On May 3, 2012 I received an unsolicited telephone call from Stevan Adjemian of Berkshire Financial, Inc. (d/b/a BC TAX). After explaining my outstanding tax issue in detail, Stevan promised that his firm could resolve my liability with both the IRS and State of NY for a flat fee of $2,000.
My tax issue is relatively simple: due to financial hardship stemming from a divorce, I had to liquidate my IRA and incurred a tax liability that Ive had trouble paying. I spoke with a friend and attorney who is knowledgeable about tax issues who confirmed it was a simple issue and that $2,000 was reasonable.
I spoke with Stevan again on May 3rd when I received the contract and payment agreement and he assured me that his firm settled these cases everyday and could handle problem from soup to nuts. Acting in reliance on his assurances and the firms A rating from the Better Business Bureau, I agreed to engage his firm to handle the matter.
The case was assigned to Corrinda Patroniti, who assured me that she handles these cases everyday and could get me a very good settlement with the IRS and State of NYC. I supplied all requested documents on a timely basis. On June 15th, after paying Berkshire $1,500 (on time according to our payment arrangement), Corrinda emailed me an invoice for almost $5,000. I immediately contacted Stevan Adjemian (the original sales person who called me unsolicited and offered his firms services for a flat fee of $2,000) and told him that there must be a misunderstanding. Stevan called me back and said not to worry about it that Corrinda was not aware of our agreement. On that date, I received an email from Adjemian saying Dont sweat it.
Then again on July 25, 2012 I received correspondence from Corrinda saying that they would not continue to work on my behalf unless I agreed to another retainer. At this time, I called Adjemian who said he was no longer involved with the matter and it was in Corrindas hands. I set-up a call with Corrinda (and demanded that Adjemian be on the call) and was told that it would cost substantially more to complete the work because we decided to switch course mid-stream and go for an offer-in-compromise.
I explained that their services were sold to me as a flat fee arrangement and they told me that that is the case 90% of the time, but my case required more time than they had anticipated and they would not continue to advocate on my behalf (i.e. finish the job they started) unless I agreed to pay substantially more. At this juncture, I revoked my power of attorney and terminated my relationship with Berkshire.
This firm is highly unethical and I would strongly urge that you do not hire them!