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Tax ConsultantsTaxMaster - No Tax Help

TaxMasters of Houston Texas is an unscroupulous, cheating, money stealing company - Beware... Before you send them or any tax consultant company money Please, please check them out - No refunds(period) Whether they do the job for you (or not)!

Responses

  • Tx
    txbstrds Mar 15, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Apparently there is a US Treasury investigation into TaxMasters.
    ---
    US Treasury Department
    Attention: Agent Farwell
    1919 Smith Street
    Suite 2270
    Houston, TX 77002

    ----

    And a potential class-action suit:

    Pam Mitchell
    [protected]


    Additionally:

    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 [protected]

    Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
    Hotline
    P.O. Box 589
    Ben Franklin Station
    Washington, DC [protected]

    Office of the Attorney General of Texas
    PO Box 12548
    Austin, TX [protected]

    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

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    Joe Mastriano CPA Apr 29, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I'm sorry to hear that so many people are getting scammed by TaxMasters and other firms. I'm a local Houston CPA with over 25 years of experience and during my career I have successfully solved thousands of tax cases in an ethical and professional way. Our small firm specializes in providing quality professional help with IRS tax problems. We also operate a website where people can get a lot of free valuable information to help them deal with their tax problems and the IRS. Please visit our website at www.TaxProblem.org

    0 Votes
  • Tx
    txbstrds Jun 04, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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
    [protected]

    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.

    0 Votes

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