I have prepared my own tax returns for many years, the quality of my filings is high, and I have successfully represented myself during a federal tax audit and other tax inquiries. As such I have quite a bit of experience with both State and Federal tax filing processes and tax law.
Over a year ago, however, I ran into a problem that was a little deeper than what I felt qualified to handle. This also came at a time when I was travelling extensively for my work, which convinced me that it might be appropriate in this case to retain a professional for help. At that time I contacted Tax Masters with the expectation that they would be able to provide expertise to help.
Because I learned about Tax Masters through an advertisement on television, I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first. Nevertheless, I thought I should at least contact them to give them a chance to explain their services, such that I could make a more informed judgment.
At that time, my first phone contact with Tax Masters was Casey Cox. I thoroughly explain my tax situation to him and he emphatically stated that Tax Masters had been able to significantly reduce or eliminate the tax liability of people in almost exactly the same circumstances that I was in.
He also stated that both the Federal and New York State governments (those that were relevant in my situation) had been known to falsify their interpretations of the facts to generate more revenue given the dire fiscal situation they faced. Given that I felt that bothagencies were twisting the facts to their benefit in my case, the argument was credible in my mind.
Tax Masters told me that their standard fee for representingme was 20% of the taxes owed. This did not seem unreasonable, given that I thought at the time that they would beexpending quite a bit of effort to research and advocate my position. I was given the option to pay this fee over time, which also gave me some additional comfort that if I was not happy with the service that I could at least limit my exposure. The problem was that NOTHING happened that was useful to my case, and I expended more effort phoning Tax Masters people to try to get them to do something than it would have taken me to handle the process myself.
What followed was a succession of run-arounds, personnel reassignments, and delays that would boggle the mind. I had no less than four personal representatives and no less three so-called tax specialists, none of which I believed was a qualified tax advisor. I had to file powers of attorney multiple times because they were lost by Tax Masters. I had to resubmit materials multiple times because as each new advisor was assigned, they did not communicate with each other, so the learning curve needed to start all over again each time.
In retrospect, I should have cut my losses much earlier. But because I was travelling internationally for work, and could not be present to attend to each detail personally I allowed myself to be repeatedly convinced by Tax Masters that the next person will different.
The lesson that I learned at Tax Masters is that the next person will not be different. If they have any competent and experienced tax advisors at all on their staff, I would be surprised. I was certainly not exposed to any in my experience with them.