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Washington Tax Services / Refusal to honor their own guarantee

1 570 Mercer St. Bldg. ASeattle, WA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (888) 282-4697

WTS was hired and paid amounts of $1, 250 on 3/27/2006, $1, 250 on 4/27/2006, and $1, 250 on 5/22/2006. WTS was faxed 23 pages of information regarding tax debt on 4/19/2006. No communication came from Washington Tax until 8/2/2006 in response to an inquiry from customer, and the response from WTS via e-mail on 8/2/2006 was that the IRS is "not showing any liability at this time" even after they had been faxed copies of the debt.
Another e-mail to WTS sent on 11/10/2006 since nothing had been heard since 8/2/2006. This e-mail was never responded to by Washington Tax.

The IRS delivered summons to customer's house on 12/12/2006. WTS was relieved of it's employ via multiple communication on 12/21/2006, and customer asked for a refund. Only after WTS was relieved of this service, they submitted an offer in compromise that was MORE than the original tax debt and therefore never used. An additional letter was sent by customer requesting refund and received by WTS on 6/13/08. No response has been received. Their web site clearly states that they will refund "gladly and promptly" and "without question" but before their work is doen.

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Comments

  • Ma
      21st of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am writing in response to the complaint you received from Brooks Gardner regarding our client Melissa Lindley. Ms. Lindley hired our company in March of 2006 to assist her in settling a $175, 000 tax debt which she accrued when she was previously a restaurant owner. At the time she hired us, Ms. Lindley was unemployed, supported her two boys off of social security benefits from her husbands death and claimed to have no assets. Based on this we believed that the IRS would likely accept a settlement to resolve Ms. Lindley's tax debt for significantly less than what she owed. Ms. Lindley's fee was paid by her boyfriend Brooks Gardner.

    Ms. Lindley provided us with her personal financial information and we prepared IRS financial statements that we could use to request a settlement. However, in our conversations with the IRS officer assigned to her case, it came to light that Ms. Lindley had recently transferred title to 3 homes and a fully owned $30, 000 Lexus to her boyfriend, Brooks Gardner. The IRS viewed this as an attempt by Ms. Lindley to evade paying the taxes by hiding her assets.

    Ms. Lindley explained to us that she had no equity in the real estate at the time of the transfers and that the Lexus was transferred to repay a loan from Mr. Gardner. If this were the case we would be able to continue the process of requesting a settlement. We asked Ms. Lindley and Mr. Gardner to provide us with their financial records for the property transfers. Curiously, they refused to provide any information to support their explanation of the transfers.

    The IRS also requested the same information from Ms. Lindley and Mr. Gardner. The IRS officer issued a summons for them to appear with the documents on December 22, 2006. Had the client been willing to provide the documents to us, we may have been able to cancel the summons by providing the documents via fax or mail. Unfortunately, the client and Mr. Gardner did not provide us with the information nor did they appear with the information at the IRS summons.

    Without the cooperation of the client in explaining her suspicious property transfers, we were unable to move forward in requesting a settlement from the IRS. Because Ms. Lindley refused to provide us with what was needed we closed her case in January 2007. At that time we also mailed her the financial statements we had prepared previously with the intention of requesting an IRS Settlement.

    Ms. Lindley is not due a refund from our company. We prepared financial statements for this client and our staff attorney had several conversations with the IRS officer about Ms. Lindley's case. The failure to achieve a settlement is due solely to the client's refusal to provide essential information to our company and the IRS.

    It has been over seven months since our last contact with Ms. Lindley. If she is still in need of help with her IRS case, we would be happy to discuss assisting her further if she was willing to provide the information needed about the property transfers.

    Please contact me if you need any additional information.

    Sincerely

    Matthew Woare, General Manager
    Washington Tax Services

  • Th
      2nd of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    Given the General Manager's response to the above posted misleading (and somewhat silly) complaint, rather than dwell on it, I'd like to share MY positive experience with this firm. Without going into the whole ugly story, I owe the IRS $16, 000. The day after Thanksgiving, my bank account was seized. Part of this is my fault and part of this is my accountant's fault. Be that as it may, Marty at WTS gave me SOUND and practical advice this morning (12/2) that will surely help me sleep tonight. He pulled no punches and clearly told me what my options were. Even better, he told me what I SHOULD DO. He told me what he would charge to handle the process for me (us) and I now have decisions to make. These guys are EAs (look it up if you don't know what that means bc it's important). And they have integrity. Oh and did I mention he didn't try to scare the living daylights out of me so that I would come in and spend money TODAY on a retainer? Integrity.

  • Hm
      31st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I also used WTS they are FRAUD. Call the IRS yourself.

  • Hm
      31st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    Hired WTS 9/2008 to rep. me with IRS. I had to file bankruptcy, they did nothing finally when I got a BK discharge they prepared form 656, but acted like I was a pain. The settlement requested a payment of $2k, but after i filed it they told me my 2009 and 2010 refunds of $3 and $4k respectively would;d also be taken by IRS. WTS is a FRAUD. Call the IRS yourself.

  • Hm
      13th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    This post goes attached to the one above be hms2001

    4/5/2011 Marty Griffith from Washington Tax called me we spoke about what has been said and discussed. He explained that i did not understand the situation ( that is obvious that is why I hired a tax service) he further explained why I was wrong. I told him I would verify what he said, if correct I would cancel my complaint.
    4/13/2011 Marty Griffith called again I explained to him i have a face to face with the local IRS agent to discuss my situation and review what he and Washington Tax state are my options. He proceeded to tell me that when I need additional help, then he slammed the phone in my face. Very professional.

  • Ds
      18th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    I had a similar experience with WTS (Jay Freeborne). He did virtually nothing for me, was never prepared for our calls, and always acted like I was bothering him whenever I called with a question or asked for his help on any forms. He would just grumble and say that they had to charge me more for anything else. The end result was nothing different than I could have done on my own and without the irritation of having to try to get Jay's help. He didn't even ultimately work on the case - passed it on to some unknown behind the scenes person to write a incomplete poor letter that was mostly just a form letter. WTS's "service" was a complete waste of money.

  • Ja
      27th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Washington Tax responds.

    This Complaints Board thread has turned into three complaints combined with one positive testimonial. Naturally, these complaint boards are not the best arbiter of disappointed clients -- that is what the Better Business Bureau is for. But our organization is dedicated to addressing any complaint against us. On these websites -- https://www.complaintsboard.com, pissedconsumer.com and /link removed/ -- rebutted complaints do NOT remove the complaint NEITHER does rectifying the situation with the client. These complaint threads remain as rusted satellites out in the internet ether even after the complaint is resolved. This is unfair to the businesses involved -- that's why we stress the BBB as the best arbiter -- you can't be anonymous with the BBB which insures that the business and the client are treated fairly. Nonetheless, we are certain that all three complaints in this thread are from our clients. Here's our responses.

    The first complaint -- we addressed thoroughly and clearly ABOVE on October 21, 2009.

    The second complaint is complaint filed by Haney Sweda. Mr. Sweda seems to post the complaint like graffiti all over the internet and we try to post a rebuttal whereever we find it. Here's that rebuttal again here:

    This client hired us in 2008 to represent his business on a 941 tax debt. That phase of his case lasted until mid-2009 when the client decided to file bankruptcy and dissolve the company. In 2010, the customer contacted us to address the trust fund taxes that were assessed against him personally (not dissolvable in bankruptcy). At no extra charge, we helped him prepare an Offer in Compromise which was accepted by the IRS.

    When we saw this complaint online, we looked up our customer database and called this client and asked him why he filed a complaint. Nonetheless, we have to chalk this up as a personality conflict.

    We hope that the reader of this thread understands that we continued to work this client's case without an extra charge and ultimately his tax debt was settled. In fact, his Offer in Compromise has not been accepted -- yet we are continuing to work his case in spite of his multiple and anonymous complaints. Yes he is correct: the IRS does take tax refunds in the first and sometimes second year after an Offer. So it goes.

    The third complaint - posted anonymously indicated Jay F. did nothing on his case except post a "form letter" and was unprepared and bothered when the client called him. We have searched our database for clients in Fort Washington Pennysylvania and unfortunately we couldn't find this person.

    First, the penalty abatement letter is essentially a "form letter" which involves quoting IRS law pertaining to penalty abatements and the particular circumstances relating to the client's case -- in addition -- we write and make sure the client's narrative clearly fits the guidelines. However, penalty abatements are often decided not on this letter but rather on a more detailed appeal that is necessary on about 45% of these cases (It is becoming more common for the initial submission to be rejected). If you are the customer that wrote this complaint -- please contact us so we can rectify the situation -- certainly -- if your penalty abatement was rejected.

    Finally, Mr. F. is available at his desk 1-866-525-7302 from 11:30am to 7:30pm EST - he is dedicated to great customer service and doesn't know what circumstances you found him when he seemed "bothered." Please let him rectify your concerns and situation by calling him. Thank you.

    Staff of Washington Tax Services

  • Ja
      31st of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    Washington Tax responds.

    This Complaints Board thread has evolved into three complaints with one positive testimonial thrown-in. First and foremost, our organization is dedicated to addressing any complaint against us that we find on the internet. Please read our blog for a complete list of every internet complaint with our rebuttal here: http://taxresolutiontalk.blogspot.com/2009/10/complaints-against-washington-tax.html

    The first complaint -- we addressed thoroughly and clearly ABOVE on October 21, 2009.

    The second complaint is complaint filed by client Haney Sweda. Mr. Sweda has also posted this complaint on other complaint sites. Here's our rebuttal

    This client hired us in 2008 to represent his business on a 941 tax debt. That phase of his case lasted until mid-2009 when the client decided to file bankruptcy and dissolve the company. In 2010, the customer contacted us to address the trust fund taxes that were assessed against him personally (not dissolvable in bankruptcy). At no extra charge, we helped him prepare an Offer in Compromise which was accepted by the IRS.

    When we saw this complaint online, we looked up our customer database and called this client and asked him why he filed a complaint. Nonetheless, we have to chalk this up as a personality conflict.

    We hope that the reader of this thread understands that we continued to work this client's case without an extra charge and ultimately his tax debt was settled. In fact, his Offer in Compromise has not been accepted -- yet we are continuing to work his case in spite of his multiple and anonymous complaints. Yes he is correct: the IRS does take tax refunds in the first and sometimes second year after an Offer. So it goes.

    The third complaint - posted anonymously indicated Jay F. did nothing on his case except prepare a "form letter" and was unprepared and bothered when the client called him. We have searched our database for clients in Fort Washington Pennysylvania and unfortunately we couldn't find this person.

    First, the penalty abatement letter is essentially a "form letter" which involves quoting IRS law pertaining to penalty abatements and the particular circumstances relating to the client's case -- in addition -- we write and make sure the client's narrative clearly fits the guidelines. However, penalty abatements are often decided not on this letter but rather on a more detailed appeal that is necessary on about 45% of these cases (It is becoming more common for the initial submission to be rejected). If you are the customer that wrote this complaint -- please contact us so we can rectify the situation -- certainly -- if your penalty abatement was rejected - we are prepared to handle the appeal.

    Finally, Mr. F. is available at his desk 1-866-525-7302 from 11:30am to 7:30pm EST - he is dedicated to great customer service and doesn't know what circumstances you found him in when he seemed "bothered." Please let him rectify your concerns and situation by calling him. Thank you.

    Staff of Washington Tax Services

  • Ja
      3rd of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    This is a quick response to all of the above: There are three complaints in this thread. The first was addressed in October 2009 and we feel it was a thorough response. The 2nd complaint is a repeat complaint from a Mr. Sweda. We are still actively representing the client in his Offer in Compromise. Before the Offer was sent to him, we indicated clearly in writing that they client's first two refunds were to be taken by the IRS as per the Offer rule's. It seems as if he wants to blame us for the rules? Nonetheless, we have made a request of him to post a removal of complaint at least until we finish the case.

    The last complaint here was from a penalty abatement customer of Jay F. on staff. He is right: the initial penalty abatement letter is a "form letter" of sorts. However, we do customize the letter to the client's specific narrative citing the IRS code which supports the clients case. In fact penalty abatement cases are often NOT won on the initial try. Cases are often won after the initial penalty abatement is rejected. We can only suspect that this client did NOT send in his paperwork OR was his case rejected and he didn't contact us to do the FREE appeal? Finally, Mr. F. manages a decent sized case load -- but if the client felt that he wasn't served -- please call Mr. F. at 1-866-525-7302 so you can get the service you deserve. Mr. F. is dedicated to good customer service! Call him.

  • As
      24th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    To Washington Tax Service : Why would you post the NAME of one of your private clients on a public forum here? Just because she had a dispute, wanted to write about her problem anonymously, then you post her NAME -- permanently attaching this dispute to her name in search engines.

    Just for this, I think you cannot be trusted. What if I have a bad experience and post a complaint? Will you 'out' me as well? No thanks, I'll find another service.

  • Ja
      25th of Feb, 2012
    0 Votes

    To the last responder, your accusation of us outing one of our few disgruntled clients does pose a perhaps larger question on the nature of the internet. Do you think people should have the right to complain anonymously and potentially tarnish a company's name out in the wide open without listing their own name? Don't you think it should be quid pro quo? You can complain as much as you want -- but you have to list your name?
    Nonetheless, our engagement letter to our current clients explicitly states: in the rare event that we have an unpleasant experience together, you have the right to complain against us. We recommend that you make that complaint at the Better Business Bureau - BBB-- who's committed to both parties being heard and to resolving the issue between the two parties. However, should you choose to complain anonymously on an internet flame board-- (such as this one) -- we reserve the right to explain all of the particular's of your case including your name in defending ourselves.
    The problem with these boards is, unlike the BBB, the complaint lingers out there in search engines even when the complaint has been sufficiently and adequately rebutted. Companies that do a good job in defending themselves and in assisting their upset clients -- deserve to have the complaint eventually expire. Unfortunately, these complaints -- such as this one -- will linger for some time out in search engines like rusted satellites out in space.

  • Ta
      28th of Jan, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I was set to use your company until I read these post. There are not many complaints, considering the size of your company. But that fact that you make your clients relieve you of you professional oath prior to doing business with them turned me off. The BBB is a private organization that you pay to belong to. They protect there own interest. The internet is what brought me to you.

  • Ja
      20th of Feb, 2014
    0 Votes

    I called a local tax service to ask for assistance. I was transferred to Washington Tax Service, because they could supposedly help me in my jurisdiction. The man listened to me for about 30 minutes, then curtly said "we can't help you have a good day" and hung up on me!
    I thought it was a joke! What an ###.

    Well that was my experience. I would not use this bunch of rude people if they did it for free!


    Jack Russell
    Oriental, NC

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