• Report: #513759

Complaint Review: TaxResources, Inc.

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  • Submitted: Fri, October 23, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, December 10, 2009

  • Reported By: Teresa — Helotes Texas USA
TaxResources, Inc.
7803 Madison Avenue, Suite A Citrus Heights, California United States of America

TaxResources, Inc. TurboTax, Intuit Inc. TaxAudit service does not work; will not use it again Citrus Heights , California

*Consumer Comment: I had very similar bad experience with Tax Audit/Tax Resources

*Author of original report: Tax Audit Defense Rebuttal/Very Unhappy with Tax Audit Defense

*UPDATE Employee: Complaint is Inaccurate and Misleading

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TAX AUDIT DOES NOT WORK


I used TurboTax for my 2007 tax return. I've also used it in 2008. For 2009, I vow not use TurboTax again. If you use this tax preparation software, I suggest that you do not purchase the TaxAudit service from TaxResources as you will not receive the highest level of service as indicated in its website: We will meet with the auditor on your behalf and will defend you through the highest level of appeals, if necessary. You are better off consulting with a CPA to receive clarification in case of an audit. I received poor service from TaxResources. I also had to communicate with the IRS as the company refused to do it on my behalf. I suggest that you read any disclaimer before you purchase the membership.


IRS NOTIFICATION


I received notification from the IRS on July 5, 2009 for my 2007 tax return. I immediately called TaxResources on July 7, 2009 as I didn't know what to do. Since I purchased the membership for about $50, now was the time to put this service into good use. I was told that a TaxResources representative will contact me for further information. The rep contacted me by email/phone on July 16, more than a week after I reported the IRS notification. Then we corresponded until July 20 by email. After July 20, the next contact date was Aug. 4, 2009. This was a bit frustrating as the IRS needed a response by Aug. 5, 2009. The rep asked me to sign a power of attorney, requested my W-2s, and asked me to send my 1099 -- all these requests were made at noon and 1 day before she had to file a response to the IRS. It was 5 p.m. when I finally got all my paperwork in order to fax/email to her. The reps poor time management skills caused me to panic and scramble to get the documentations to her before the close of business.


POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE


The next day, the TaxResources rep told me I owe this much to the IRS. She could not provide me with documentation as to why she arrived at the number. She said it is company policy to not provide the client with any correspondence it makes to the IRS. Only when the case is closed will the client receive all the documentation. I felt her last-minute scramble to get the documentation prepared and submitted to the IRS the next day reflected poor customer service and lack of adequate representation. Because I did not feel she did a good job of reviewing my tax form, I hired a local CPA to review my tax return. The CPA's calculation was different from the TaxResources rep's calculation by $1000. Because of this, I asked TaxResources to pay the difference between what its rep calculated and what my CPA calculated. My CPA took the time to review my W-2s and he asked me questions along the way when examining my taxes. Because of the cost of hiring a CPA, I also asked TaxResources to pay for the cost of hiring the CPA as I felt its rep did not do a good job of representing my case.


BIASED RESPONSE FROM MANAGEMENT


When I called the TaxResources customer service about the discrepancy and the lack of customer service I received, somebody from management called me after 5 days. The manager, an EA, first justified the level of customer service by saying the company had been busy with about 300,000 new members who just purchased the TaxAudit service. In my mind, this is the reason that the company cannot serve individual customers effectively and efficiently.


The manager then indicated that he will be happy to review the tax return my CPA calculated. Even without looking at the return, he already inferred that the CPA probably did not enter the correct numbers that is why the principal amount I owed was smaller. When the manager reviewed the CPAs return, he called me to basically discredit everything the CPA did; this response was no surprise as he was already biased from the very beginning. I told the manager that I am not a CPA so whatever numbers he says the CPA entered incorrectly, I wouldn't be able to justify or defend why. At the end of the conversation, it was clear that he was not open to "listening" to my case; he talked the whole time to tell me that the CPA I hired entered the incorrect numbers and TaxResources was right, no matter what. I guess this is his way of telling me that his company will not pay me for hiring my CPA and the $1000 difference in my tax return that the CPA found.


PROMISES NOT MET


In addition to poor customer service, TaxResources tells you when you sign up that you will never have to deal with the IRS. In my second notification letter from the IRS, I asked the rep if she could write a letter of abatement for the interests and penalties because the excess contribution I made to my SEP IRA was not caught by the TurboTax software. She then told me that I have to write the letter as it is not their policy to make this request. This is frustrating as this is something the company did not disclose when I purchased the TaxAudit membership. I finally decided to communicate with the IRS directly and wrote the abatement letter. The TaxResources manager contacted the rep and asked her to write the abatement only after I have contacted customer service about this. Although this would have been helpful, it was too late as I already sent my letter to the IRS.


FINAL THOUGHTS


Now that I know how this TaxAudit works, I vow to not use TurboTax again (I purchased the Premier version), especially since the software did not catch all the errors in my return. Although the software gave me a 0 on the error check, the manager told me that I should have purchased the additional audit review for about $50 so a "live" individual could have caught the excess contribution I made to my SEP-IRA. My question is, for the price of the TurboTax software ($80) that you only use one time, shouldn't the TurboTax software catch this simple error? Purchasing the software, audit defense, and audit review would have cost around $180; it might have served me better if I used a CPA in the first place. All the hassle, stress, and poor responses I received from TaxResources, Inc. does not make it my while to use this company. So for those 300,000 individuals who purchased the TaxAudit membership, I highly recommend that you simply hire a CPA in the future as your best interest will be served in a timely and efficient manner. Someone will actually take the time to give a quality review of your income tax and he/she will not make you feel that you are just 1 out of 300,000. This intangible service is something that should matter for any organization that wants to maintain long-term relationships with its clients.


Teresa


Helotes/San Antonio, TX


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/23/2009 09:09 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TaxResources-Inc/Citrus-Heights-California-95610/TaxResources-Inc-TurboTax-Intuit-Inc-TaxAudit-service-does-not-work-will-not-use-it-a-513759. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I had very similar bad experience with Tax Audit/Tax Resources

AUTHOR: Rajeev Saxena - ()

Guys, I hope everyone that is using Turbotax sees these complaints. NO ONE should EVER take audit protection through Tax Resources/Tax Audit when they use Turbotax. I did for 2010 and paid dearly. 

I was audited by the IRS. Tax Resources was supposed to provide me with a representative to represent me in the audit. I diligently prepared all the documents needed for the audit. But the representative failed to turn up and neither was I informed. So I received an NoD (notice of deficiency) from the IRS along with a HUGE bill. The company did not accept responsibility. However, they agreed to help represent me - first filed a case in the US Tax Court (which they said they wouldn't represent me) and then said they would work with the appeals office for an out of court settlement. 

I spent about 300 hours preparing detailed receipts and reports on business expenses. Finally, they met with the IRS. However, my gigantic bill was barely reduced by 30% although I had proof of expenses for most of the expenses. 

I decided to talk to the IRS appeals officer myself to request that my bills be considered. I realized that Tax Resources had done nothing but pass my documentation to the IRS. I repeat - Tax Resources DID NOTHING that would help my case. Instead the lawyer called me and angrily asked that I not talk to the IRS directly - and simply withdrew from the case. Tax Resources sent me notices that they would not represent me. Finally, I had to negotiate with the IRS on my own and I managed to reduce the tax bill by 70%.

I wish I had never paid these cheats any money and I wish I had done the audit on my own right from the beginning instead of going through 2 harrowing years. I repeat Tax Resources did nothing to help me.
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#2 Author of original report

Tax Audit Defense Rebuttal/Very Unhappy with Tax Audit Defense

AUTHOR: Teresa - (USA)

Taxpayers/Consumers -- As predicted, Tax Audit Defense will not admit to any wrongdoing. Need I write further? Here is my advice to all taxpayers: Trust your gut feeling. A "big" business that undermines another person or small business demonstrates poor work ethic for me. This reminds me of a "bully" who takes a candy away from a small kid. I am very happy with this local CPA that I found (rather than go with Tax Audit Defense) and I think this matters the most when it comes to repeat business in the future.

After purchasing Turbo Tax for the last 4-5 years and purchasing an extra $50 for a Tax Audit Defense, the hassle, frustration, and disappointment is not worth it. I will work with this local CPA who has worked with other taxpayers for the last 30 years. I know I can trust this local CPA because he will defend me if needed and I know I am not just 1 out of 300,000 customers.

FYI -- In terms of abatement, 2 CPAs told me that you can ask the IRS for anything. There is no guarantee that the request will be granted, but at least an effort/request was made in the first place. Depending on who is reviewing your case and your justification, the request can be approved or denied. If you go on your Google search bar, type "IRS and abatement." You will see various information about this topic that clearly states a request can be made by the taxpayer.

The IRS will decide, not the tax company, whether the request is frivolous or not. In fact, IRS even provides you with a form to file an abatement. I had to figure this out myself. I have not received a denial letter from the IRS regarding my request for an abatement. (I filed this request on my own). I just want to make sure that the consumers are clear about this fact: do not predict that the IRS will deny your request. Let the IRS decide this.

My point, you want to choose an advocate who will work with you and not against you. So be careful whom you choose to help you with your taxes: do you want one who will work with you to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction or do you want to work with one that will "bully" you and intimidate you with tax jargons you don't understand once you complain about poor service?

You be the judge!

Teresa

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#3 UPDATE Employee

Complaint is Inaccurate and Misleading

AUTHOR: Nancy Farwell, TaxResources, Inc., Director of Audits - (USA)

This is a synopsis of this person's case file.


She did contact us on July 9, 2009 to report the notice that she received from IRS regarding her 2007 tax return. We left a message for her to call us on July 14, 2009 since we had not yet received the notice and the tax return. She did return the call and informed us that the documents had been mailed. We did receive them in that day's mail. On July 16, 2009 we tried to call her but her mailbox was full so we sent an email as well stating that one of the documents she had emailed to us needed a password to open it. On July 20, 2009 she sent us the password. On August 4, 2009 we left a message requesting a call back and she returned the call that same day. This call lasted 55 minutes and all of the many problems with this tax return were discussed in detail, not just those listed in the notice from IRS. On August 5, 2009 another phone message was left requesting a callback. An email was received from her that same afternoon and shortly thereafter she returned our call as well. At that time the additional correct balance due on her tax return was discussed at some length and she stated that she understood the issues. Later that same day we received an email from her asking that we also request abatement of the penalties and interest being assessed by IRS as well. We had previously explained that the interest would not be abated and that this branch of the IRS typically ignores any request for abatement of the penalties, but we would include that in our correspondence. On August 6, 2009 an email was sent to her advising her that the correspondence had been sent to the IRS and that typically it would take eight to twelve weeks for them to respond.


On September 14, 2009 we received an email from this person stating that she had received the typical stall letter from the IRS saying that they had received the response in August but would be unable to respond for another 45 days. In this email she also inquired about paying the balance due now rather than waiting for the IRS to respond. The same day we responded to her email and answered her questions and we also left a phone message in response to her voice mail left over the weekend. On October 15, 2009 we received a new notice from the IRS with an additional small error on their part but making the changes properly for most of what we had submitted; as expected the request for penalty abatement was ignored. On October 16, 2009 we left a phone message requesting a call back. She did return our call and we did discuss the new notice. She said that she had made the payment for the balance due that we had projected and we did verify that the payment was posted to her account at IRS. She did ask again about the penalties and interest and we did again explain that interest is not subject to abatement unless the IRS has made some egregious error and that she did not qualify for abatement of the penalty either. We also explained that we would not request abatement of the penalty again as she did not qualify for abatement under the stringent IRS rules for abatement. Later that same day she sent us another email complaining again about our refusal to request abatement again and stating that our agreement says that the taxpayer does not need to have any contact with the IRS; yet now we are telling her that she has to request this abatement herself. She also requested a copy of the correspondence that we had sent to IRS and a sample letter to request abatement of the penalty and asked if we had a survey that she could respond to about her experience with TaxResources, Inc. We responded to her email the same day explaining again the issue of interest and penalty abatement. We also explained that we had requested the penalty abatement in our correspondence to the IRS but as expected, they ignored the request. We did ask if she wanted us to respond to the additional calculation error that the IRS had made and we provided her with the manager's email for any complaints or suggestions she might have regarding our services. We did enclose copies of the correspondence we had sent to the IRS and the sample letter that she had requested as well.


On October 19, 2009 she sent us another email complaining about the penalty abatement and requesting that we do follow up with the IRS regarding their calculation error and again requesting copies of the correspondence that we had sent as well as the sample letter. These items had already been sent to her. Later this day she sent another email again requesting that we follow up with the IRS regarding their calculation error. Also on this day the manager received a voice mail that had been left for her the Friday before, after she had left for the day. This voicemail stated that the representative assigned to her case has not been responsive to her and that the rep is breaking the Tax Resources' contract by telling her that she, the taxpayer, would have to ask for the penalty abatement herself. As tax professionals we cannot submit a frivolous request for abatement of interest and penalties for any taxpayer and we certainly cannot elevate this to the level of IRS Appeals. We would be subject to sanction from the IRS' Office of Professional Responsibility.


On October 20, 2009 we received a very lengthy email complaint that was sent after hours the day before. In this email, she states that she called on Friday; she did after the manager had left for the day, and that she had called yesterday, we have no record of receiving this call, and that she has received no return call as of 5pm central time today. She further states that our rep has been unresponsive to her and that she believes that she has not been adequately or fairly represented by this rep from the time the IRS notice was first received on July 6, 2009 until now October 20, 2009. She further believes that her case was not given a high priority and that we have failed to defend her to the highest level of appeals. She then states that she took up this matter with a CPA who came up with entirely different numbers and then she had to pay him for this service. She then inquired as to whether we will respond to the IRS' calculation error and requested that we pay the bill for the CPA. She then called us again later this same day and this matter was escalated to the Tax Services Manager.


It is our policy upon receiving a complaint to have the entire case file reviewed with all of the parties involved before we respond to a complaint. This matter was reviewed by the Tax Services Manager and a call was made to this taxpayer on October 20, 2009. He explained that what the representative had done was in fact correct and that we were following up on the IRS calculation error as well. Though not normally part of our service he did request the tax return prepared by the CPA so that we could determine why his calculation was different than ours and thus be able to explain this to her. She said that she would send it that night. She did ask if there was an additional charge for this review since the CPA had charged her and we assured her that there would not be any additional fees. He again explained the limited circumstances under which penalty and interest can be abated and she said that she had already sent her letter requesting this abatement. He explained that this was fine but we as tax professionals could not argue that matter any further. He then confirmed with the rep that the additional correspondence to IRS regarding the calculation error was in progress. This correspondence was submitted on October 22, 2009 and an email was sent to the taxpayer to let her know that it had been sent.


On October 21, 2009 this taxpayer sent an email to the Tax Services Manager thanking him for his call yesterday and asking for our mailing address so that she could mail the tax return prepared by the CPA for our review. He responded immediately clarifying what needed to be sent and giving her the mailing address and his email address if she preferred to scan it. Later that day he sent her another email advising her that he had received and reviewed the tax return prepared by the CPA and suggested that they schedule an appointment to discuss it as there were too many changes to list. She sent an email in response suggesting the following morning for the call and further stated that the CPA took her Forms W-2 and did some calculation by hand. The manager responded shortly after that confirming the time and explaining that the Forms W-2 were not the issue and that they were properly reported by her to begin with and these numbers the CPA did not change. The manager also stated that she had originally reported interest income on the Form 1040, page 1, line 8a Taxable Interest of $9745 and on line 8b Tax-exempt Interest of $187. There was additional interest for line 8a of $161 which was noted on the original notice from the IRS that she had previously agreed that she had omitted in error. The CPA has listed $9,662 on line 8a and $1343 on line 8b. There were numerous other changes, some higher, some lower, some reported in different places than on the original return. With all the various changes there was still only a difference of $263, not $1,000 as she has stated in her complaint, in the balance due and we cannot determine where he got the different numbers from.


This taxpayer sent another email shortly thereafter thanking the manager for his reply and requesting that he review the rest of the CPA's return and again stating that she did not feel that she had received the quality of service that our company promises. The manager responded shortly stating that he would review the rest of the tax return prepared by the CPA and that they would discuss it in the morning.


She called in the morning and the case was discussed for an hour. The original correspondence that was submitted to the IRS regarding the issues that they listed on their notice was correct. None of the other problems on the tax return were addressed in our correspondence. The tax return prepared by the CPA had numerous other changes on it. He did not include all of the interest income that was reported to the IRS by the payers and he improperly reported the non qualified stock options both in the wrong place and with the wrong numbers. The CPA took several deductions that are not allowed, such as for clothing, but he recategorized them as Miscellaneous Other Expenses and took them anyway.


In summary, the tax return prepared by the CPA was incorrect and the work was unnecessary. TaxResources is not responsible for this fee and the amount paid to the IRS was basically correct. The penalty abatement was requested and denied. TaxResources provided the appropriate services for this taxpayer's case and is not liable for a refund of fees, payment of tax, penalty, or interest. Her unhappiness with tax law and her mistakes made on a self-prepared return do not indicate that TaxResources did anything but provide appropriate representation services.


Tax Resources, Inc.

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