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Tax Masters / Horrible Negligent Service

1 Houston, TX, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Tax "Masters"
While the State Attorney of Texas gets their ducks in a row, we are trying to help out other unassuming people who are looking for tax help so that other people don't get into the same problem as myself and possibly as many as 150 people who's complaints I have found on different blogs. Tax Masters is the most irresponsible and negligent tax outfit I have ever had the disfortune to have worked with. (I should correct this to say that they are the most irrpsobonsible and negligent service in general that I have ever hired in any capacity). My story in a nutshell: There was a $60K error posted on one of my tax returns and I recieved a letter from the IRS rightfully charging my what they thought I owed. I needed to amend my returns and pay the correct amount. I am not someone who didn't pay their taxes or tried to cheat the IRS. But when I recieve this letter from the government, I called Tax Masters thanks to their ad on CNN. What I have recieved for my $6000 fee has been three months of pulling my hair out and not sleeping and even more IRS troubles because they instructed me NOT to contact them or reply to any letters, that they would handle it (and they never did). Only after 75 days of almost daily pleading, did I recieve ONLY ONE of the 5 revised tax returns they owe me. No one in the office returns calls. They charged me $6000 for services I did not need. Compared to other people who's complaints I have read, I was lucky enough to find the only competent person at Tax Masters and ONLY because of him did I even receieve my urgent amended returns (which he had ot send me against company policy of letting tehir clients review the returns). They do things like not return over 30 voicemessages I left over a month and then call to charge you $60 for overnight shipping, only to send it for $1.35 in snail mail. I could write and write all the millions of details of the torture I have endured over the past 3 months. But In lieu of this, I will simply refer you all to one blog I found that had various complaints. http://www.enormousincongruities.com/2006/02/22/tax-masters/

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Comments

  • Be
      4th of Apr, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Tax Masters took our money, set up a hearing with the IRS and then NEVER represented us ! we'd leave TONS of messages and no call returns. passed around from case worker to case worker.

    We told them because they failed us at the IRS hearing after the IRS said they had NO record of Tax Masters representing us, no power of attorney, they were going to levey our property.. Tax Masters said they'd take care of it and they did'nt. Thank God we had someone do it for us just in time before we lost our home, money and business. Unprofessional and unethical people there.

    We have filed a formal complaint w/BBB of Houston and the Harris County DA, who has a open investigation for consumer fraud.

  • Di
      18th of Apr, 2008
    +1 Votes

    April 18, 2008

    I fully agree with your comments and had a similar horrible experience with TaxMasters and Patrick Cox, its President, in Houston.

    The Perfect Rip-off by TaxMasters of Houston -- A Complaint Against TAX MASTERS of Houston Experienced by a Deeply Disgruntled and Ripped Off Customer of TaxMasters

    1. They sign you up to do tax advisory services then don to the work

    2. You get so frustrated with them not doing the work, and getting hassled by the IRS you end up doing the work your self to resolve things with the IRS


    3. You ask for a refund and they say since you already resolved the case and dismissed them, there is nothing more for them to do, but they charge you anyway and say it was not their fault you resolved the case yourself.

    4. You complain to your Credit Card Company to have the charges to TaxMaster reversed, but they say they're not there to resolve disputes over services, and since there is a signed contract its hard for them to say that the charges are fraudulent.

    5. In end, you are likely to get no help or refund or reversal of charges by your credit card company, and no refund from TaxMasters in Houston.

    As you can see, a Perfect Rip-off, and TaxMasters is laughing all the way to the Bank.

    MY CASE AGAINST TAXMASTERS of HOUSTON

    To: Whom it May Concern:

    From: A Deeply Disgruntled Customer of TaxMasters of Houston

    Re: Complaint about TaxMasters Services and Suit for Refund of over $9, 000 in Payments made to TaxMasters but Services were NOT Provided by TaxMasters

    A. MY COMPLAINT about TAXMASTERS and MY CHALLENGE TO HAVE CHARGES ON MY CREDIT CARD BY TAXMASTERS REFUNDED BACK TO MY CREDIT CARD

    I contacted My Credit Card Company in February of 2008 to have charges on my Credit Card by Tax Masters in November and December of 2007 and January of 2008 reversed due to the failure of TaxMasters to provide the services I engaged them to do - in fact the little service they did provide on the 4 services I engaged them to do were completely shoddy despite my efforts to get them to do the work, they didn't do the work they were hired to do and I was forced to fire them for cause from doing any further work on my case.

    Bottom line: except for 1 of the 4 Services they were engaged to provide they did not provide the services (note: for that 1 service costing $750 as pointed out in the engagement Agreement but I more than paid them for that with payments to them on my Credit Card totaling $2250 at the end of October, 2007 and I am not disputing that $750 payment with My Credit Card Company).

    Due to their negligence or incompetency (I am not sure which it is) in doing the work required at the initial stage of the project, I was forced to fire TaxMasters before they ever got started on the 3 of the services they might have eventually done, but in fact never did do these 3 services. I more than paid them for the work they did do in the initial stage (the IRS Consultation), but since they did not ever do the other 3 services I should not be under any obligation to pay them for work they never did, and I will challenge them to the fullest extent of the law to have then REFUND the charges they put on my Credit Card or have my Credit Card Company reverse the charges.



    B. DISAGREEMENT WITH THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY RESOLUTION:

    I sent several letters in mid-February showing Tax Masters rationale for putting such charges on my account, an Agreement I signed with them whereby they agreed to provide consultation to me and to negotiate a resolution of a tax dispute I was having with the Internal Revenue Service.

    I agree that I engaged TaxMasters to provide consultation and negotiation services, but except for one initial item they NEVER PROVIDED the SERVICES. They did do 3 of the services they were hired to do, and after endless frustration with them not doing the work, I FIRED them FOR CAUSE from the CASE before they ever got to work on the 3 additional services (again, see my email to the President of Tax Masters whereby I dismissed them from the Case).

    The Agreement I signed with TaxMasters required them to provide 4 Services (copied from Agreement word for word below); however, they did not all the Services, and since they did not do the 3 of the 4 Services and abide by their contractual obligations in the Agreement, I should not be obligated pay the fees due to breach of contract.

    This agreement will also provide the minimum retainer for the services to be provided by Firm. Client agrees that Firm may alter the total reflected on the agreement below in the event of addition errors observed later. Such adjustment will be reflected pro-rata in any installments. Installment Arrangements, if any, are outlined in the attached schedule. The services to be rendered are described in the attached pages that are incorporated herein by reference.
    RETAINER
    Negotiated Settlement (OIC/PPIA/IA/UNC): $ 4500.00
    Wage Garnishment Release or Reduction $ 1500.00
    Lien Subordination $
    ACS Collections Case $
    Revenue Officer or Revenue Agent $2500.00(RO / RA / TC)
    Income Tax Returns (Form: ) $ Years:
    All returns must be filed before work can proceed. Assumes W-2 only, and no compilation of records.
    Income Tax Audit or Audit Appeal $
    Corporate Formation $
    IRS Consultation Fee $ 750.00 (Trans - SP)
    Installment Agreement or Uncollectable $
    Total $ 9250.00


    C. AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES VS. ACTUAL SERVICES PROVIDED:

    3 of the 4 Services to be Provided by TaxMaster vs Actual Work Done - BOTTOM LINE, these Services were NEVER DONE by TaxMaster.

    " Revenue Officer or Revenue Agent $2500.00(RO / RA / TC) - establish communication with Officer or Agent to establish a process and timeline to work through my case by way of discussions and negotiations with the Agent or Officer.
    Actual Work Done - SERVICE NEVER got STARTED and was NEVER COMPLETED
    Over a 3 month period the Firm failed to ever make contact with the Revenue Officer or Agent, except to leave voicemail messages with the Agent to call them. The Agent tried many times to reach TaxMasters and left countless messages but the Agents calls were not returned.

    " Wage Garnishment Release or Reduction $ 1500.00 -negotiate a Wage Garnishment Release or Reduction if any existed.
    Actual Work Done - SERVICE was NEVER Started or COMPLETED
    As the Firm Failed over a 3 month period to even reach or speak to the Agent, they never got to a point that they could assist in the negotiation of a release or reduction of any Wage Garnishment.

    " Negotiated Settlement (OIC/PPIA/IA/UNC): $ 4500.00 -
    Actual Work Done - SERVICE was NEVER STARTED or COMPLETED
    As the Firm Failed over a 3 month period to even reach or speak to the Agent, they never got to a point that they could assist in the negotiation of a Settlement.


    D. SO HERE IS THE PROBLEM:

    The Agreement refers to a retainer for the "services to be provided by the firm." There were FOUR SERVICES to be provided by the Firm, but the problem is that they only did one of them - the initial IRS Consultation (for a fee of $750). I point out however, that while they did do this one initial part of the job, they didn't even do it right. They got the wrong information on my tax filings and failed to get the information on the status of my dispute which as the head of their research group told me in January (nearly two months after the IRS Consultation) that they had failed to pull up key information on the status of my case and that if they had they should have expedited discussions with the IRS to get immediate resolution; since they failed to capture all the key information about my case they and did not expedite the case as they should have.


    E. SUMMARY & CONCLUSION:

    BOTTOM LINE, over the course of nearly 3 months, TaxMasters did NOT PROVIDE THREE of the FOUR SERVICES, despite constant pleas on my part for them to immediately expedite working on my case. I have dozens of emails I can provide urging them to get going on my case, but to no avail. I even contacted the President of Tax Masters to complain about the service and to encourage them to do the work they were hired to do - again to no avail, they just didn't do the work they were hired to do and provided no Refund. Then when you challenge the Credit Card company to get the charges reversed they say you signed the contract and it is no concern of theirs if they did the services or not, and because it is a service not a product there is now insurance protection from your credit card company for the negligent service by TaxMaster - insurance protection is only for products that are stolen or broken, not for services you paid for but the service was not provided.

    Note, as the opportunity to negotiate and settle my dispute with the IRS in an orderly and systematic manner was lost over the time period from late October, 2007 to mid-January 2008, I simply agreed to pay and did pay the amount in dispute, and as such the amount in dispute with the IRS has been fully paid and resolved, but no thanks to TaxMasters, and in fact their delays made an orderly resolution no longer possible.

  • Ri
      9th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    This is the most incompetent business that I have ever dealt with. They took my $1400.00 and I now have to look for other representation. Do not do business with theses people. They should be shut down by the state of Texas for misrepresenting themselves as a viable solution to anyone’s tax problems. Don’t be fooled by that tidy and very business looking web site. The organization and skill set of the people who work there as a whole is dysfunctional at best.

  • Br
      29th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was taken for $4, 000 by Taxmasters and still was levied for everything I had. I resolved the problem with the IRS myself. Basically what I was told was that once you are duped into signing the contract they get your money despite the incompetence. I filed complaints with the BBB, TX and Harris Co Attorneys General, the IRS and wrote both of my senators. Companies like this are not regulated, licensed, or held accountable to any board or government standards and that is ridiculous. The Senate needs to drag them in front of a hearing committee and be held accountable for their fraud. J K Harris has even more complaints for misrepresentation. All these companies need to be held accountable. The more of us that complain to the consumer groups and credit cards, the better our chances of stopping others from going through our pain.

  • We
      3rd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have paid $6350.00 so far and they take money from my checking account anytime they choose. I sent them everything they needed to do my returns in February and didn't get them until June 12th and that was after repeated calls and emails to anyone I could call.

    Now they haven't done anything and will not return my calls or emails. Since I started paying them the IRS has gotten nearly everything I owe them and I have nothing left to get anyone else. What the hell do you do? I still see ^%**^% commercials on tv and I would like to sue the ### out of Patrick Cox and TaxMasters. The hell this has been is beyond belief.

  • Jo
      13th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    they took my money and have done nothing for 90 days
    what can i do ? i call and call, they say there working on it
    but its only 3 simple tax returns that need to be sent in
    do i sue for only 1500.00 that i'm out
    DO NOT USE TAX MASTERS !!

  • Ar
      27th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    TAX MASTERS - HOUSTON THEY ALMOST GOT ME TO PUT A $600 DEPOSIT FOR CONSULTATION. AFTER TALKING TO A GUY BY THE NAME OF JOHN PACKER. THIS GUY IS A FAST TALKER AND WANTS ME TO GIVE HIM A BANK ACCOUNT NUMBER FOR THE PAYMENT . I KNOW I HAVE 6 UNFILED TAX RETURN AND I KNOW I OWE THE IRS . BUT HE HASNT CONVINCED ME IF HE CAN HELP ME OUT .HE TALKED AND PLACE MORE ATTENTION ON THEIR SERVICES AND FEES. BUT NEVER REASSURED ME IF HE CAN HELP ME OUT. ITS GOOD I DIDNT MAKE ANY PAYMENTS, BECAUSE I USE TO LIVE IN HOUSTON FOR 15 YEARS AND I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED (TOWN AND COUNTRY SHOPPING CENTER ) AND DAMN, IF I DONT GET MY MONEY BACK . . . .

  • Je
      12th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes
    Tax Masters - Stole my money
    TAX MASTERS
    Houston
    Texas
    United States

    Tax Masters took $500.00 out of my checking account with out my consent, no contract either written or verbal. Registered letters, even their lawyer Fred said he advised Patrick Cox to give it back. That was May of 2008 and this is October 2008. This is usually called Grand Larceny. Cox is a Texas A & M grad. or so he claims and the girl who lied to me said she was a Christian. I understand he drives a new Bentley.

  • Pe
      31st of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    We hired Taxmasters and they agreed to contact the IRS within a deadline for us not to incur fees and penalties...since (they did not get to the IRS after we signed the contract) in a timely manner after they said "not to worry", we fired them. In spite of the fact that they never did any work for us they still keep charging us the $750/month and American Express is believing them and is placing the charges back on our account because we signed the contract (even though Taxmasters breached the contract by their lack of performance and not answering phone calls asking them to please fax us a verification that they had indeed contacted the IRS in a timely fashion before the due date so as to not incur fines...they NEVER did this simple task after asking them over and over. Everyone needs this sort of verification for their records.

    We found out from an insider (collections agent)that someone who had our file "walked out on the job the day our file was placed on her desk "(therefore no one there picks up the ball for anyone else)...a truely dysfunctional outfit. We are so disgusted everytime we see or hear them advertised on Fox News, Air America, CNN or anywhere that they are still believeable. Sorry folks ...you will be found out because it is not possible to continue treating customers in this way. The most basic business courtesy rule is "The customer is always right"...Taxmasters is a sham.

  • Ra
      4th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Legitimate tax pros do NOT charge for a telephone consultation to find out the basic problem. Legitimate companies of ANY type do not ask for payment BEFORE you see the contract. These are clear warning signs.

    Best: Deal with an Enrolled Agent to solve a tax problem. Understand what representative will do and how he/she will charge you. Do not give your checking account or credit card info over the phone without KNOWING what you are obligating yourself to pay for.

    If you have an OIC issue, ASK what the company's success ratio of cases submitted versus cases resolved. JK Harris, TM and other OIC "mills" average 5-15% success rate. They may lie and tell you more. A legitimate representative is in the 60%+ area.

    Our firm, for example, will turn down cases that we don't think have a remote chance of winning. That means we TURN DOWN YOUR MONEY when you shouldn't be paying us.

    Any representative you hire should be in contact with an IRS officer (if one has been assigned to your case) within 7 days of being hired. Sometimes, I know from experience, it may take a little longer to get in touch with the agent, but by then, the agent already knows we tried to call. If the agent doesn't know who your representative is 30 days after you hired him or her, you have a PROBLEM.

    Don't keep paying for services when you are dissatisfied. Close the bank account or credit card. Complain loudly. That's not the way business is done.

    Keep in mind, however, that NOT ALL CASES come to quick conclusions with the IRS. Very often a case will be opened and the IRS will sit on a case for 6 to 9 months! But if the IRS is trying to contact you, SOMEONE needs to rspond quickly. The appearance of evading the agent is assumptive that your are evading payment and that is not to your advantage as a taxpayer.

    R Klein, EA

  • Fl
      7th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    My friend just signed a contract with TM, additionally she wired them $3, 000. to get the ball rolling. She made the mistake of using her emotions and not her brain after seeing their commercial on FOX, did not do any research with regard to TM reputation.
    After a short 3 weeks the signs of doom have started, emails not received, phone calls not returned and the IRS dead line is 1 week away.
    They are asking for a series of $600.00 payments for the next 4 months, I feel she should cut her losses now and not send any more money. Is she obligated to send the additional payments since she signed the contract? The negative information on the internet about TM adds to her concern and is a red flag which should have been researched before she sent a penny.
    Has anyone seen a positive report from satisfied customers of TM, or has anyone had a positive experience with them ? If so I would like to hear from you, I have tried to find some on google but I cannot.

  • Jo
      18th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have had the exact same experience with JK Harris and they have since settled a class action suit for the same deception and shell games.
    My question is "Does anyone know of a reasonable tax service available to help in solving my tax problem?"
    If so please email me at bayouboy4777@yahoo.com and put tax resolution suggestions in subject column.
    Thank You,
    John

  • Ex
      9th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hello All,

    I see that many of you have been a victim of that big, friendly man on the television box who claimed to make your IRS woes disappear. As an ex-employee of Tax Masters, I may be of some use to you with regard to how the business process actually works within the firm, and the respect (or lack thereof) that your cases are given - and I can be incredibly specific. Please feel free to email me at the address provided with any questions you may have.

  • Sc
      23rd of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was almost victimized today by Taxmasters - They didnt want to cancel my order - They were so comforting when I seemed to be a new victim of their Sales tactics but NOW I think I got the order canceled - Thank GOD I did not give them my Actual bank account number. I canceled my bank card. I had an intuition after making a phone order for their services to investigate their reputation. YOu know there are always complaints on the internet about large corporations, but this after noon I have read over 400 separate complaints and the Harris County Attorney General actually has them under investigation of bank fraud - WOW So I called back to cancel and boy did their reassuring manner change. Im still shaking, the supervisor of the Tax Consultant (high pressure sales rep in a phone bank) actually called me an ###. I can believe I gave them my Soc Sec Numbers and so much personal info. I am really scared. More scared than prior to calling them.

  • Jc
      15th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Warning!!!

    Do not give TaxMasters your Credit Card Account Number or any Bank account information until they
    have sent you the contract. Please read the contract carefully and have another legal professional you trust read the contract.

    Warning!!!

    Even if you do not sign the contract and you have given them credit card or bank account numbers they will charge your account. You will then need to prove your case with the Bank or Credit Card Company. Make sure you tell the
    Bank or Credit Card Company that your dispute is for "Services Not Rendured"! The banks and Credit Card Company's assume the dispute is for a product purchase Like a Home Shopping network type Purchase.

    Taxmasters may have a legitimate business plan but appear to have some incredibly incompetent and unethical employee's on the payroll. My advice is to find a local CPA that is recommended by your employer or othe family members or friends. Never never never use an out of town firm to handle any financial issues ( Tax's, Home Mortgage, etc. ) If it sounds to good to be true, it is.

    Thanks a lot Fox Channel ! I tursted you were on the side of the common man. Through your endorsements, I contacted Taxmasters and now I am fighting to prevent having to pay $3, 800.00 for an unsigned contract and Services Not Rendered! Dennis Miller ( AKA Paris Miller you Suck) your crediblity is in the toliet!

    I wish everyone luck in clearing their dispute with TM.

    JC

  • Sl
      6th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    you people are a piece of work. looks to me like your blaming taxmasters for your screw ups.

  • Ge
      10th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    DO NOT USE THESE CON ARTISTS

    On March 8, 2009, I e-mailed Tax Masters with a general question. On March 9, 2009, they telephoned and gave me a very fast sales pitch. I fell for it and gave them my credit card number. Then they e-mailed me the contract and credit card authorization, along with other documents. After reading the contract, I called because the contract did not reiterate our phone conversation. The were supposed to send further verification of our earlier conversation and what services would be provided. Before I received anything else, I called and told them I did not wish to proceed and that I WAS NOT AUTHORIZING ANY CHARGES TO MY CREDIT CARD. The next day, I received another phone call from another Tax Masters representative for additional information. I told her I had cancelled. She told me to e-mail my cancellation. I did. Then I checked my credit card account. Tax MAsters billed me $1662.50 for legal consultation. I called to question the charge and was told my file was being turned over to tgheir "collections department" and their "legal department." "For what", I asked? I was told someone would be in touch with me. Despite numerous e-mails and phone calls, all I've been told is my refund is being processed. It has been a month. And what really gets me is that I never signed anything and I never sent anything back; I specifically told them I was not authorizing any charges to my credit card and I did not wish to retain their services. They still billed my credit card. I plan on filing complaints with the Florida and Texas Attorney General's Offices and the Texas State Bar because they bill "legal services, " yet state they are not a law firm in their disclaimer. I also still have time to contest the charge with my credit card company, but my credit card company will cancel my account and it will takeseveral weeks to get another credit card. THESE FOLKS ARE CROOKS!!!

  • Be
      18th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am going after TaxMasters under The Deceptive Trade Practice Act, that if you win you will be awarded damages triple the amount. They are incompetent liars and Mr Cox's company brings in $40 million a year of which he gets to keep $15 million after operating costs. I've been getting information from a former TaxMaster employee who left the company due to the ongoing fraud against their clients. This company need to be taken down. All the more reason to vote for The Fair Tax Bill. Get rid of the IRS and companies like TaxMasters once and for all!

  • Go
      23rd of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I, too, fell victim to these people. I had contracted them in Nov. 2008 for services. Of course, their salesman was very reassuring and told me to "be encouraged." That seems to be their mantra. Instead, I heard absolutely nothing from them until I began getting letters from the IRS in February about a wage levy - I then left Tax Masters over 30 messages and then I had to physically drive down to their office in Houston, Texas. Geez, what a low looking place. And yes, they have a whole section dedicated to their "sales team" -- as I sat in the lobby, I was staring right at their sales people and they looked extremely uncomfortable - they knew that I knew what they were all about. I told one of the account representatives (what a joke) I was not leaving until I had this resolved that day. So, they were FORCED to work on my case. They had debited my bank account in November for $500.00 -- and then they said it was an additional charge for the release of the wage levy...yup, another $200.00. Well, the levy was released, but after what I saw in person...a whole floor dedicated to sales people, I decided I didn't need to put up with this any longer.

    When I drove home back to Austin, I immediately went to my credit union and closed my account so that Tax Masters would not be able to drain me of anymore money they were not working for. Since November 2008 through February 2009, I had placed over 46 calls -- none which have ever been returned.

    Be encouraged? What a joke. Be afraid of Tax Masters...be very afraid. DO NOT EVER CONSIDER THESE JOKERS FOR HELP.
    Instead, I hired a local attorney who deals with IRS issues...for $300.00 he took my case and there is a rainbow at the end for me.

  • Ju
      30th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    taxmasters should be shut down!! They are the worst of the worst - liars and crooks!! I hate them!!! They took me for $ 6, 550.00

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