by Brian Mahany
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson charged TaxMasters of Texas with bilking Minnesota residents out of more than $1 million.
Back in early October, I happily reported that the feds finally closed the doors on American Tax Relief. State authorities have been aggressively pursuing other questionable tax relief companies too such as J.K. Harris and attorney Roni Deutch. Welcome now Tax Masters to the ranks of tax relief companies being prosecuted.
According to the lawsuit filed by Minnesota, TaxMasters uses deceptive ads to lure in clients. (How many clients haven’t heard a tax relief pitch suggesting you can pay “just pennies on the dollar” to the IRS?) Once clients contact the company, high pressure telemarketers push folks to pay between $2000 and $10,000 in up front fees. Clients are promised that former IRS professionals will work on their case. According to the lawsuit, virtually no one works on their case.
These scams are particularly disturbing in that they target people already having financial problems. People who were laid off, have medical problems or are losing their house frequently are the same people having problems paying their taxes. By taking their last remaining savings, victims are left with no money and no tax relief.
Are all tax relief companies scam? Fortunately no. Nationally, only a small percentage of offers in compromise filed with the IRS are approved. Those that are approved are frequently submitted with the help of trained accountants and lawyers that specialize in tax matters, not TV hucksters advertising they can settle your tax debt for ” just $20″ or “pennies on the dollar.”
Mahany & Ertl is a full service boutique law firm concentrating in helping people and businesses with tax problems. IRS liens? Bank levies? Wage garnishments? We can help. Our tax lawyers have helped tax payers from Maine to Hawaii with tax court litigation, audit defense, collections representation, criminal investigations and of course, offers in compromise.
Call attorney Brian Mahany today at (414) 704-6731 or through the website, www.mahanyertl.com for a free, no nonsense review of your tax situation.