StopIRSDebt (.com) is a tax relief company based in Los Angeles, CA. Services offered include tax return preparation, tax audits, and tax relief.
StopIRSDebt.com focuses their marketing toward their website, as the name of the company suggests it would. They have both 60 and 30-second commercials that drive traffic to stopirsdebt.com. Speaking of the commercials. We have some issues to discuss.
In one commercial they say “…and now the IRS is offering up to 75% more savings than before, called the Fresh Start Initiative.” As we have written on this site, it is called the IRS Fresh Start program and there is absolutely nothing in the program that refers to 75% more savings, can be construed as 75% more savings, or has actually resulted in anything that could be referenced in the real world as 75% more savings. StopIRSDebt is inventing facts and that is a red flag for us.
Another issue we have with one of their commercials is they say, “Our legal team is ready to step up and step in today.” The problem with this statement is that they are not a law firm and it is illegal for a non-lawyer or a non-law firm to advertise legal services or imply a client-attorney relationship that a legal team would provide. On their FAQ they clearly state that they are not a law firm. They know this is illegal but do it anyway, and that is a red flag for us.
For the most part, StopIRSDebt.com has broad and reasonably written content regarding common tax questions and issues. They have taken a conservative approach to saying what can be done – for the most part. An exception is the following statement on their website:
SPECIAL UPDATE: IRS Announces Fresh Start Initiative. Qualified Taxpayers Can Now Reduce Amount Owed Up To 75% Lower Than Previously Accepted!
As we wrote in the advertising section above regarding the IRS Fresh Start program, this statement is either dishonest or incompetent, because it is 100% nonfactual.
Elsewhere on their website, we dislike the overuse of “Success Stories.” They have picked stories of great savings, including one woman who saved over $7 million. Really? How many people who owe 7 million and how is that relevant 99.9% of people dealing with the IRS? Note: the picture of the woman associated with this $7 million savings is a photo of a professional model, from stock photography. Said model may also be found in ads for spas and face creams as well. She isn’t real, nor are the other pictures. Are the stories of savings real? They make us ask the question.
StopIRSDebt.com gets low marks for transparency. They do not list a single employee on the website and the picture they have of what appears a team of professionals is, like the above picture associated with the success story, is another piece of stock photography and not their actual staff. Why the lack of transparency?
We strongly dislike when ownership, management, and staff are not listed on a website, along with the professional credentials of anyone dishing out tax advice. If you were to speak to someone at StopIRSDebt.com, who are you talking to and what resources do you have to verify that person is an attorney, CPA or Enrolled Agent?
Enrolled Agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.
StopIRSDebt.com is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating. As of May 2018, they have 70 complaints with the BBB (for last 3 years). This is a lot of complaints, almost two per month. That is a lot of unhappy clients.
StopIRSDebt.com was established in 2011 according to their Secretary of State filing.
We’ve already discussed the bogus claims about the “IRS now offering 75% more savings,” and their false language regarding legal services advertising. Advertising claims are one part of the puzzle while actual service is the part that matters most.
StopIRSDebt.com reviews on both Google and Yelp are range from great to very negative and some are quite brutal. Somehow they are leaving a lot of dissatisfied customers out there along with happy ones.
We bring all of this up in our Ethics section because this may indicate a gap in expectation management when bringing a client on board (what did they sell the client?) versus what they actually delivered (what result did they deliver to the customer and for what cost?). In our experience, this gap, and thus dissatisfaction, is usually related to ethics or competency, or both.
- In business since 2001
- Inaccurate claims about Fresh Start program
- No staff listed
- “Legal Team” language
- Copious detailed complaints
This StopIRSDebt.com review left us puzzled why a company that has been around for a long time and has spent a lot of money on commercials doesn’t do themselves the favor of being more transparent about who they are. It’s possible that because they seem to have trouble keeping customers happy their staff doesn’t want to be so publicly known. This is a guess. What we can say is if you talk to them, or any tax relief company, verify that each person you talk to is licensed and to put in writing their service objectives – and costs.
- Established 2001
- High Volume of Complaints
- No Staff Listed
How to Contact StopIRSDebt.com
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