Tax Defense Network Review

Tax Defense Network Review (Updated June 2019)

Tax Defense Network (TDN) is a Jacksonville, FL based tax relief company. Secretary of state filings show they were founded in 1997 as New Start Credit Service. In 2007 they changed the name to Tax Defense Network Inc. In 2014 they converted to a Delaware Corporation.

Advertising

Tax Defense Network has a strong Internet presence, some of which has been controversial. More on this later in this review. One red flag is a boast on their homepage that states they have handled over $16 billion in tax debt since 2007. Let’s do some rough math on this: $16-billion divided by, say, 12 years is $1,333,333,333 in tax debt per year. Then let’s divide that by the industry average of $40,000 owed per tax case. That would yield 33,333 clients per year. So either Tax Defense Network has a mind-blowing volume of clients or they have some really really really rich clients or that $16-billion number may be in error. That $16-billijon number has been on their website for two years, by the way.

Honesty

Tax Defense Network’s website contains very good explanations of both common tax problems and possible tax relief solutions. Tax Defense Network takes a conservative approach to what can and cannot be done in resolving taxes. They offer more facts than sales pitch, which is beneficial for their potential customers.

Transparency

Tax Defense Network shows some staff on their ‘Who We Are’ page. Unfortunately they do not list any professional bios so we don’t know if they are licensed or the qualifications of their staff. We spoke with two of their “analysts,” but neither is listed on their website. We’d like to see more transparency here.

Tax Defense Network says they employ CPAs, attorneys, and Enrolled Agents. All of these professional designations are capable of interfacing with the IRS but due to their lack of transparency we do not actually know the qualifications and accreditations of these employees.

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

They have been a BBB accredited company since 2008, with an A+ rating. Tax Defense Network complaints number 201 as of June 2019, which is above the tax relief category average but perhaps not extreme for their size of company.

Screenshot of Tax Defense Network's BBB complaints, June 2019.

Screenshot of Tax Defense Network’s BBB complaints, June 2019.

Established

Tax Defense Network was founded in Florida in 1997, making them one of the longest established tax relief companies.

Ethics

Ethically, Tax Defense Network gets a poor grade. They have been in court at least twice. Once, for a lawsuit brought by JG Tax Group (Galante Group Corp). The JG lawsuit alleged that Tax Defense Network owned a website called consumertaxreports.org, which reviewed tax relief companies. The problem is that they were hardly impartial and were accused of fabricating malicious statements against their competitors. The website was taken down years ago, but we took some screenshots of it before it disappeared:

ConsumerTaxReports.org Screenshot

ConsumerTaxReports.org Screenshot

Their second court appearance was as a defendant in a wrongful business practices case in the state of Florida. The Florida Attorney General lawsuit’s covered various illegal business practices. Tax Defense Network settled the case on May 21, 2015 for a $100,000 fine.

Highlights from the 2015 lawsuit

  1. TDN will have no ownership interest in any website, blog or publication that rates or purports to rate any business, product, or service provided by TDN and/or TDN LLC or any of their affiliates.
  2. TDN, when resolving disputes with customers, will not require any customer or former customer to withdraw any complaint or communication or restrict such customer from communication or cooperation with the Attorney General, the Better Business Bureau (“BBB”), or any other established and recognized consumer protection agency.
  3. TDN will revise their policies and procedures pertaining to refunds in accordance with the revised policy attached as Exhibit B hereto, and shall not materially change such policy for a period of two years without first notifying the Department.
  4. TDN agrees to retain documents and other information, in their respective possession, reasonably sufficient to establish compliance with the provision of this Settlement Agreement for two (2) years from the Effective Date o f this Settlement Agreement, and shall make such books and records available to the Department within twenty (20) days of any reasonable written request.
  5. TDN will pay the Attorney General the sum of $100,000.00 pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 501.2101(1) for attorneys’ fees and costs of investigation. Such payment shall be made payable to the Legal Affairs Revolving Trust Fund and sent to Gerald Johnson, Office ofthe Attorney General, Room 119C Collins Building, 107 W . Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 501.2101.

From the Lawsuits:

Florida Attorney General vs Tax Defense Network

florida attorney general vs tax-defense-network


galante-vs-tax-defense-network

GJ Tax Group (Galante Group) vs Tax Defense Network

You can read the original lawsuits here and here.


PROS:
  • Established
  • Jackson Hewitt Partner
  • Large client base

CONS:
  • No guarantee listed
  • Multiple legal entanglements
  • Ethical concerns



Conclusion

Tax Defense Network has been around for a long time. You don’t stay in business if you are doing more right than wrong. While there are a lot of negative reviews about them on the Internet, most are not on credible websites. For example, if you read any Tax Defense Network reviews on Ripoff Report or Pissed Consumer, you should pretty much ignore those reviews. Ripoff Report is not a trusted resource.  Tax Defense Network does have positive reviews on their BBB page and on both TrustLinkand Trust Pilot, which are credible sources.

While it appears they’ve providing quality services, their former lapse of judgement with their review site leaves us with some concern about their ethics and honesty. While that was a long time ago, the more recent actions by the Florida Attorney General lawsuit deserves greater attention. They made some mistakes and paid a fine. Unfortunately, since they are still operating under the terms of their settlement with the State of Florida, we have to drop their recommendation grade. Fortunately however, since they are still under heavier scrutiny due to their settlement terms, the chance of any unethical action by Tax Defense Network should be reduced. 

Make sure to verify the qualifications of the persons you are talking to at Tax Defense Network, or any tax relief company for that matter, as well as who is actually doing the IRS work. If they meet your satisfaction then you are probably in good hands.

How to Contact Tax Defense Network

Call Tax Defense Network: 877-588-1098
Visit Tax Defense Network
Visit Tax Defense Network

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6.6 Total Score
Tax Defense Network's Scorecard

  • Established 1997
  • Jackson Hewitt Partner
  • Multiple Lawsuits

Honesty
8
Transparency
6
Accredited
6.5
Established
8
Ethics
4.5
20 Comments
  1. Reply
    terrmonster December 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Overall using Tax Defense Network for my IRS taxes ended positive. There were some bumps along the way for sure but overall TDN delivered the results they were asked to do and did the best they could with the IRS and their rules. Nothing is easy with the IRS. – T

  2. Reply
    Doreen Godare December 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I recently had a tax issue and Tax Defense Network did a wonderful job of resolving my problem. The tax debt dragged on for too long but after contacting Tax Defense Network in no time at all my issue was resolved. I would recommend it to someone who has a tax issue in need of a resolution.

  3. Reply
    JSAndy December 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I have good and bad. The good was that in the end I got an installment agreement with the state, and the got a garnishment removed. The bad is how long it took and my original contact at TDN left them and I got a new one. It was almost like starting over. And they wanted more money. They said this was because I owed more than I originally thought but I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how it’s harder to deal with the state if you owe a few thousand more or whatever.

    I might recommend then but I’d say get a better ideal of costs ahead of time and how long it really should take.

  4. Reply
    Son F January 4, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    My father passed away this year. He left my mother with a $30,000 tax debt He had no life insurance or savings of any kind. He was a GOOD man, but not very good with finances as we have found out after his passing. I contacted Tax Defense Network and after 4 months of working with them, my mother will pay nothing to the IRS and can live worry free on her Social Security. If you want to know if they are for real, let me tell you. They are for REAL and will help you in a realistic way that mad me a believer even though I thought it was a long shot and a possible waste of time and money.

  5. Reply
    Sherrill T January 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I’m extremely pleased with the polite professional service I received in
    helping me resolve a long term tax situation with the IRS. I would
    highly recommend them to anyone needing tax advise or help.

  6. Reply
    Janice W January 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I was at my wits end and did not know where to turn with my income taxes, i was stressed and losing weight. Looking thru my phone i came upon Tax Defense Network, with that one phone call i was assured not to worry that they were here to help me. I was assigned Ms. ******* ******* she contacted me to get things going, from that moment on she was in constant contact letting me know how things were going. I received a phone call one evening that changed my whole world. i was told a settlement has been reached and i did a Happy Dance. Ms. ****** and the entire team worked hard for me and i am so appreciative. I would like to thank everyone that went above and beyond to help me. I would highly recommend Tax Defense Network to anyone because of them i can breathe again.

  7. Reply
    Kkathy January 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Everyone was so wonderful and care about your problems,and I would recommend them to everyone because they get the job done and they are so professional and I will come back if I need them again. Thank You

  8. Reply
    Lawrence H February 9, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I paid a substantial amount of of money to Tax Defense Network for back taxes owed. Bottom line – I am now on a payment plan with the IRS, which is the same plan I would have been put on had I gone through the IRS to begin with. If TDN knew they could not help me reduce back taxes owed, at least sometime throughout the several month process working with the IRS, they should have told me so and reduce monies owed.

  9. Reply
    Stephanie February 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    I did not officially do business with them, but I just wanted to say the
    customer service person to whom I was speaking to was very rude to me.
    That’s all, who knows maybe they are a good company with a few bad eggs.

  10. Reply
    Pat H April 6, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Tax defense Network were very professional and helpful. I contacted them in Feb and they explained their process in detail. The process was quite easy. The necessary documents were sent to us via email, which we downloaded, completed and emailed back to them. I was then put in contact with their legal department and from that point the process was quick. They filed all the necessary paper work with the IRS and obtained an installment Agreement with IRS in just a month! We are extremely pleased with Tax Defense Network! We will recommend Tax Defense Network to anyone who any issues with IRS. Thank you Tax defense Network.

  11. Reply
    James April 18, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I want to give a very favorable review to Tax Defense Network and *****
    ******. She worked very hard to get through the crap that I call the
    I.R.S. and after much effort got it resolved and made sure that I was
    treated with respect. I wasn’t the easiest client to deal with, but her
    patience and expertise got the job done. GREAT JOB ***** !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you saved my butt!!!!!!!!

  12. Reply
    S Todd May 10, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Worked long and hard to resolve my back tax issues. Friendly staff.
    Generally happy with my experience with them. Only cons is this sort of
    service is apparently expensive and they can be hard to get ahold of
    sometimes. But all in all did what they said they would do.

  13. Reply
    Roxy M May 18, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I must say that my overall experience with Tax defense has been
    satisfying. When any changes in my file needed attention, I was
    contacted immediately via email or by phone. My tax analyst *******
    ********, always answered my questions or concerns with detail.
    Explaining how procedures were done & allowing the client to decide
    with knowledge the best way suitable for their personal situation. I am
    truly grateful & appreciate all of his efforts & hard work.

  14. Reply
    Octavio P July 1, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Tax Defense Network saved me over $150,000.00 with both the IRS and the
    State Franchise Department. Their service was very professional and
    commited to what they proposed. They always kept you well informed
    throughout the entire process without having to contact them. I highly
    recommend Tax Defense Network for anyone with issue regarding their
    taxes.

  15. Reply
    JimC August 5, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Tax Defense Network was a God Send for us!. They helped us clear up an IRS Matter that we had been working to resolve for many years. They then reduced their fee to address the work they completed for us! In addition, they also secured information that the IRS had refused to provide to us for 10 years. This information will lead to a large refund from the IRS regarding a separate matter. Tax Defense Network is an excellent resource for any IRS issues!

  16. Reply
    Sandy V. August 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

    An extremely positive experience – Tax Defense Network are professional and easy to work with when you are stressed about your tax concerns.

  17. Reply
    Steve Donaldson October 11, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Unfortunately I should have gone in a different direction. The agreement that they thought was the smarter one was the “wrong” one. I made one installment and realized I have no chance to fulfill my commitment. After paying $5,000.00 to tax defense Network I am in the same spot as when I called them. They could not lower what I owed the IRS by even $1.00 Really! You’d think they could have saved me at least a couple of dollars. Now I have to contact the IRS on my own and deal with them myself. What a shame. A waste of $5,000.00.

  18. Reply
    Cowboy April 25, 2018 at 8:19 am

    In January of 2017, I was promised to have all my tax issues resolved within 30 days when I first contracted services with Tax Defense Network, yet over the first 3-4 months my case was passed along to a couple different people over the space of a few weeks (very confusing), and little (if any)… progress has been made on my case. I finally got an update from several weeks ago from the only after calling the Gold Star Client Care and complaining. After telling me that my taxes would be fairly easy to complete since all the information was complete and well organized (leading me to believe that I was grossly overcharged for the services I paid for), she promised she would give me an update by 4/7 and have taxes ready for my review by 4/10. She did neither. She then told me she would have them to me by 4/13, and when they were not sent, she told me she would send them the following day, only to say that printing issues prevented her from doing so. I’ve contacted her since; she then asked me for basic information for my return (my father’s SS# and date of birth – information that obviously should have been collected when I sent her all the tax information that was requested from me.) In May, I first called to ask for a full refund of $7,000 for the services I contracted with your company, and Client Care, talked me into continuing with the contracted services at a reduced rate of $3,500. We agreed that when the services were concluded, Tax Defense Network would reimburse me for $3,500. And while my tax returns were quickly submitted to the IRS, several other misteps occurred over the next few months – including several ignored emails and calls, more delays, incorrect information given to me, and even tax returns that were filled that had passed the statute of limitations. Now the IRS is trying to collect approximately $1,500 I finally called and requested a full refund in late October. He assured me that he would review my file and get back to me within a week. Unfortunately, it appears as though he has made no attempt to connect with me, even after I left several other messages with him. After leaving him another message last Friday, Jan. 5, and getting no response, I called Client Care the following Tuesday, Jan. 9, and though the message says that I would receive a response within 24 hours, that did not happen either. I called Client Care again on Jan. 12, left a message and then emailed them as well, again asking for a full refund and indicating my intentions to report them to the Better Business Bureau.

  19. Reply
    JOE July 8, 2018 at 7:27 am

    This is my 3rd review. I’m one of those people that never write reviews but I’m so upset with the lack of service I feel a need to warn everyone I can about them. I started this process back in 2017 to help my wife settle some debt with the IRS, their sales team is amazing and know just what to say to get you to sign, but that’s when it starts going downhill. Once you sign and pay they file a general package with the IRS – something you can do yourself that would take a few months for a reply but nothing special, they only save you the time it takes for the IRS to reply. Once it’s filed they disappear, all the emails you get saying call this number or email us here leads to a general call center with staffers that say they are going to help or looking into the matter but you don’t hear back for weeks. It’s up to you to follow up with them and get them to get working on your case. They have offered to give me less then half of my money back if I go away. At this point, they have cost me 2x of what I have paid them since I’m now locked into a payment contract with the IRS so nothing can roll off at this point. If TDN reads this, I’m happy to speak with someone that can help me or will reply to my emails asking for help or what your team sold me to start which was a legal team that will fight for me until all options are exhausted.

  20. Reply
    Alex S. September 7, 2018 at 7:38 am

    I had a very bad experience with TDN. They gave me a very hard sell up front telling me I was a good candidate with a strong case. Gave me some bad advice to liquidate my savings to better improve my tax resolution position. Then after several weeks of them reviewing my case with little to no explination of what was going on they came back to me and essentially turned me down as a client. I then had to argue with them for a refund of my money and furthermore had block payments as they were still trying to bill my credit card after they had turned me down as a client. After completing the refund documentation they stated it takes 21 business days to return my money. they then missed that deadline and could not return my money to me for another 10 days. The way I was treated was terrible to say the least.

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