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F.T.C Accuses American Tax Relief of Empty Promises

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To taxpayers who have outstanding I.R.S debts, the promise of debt relief is one that is quickly welcomed.  However, those of us in the tax business know that such relief is not easily attained and any resolution involving income tax will require a lot of hard work and time.  Even after putting in much effort a good outcome is still not guaranteed.  Beware of companies that make the audit or tax  abatement process seem easy, because it is anything but.

American Tax Relief  advertised heavily on television, in print and on the internet that they can reduce back taxes.  The advertisements use actors portraying clients, and make claims of reducing back taxes from amounts like $200,000 down to $40,000.  The company which is based out of Beverly Hills, California has been recently accused by the F.T.C. of offering promises of I.R.S. debt relief that they could not deliver.

…despite collecting $60 million to $100 million in upfront fees from often-desperate clients in recent years, American Tax Relief rarely, if ever, delivered on its promises…

“Everyone has seen these commercials and wondered, ‘Can I really get away with paying the I.R.S. only a fraction of what I owe?,’ ” C. Steven Baker, the director of the F.T.C.’s Midwest Regional office, said in an interview. “The short answer is no.”

Of the 20,000 clients that the F.T.C. says it believes that American Tax Relief signed up, “we have not been able to find a single one” that the company helped to reduce a tax burden, said David Vladek, the chief of the commission’s division of consumer protection.

If you have outstanding I.R.S. debt and need assistance the best option is to contact a tax professional and preferably one that has been in business for a long time.

Source:  The New York Times