Here is a CPA that takes the topic on head on Joe Mastriano CPA at http://www.taxproblem.org/why-us/
Here is part of his pitch
I will make 3 important points, and then go on to exposing misleading claims from companies that are not licensed CPA Firms.
First point: The knowledge required to effectively resolve IRS Problems is very specific, but it doesn’t require the person with most impressive list of credentials. So an ex-IRS Attorney or auditor with 25 years of service with the IRS may not know exactly how the collection division works.
- They may not know the new procedures currently followed by the audit or other divisions.
- Solving IRS problems requires specific up to date knowledge.
- The knowledge is gained from working many cases similar to yours.
- WE have that knowledge!
Second point: It’s important to choose the right company that has specific knowledge.
- I strongly urge you to only consider a law firm or CPA firm professionally licensed by the state they are in.
- When the Firm is policed by their professional state board, only then do you have the highest level of assurance of quality ethical work.
- We are a licensed professional CPA firm.
Third Point: Over the past 10 years many non-professionally licensed companies have sprung up all over the country creating, a bad name for companies who specialize in IRS representation. People, out of their desperate need for tax resolution, forget that a CPA who specializes in IRS representation is a CPA first with all the responsibility and integrity that CPA’s are known for. You must be aware of the gimmicks used by these New Kids on the Block.
The Better Business Bureau – Scam
- I know companies that plaster their BBB rating all over their web site pages! They mislead consumers into believing that because they have a high rating, the BBB has approved their company.
- A high better business bureau rating means that a company has consistently followed their policies concerning customer service. I know a competitor with an A+ rating who makes aggressive attempts at resolving customer complaints. However, I have read several internet complaints concerning their poor quality work.
- The BBB has made attempts to educate consumers so that they understand that the rating is for customer service, and in no way are they vouching for the quality of work, integrity, or licensing of the company.
- Customer service is important, but if you stop there when considering who to hire, you will be a victim of poor quality, and inexperienced representation. I know I get phone calls from people complaining that they trusted the rating, and are now very disappointed at the results of the service.
- Another scam is that I’ve seen is when, people involved in companies with poor ratings simply start a new company. The new company is immediately assigned a high rating. After a few years when they destroy that rating, they start the process again.
- That is why I say you should only consider the ratings of companies in business for at least 10 years so you know it’s not a new company. Also don’t rely on the BBB listing of the company for the number of years in business. I have reason to suspect competitors have lied to the BBB about the length of time in business. The BBB has been accused of skipping verification of this information.
Flat Fee, Money back Guarantee, Guaranteed Tax reduction – Scam
- Over the years I’ve watched companies come and go in this business. Each, tries to appeal to what the consumer wants just to get their business. Their marketing group will study consumer behavior and realize that many people are scared and don’t trust their own judgment when selecting a representation firm. They find out that people are also afraid of being overcharged.
- So, they come up with a flat fee arrangement. But flat fees don’t work for representation cases. I will tell you that I have personally spoken to many people over the years who have been given flat fees. They fall into two categories.
- They were overcharged.
- They were under quoted and the case was rushed and the client suffered.
Why put in time and effort to go the extra mile for your customer if you are not getting paid for it?
I’ve found that money back guarantees either have fine print clauses that make it ineffective, or they are used by companies who are new to the business, or training clerks to do professional work. If their trainee makes a mistake, then they offer to give you some money back. The problem with that is that the damage done often costs you more money than the money returned. Especially after you have to contact the company several times to make a formal claim.
Penalty removals are usually automatic or very hard to get. It is totally at the discretion of the IRS. I have heard many stories from consumers who paid good money to representatives based on a guarantee of lowering taxes, only to be discouraged when they were told …”sorry the IRS just didn’t want to do their job and grant it to you!”
We have been very effective at reducing taxes for our clients, but only when they really qualified for it in the first place.
We are the best, most experienced, largest IRS representation firm – Scam
There is no accredited or accepted rating service for companies that perform IRS representation. When you think about it, how can anyone know who is the best, or the most experienced or the largest? It makes no sense.
And how do you decide if a company should be considered? I know some large national CPA firms who do a decent volume of IRS representation for their wealthy clients. They don’t directly advertise that they do IRS representation. Are they considered in the comparison? I’ll bet they are larger, better, and more experienced than any of those representation companies you see on a list of the so called top firms in the industry.