We’ve spoken quite a bit about the dark world of “tax mills” here on this blog and elsewhere in our outbound communications, for good reason — we don’t believe in taking advantage of those who need help the most.
We’re also in the early pre-launch phase and are looking for the right kinds of tax professionals to partner with, so we’re doing a lot of exploring — spelunking on Google, digging into qualified associations like the NAEA, and talking to a lot of people in the tax world.
Every once in a while, we come across an innocent enough sounding company name, and then the third natural search result links to a site like The Ripoff Report. This gives us pause. Particularly when there are ten to fifteen pages of links to complaints for a given tax provider.
I don’t know how often tax professionals like yourselves come across such companies in your daily lives, but of the many conversations I’ve had, most have a story or two (or ten) to tell. “Yes, I had this client who came to me two years ago… wanted “pennies on the dollar” for his $10,000 tax bill… I told him to pay the tax and get on with life, but he went to one of The Usual Suspects… he came back last month and still owes the tax bill plus penalties… and is out $10,000 extra for what he paid them…”
The age of social media makes uncovering shady companies a lot easier. Citizen Marketers aren’t shy about fingering people who have dealt with them poorly. The tools are out there (and easily found through a quick search on the engine of your choice).