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Taxmasters / Will not refund money for services not rendered

1 111 Georgetown DriveWatertown, CT, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 860-945-9722

On May 26th, 2009, I contacted TaxMasters regarding a tax problem I had with the State of Ct. After speaking at length with Corey McAllister, I agreed to have them represent me. I was told the charge was $2500 and I agreed to a 5-payment plan, deducting $500 from my checking account each month.

I never signed a contract, but did give my checking account information over the phone. The next day I decided to try to solve the problems myself and thought why give TaxMasters $2500, try and negotiate with the State of CT, which I was able to do. I then called and left e-mail messages cancelling my services with them.

I never got any return call or e-mail message. A few days later, I received a welcome e-mail from Toni Gillis. I then phoned her to state that I had sent a cancellation e-mail to Mr. McAllister. She told me to re-send my cancellation e-mail to her and she would take care of it. Nothing was ever done, and so far they have tried to withdraw $1000 from my checking account. They do not answer my phone calls or e-mail messages, although I always receive read receipts that they have received these messages.

I have hired an attorney to represent me and he sent them a letter July 18th stating that I want all my monies back or we will bring suit in a Connecticut court and seek damages undre the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. He CC's a copy to the Connecticut Attorney General's office.

How I wish I checked out TaxMasters under Google, as I find there are hundreds of other similiar complaints against them and a Class Action Law suit is pending in Texas. I would like to join that lawsuit, if there are non pending in Connecticut and file this complaint hoping to hear of similar complaints and perhaps information on pending lawsuits against this fraudulent company. They also advertise on MSNBC and CNN and I will be bring this information to their attention.

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Comments

  • Tm
      26th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I'm encountering similar problems with TaxMasters of TX. My include billing, mispresentation of services, customer service and refund request. TaxMasters is a hoax, all they do is collect your money and leave you out to dry.

    The representatives "supposed" to be assisting are: DaMaris Givens - case coordinator and Delmar Hunter - settlement analyst.

    To date, they have not been responsive. In addition, they are outright rude and know nothing of customer service (ie. phone call).

  • Ev
      31st of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I think it is time we all work together to confront taxmasters with a Class Suit!
    Please email me if you are interested.
    cruzev2010@yahoo.com

    These are the people's names I have been given by taxmasters (if they actually exist)
    Jill Kimball
    Michelle Lea Thoma
    Michelle Perry
    Diana Amacero
    Melody Johnson
    Tiffany
    James Arline- The one that suckered me into this nightmare!

  • Tx
      15th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    Hi,

    If you've been a victim of TaxMasters, below is a good starting list of everyone you should send a letter to, detailing your experience. Signed and mailed letters are often still taken more seriously than an emailed or faxed one. You should also include any/all supporting documentation/evidence.

    This really is needed. The sooner these agencies receive more complaints about this company, the more they will investigate.

    1. Your state's Attorney General
    2. All of your state's Senators and Representatives (Federal and State)
    3. All of the following:

    U.S. Treasury Department
    ATTN: Special Agent Farwell
    1919 Smith St.
    Suite 2270
    Houston, TX 77002

    Texas State Board of Public Accountancy
    333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 900
    Austin, TX 78701-3900

    Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
    Hotline
    P.O. Box 589
    Ben Franklin Station
    Washington, DC 20044-0589

    Office of the Attorney General of Texas
    PO Box 12548
    Austin, TX 78711-2548

    U.S. Department of Justice
    Office of Attorney General
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20530

    Internal Revenue Service
    Office of Professional Responsibility
    SE: OPR, Room 7238/IR
    1111 Constitution Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20224

    Better Business Bureau of Houston
    http://houston.bbb.org/

    Federal Trade Commission
    Consumer Response Center
    600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20580

    Mayor Annise D. Parker
    City of Houston
    P.O. Box 1562
    Houston, TX 77251

  • Tx
      4th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Well it finally happened -- government action against TaxMasters:

    http://www.oag.state.tx.us/oagnews/release.php?print=1&id=3328

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 13, 2010
    www.texasattorneygeneral.gov CONTACT
    Press Office at
    (512) 463-2050

    Houston-based "Tax Resolution" Firm Charged With Unlawful Conduct, Misleading Customers

    Texas Attorney General files enforcement action against TaxMasters, Inc.; cites nearly 1, 000 complaints about defendants’ conduct and business practices


    HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today charged Houston-based TaxMasters, Inc., and its chief executive officer, Patrick Cox, with multiple violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Texas Debt Collection Act.

    According to the state’s enforcement action, the defendants unlawfully misled customers about their service contract terms, failed to disclose its no-refunds policy, and falsely claimed that the firm’s employees would immediately begin work on a case – despite the fact that TaxMasters did not actually start to work on a case until its customers paid in full for services, even if that delayed response meant taxpayers missed significant IRS deadlines.

    “In the midst of a national economic downturn, TaxMasters used a nationwide marketing campaign to offer services for distressed taxpayers who needed help dealing with the IRS, ” Attorney General Abbott said. “A state investigation and nearly 1, 000 customer complaints indicate that the defendants routinely misled customers about the nature of their tax resolution service agreements – and worse, attempted to enforce those improper agreements through unlawful debt collection tactics. The state’s enforcement action seeks to prohibit the defendants from continuing to violate the law and seeks restitution for the financially struggling taxpayers who were harmed by the defendants’ unlawful conduct.”

    The defendants advertise a tax resolution service for federal taxpayers who have received notice from the IRS of an audit, garnishment, lien, levy or tax deficiency. Citing a self-styled “national advertising campaign” and high-profile “endorsements, ” TaxMasters purports to have “one of the most effective tax relief teams in the tax representation business.” However, a state investigation – and nearly 1, 000 complaints submitted to the Office of the Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau of Houston – indicate that the defendants have unlawfully misled their customers and failed to disclose material facts about their service agreements.

    TaxMasters’ advertisements encourage taxpayers to call its toll-free number for a “free consultation” with a “tax consultant.” Court documents filed by the state indicate that callers are not connected to an employee qualified to give tax advice, but rather with a TaxMasters salesperson who recommends a “solution” for between $1, 500 and $9, 000 or more.

    According to court documents, many callers were offered an installment plan so that they could pay the defendants’ fee over a specified period of time. However, callers who asked to see written terms and conditions prior to making a payment were informed that a credit card or bank account number is necessary to generate a written TaxMasters service contract. As a result, TaxMasters customers were unaware – and the defendants’ personnel did not have a practice of disclosing – multiple aspects of the TaxMasters service agreement that were harmful to taxpayers.

    For example, the defendants did not disclose that all customer payments submitted to TaxMasters are non-refundable. Because customers were not provided written contracts and sales personnel did not reveal the no-refunds policy, customers did not know that they would not be able to recover any installment payments they submitted to TaxMasters – even if they ultimately decide to cancel before TaxMasters actually did any work on their tax case.

    The state’s enforcement action also cites TaxMasters for failing to reveal that it would not begin work on a case until all installment payments had been remitted and the entire fee was paid. Multiple complaints indicate that customers entered into an installment agreement with the understanding that TaxMasters would immediately begin work on their case – only to discover later that no action was taken. Customers often learned that there was a problem when they received a notice from the IRS indicating that an important deadline had been missed or that additional fees and penalties had accrued.

    Court documents filed by the state also indicate that the defendants failed to disclose TaxMasters’ requirement that customers pay the entire service fee – even if they opt to cancel their contract. Because customers are not provided a written contract, they were not properly informed that agreeing to make a single payment over the telephone obligated them to pay the entire fee quoted by sales personnel. Further, not only did TaxMasters attempt to obligate its customers to a fee in the absence of a signed contract, the defendants used unlawful debt collection tactics to enforce the unauthorized obligation.

    According to the state’s enforcement action, the defendants not only failed to disclose material terms and conditions governing its services, but also failed to properly provide the “tax resolution” services that were advertised. Customer complaints obtained by the Attorney General’s Office cite TaxMasters for failing to contact and consult with the IRS on the client’s behalf; failing to appear on the client’s behalf at an IRS audit or hearing; failing to postpone or stop a wage or bank account garnishment; and failing to stop a levy or lien against a client’s property.

    When customers who were unhappy with the defendants’ services sought refunds, TaxMasters refused to return the customers’ money. Court documents indicate TaxMasters not only refused to honor refund requests, it also pursued debt collection efforts against clients who cancelled their contracts. The state’s enforcement action charges TaxMasters with unlawfully threatening to pursue customers in Harris County courts, even if those customers did not reside in the county. Under Texas law, entities seeking to enforce a consumer contract can only do so in a county where the agreement was executed or where the consumer resides.

    The state's enforcement action is seeking restitution for each TaxMasters customer who was financially harmed by the defendants’ unlawful conduct. In addition, the state is seeking civil penalties of up to $20, 000 for each violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

  • Tx
      18th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    The PA class action suit has made it around the arbitration clause in the contract. TaxMasters filed a motion to compel arbitration, which was denied on 3/17/11.

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