Sorry Rush, No Go With Tax Defense Partners.
I will admit that I listen to Rush probably 8 of the 15 hours a week and I enjoy his show. However, I have a bone to pick with him about Tax Defense Partners, a prominent advertiser with Rush.
Over the last twenty years or so the IRS’s “Offer in Compromise” (OIC) program has been a legitimate option for thousands of people with tax debt. Offer In Compromises traditionally were almost impossible to get approved. Years ago the rate was as low as 11%, unless you had a perfect situation you wouldn’t get approved. Then the IRS relaxed its requirements to qualify for the OIC and called it the Fresh Start Initiative. This opened up the flood gates of people who would help people submit the application for a fee. As of August 2017 the approval rate is about 30%. In June of 2018 it’s about 40%.
Tax Defense Partners
Tax Defense Partners is one of those companies offering this service, as well as related services. My bone to pick with Rush is that he says that he has met with Tax Defense Partners. He tells millions how great Tax Defense Partners are without digging deeper into the products they promote and how those products are presented.
Companies like Tax Defense Partners prey on, or lets us just say their targeted clientele is mostly desperate people. People don’t have much money to spend and would like to do the right thing by getting their tax debt settled with the IRS. These people are vulnerable and will easily give up their last dollar to buy hope from someone selling a service with a high failure rate.
Unfortunately many of the companies that advertise Nationally have turned into OIC farms. They have become more interested in the quantity of applications processed rather than the quality of the application processed. Looking at the reviews of many of these companies it becomes obvious that good service has taken a back seat.
If you want to work with any Tax Resolution Company big or small here’s a couple of tips.
- Do they have a backup plan ready to go it the OIC is rejected?
- Does their fee cover the backup plan?
- Did they get past, present and future financial data about you?
- Make sure that they discuss all of your resolution options and the consequences?
- Were past year and future year tax return projections discussed?
- Was proper timing discussed or was the application just sent in?
There’s so much that goes into a quality application for any for the IRS Resolution Applications.
The IRS publishes a Data Book and in that book you can find statistics about the success rate of the OIC compared to the application rate. At www.IRS.gov or you can Google Scams that the IRS warns about. You can go to the IRS videos on the right side of my blog. The information will conclude that there was an increased amount of OIC applications and a lower acceptance rate acceptance. When you combine that information with the scam warnings you can only conclude that were some individuals and companies taking advantage of desperate people.
Competition and Greed
This new Tax Debt service created a culture of competition and greed. This led to misleading advertising which oversold the realistic expectation of an accepted application. These companies found that with a little embellishment of the facts, potential clients practically lined up begging them to take their last dollar to save them from the dreaded IRS. This practice still goes on today.
In my opinion Tax Defense Partners and some others continue to operate in a grey area by luring people to call in to have a pre-qualifying interview with a commissioned pseudo interviewer (Salesman). This tends to come more from the Companies that advertise Nationally, why? Again quantity over quality. With a little research of reviews you can see the results for yourself.
The Tax Resolution Industry
Like many other similar tax resolution companies before them, the owners of Tax Defense Partners have also found themselves in trouble with a state Attorneys General. It’s reported that they paid thousands in fines for misleading unsuspecting clients. Hopeful taxpayers paying thousands of dollars up front for a complete analysis just to find out that they don’t qualify. So in effect these companies interview wishful tax debtors to see if they can or will pay for them to enter data onto an application and submit it. By the IRS’s own statistics has only a 40% or so success rate. In other words they get paid to fill out an application with no responsibility for the outcome.
A word on Offer In Compromise
First came Seizures, then Seizures were replaced mostly with Offer In Compromises (OIC), then OIC’s were modified and called The Fresh Start Initiative. No matter what you call it the IRS still takes whatever discretionary you have. The difference today is what Congress has decided to leave you with after they take everything. It’s still painful but much friendlier.
There’s truly an art to the OIC application. Please don’t be a victim of an OIC farm.
Please read my post about Seizures.
Rush and Sean are great but
Rush has a great show and I enjoy listening to it. Every time I hear about Tax Defense Partners and one of their clients experiences I want to say to Rush “you are the best at researching information for your show but poor at researching your advertisers”. If I can easily find reviews on Yelp and Better Business Bureau and others why didn’t you at least look into it.
While I don’t listen to Sean as much, Tax Defense Partners also advertises with him or use to so the same thing can be said about the Sean Hannity Show.
My advice to my readers is that there are many other, better and less expensive options that Tax Defense Partners. Please Google any tax resolution company for complaints in order for you to make an informed choice.
This post is three years old and continues to be the most commented of all the posts. While there are many new Tax Resolution Company’s available I still find that many of them are more interested in processing applications than serving taxpayers. For your information the biggest complaint that I get about the process is how slow it is. If any resolution expert says that they can simply make a call and get a resolution be careful. While that could be true for a few cases you must ask yourself is it the best resolution available.
If that’s what you want then fine but that’s not what I do. I do a complete assessment of all of the issues. I resolve past, present and future issues in order to make sure that the issue does not continue. Often to get everything under control it requires timing and strategy. Many times I get you protected from collections and then work on a complete, long term resolution.
New comment added 8/29/17
The biggest issue that I have with clients and prospective clients is patience. The resolution process can be long, especially with an Offer in Compromise. While it’s true that an OIC application can be prepared and submitted in a few weeks it’s rarely in the best interest of the taxpayer. The IRS has very specific rules and often it takes months to groom the taxpayers financial statement to where it can be in the 40% approval group. In addition the IRS often takes eight to fifteen months to approve the application. They do this for a reason. There is a skill that your resolution specialist should have that will result in a more likely successful resolution.
I’m sure that Tax defense Partners has the skill sets and resources that exceed what necessary for a successful resolution. It’s what motivates them that separates them from those of us who sincerely want to help the taxpayer.
Thanks for reading. Please check out my Post on IRS OIC Statistics.