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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 12/01/2012

The Tax Defenders (Headquarters)

Phone: (312) 529-5000Fax: (866) 341-0432

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Customer Complaints Summary

8 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues4
Billing / Collection Issues1
Problems with Product / Service3
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints8

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (8)BBB Closure Definitions
02/21/2014Billing / Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Illegally charged my credit card without my permission or sign off on their consent form. I've called numerous times to talk to **** ****** about this as I was told only he did the refunds. He has not returned my calls. They charged 3100. without my permission at all!

Initial Business Response
History of Case
On 11/14/13, this consumer, ****** ******, contacted us and hired us to conduct an investigation into the causes and potential resolution of his debt. He also completed a client services agreement, and a power of attorney/declaration of representative before the IRS, under his signature on 11/20/13.

In the initial phone conversation we had with Mr. ******, he gave us his checking account information and authorized us to withdraw the full fee for the investigation work, which was $3,100, the very next day, 11/15/13. He then called us on 11/15/13 to move his payment to 11/18/13, which we did.

On 12/16/14, we completed Mr. ******'s case investigation and delivered the results to him.

At the end of the investigation, Mr. ****** had the choice to have us work further on her case or to terminate our representation and work directly with the IRS based on our investigation findings.

Given that choice on 12/19/13, he agreed to move forward and hire us to do more work resolving his tax debt. However, for us to do further work, all clients must pay for that work. We set up a payment plan for the fee and he was to call us with a payment method. However, he did not call us to make that payment. We withdrew his Power of Attorney on 12/30/13 due to a lack of payment and response.

History of Complaint
On 12/31/13, Mr. ****** called us and requested a refund. We scheduled an appointment with the head attorney, **** ****** for 1/3/14. Mr. ****** called and left a voicemail message at the scheduled time and emailed him as well.

On 2/6/14, *** ******, the president of The Tax Defenders, called and left a voicemail message regarding the refund he is requesting. We have yet to get a response from him.

We are willing to appear for the Better Business Bureau's arbitration process if the consumer would like to utilize that process.

Attached, please find supporting documents for the work we completed in the investigation phase of ****** ******'s tax case:

* Form 2848, Declaration of Representative
* Client Services Agreement
* IRS Contact Memo
* Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement
* Financial Spreadsheet of income and expenses
* Wage and Income Transcripts

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

01/06/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services

Complaint: I was contacted through the mail by The Tax Defenders about my IRS issues so I decided to contact them based on the fact that they promised results or my money back. After my initial consultation over the phone, they requested $1,000 to start my case with $1,000 due in 30 days which I complied with on both demands. After I made the second payment I had a conversation with ****** ******** over the phone in which he could not offer any way to solve my problem other than the way that the IRS had already put in place before I contacted The Tax Defenders. In other words as he stated over the phone The Tax Defenders could not enhance my situation at all. I expect a full refund if they were unable to do anything for me, exactly as promised in their advertising and letter in which they sent to me.

Initial Business Response
On 9/3/13, this consumer, ***** ********, contacted us and hired us to conduct an investigation into the causes and potential resolution of his debt. He also completed a client services agreement, power of attorney/declaration of representative before the IRS, and payment authorization which we received under his signature on 9/4/13.

At that time, Mr. ******** paid the first half of the fee for the investigation work, which was $1,000. He paid the second half of the fee for the investigation work on 10/3/13 (another $1,000).

The very next day, 10/4/13, we completed Mr. ********'s case investigation and delivered the results to him.

At the end of the investigation (which he had paid for and was delivered to him within one day of him final payment), Mr. ******** had the choice to have us work further on his case or to terminate our representation and work directly with the IRS based on our investigation findings.

Given that choice on 10/4/13, he decided to think about moving forward with us into the resolution phase of the case, which is an additional fee. We followed up with Mr. ******** again on 10/11/13, and he had not made a decision yet. Mr. ******** had an IRS deadline to meet by 10/15/13 so we asked for an extension for the information requested by his Revenue Officer at the IRS. On 10/21/13, he told us he would not be moving forward into the resolution phase of his case.

We are willing to appear for the Better Business Bureau's arbitration process if the consumer would like to utilize that process.

Attached, please find supporting documents for the work we completed in the investigation phase of Mr. ********'s tax case:

* Form 2848, Declaration of Representative
* Client Services Agreement
* Payment Authorization
* IRS Contact Memo
* Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement
* Financial Spreadsheet of income and expenses
* Wage and Income Transcripts



Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I read the response that The Tax Defenders provided for the reason for which they claim that they provided a service to me for the sum of two thousand dollars that they earned.

The literature that Mr *** ****** sent me stated that he and The Tax Defenders could help me with my problems and that he was also an ex marine. I was under the impression that honor was part of being a marine and contend that by taking my money and providing nothing in return is an act of dishonesty and complete lack of honor on his behalf.

I went to the IRS office in Maitland Florida, had a meeting with the IRS officer in charge of my case and not only got my payroll levy lifted but negotiated a full settlement for all money owed to the IRS.

I am not a tax attorney, but I resolved all my problems myself. This is what I thought The Tax Defenders would do for me after I contacted them for help. I propose that they scammed me out of two thousand dollars under the disguise of evaluating my situation.I also question the Chicago Business Bureau for giving a company like this an A+ rating.

I will seek all avenues available to me and try to help anyone thinking about hiring this company not to waste their time or money dealing with The Tax Defenders on any matters regarding IRS problems.

Final Business Response
There is absolutely no "disguise of evaluating my situation." Rather, there was an actual evaluation that the consumer paid to receive. In no way, shape or form is that a "scam."

Mr. ******** hired us to complete an investigation. We completed that investigation. That is called work for hire. When a doctor runs tests on a patient, an architect draws plans for a house or an engineer writes a feasibility study for a construction project, the work is of the exact same type we performed: the consumer pays the professional for research, analysis and opinion of the likely outcome of a particular situation.

Please see our original attachments for detailed and specific documented proof that we did the work we were hired to perform.

We did not, and do not, promise any specific outcome for any client when they initially hire us. We only promise to do an investigation as a first step in a tax debt resolution process. The fact that Mr. ******** actually refers to us conducting the investigation/evaluation shows he fully understood what the value exchange was and is.

Following our investigation, we shared our findings and opinion with him, including the exact outcome to be pursued with the IRS. He then communicated with us (after we reported the investigation outcome) stating he understood our entire report, and the work that went into that report, and was uncertain if he would like further work from us.

He then took the results of our work and decided to directly contact the IRS to get the outcome we advised him was to be pursued, which is his right. However, that does not entitle a refund or any claims of dishonesty, lack of honor or failure to do the work we were actually paid to do.

Again, we are happy to submit to the BBB arbitration process and will further respond in any other forum to the false accusation that we did "nothing" or that we did not complete the work we were retained to complete.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

12/20/2013Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Advertising Complaint Issue

Complaint: The Tax Defenders implied that I have a tax lien against me, when in fact I do not. I called the IRS and spent forty five minutes on the phone with them verifying that I do not have a tax lien after receiving their letter in the mail. I did not solicit their business and have no idea why they contacted me saying I have a tax lien and offering to help.

Initial Business Response
Mr. ****** is responding to a mail advertisement he received from our company. He is not a current or past client of ours. Per his request, Mr. ****** has been removed from our mailing list. Please note that the use of mail to advertise services is a protected right under Federal law.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

11/29/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to respond to phone calls or written requests for assistance or support

Complaint: In September 2013 My Husband and I both spoke with ****** ****** at the Tax Defenders because we received advertisement of 100 Guaranteed IRS Problems solved. This was not near the case. They were in a hurry to withdrawn a down payment from us, however I faxed everything that they requested and paid the remaining balance. After date was set with the IRS and they were given by us the Power of Attorney to speak on our behalf, every time....and I mean every time we had a conference call with either ************* or ******** we would rush to get home for the conference they would put it off always to next week until it was just days prior to meeting with the IRS they called and asked for over $5,000.00 to proceed. WOW REALLY! If we had that kind of money just laying around we would have paid the IRS. We lost the money and had to go our visit to IRS unaware of Tax Laws and our Rights. The mailed us back the info that I faxed them, basically taking our money without any resolution. ************* said their clients normally go on and pay the money because they can not handle it themselves. Yes they told us that this was Phase One and Phase two is final resolution but if we did not pay Phase TWO they would terminate their services, however this out outrageous fee was NEVER agreed upon. They said they needed all the information before they could tell us what that is. Well after you collect the initial fees you have already ripped us off. Don't use this company and they are all over the place changing addresses and making calls to people who really need a Defender but they are NOT a Clear Representative of the name they use. One of the owners (???) *********** believe he gave us a fair deal, however when a office personal fills out a few line on a simple form and charge you an excessive amount of money. This is completely unacceptable and we still run the risk of losing our properties and credit because of the greediness of this company. How can this even be reasonable when the IRS would love for us to give them over $5,000.00 plus what we are embarrassed to say we paid them up front. Please warn the public of this. They should be made to take 100% guaranteed off all advertisement and not ever work in the state of North Carolina forever!

Initial Business Response
History of Case
On 8/30/13, this consumer's husband, ***** ******, contacted us and hired us to conduct an investigation into the causes and potential resolution of her debt. He also completed a client services agreement, power of attorney/declaration of representative before the IRS, and payment authorization which we received under his signature on 9/3/13.

On 8/30/13, Mr. ****** paid the first half of the fee for the investigation work, which was $850. He paid the second half of the fee for the investigation work on 9/30/13 (another $850).

On 9/26/13, we completed Mr. ******'s case investigation. At the end of the investigation (which she had paid for and was delivered to her within one day of her final payment), Mr. ****** had the choice to have us work further on her case or to terminate our representation and work directly with the IRS based on our investigation findings.

Given that choice on 10/1/13, they did not agree to move forward and hire us to do more work resolving their tax debt. We emailed the written investigation report to them for their reference

On 10/16, Mrs. ****** had an appointment with **** ******* one of the owners of the company and the director of tax resolution. She requested a "mercy refund" for the investigation fee. Based on work performed, we issued a refund of $300 to her on 10/18/13.

We are willing to appear for the Better Business Bureau's arbitration process if the consumer would like to utilize that process.

Attached, please find supporting documents for the work we completed in the investigation phase of Mr. and Mrs. ******'s tax case:

* Form 2848, Declaration of Representative
* Client Services Agreement
* Payment Authorization
* IRS Contact Memo
* Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement
* Financial Spreadsheet of income and expenses
* Account Transcripts

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

10/04/2013Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: False or unsubstantiated claims in advertisement

Complaint: they continue to harasses me through the mail, with false claims. I want people that check out complaints with BBB to see my complaint, The tax defenders continue to send cheap mailings to me, when I have requested them to stop.

Initial Business Response
Mr. ***** ********* is responding to a mail advertisement he received from our company. He is not a current or past client of ours. Per his request, Mr. ********* has been removed from our mailing list. Please note that the use of mail to advertise services is a protected right under Federal law.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

Page 1 of 2
03/12/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services

Complaint: assured that the tax defenders could find out all the years that should be included and then they did an offer in compramise and we paid them and the irs only to be told after the fact that one year was left out and that we still owed 20,000 for that year and that it could not be included in the compramise when we were told in the begining that all of our tax problems would be over but i feel like they are starting all over again

Initial Business Response
History of Case
In October of 2009, this consumer, **** ******* *******, contacted and hired us to investigate the causes and potential resolution of his IRS income tax debt. He also completed a client services agreement, power of attorney for the IRS, and payment authorization.

At the end of his investigation, Mr. ******* had the choice to have us work further on his case or to terminate our representation and work directly with the IRS based on our investigation findings.

Given that choice, in June 2010, he agreed to move forward and hire us to resolve his tax matters. We filed an Offer in Compromise on July 15th, 2011, which was accepted by the IRS on November 26th, 2012 for $8,354.13. He owed more than $93,000.

On January 25th 2013, the taxpayer received a letter saying his 2001 tax return was missing. We explained to Mr. ******* that he needed to file and pay the 2001 tax return immediately in order not to default his offer.

We sent a copy of the tax return to the Offer Examiner on February 8th 2013. The tax balance was $12,457. The taxpayer didn't actually mail the return to the IRS until March 12th, 2013. In addition, the taxpayer never paid his 2001 tax balance, despite our office obtaining an extra four months to do so. Consequently, his offer defaulted on January 9th, 2014.

On January 22nd, 2014, two days after Mr. ******* filed the complaint with BBB, we spoke with his girlfriend, ***** ******* who agreed to withdraw the complaint based on the fact that we did not default Mr. *******' offer and were still willing resolve his case as Currently Non Collectible, free of charge. On January 30th, 2014, Ms. Spivey agreed for us to Mr. *******' case once again. However, she did not withdrawal the complaint to the BBB. As such, we are responding accordingly.


Initial Consumer Rebuttal
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
when i hired the tax defenders i my partner and i
asked if they could find out how far back that i had to file because i did not know when the last was filed. i was told yes they could and would do this.
they did not do their job ,they left a year out ,
and then told me there was nothing they could do about it.we had not started paying
on the offer why did they continue,they could have stopped it and resubmit it with 2001 included,
.

Final Business Response
During the initial work on this case, the IRS informed us they were not seeking payment on this consumer's 2001 tax debt. This position was affirmed via the IRS process. In submitting and defending the original Offer In Compromise (OIC), we dealt with four layers of IRS employees. At no time did they seek to collect on the 2001 debt, nor even inform us that it was in issue.

We can't know if the return needs to be filed when the IRS says the opposite.

Based on this process and communication, we do not feel this is our "error" but rather our reliance on IRS communication and process.

Nonetheless, we agreed to do additional, free work for this consumer by submitting an additional proposal to the IRS for Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status. However, the consumer is demanding that we only submit a proposal for a completely separate IRS program (Offer in Compromise). It is our strong, professional opinion this proposal (Offer in Compromise) will fail and that a CNC proposal will be accepted and will protect the consumer from further collections.

Both proposals involve more work, which we will provide free of charge given the situation, but we will not do additional work that we believe is destined to fail and leave the consumer in a worse position.

We have reached out to the consumer ten times since this complaint was filed in an attempt to help them understand why the type of free work we would do could not be dictated but should be what is in their best interest. Initially, on 1/27/14 and 1/30/14, the consumer indicated that was a fine conclusion to the matter and they would withdraw this complaint. However, that has not happened. We cannot submit a proposal that we judge to be detrimental to the consumer.

We are open to submitting this matter to BBB arbitration.

Final Consumer Response
From: **********@******* <**********@*******>
Date: Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM
Subject: Tax Defenders
To: *********@chicago.bbb.org


I wish to withdraw my complaint against the Tax Defenders I have learned that they were not responsible for the error the IRS lied to them .thank you **** ******* and ***** ******

Complaint Resolution: BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer.

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BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

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