX LIEN CALLER
One of their sales pitches we heard was that they specialize in 941 cases due to the office that handles 941's being in Colorado. Unfortunately, this is not a true claim as IRS offices handling 941's are usually assigned locally to individual agents around the country. But it is quite possible that the company has abandoned these claims.
Mr. Moskowitz has been practicing at least since the 1990's in the Bay Area. We know he charges a premium for his help. But you have to like his length of time in the tax representation business. His website is here: Website. And his BBB record is: HERE
Alvin Brown and his staff are veterans of the tax resolution industry. They also do bankruptcies. Their BBB record is very solid and recently showed them as being in NY now (2014) - interesting...: BBB record. They do charge more than the average based on comparison interviews we have done. But they have been around a long time which is an excellent measure of a company in the tax resolution industry. Their website: http://www.irstaxattorney.com/
9. Larson Financial, Westminster, Colorado, June 2005. TAX LIEN CALLER. Larson is one of several companies that sprouted in one form or another from ex-employees of Omni Financial - the original tax relief company in Colorado. Larson's marketing strategy is cold calling tax liens -- the predominant marketing strategy of Colorado tax relief companies. Larson has a very solid rating at the BBB - BBB rating.
Update: February 27, 2012: we spoke to a lady who paid Larson $10,000 to represent them on a 941 payroll tax issue. Yet the company wants even more money to do a penalty abatement on their debt. You would think that $10,000 would cover that? Update: December 2015: one of their reps quoted a $7900 to handle a pretty messy IRS/State of California case. We actually don't knock the fee as the case is a mess. However, we quoted $2750 because the folks just seem broke. Nonetheless, when the Larson rep heard they hired us - he had "sour grapes" saying "you hired that guy who trashes other companies on his blog. I wouldn't hire them." Their website: Larson Financial.
Class of 2006
Class of 2007
13. Priority Tax Relief, San Francisco, CA, May 3, 2007. Their website is currently on hiatus: prioritytaxrelief.com WE called them in 2020 and they are still operating! Solid BBB record is here: BBB record.
In 2016, a new client of our's called Priority who had a sales tax issue with the State of Ohio - 30k was assessed because the client didn't file Sales Tax returns for their defunct business. Pretty easy fix: call the State - stop collections, file accurate Sales tax returns - eliminate the debt. There was a chance but a slim one that the State would pursue them personally. Priority was going to charge $3000 immediately to handle the case and then $3000 later. Our fee? $1000.00.
Class of 2008
14. JG Tax Group, Deerfield Beach, FL, September, 2008. JG Tax Group is staffed by ex-IRS agents and has a very effective internet marketing campaign. We like the fact that their tax professionals are clearly defined on their website: http://www.jgtaxgroup.com. "JG" Tax Group got their name from one of their licensed tax professionals: Jeff Galante. Apparently, Jeff doesn't work at JG anymore - but the name lives on. Their BBB record is good to boot. UPDATE: September 2013: Offered tax representation service to a retiree who fell behind to the IRS to the tune of $140,000 and was being levied for it on his Social Security and pension. Client was strapped - WATAX would represent him for $1500.00 - client would do his own tax returns -- we'd feed him the info to do them. JG offered to do everything for $4950.00 - high - but they would do his tax returns for that fee.
15. Tax Resolution Services of Charlotte NC appears to have inherited: Yarborough - Professional IRS Debt Solutions (now closed?) BBB link-- BBB record start - 1995. New and soid website: Tax Resolution Services Website. Their: BBB record.
In 2017, the BBB recently punished NFA for claiming to be "accredited": BBB record. Sounds like an easy fix though - just remove "accredited" from website. Their website is: resolvemytaxes.com.
17. The Core Consulting Group, Longmont, CO Sept. 2008 TAX LIEN CALLER. One of many Colorado companies that "cold calls" people who have tax liens against them. Their website. Their BBB record: Colorado BBB record. You might also want to check out our post on the Colorado cold calling industry here: Cold Calling Tax Liens: A Mountain Time Phenomenon
18. Sound Tax Consulting, Bellevue, WA, September 9, 2008. Sound Tax Consulting is a neighbor of ours in the Puget Sound. They were previously called: IRS/State Tax Relief Associates. They have a solid website but no licensed professionals are listed: soundtaxconsulting.com. Their "Non-accredited" BBB record.
19. Front Range Tax Resolution, Colorado, 2008, E.A. in Colorado - Judd Kalush -- his website: frontrangetax.com. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
Class of 2009
20. Stop IRS debt or stopIRSdebt.com and Blue Tax (defunct), Los Angeles, California/Santa Monica, CA Blue TAX started in January 2009 (but according to the BBB isn't responding to complaints so seems to be defunct in 2019), Stop IRS Debt in 2011. Blue Tax is the original of these two companies. A few years back, you might have seen their advertisement on TV: it's animated! Blue Tax's Website. Blue Tax and Stop IRS Debt originate from the ex-owners of Tax, Incorporated a company now in the dustbin of history - Dead Tax Relief Company List.
Blue Tax (now defunct) and Stop IRS Debt are definitely sales-driven organizations. They hold second place for the largest fee quoted to someone that we know $40,000!.We quoted a fee of $5500.00 to the same client. In late 2015, one of their "attorneys" told a person we met recently that they can "stop penalties and interest" from accruing on a debt that they had negotiated a payment plan for, already. Their fee for that questionable solution? $7500.00.
One thing is for sure: we hope that these company's well rated BBB record are really true (and that the So Cal BBB is not corrupt): Blue Tax: D rated BBB record. Stop IRS Debt's BBB RECORD and some pretty rough Yelp Reviews ?
21. Taxaudit.com or Tax Resources, Inc., Citrus Heights, California, September 2009. Good looking website specifically for people who are being audited. Website: http://www.taxaudit.com/. Their BBB record.
22. Tax Resolution Professionals, Las Vegas, 2009. Their website. In late 2013, we spoke to someone at the company at they said they do not have a record at the BBB because they don't agree with the concept of the BBB (as you have to "pay for a rating.") But these guys have fantastic reviews at Yelp: Impressive reviews. Their phone # is 1-888-515-4829 and good "hold-music" too!
23. Top Tax Defenders, February 2009, Houston TX. Looks like tax attorneys in the Houston area: http://www.toptaxdefenders.com. Their BBB record - a handful of complaints worth reading - but low volume of complaints is a good thing: BBB record
24. Direct Tax Relief, Sherman Oaks, CA , Feb. 2009. Their BBB record is here: BBB record. Their website is directtaxrelief.com. We have exchanged emails with one of their principals and they are alive and well. We think they are dedicated to good practices. We wish them the very best!
25. Insight Financial Services, Sebastian, FL, February 2009 TAX LIEN CALLER. First, their: BBB record. A couple years ago: we met a lady who was sold an Offer in Compromise(OIC) who was already in uncollectible status (She also owned a usually OIC-killing home - free and clear). But we'll chalk this up as an overly eagerly salesperson who briefly slipped thru quality-control. They have maintained an "A-ish" rating for over 3 years so we can surmise that sales pitches like this were a dramatic exception to the rule. In early 2013, a gentleman we spoke to who owed the IRS 65k and whose case was in Automated Collection Systems was quoted a fee of $5000 by Insight to represent him. We offered to take on the case for $1050.00. Their website: http://mytaxinsight.com/
26. National Tax Experts -Burbank, CA, 2009 TAX LIEN MAILER. We are fairly confident "NTE" sends out a mailing that says "you have been pre-qualified to participate in a pilot Williamson County (or another county) based program to help people who have fallen behind and have a Federal Tax Lien." The phone # they list is 800-381-8163. Well - just to critique this mailer -- there is no "county" based program for Federal tax resolution it comes thru the Federal government. Nonetheless -- we think this firm has decent bearings in the tax resolution world as one of the owners is Nick Johnson - who has ten plus years in the industry. There are a total of six licensed tax professionals including E.A.s and attorneys. Their two identical websites (not super original guys) are: www.nattaxexperts.com.. Their BBB record San Francisco and BBB record Burbank.
In 2016, National Tax Experts have been sending out a mailer to folks with tax liens addressed from The Taxing Authority, San Francisco, CA. The letter indicates "Notice of Federal Tax Due." Phone # 1-800-683-5792. In 2017, one of their reps told a lady who has a $260,000 free and clear home that she would qualify to settle her $12,000 IRS debt for $1100 and her $15,000 State of NJ debt for $1500.00. Sorry folks this is not going to happen. Making that claim is very dangerous to say the least.
27. Perfect Tax Relief, Los Angeles, CA - Jan 2009 - TAX LIEN MAILER. PTR sends out a mailer: "You Must Respond by : February 9, 20xx." " Why are you getting this notice?" Phone # 888-591-6212 or 1-888-715-2373, 888-667-5620. What if they don't respond!? LOL. One of many tax resolution companies in Southern California. As of 2012 -- they still seem to be operating: Perfect Tax Relief Website. They are showing some good faith with their accredited BBB record?
28. Ellis, Penn and O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA, August 2009 - TAX LIEN CALLER. Apparently these folks are formally "Mackinaw Consultants" previously based in of Denver Colorado. Like many companies originating in Colorado - they get clients from cold calling tax liens. There are 18 complaints at the BBB record but looks like they make an effort to respond: BBB record
29. IRS Medic or irsmedic.com or Parent & Parent, LLP , Connecticut, 2009. Connecticut based tax representation firm but definitely a nationally focused company full of a long list of tax professionals with lots of experience. Pretty informative website too. And a good BBB record. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONALS LISTED.
30. Victory Tax Solutions, Ann Arbor, MI, April 2010. Judging from their video on their website: these guys clearly dress better than our office - Victory Tax Solutions Website. We see many words on licensed tax professionals BUT no actual names of them on the site: NOT what we like to see. Victory Tax Solution's BBB record.
31. Tax Relief USA, Sunnyvale, CA , June 2009. BBB record is: HERE. Nice pics on their website: https://www.taxrelief-usa.com/ They do have five years under the belt and an A rating at the BBB and very good reviews at Yelp: Yelp Reviews. We guess it is a matter if you like their price $$?
32. Tax Relief Systems, San Pedro, CA , 2009. BBB record - dormant, but good: BBB record. Website: taxreliefsystems.net. This company has some roots in Power Tax Relief on the dead list and the infamous American Tax Relief - closed in 2010. But - this company's BBB does NOT seem to be toxic which is a good sign - third time might be a charm?
Class of 2010
33. Accelerated Tax Solutions, North Miami Beach, FL, Feb 2010? Their website. No licensed tax professionals listed on their website: not too our liking. Accelerated also advertises on this website: http://www.irsdebt-relief.net. They do seem to respond to complaints maintaining a good rating at the: BBB record.
34. Professional Tax Resolution, Irvine, CA, February 2010. A CPA (or CPA's) claiming to specialize in Tax Resolution. Their BBB record: HERE. There are no "account managers" - you deal directly with tax professional. We like the ring of that: Press Release. Very good Yelp reviews: Yelp.
35. Fresh Start Tax LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL February 2010. These guys managed to get a great website name/property: http://freshstarttax.com. Their BBB record shows their start date of February 2010: BBB record.
36. Wesettletaxes.com, Tustin, CA November 2010. Snazzy website and great company name: http://www.wesettletaxes.com. Their BBB record.
37. Taxation Solutions, Inc. Austin, TX, March 2010, TAX LIEN MAILER. Taxation Solutions sends out mailings to people with tax liens. The mailings say:
Federal Tax Lien Notification: Form 1040-ST, Taxation Solutions
Urgent Notification for PENDING - WAGE GARNISHMENT
PENDING - BANK ACCOUNT AND ASSET SEIZURES
The phone # they list is 888 931 1079. Taxation Solution's BBB record. You can also read MORE about the Tax Lien Mailing Phenomenon.
38. U.S. Tax Shield, Woodland Hills, CA - July 2010. US Tax Shield, generally speaking, has a decent customer service reputation and a solid BBB record: US Tax Shield BBB record. Their website is: http://ustaxshield.com. Their BBB record above does say they started business in July 2000, but this actually refers to an affiliate company Intercard Payments, Inc. -- we are pretty confident that the tax relief company started in July 2010. In December 2015, we offered our services to a physician with back-tax issues for $1550.00. US Tax Shield offered the same services for $12,500.00. August 2018 - they took an 8821 form from a client to research his record. They told him to file 2008 2009 which seems to be bad advice as the IRS generally doesn't look for returns that old. Filing those returns would have created unnecessary extra tax debt on top of his recent years owed. All of this conjecture aside - with six years under their belt - we have to give US Tax Shield some credit - good customer service is obviously in their mix.
39. Ideal Tax Solution, LLC, Costa Mesa, May 6, 2010. Ideal's website: http://www.idealtaxsolution.com. BBB record: Their BBB record
40.Heartland Tax Solutions or Nova Financial, Jan 2010, Wheat Ridge, CO. TAX LIEN CALLER. BBB record: HERE. We have seen this website template before: https://heartlandtaxsolutions.com/.
Class of 2011
41. Fidelity Tax Relief formerly known as Apex Tax Resolution (dissolved), Irvine or Tustin, CA, June 2011. TAX LIEN MAILER. Company sends out mailers to individuals and business with tax liens - mailing could be mistaken as an actual tax lien. Their BBB record and their website is fidelitytaxrelief.com. If you are going to hire this firm, ask their salesperson: "who are your licensed tax professionals on the Power of Attorney?" For what it's worth: Southern California tax relief companies have an abysmal survival record -- only one company two of 20 are 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. You can also read MORE about the Tax Lien Mailing Phenomenon.
42. OMG Tax, North Highlands, California, July 2011. We have seen OMG Tax advertise on cable TV. Here's a link to their TV ad: OMG Tax - TV ad. Their BBB record has them listed as the Juceam Group as one of the owners: Scott Juceam had a differently named tax resolution company that was folded into OMG Tax. Their "Non-accredited" BBB record.. And their website is: http://omgtax.com/.
At one time, Mr. Juceam was entangled in some issues stemming from the closure of his sister's company: the once massively popular: Roni Deutch - the TV Tax Attorney, but according to the BBB, in late 2011, Mr. Juceam resolved all claims connected to Deutch. Good for them and good luck! In 2016, another company was created called Tax Defense Group. This company seems to also be affiliated with Scott Juceam.
43. Precision Tax Relief, Coeur D' Alene, ID October 2011. We think Precision is a pretty solid company: 27 employees including 14 licensed tax professionals. Some ex-staff members from the highly reputable Instant Tax Solutions started the firm a few years back. Our understanding is that they have noble intentions and have a solid system to serve their customers. A staff member indicated to us: that they "quote flat fees, offer no interest payment plans and provide the client with a detailed contract." Furthermore, "(their) Resolution Services department has a staff of 13; six Case Teams consisting of a Case Manager and a Case Coordinator. (They) have one Case Specialist that assists with case closeout." UPDATE 2017: Precision quoted a $8800 fee to help some folks in serious hardship ($400 levied in bank account, husband works at Walmart). Our fee was $950 to them. The representative there also misinformed the client that their bank accounts which were levied on 5/5 would be in danger of being levied again on 5/8. This isn't true. IRS usually spaces levies between one to two months. Their website: http://www.precisiontaxrelief.com and BBB record.
44. Flat Fee Tax Resolution ad/or Flat Fee Tax Service, Inc., San Diego, October 2011. Flat fee has a overly SEO focused blog. Fresh BBB record here: BBB record. For what it's worth: Southern California tax relief companies have an abysmal survival record -- only two companies out of 20 are 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.
45. South Coast Tax or South Coast Tax Resolution, August 2011, Westlake Village, CA. Another player in the Southern California tax resolution market. Nice website. Actors? Or real people? http://www.southcoasttaxresolution.com. BBB record. For what it's worth: Southern California tax relief companies have an abysmal survival record -- only two companies out of 20 are 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.
46. Rapid Resolution Tax Group, San Mateo, CA March 2011. We have exchanged emails with the folks at this company and we think they aspire to good service. You can check out their BBB record and their website.
47. Orange County Tax Relief, Orange County, CA, 2011. http://www.orangecountytaxrelief.com/. Run by Jacques Gendreau, an Enrolled Agent. We love it when companies prominently show their licensed tax professional. They emphasize local representation in Orange County. NO BBB record yet. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
48. Alana Tax Group, Southern California, July 2011. We spoke recently to Svetlana who is an ex-IRS attorney about Alana Tax Group. Looks like she has extensive experience in IRS representation. BBB listing is HERE. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
49. Platinum Tax Defenders, Thousand Oaks, CA , February 2011. Their website is : http://platinumtaxdefenders.com. 47 complaints at the BBB in only three years leaves something to be desired..
50. Tax Help HQ, Los Angeles, Denver, Salt Lake City - 2011. More informative and original website than you will find out there: http://taxhelphq.com. This company is run by Jassen Bowman, an Enrolled Agent. Here's a good explanation of his approach and himself: http://taxhelphq.com/about. For good yet idiosyncratic reasons, he does NOT have a Better Business Bureau record. Yet the fact that he is licensed to practice pretty much has you covered. He operates and represents people from around the country. His office is mobile. He's a pretty interesting fellow and someone who seems to be in the tax representation game for the long haul. AND: he is one of the few people you'll find on this blog list who is teaching other tax professionals about adding tax resolution to their skill-set: Tax Marketing Headquarters. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
51. Strategic Tax Lawyers, Santa Monica, CA, August 2011. Their website isn't really happening: mytaxattorney.com. No live people answer phone? Not sure if this is a functioning entity? Their BBB record. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED. But... Leading Tax Group, Encino, CA, 2011, also indicates similar staff as Strategic such as Behboud above and Peter Jacobson. Great reviews at Yelp and BBB record which started in 2016.
52. The Law Office of Elizabeth Gonsalves, Southern California, 2011. Attorney with solid website. She is also interested in keeping the tax representation industry clean. We really like her website: http://egonsalveslaw.com. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED. BBB record.
53. Five Star Tax Resolution Services, Glendale, CA, July 2011. Tax Attorney's website. BBB record: Five Star BBB record. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
54. Tax Champions, January 2011, Valencia, CA. A new player in LA area in tax resolution game: http://www.taxchampions.com. You do have to like the CPA clearly stating his name for the world to see. That is huge sign of credibility in this business. BBB record solid: BBB record. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
55. Tax Law Advocates or IRS Levy Solutions, Costa Mesa, CA December 2010. TAX LIEN MAILER. In 2016 - Tax Law Advocates has also been advertising itself as "IRS Levy Solutions"-: we saw an email they sent to a customer about the "Fresh Start" program with the phone # 1(888) 210-0806. Their BBB listing. Their website. They also have marketed themselves by sending out a TAX LIEN official mailer as described here: Tax Lien Mailers: An Overview. A client sent us a recent mailer from them that says:
"IMPORTANT NOTICE OF FEDERAL TAX LIEN AND NOTICE OF ENFORCED COLLECTION ACTIVITY.
You need to contact us immediately upon receipt of this notice.
(Kind of implies that they are a government agency themselves?) The phone # listed on this mailer is 1-877-960-4861"
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. You can also read MORE about the Tax Lien Mailing Phenomenon -- HERE.
56. Curadebt Tax Relief, Hollywood, FL - Start date 2011. A debt relief company that has moved into the tax relief business. BBB record: Their "non-accredited" BBB record. They obviously appear very savvy when it comes to online marketing: Curadebt Website
57. Tax Group Center (formerly Progressive Tax Group, Innovative Tax and Urgent Tax - Idaho), Calabasas, CA, 2011. It's hard to keep track of the web of tax relief companies associated with Tax Group Center and Progressive Tax Group, but we'll give it a try. In the 2000's, these folks had a company called "Innovative Tax" - whose BBB record eventually collapsed: BBB - Innovative and the trade name/company subsequently was dissolved. During that same time, they also marketed themselves under a trade name "Progressive Tax Group" which later also disappeared after accumulating a bad record at the BBB. But after being "closed" for a few years, Progressive has been advertising on radio again in 2016? Maybe now that their San Francisco BBB record is clear, they decided to use the name again? The most consistent operation they've had is Tax Group Center. In spite of 60 complaints at the BBB they do merit an A plus rating: A + BBB Rating - Tax Group Center. They also have a lead generation site (we think): Crest Tax Group site .
The following conversation occurred between a potential customer in TX with Tax Group Center (TGC) in the fall of 2016.
TGC: We think we can reduce your debt of 35k to about 10k thru an Offer in Compromise. Our fee is $3250.00.
Customer: But what if I have the assets to pay the debt?
TG: They can't see your assets.
(That is not a conversation you want an Attorney General staff member to be listening in on.)
58. Optima Tax Relief, Santa Ana, CA, April 2012. Thanks to a massive investment in marketing by their investors who previously had success in debt relief, Optima Tax Relief might very well be the largest tax resolution company in the United States. Optima's website is here: http://optimataxrelief.com/. Optima has grown fast enough to have at least 11 licensed tax professionals on staff including E.A's. and attorneys but probably many more. That's a respectable number of professionals considering their start date. Their decent BBB record is here: A + rated BBB (262 complaints). Do keep an eye on that BBB record as added volume can sometimes mean deteriorating service and reduced quality control. Can't get too crazy about their Yelp reviews.
In the last few years, Optima's consultants have focused on first changing a research/analysis fee in the range of $495 to $1000. Later after an investigation, they then usually charge a larger fee to represent the client. An issue we run into is the quality of the investigation. At the bare minimum, one should expect the following from the research: 1. What is owed. 2. What years are owed and most importantly, 3. When is the debt expiring. In fact, these are crucial items to qualifying for an Offer in Compromise. In mid-2018, we met an individual who did pay for the investigation and did not get this data. Even so and with no careful analysis, he was encouraged to pay another $5955 to have them provide "resolution" of his case - they even offered a credit card to finance it?!. Nonetheless, if you do pay for the investigation, insist on learning the dates of expiration. That is key info to your resolution.
While their BBB record does indicate a solid quality of service, Optima does charge a premium for their services which we discuss in a blog post.
IN 2013, Optima is also advertising as Taxestozero.com which claims to give IRS tax relief solutions within 30 days with a phone # of 1-800-372-7519. ALSO IN 2013 - Optima has been advertising on Google as: tax-settlement.supermoney.com. AND FINALLY, OPTIMA IS ADVERTISING AS TAX RELIEF PARTNERS: http://taxreliefpartners.com/. 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.
59. FTB Tax Resolution Services, February 2012, San Marcos, CA. Another tax resolution company specializing in Franchise Tax Board (California) cases (?), the BBB record: Their "non-accredited" BBB record. Their website is down?.
61. Insight Law Firm, Auburn (outside Seattle), WA, July 2012. Welcome neighbor to the tax representation game. We like the website: http://www.insightlawfirm.com. Their Yelp reviews are entertaining. Their BBB record.
62. National Tax, National Tax Debt or "Tax Group", Glendale (L.A.), California, 2011, TAX LIEN MAILER. National Tax Debt or "Tax Group" as their office sometimes answers the phone is a company that has made a substantial investment in mailings to people with tax liens. Our research shows that this company was started by a gentleman named Patrick Oakes. He was the previous owner of Traveler's Tax - another company that relied on tax lien mailings for its marketing. That company expired in the early to mid 2000's and is in the Graveyard of Tax Relief Companies.
As recently as 2014 - National Tax has been sending mailers stating "Notice of Wage Garnishment and Lien Investigation," with the phone number 800-780-8415. Their company name is NOT listed on the mailing. Most recently in 2015, National Tax Debt has been mailing TAX LIEN letters with the phone 1-800-314-9702 and 1-800-724-9508 and their caller ID shows up as 213-223-6714. The letter says "This letters is to notify you of the probability that the Federal Taxing Authority will move forward with garnishing your wages..." In 2018, National Tax has been sending lien letters with the phone 1-800-519-5306.
Their website is National Tax Debt. They say that they have CPA's, EA's and Attorneys on staff in the big building picture on their site. But we wish they'd list some names of them? They also have multiple other #'s 1-888-780-9892 or 1-800-657-0840 or 1-800-656-1732 or 1-800-409-7968 or 1-866-362-5842. AS their name is so universal - "National Tax" - their name is confused often with National Tax Experts (see above). Nonetheless, here is BBB record.
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.
Here's the language in a couple of their mailers:
Tax Processing Center
Tax Lien Division
The address they indicate is
Tax Processing Center
4133 Avenida de la Plata
Oceanside, CA 92056
They also have a mailer that says
Notice of Tax Lien Investigation
Tax Lien Verification Unit
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Tax Lien Notification. Please Read Carefully.
Form 009-S Tax Lien Reduction Notification
Info for the Federal Affordability Stability Plan
We are not aware of this form # - form 009-S? - Bogus! And the Federal Affordability Stability plan - WTF is that? You can also read MORE about the Tax Lien Mailing Phenomenon at our blog.
63. 800 TAX or Clear Choice Tax Solutions, Orange County, CA, April 2012. 800 TAX is marketing pretty heavily on the internet. Their website is http://800tax.com. Their BBB record is HERE.
64. A Better Way Tax Services, LLC, Broomfield, Colorado, October 2012. We will let the owner to describe A Better Way which appears to be a solid customer-service oriented company with visible licensed tax professionals to boot:
"I am a Josh Meyer, a former employee of 20/20 and left so that I could operate independently and continue to provide my clients a high level of service. We are a small firm run by two licensed attorneys (myself and my business partner) in Colorado. I am also an enrolled agent. We do not engage in telemarketing, relying mainly on referrals for our clients. We work very hard to achieve a successful result for all of our clients. We have an A+ rating from the BBB and approx. 100 testimonials and success stories on our website from our clients: http://betterwaytax.com."
65. Tax Resolutions, LLC, Southampton, PA, November, 2012 TAX LIEN COLD CALLER Stumbled upon "Tax Resolutions" recently: we believe that they cold call tax liens. Their BBB record.
66. Blackfin IRS Solutions, Denver, CO, 2012. Kind of a cool name: http://www.blackfinirs.com/about. BBB record is pretty clean so far: Blackfin IRS solutions - BBB record.
67. Tax Law Advisory, San Diego, March 2012. These folks are TAX LIEN MAILERS. But it isn't clear that they are still operating: BBB record. Their website was flagged to us as a "suspicious page" : http://www.taxlawadvisory.com/
69. Insight Tax Group, Vero Beach, FL, BBB Record Started September 2012. TAX LIEN CALLER. Website: http://www.insighttaxgroup.com/ Here is their "Non-rated" BBB record. Interesting that Monarch above - also in Vero Beach - is a tax lien caller as well as Insight. Do these guys know each other?
70. Taxsmith, LLC, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Oct 2012
This supposed "law firm" told a client of ours to pay them a day after she hired our firm. We had not agreed to a refund before she hired them creating a pretty complex situation. If you are going to "poach" a client from someone else, it's respectful to have your new client make sure he/she has gotten a refund from the previous firm before they hire you. Website: http://www.taxsmith.com/ BBB record: BBB record.
71. IRS Tax Pros, Longwood, FL. Our tax preparation department was contacted by this firm to send tax resolution cases to them. In 2015, we don't see a Better Business Bureau record for them yet. The website references a "Sharon" who is an Enrolled Agent, but honestly there is not enough disclosure on this website to make us feel easy. Phone (855) 829-4475, website: taxpros.org
72. Action Tax (formerly Cool Tax Services), Orange County, California, 2013. Exchanged emails with Matthew Cooling, E.A., who is relatively new to the practice but has extensive experience in the audit division of the California FTB and is now representing clients on the other side. He prepares returns and is expanding his tax representation and resolution business. His website is action-tax.com LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
73. E. Cohen and CPAs, Maryland, 2013. These folks have long pedigrees in tax/tax resolution practice including Nicholas Preusch who very recently was an attorney at the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. It appears they have recently started to advertise their tax resolution help credentials. Their Web Site Looks like a very solid practice to me. A new BBB record
74. Madison Tax Group, New York , NY , March 2013. Nothing too unique here. Stock photos of well dressed folk. No licensed tax professionals listed. Zzz...The manager is associated with https://getoutofdebt.org/43650...and this other violation as well https://www.sec.gov/litigation. Doesn't build confidence. But one can't be sure that this company is operating? They're not paying the BBB accreditation fee: BBB record.
75. Kutler Tax Resolution, Arvada, CO, October 2013
New company out of Colorado - BBB record and their Website.
76. Tax Solutions Group, Santa Ana, CA , October 2013 TAX LIEN MAILER. Sends out mailers to folks with tax liens. BBB record.
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. (At the BBB record, it indicates that another client paid $25,000 - so some big fees are being thrown out at Coast One). An interview they did recently was worthy of a blog post: Blog Post: Buyer Beware. Their BBB record. Website is pretty typical with the fake business people stock photo: http://www.coastonefinancialgroup.com/
78. Silver Tax Group, Detroit , MI , February 2013
Lawyer in the tax representation game: BBB record Website: http://www.silvertaxgroup.com/
79. ALG Tax Solutions, Detroit, Michigan, February 2013 - BBB record is HERE. ALG is the creation of E.A./C.P.A. Akono Gross. We have exchanged emails with staff there and we love their approach: "We have been focusing on educating clients because we find that when our clients know what's going on, and how the system works, they stay happy. We prefer happy clients. This is why our website is education based, and not filled with fear-mongering." Website: http://www.algtaxsolutions.com/. LICENSED TAX PROFESSIONAL LISTED.
CLASS OF 2014
80. People's Tax Relief, Boca Raton, FL, June 2014 Hmm ... 27 complaints in 24 months at the No Rating - BBB record is a little worrisome. Website: http://www.peoplestaxrelief.com. Companies with BBB records like this do often end up in the Graveyard.
81. National Tax Aid, Irvine, CA (1988) but more likely 2014. Their website is flagged as "suspicious." Business claims to have been open since 1988: BBB record which probably means there is a licensed tax professional who has been doing it since 1988, but hasn't started marketing for tax resolution clients until recently?
Attorney and E.A. join forces to start: http://www.compasstaxgroup.com. We could be wrong on the start date. These folks are in the hotbed of tax-resolution-land aka Broomfield, CO, home of Omni Financial and 2020. Good luck folks. Thanks for putting your licenses out there - that's good. BBB record: HERE.
83. Tax Debt Services, Temecula, CA, 2014
A company started by an ex-employee of Platinum Tax Defenders. We think their intentions are good. They wrote us asking to be listed on the blog. Good luck guys! http://www.taxdebtservices.net/ and their BBB record: HERE.
84. Clean Slate Tax, Jupiter, FL 2014. Licensed tax professionals all over the site. Love it. That's a good start in our book. Website and BBB record.
85. Defense Tax Group, Los Angeles, CA May, 2014
If you were in the tax resolution marketing laboratory and you were brewing up the best tax resolution company name with the most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) power - you might come up with "Defense Tax Group" - a clever play on "Tax Defense Network" or "Tax Defense Partners." Located on Wilshire Boulevard in L.A. -- THE SITE OF AT LEAST FOUR TAX RESOLUTION COMPANIES DEATHS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS. Website. BBB record: HERE.
86. Pure Tax Help or Pure Tax Resolution , Seattle, Michigan, Portland, OR, Boston or Virginia or Dallas, 2014. Not exactly sure about the story of Pure Tax - there's no Better Business Bureau record - to help the narrative. They have set up several websites with the hope of capturing local audiences around the U.S. But it's not clear where their central office is? But it looks like real professionals - a consortium of various ones (?): here's "Michigan Pure Tax Help" for example.. A fellow called us in 2016 and said he walked down to the Dallas office of Pure Tax and there was no one there. Having national offices is an attractive marketing tool, but expensive to pull off. We're skeptical these folks truly have such a physical presence in locations all around the country.
87. Creative Tax Solutions, Inc., August 2014, Lantana, Florida. Creative's BBB record is here: BBB record. The complaint section is an interesting read: https://www.bbb.org/south-east... Above average website - Creative Tax Solutions - however - the TV ad references - CNN , MTV, Fox News, etc. - strike us as disingenuous. We doubt that this company has been on any of those networks.
88. Anderson Bradshaw Tax Consulting, Salt Lake City or Los Angeles 2014(?). Frustrating website that doesn't list their address but disingenuously indicates they have offices in all 50 states: Anderson Bradshaw Website. We gave them a call 1-877-550-3911 to see who they were - there was no answer. But we did get a call back from someone in Los Angeles. Interesting? These guys do have a non-rated BBB record in Los Angeles that was set up in February 2016: BBB record
89. Tax Help MD, Jupiter, FL, March 2014. Tax Help MD is a company that processes the cases of a defunct company United Tax Group - which is a good thing - but also seems to be in business to take on new cases as well. Their BBB record: Their "non-accredited" BBB record. Their website: http://mytaxhelpmd.com/
90. Spectrum Tax, Irvine, CA, May 2014
Irvine is a popular town for tax relief companies. Their BBB record: BBB record and website: http://spectrumtaxrelief.com/. Here's a snippet from the Spectrum BBB site in response to their one complaint: "We received the complaint on 08/26/2014 regarding a message left to the client’s voice mail from our company. We believe that everyone working for our company passed a training course. We here have zero tolerance for misrepresentation or foul mouth to our clients." TAX LIEN CALLER
92. Hillhurst Tax Group, Los Angeles, CA 2015. Nice website: http://www.hillhursttaxgroup.com/services/ Enrolled Agent's credentials are listed. Unaccredited BBB record and pretty solid Yelp reviews.
93. Rush Tax Resolution, Jan 2015, Woodland Hills, CA. In early 2020, we exchanged emails with a lady who had just hired Rush Tax Resolution "they "mentioned" possible criminal charges - that they have "never seen anything quite like our situation." We agreed to a fee of $15,000 (even though it seems EXTREMELY high???) "Criminal? Wow - that's a pretty bold claim. To know a case is criminal, you literally need a visit from the Department of Justice or a letter. Sounds cooked up to create urgency. Rush Tax is a huge advertiser on Fox News that was started by a Fred Katz who a Google search looks like an ex-consultant of Tax Defense Partners in nearby Encino. Their BBB record is HERE.
94. Tax Protection Services, Jun 2015, Missoula, MT. We like that their attorneys on the front the page: Tax Protection Services. Keep that BBB record in good shape! BBB record
95. OIC Tax Services, 2015, Sacramento, CA. BBB record is here: BBB record. Their website is HERE. Looks like Enrolled Agent could be key staff member there. Good!
96. Nationwide Tax Consulting, June 2015, Pt. St. Lucie, FL and Colorado TAX LIEN CALLER. Apparently these folks have offices in Florida and Colorado. However in 2020, an F rating at the BBB, hmm.... is pretty pretty terrible. They would have to make a 360 degree turn around to survive that? In a pandemic, really only the good and strong survive: Website And apparently this is the first go-around for this org formerly named NTC Financial?
97. Oxford Tax Partners, July 2015, Chicago, IL. Their nice looking site wasn't alive in early March 2020 ?http://www.oxfordtaxpartners.com/. 27 complaints at the BBB and two one star reviews at Yelp. In Jan 2017, they quoted about a $15,000 fee on a case that we're handling for a little under $5,000.00.
101. Attorneys Tax Relief, Chicago, IL, July 2015. Now that's one SEO driven name: "Attorneys Tax Relief." Their BBB has eight complaints in their first three years but still A +. They took a $500 research fee and then charged $20000 to fellow who owed 800k to IRS. We charged $2500 to do his whole case. He was just a working stiff so 20k was an impossible fee. They do have a nice website.
102. Tax Hardship Center, Westlake Village, CA Nov. 2015 BBB record
103. Republic Tax Relief, Corona, CA, August 2015. A plus rated at BBB 21 customer complaints
CLASS OF 2016
108. Hurricane Tax, Los Angeles, CA, 2016. TAX LIEN CALLERS. Their website: http://www.hurricanetax.com. BBB record: 25 BBB complaints in your first three years isn't super good?. Quoted $7900.00 fee to someone we quoted for $1950.00.
109. Enterprise Consultants Group, Los Angeles, CA, December 2016. A new "tax relief" company in L.A. spending a lot on advertising recently: Website. Their BBB record indicates a "Shaun G. Bull" is the CEO: BBB record. A "google" of Shaun Bull doesn't reveal much - is this an alias of some kind?
112. Anthem Tax Services, Santa Barbara, CA February 2017. There are 33 complaints at the BBB record. Recently in mid-2018, Anthem interviewed an individual who owed $150,000 to IRS and wasn't a likely Offer in Compromise (OIC) case but rather a client who would need to work out installment agreements and then default those agreements repeatedly until his debt expired in 2022. That was clearly his best outcome as the debt associated with the case was Trust Fund penalties. Client also had a free and clear house ($190,000) and about $100,000 in a 401k. Anthem was going to charge $14,000 for their help. WATAX? $1750.00 fee with no OIC promised but a strategy of having the customer pay as little as possible before the debt expires in 2022.
114. Tax Response Center, Westlake Village, CA, July 2017, BBB record is new. Tax Response Center is situated in Southern California where more tax relief companies have been spawned then anywhere else in the U.S.
115. Sequoia Tax Relief, December 2017, Westminster, CO., TAX LIEN CALLER. Sixteen year veteran and Enrolled Agent Jeff Belcher started this tax relief company recently. They are not affiliated with the recently defunct Clear Creek but do get their phone calls (for service and sales). Sequoia Tax Relief's BBB is here. We salute these businesses where the owner is a licensed tax pro like Mr. Belcher. We wish Sequoia the best of luck.
116. Taxrise.com, January 2017, Irvine, CA. In early 2019, we spoke to a person with 250k in home equity and 26k IRS debt that she was paying on. A "tax rise" rep took on their case for $800 fee and then indicated for another $4800 they should be able to do an Offer in Compromise on the debt. 250k home equity > 26k?? In summer 2020, they quoted a fellow $14,000 to resolve his $58k debt? (we offered representation for $1800). Warning: 34 Complaints at the Better Business Bureau? Not a very good sign this early.
117. Honest Tax, November 2017, Woodland Hills, CA BBB record
CLASS OF 2018
119. American Tax Solutions, Los Angeles, CA. Accredited with BBB in 2018 (say they started in 2011). These guys send out a serious letter to folks with tax liens: a "distraint warrant" letter! That letter would freak us out! Wouldn't you be scared? Yikes. Their BBB record.
120. Millenia Tax Relief, City of Industry, CA. BBB record. We think these folks are tax lien telemarketers (?).
CLASS OF 2019
121. Castle Tax Relief, Chicago, IL November 2019.
122. Brighter Tax Solution, Corona, CA, January 2019.
BBB record. These folks use texting to reach out to potential customers.
CLASS OF 2020
None so far?:)
Lead generators are marketers for tax resolution/representation companies. They generate leads or new clients via TV, radio and/or internet. They are not actual tax representation companies.
a. Back Taxes Help or backtaxeshelp.com, Stamford, CT, April, 2009. Company's BBB record says they are "internet marketing company": BBB record and Website.
b. Taxation Law Firms or taxationlawfirms.com, ? 2012. We think this is a lead generation site for attorneys in the tax representation field? It's not too bad of a site: http://www.taxationlawfirms.com/
c. Tax 10000 Network or Tax10000.com -- 2012
This company which advertises on cable TV appears to be a lead generator for other companies. But we could be wrong. They have phone #'s 1-800-549-2544 or 1-800-671-8366. I hope they route the calls to good legitimate companies. But we wouldn't count on it. We could NOT find a Better Business Bureau listing for them.
f. Tax Relief Partners, 2013, Santa Ana, CA
Tax Relief Partners or taxreliefpartners.com is probably the best lead generation site we have ever seen aesthetically. Fantastic. We are pretty certain this website is a lead generator of Optima Tax Relief's.
i. Resolvetax.com, Sacramento, CA , April 2009
Stumbled upon their website: Resolvetax.com upon a search of the internet. Lead generator? Actual company that does cases? Not sure. Their BBB record is: BBB record
k. The Tax Firm of America, Los Angeles, 2015. Probably a "lead generator." Slick website: http://www.thetaxfirmofamerica.com/. Not a huge fan of the name: kind of pretentious - don't you think? You click on "Our Team" and a bit of a disappointment nobody listed: http://www.thetaxfirmofamerica...No BBB record as of April 2015.
l. IRSTaxattorneyseattle.com, Florida
This is one of many "lead generation" sites for Tax Defense Network in Jacksonville, Florida. Claims to be in "Seattle" but is in Florida. Clever.
m. totaltaxrelief.com California. Looks like another lead generator probably for Optima Tax? BBB link doesn't work.
n. Tax Help Network. BBB record doesn't link to anything. Don't you hate that? Another lead generator: http://tax-help-network.com
o. Tax Relief Comparison is a site that "compares" tax relief companies. But in actuality looks like a marketing guise for Clean Slate Tax, Tax Defense Network, Dartmouth Tax, and Instant Tax Solutions.
p. Taxes 321, Woodland Hills, CA, 2013. Called them in October 2017 - the person answering was a "phone operator" - she indicated the company was "Tax Group." Definitely the mark of some kind of lead generator. Here's their website: http://taxes321.com/
q. National Tax Network, Irvine, California, April 2011. Their website advertises the services of Enrolled Agents and claims to have done major advertising on TV (maybe?): http://www.nationaltaxnetwork.com. BBB record is pretty dormant: Their BBB record. Maybe they're a lead generator for other companies? Possible. Websites like National Tax Network's are frustrating because it is hard to pinpoint any live and licensed tax professionals there. No names, etc. But if they are a lead generator that makes sense. Yet if they really do cases there - they would benefit from sharing with the public the actual names of Enrolled Agents they might have on staff?!
r. America's Tax Choice, Manhattan Beach, CA, 2019 Who are these guys? They say they are on MSNBC, Yahoo and CNN. Well, OK! Lead generator for sure.
"Failure to Launch" Sites/Companies?
A. Urgent Tax Help, Sherman Oaks, CA, April 2015. This website isn't up yet: http://urgenttaxhelp.org/. Most likely a "lead generator" or one of many companies in So Cal that sprout - often for just the short term: Tax Relief + Southern Cal : Often a Bad Mix. Nonetheless - here's their BBB record in San Francisco (?): BBB record
When any of these new companies die they go to a place we call the Graveyard of Tax Resolution Companies.
Do really want to take a chance with a tax representation company with four years or less of existence? Why don't you call the experts at a company with 28 plus years of experience? 1-888-282-4697 or email your tax situation and we'll contact you by email/phone!
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