Preview: Whenever one of my articles has the phrase “walk away” in it, you know where I’m headed.
Tax relief companies use the radio, television and the Internet to advertise help for taxpayers in distress. If you pay them an upfront fee, which can be thousands of dollars, these companies claim they can reduce or even eliminate your tax debts and stop back-tax collection by applying for legitimate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hardship programs. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the truth is that most taxpayers don’t qualify for the programs these fraudsters hawk, their companies don’t settle the tax debt, and in many cases don’t even send the necessary paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service requesting participation in the programs that were mentioned. Adding insult to injury, some of these companies don’t provide refunds, and leave people even further in debt.
Some taxpayers who filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission reported that, after signing up with some of these companies and paying thousands of dollars in upfront fees, the companies took even more of their money by making unauthorized charges to their credit cards or withdrawals from their bank accounts. read more »