In Chapter 17 of my book (co-authored with Kirk Ward), Fight The IRS! And Win!!!, How To Pay The IRS What You Can Afford, Not What You Owe!, I discuss how to choose a firm to represent you if you have IRS tax debts. I discuss how firms advertise on cable TV that they are staffed by “former IRS agents”, “former IRS Tax Attorneys and Enrolled Agents”, “who know the in’s and out’s of the IRS”, and they advertise settling with the IRS for “pennies on the dollar” and similar claims.
It was recently announced that Roni Deutch, the self-acclaimed “Tax Lady”, has closed her law firm and surrendered her legal license after a California judge froze her assets. In an article found on Accounting Today, WebCPA, it discussed how Deutch had been sued by CA Attorney General Jerry Brown for $34 million charging her in engaging in a heartless scheme that swindled thousands of people with tax problems. Brown had said in a statement about “She promises to significantly reduce their IRS tax debts, but instead preys on their vulnerability, taking large up-front payments but providing little or no help in lowering their tax bills.” Brown noted that she spends $3 million a year in advertising, much of it on late-night cable TV. It was alleged that desperate debtors turned to Deutch based on ads that feature fictional testimonials claiming she secured large reductions in the featured clients’ federal tax debts. This is an excellent article on the strategies that AG Brown alleges Deutch used to promote herself. To read this article, click here.
On page 78 of my book, I recommend that taxpayers research the consumer fraud division of the attorney general of their state to see if fraud or other consumer complaints have been filed against the firm you are considering engaging to help you with your IRS debts. I misspoke. While that approach may be suitable if doing due diligence on a local or regional firm, I believe that taxpayers considering a national firm should research attorney general filings in other states. Why? See who the attorney generals in Minnestota Click Here and Texas Click Here are investigating.