StopIRSDebt.com Review | StopIRSDebt Review

StopIRSDebt.com Review

StopIRSDebt (.com) is a tax relief company based in Los Angeles, CA. Services offered include tax return preparation, tax audits, and tax relief.

Advertising

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.

Honesty

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.

Transparency

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?

An Enrolled Agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

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.

Accredited

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.

Screenshot of StopIRSDebt.com BBB complaints

Screenshot of StopIRSDebt.com BBB complaints as of May, 2018.

Established

StopIRSDebt.com was established in 2011 according to their Secretary of State filing.

Ethics

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. 


PROS:
  • In business since 2001

CONS:
  • Inaccurate claims about Fresh Start program
  • No staff listed
  • “Legal Team” language
  • Copious detailed complaints


Conclusion

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.

5.8 Total Score
StopIRSDebt.com's Scorecard

  • Established 2001
  • High Volume of Complaints
  • No Staff Listed

Honesty
6.5
Transparency
1.5
Accredited
7.5
Established
9
Ethics
4.5

How to Contact StopIRSDebt.com

Call StopIRSDebt.com: 888-978-6747

Want us to recommend a tax relief firm to you?

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Our email: [email protected]

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8 Comments
  1. Reply
    Stephanie W October 6, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I have paying this service 400 dollars a month for 6 months and requested twice that split the payments due to other financial obligations and the first time they did just that. However the last payment was due on 9/28 and I requested for the payment to be split and not taken until the 29th they did not honor my request and caused an overdraft on my account as well. I have had little to no communication as far as where I stand with my tax debt and I feel that when this is over I will have to deal with IRS myself.

  2. Reply
    Debbie Raines November 29, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    We had a very dissatisfactory experience with Stopirsdebt. After we paid them several thousand dollars the were a real struggle to get back on the phone. There was very little communication as things moved or didn’t move forward. We eventually got a payment plan with the IRS but the 10 to one ration of calls to them and them back to us. I waited weeks before they would respond to my emails. I’d look for help elsewhere.

  3. Reply
    nathonian April 6, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I’m excited to say that my expectations were exceeded and my experience was delightful, especially my interactions with Christina, my account manager. The firm successfully negotiated with the IRS to dissolve over $40,000 of unpaid taxes, needless to say, I’m extremely thankful for their effort.

  4. Reply
    kelly B April 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    This is a complete scam. I was in a payment plan prior to contacting StopIRSDebt. After 5 months, they were “successfully” able to negotiate a payment plan in the exact amount I had prior set up. So now, I am 5 months behind on payments to the IRS where I would of been on my own. And I’m out the amount of money I sent to these scam artists. They have terrible communication after the first initial contacts to get you signed up. It took 3 emails and 4 phone messages to finally hear back from someone. I DO NOT recommend this company. It is a waste of time and money only to set you back extra time and payments towards your actual debt.

  5. Reply
    The Ro-ho May 5, 2018 at 8:31 am

    First let me say I F* hate the IRS. My experience with Instant tax was good. I didn’t expect my debt to go away but they did manage to get my penalties removed and they got me a 5 year pay off. The IRS was asking me to pay it off in just 24 months, which was just beyond our budget. I feel like we got the last say with the IRS, this time…

  6. Reply
    AndrewM May 17, 2018 at 7:16 am

    As I wrote also in their bbb page, this company took $2250 from me in September 2017 and has done nothing. They will not call me back and are zero help. DO NOT USE THEM!

  7. Reply
    Shella C August 21, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I agree with the last review that it is a total scam. They sent my husband an email how i even heard of them. and a big factor in my trusting them was than i saw A rating on the BBB. the first person i talked to was in sales and he called me every other day after i clicked on their website from the email and opted in to something with my email. the sales guy seemed way more knowledgeable than anyone that i ever talked to at stopIRS. He told me that i wouldn’t hv to pay my current payment plan while they would be negotiating a new deal for me and he listened to my whole situation with so much concern and response. then once i was signed up, the new case manager said i needed to keep making the payments because we want to show compliance and then when i mentioned what the sales guy said, he said ‘oh those are just sales people that are not affiliated with our company so he wouldn’t know’.. once I made the first payment which was going to be $275/mo for 10months, I was appointed to my case manager who I would wait on hold for 30-40min anytime I tried to call and he didn’t know anything. He was just the guy to gather all my info and get it to the ‘lawyers’ and wouldn’t know what strategy or option the lawyers were going to pursue with the negotiating. The first thing they did was a power of attorney that they sent to the IRS and they mixed up me and my husbands socials and it got rejected and they had to do again supposedly. Then a couple months later after not getting any answers or being able to talk to anyone, I called the IRS just to see if they had any correspondence or anything on file for me. They didn’t even have the power of attorney or anything. then every couple weeks someone higher than my case manager, supposedly, would call me and leave a message not to worry and to just wait because this negotiation would take anywhere from 10-12 months and this stage in the case is what takes the longest and the IRS may not say anything for months while they are reviewing my case, and she couldn’t talk to me either when I was at least asking what they were doing.. I asked if they were going after a offer in compromise, or penalty abatement, or what. and she didn’t know anything. I paid them for 6 months and got no where. then when i tried to call and cancel their service, they kept saying that someone from billing needs to call me back to confirm the cancellation. and no one ever called so i finally had to dispute it with discover, who at least stopped it moving forward from continuing to charge me. what a waste.

  8. Reply
    Jackie G October 15, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I found out I owed the IRS $50,000 and was frankly petrified as to how I was going to pay them off. While very skeptical about companies offering to help with IRS debt, I was desperate. I contacted StopIRSDebt to discuss the process. They were very clear with what they could and couldn’t do, and they said it could take a year to resolve, my case was resolved in 8 months. They truly exceeded my expectations and lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

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