• Report: #830068

Complaint Review: Instant Tax Service

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  • Submitted: Fri, January 27, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, November 08, 2013

  • Reported By: neverEVERagain — Dayton Ohio United States of America
Instant Tax Service
Smithville Rd. Dayton, Ohio United States of America

Instant Tax Service Ripped me off, FAST refund a lie, e-filed my return late Dayton , Ohio

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: They are Shut Down!!!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: To "In the know"

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: File Charges

*Consumer Comment: Don't let Instant Tax Service victimize you!

*Consumer Comment: comment

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Right after Christmas,I saw their "up to $1000 Instant Cash Loan" commercial. Being broke, I was their typical, perfect prey. On December 27., I was stupid enough to decide to go there. after approximately 45 minutes waiting, I was led to Todd's desk. Pretty much from the first minute, I could tell he was not a tax "expert", this probably was a new seasonal job. He took all the information from my last paystub and raced through the entire thing.

Not once was I asked about any additional expenses and I had to correct him a few times as I was watching him enter information. With one of my children, I clearly remember discussing her name or how to enter it,because she has first,middle and then a hyphenated last name. (Later on,while signing paper,I caught how he had used her middle name as a last name and made sure he corrected it) .

Then,on another daughter,he marked her as a "son ".anyhow,throughout the process, I never was told that they were actually filing my taxes,nor was I asked after they had told me my Instant Tax Loan would only be $50, if I WANTED them to file my taxes. Never once during the entire process was I told how much this rookie bullsh*t that I could have easily done myself (minus the $50 though) would cost me. I was (without being asked) entered for the RT (10-14 days) .

I was told that as soon as I got my W2 in the mail,to bring it in and I "should receive the refund no later than 01/27". I did not realize they were filing without my W2, I even called and asked them if it was really true and for sure I would receive a check on the 27. without having handed in my W2,and they explained that they were filing without it and once they hot my W2 and there was a different refund amount, I would receive an additional check directly to my address.

Ahhh, now I get it! AND THAT'S WHEN SOMETHING MADE ME START READING RIPOFF REPORTS ON THEM. Financially, I am in a very bad situation, so I decided to give them one more call on the 17. to verify if I would receive money on the 27. "Yes,absolutely! As a matter of fact,your return has already been e-filed!". I believe it was the 20.,when again I called - this time,because per IRS's "Where's My Refund ",I wasn't receiving squat until 02/07.

The woman I talked to tells me that I will receive my check on 01/27. Then I tell her what my own two eyes have seen on the IRS website. She puts me on hold and next,I am greeted by Randy, I think he's either the supervisor or franchise owner. Anyhow, Randy acts puzzled and says that 02/07 isn't even a check disbursements day,it would have to be 02/03 if anything, so that's nor THAT bad.

And yeah,it looks like my return didnt go through when it was supposed to,but unfortunately one day too late to be getting a check on 01/27. I tell him how I had been reassured that it HAD already been E-mail filed,so he then tells me it probably was someone in their office's fault.(of course he had to tell the truth, cause my next step would have been to call the IRS). Anyhow, he would do a little research and he would try to get me a RAL and would call me back.

Fiyel Three days later,I had to call. Randy was not there,but on Tuesday,I did get ahold of him and he told me that,indeed,I wouldn't be getting a check til 02/03, but that was as good as 100%. He even said they would refund me $300 out of the filing fees. Thursday, 01/26, around 7pm, I see I have a missed call from them. I call and a slightly aggravated woman says they called because they received an email from the IRS to contact all their clients and let them know they would be receiving their check up to a week late.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN? "Go on the IRS website, the date they give on there should be the accurate one" Who is affected. By thus? "Go on the IRS WEBSITE,THE DATE THEY GIVE YOU ON THERE..." I was on there just about 15 minutes ago and my date is still the same, but Randy told me that i would get my check on the 3." The date the IES gives you..."

FRIDAY,01/27 I am told that this only affected those who should have received their check on the 27

Rapid refund. A joke. If my check is not there on the 3.,I dont know what to do. Their screw up already ruined some plans the kiss ans I has. I was selling my vehicle, but due to their screw up,I was under financial pressure and had to sell it for waaaay less,because of a disconnect notice. I feel ripped off to the fullest and dont think they should charge me a d*mn penny for their crap. I am thinking about involving a lawyer should my money not be there on Friday.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/27/2012 11:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Instant-Tax-Service/Dayton-Ohio-45403/Instant-Tax-Service-Ripped-me-off-FAST-refund-a-lie-e-filed-my-return-late-Dayton-Oh-830068. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

They are Shut Down!!!

AUTHOR: In the Know - ()

I am happy to say I among many other ex-employees helped shut them down with our testimony against them.....
 
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Federal Court in Ohio Shuts Down Nation’s Fourth-Largest Tax-Preparation Firm and Bars CEO from Tax-Preparation Business
 

Judge Finds that Instant Tax Service Franchisor Defrauded Customers, Obstructed the IRS and Violated Court Orders on Lending Practices

 

A federal court has entered a permanent injunction ordering ITS Financial LLC, the parent company of the Instant Tax Service franchise, to cease operating, the Justice Department announced today.  The injunction order, which was signed yesterday by Judge Timothy S. Black of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, also bars Fesum Ogbazion, the sole owner and CEO of ITS Financial, from operating or being involved with any business relating to tax-return preparation.  The court issued the order following a two-week trial in Cincinnati in June 2013.

 

Instant Tax Service, which is based in Dayton, Ohio, claimed to be the fourth-largest tax-preparation firm in the nation.  According to the court, ITS Financial had about 150 franchisees that filed over 100,000 tax returns each year in 2011 and 2012.  Two other entities owned by Ogbazion, Tax Tree LLC and TCA Financial LLC, were also defendants in the case and were also ordered to cease operating.

 

The court found that Ogbazion and his defendant companies had:

 

  • Filed tax returns for customers without their permission and encouraged franchisees to do the same;
  • Clandestinely trained and encouraged franchisees to prepare and file tax returns prematurely with paycheck stubs that omitted and understated income and inevitably resulted in the submission of false federal tax returns;
  • Defrauded customers, who were largely low-income, by marketing false and fraudulent loan products to lure them into the tax-preparation offices;
  • Defrauded customers by requiring franchisees to charge phony and exorbitant fees;
  • Forged customers’ signatures on loan checks and used those forged checks to operate Ogbazion’s businesses;
  • Willfully failed to pay over $1 million of their own employment taxes and lied about assets in connection with the collection of those taxes, while hiding money in a secret bank account and defrauding the United States and third party creditors;
  • Lied on government forms and encouraged franchisees to do the same;
  • Obstructed government agents and materially assisted franchisees in circumventing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) law-enforcement efforts involving the suspension of electronic filing identification numbers; and
  • Told franchisees to lie to government agents in connection with IRS compliance visits.

 Read more here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/November/13-tax-1196.html

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

To "In the know"

AUTHOR: Help for Instant Tax Service Victim - (United States of America)

Hello "In the Know"!!  Have you seen that the Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit to shut down Instant Tax Service?  I am sure they would love to hear what you and your friends have to say.  How could they contact you?

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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

File Charges

AUTHOR: In the Know - (United States of America)

I was a store and regional manager for a franchise owner of this company for five years and helped within their corporate office as well. The main location in Dayton allows and ENCOURAGES this. All of those fees are refundable. The Service Bureau fee is to help pay their franchise fee to headquarters.

They have been filing taxes illegally and fraudulently the five years I was there, and this past year (I have friends who still work for them). 

If the justice department wants to get hold of me for testimony against them, I would be willing to tell all that I know about how they run business.

They only use ADP to download W2's, otherwise they will get the company info and EIN off other websites (such as knowx.com) so they can file without the tax clients knowledge. When these offices are audited by the IRS they go in to files and print off system printed W2's and doctors pages that were supposed to have been filled out originally, then lie to the IRS auditor. They also allow all preparers to use each others log in information into their software so you never really know who actually filed their taxes. I ran across about 200 returns in just one year that I never touched. They actually gave my password to someone else, and the owners would come in after hours and e-file returns that never should have been.

I tried warning them the entire time I was there. I'm tired of seeing them rip good people off. 
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#4 Consumer Comment

Don't let Instant Tax Service victimize you!

AUTHOR: Help for Instant Tax Service Victim - (United States of America)

Unfortunately, you are one of the many Instant Tax Service victims in Dayton, OH. They prey on hard working people who are in need of their refund.  The company's CEO is fully aware of the misleading activities, and flat out fradulent practices that go on in the offices.  The company is under investigation by the IRS and the Department of Justice for these practices, but they just can't get enough people to come together and complain.  When customers realize there return has been filed without their consent, or illegally without their W2, or incorrectly, or they have been charged ridiculous fees they are rightfully angry.  They call the office to complain, they call the corporate office, and they tell their friends.  But once they have received their refund, it seems their anger subsides, and the issue is just let go.  I encourage you to contact the Ohio Attorney General to log your complaint and for you to encourage others that you know who have been preyed upon by Instant Tax Service to do the same.  The only way they will be stopped is for people to make as much noise as possible, to the right people!
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#5 Consumer Comment

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AUTHOR: Jeanski - (USA)

Your case is sad, but typical. For the life of me I will never understand why people choose to use a service like this when filing your taxes has been made ridiculously simple.

Unless you have a complicated return (investments, a business, real estate) or a reading disability, it's not hard.  The new tax software is so easy to use.  Also, there are many options for people who need a little help. I know my local library offers a tax prep service for free to certain people.  If you receive any kind of government assistance there are probably options through them as well.

I know that a lot of people are lured in by the instant refund, but it truly isn't worth it.  You spend a few hundred dollars for tax prep, interest on the "refund", and you have the additional headache of falling into a trap like the OP describes.

As an alternative, people can use one of the free e-file programs available online (start with the IRS - www.irs.gov) and have their money within a week or two if they use direct deposit.

From my own personal experience: I used H&R Block the year I got divorced. They offered a free tax consultation.  After all was said and done they told me I would be paying hundreds in taxes.  I couldn't believe it, as I had always gotten a refund.  I told them I wanted to think about it. I did NOT sign a contract with them.  I ended up buying the software ($25) and doing it again, to find that I was getting giant refund because they screwed up my filing status.  I went back to them and asked for my W-2s.  They refused, saying they had done all this work. I pointed out we had no contract. We argued, I left, and called my brother the lawyer.  Within 10 minutes H&R Block was calling me back saying I could pick up all my paperwork.  Turns out my brother's firm also represented H&R Block :-) 

Moral of the story: do it yourself and save money.

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