A group of tax problem resolution firms has formed the Tax Problem Resolution Services Coalition, with the aim of protecting consumers from deceptive tax relief practices.

The newly formed TPRSC said Monday it plans to educate and protect consumers from deceptive practices by scam artists that offer to reconcile their tax debt issues with the IRS. The consortium includes a number of tax resolution firms, in addition to enrolled agents, tax lawyers and CPAs.

They said their purpose is to promote and ensure the protection of taxpayers from unfair and deceptive advertising claims by unscrupulous delinquent tax debt representation providers.

With the IRS stepping up its enforcement activity, and difficult economic times hitting many taxpayers hard, scam artists increasingly prey on clientele readily pulled in by false and unfounded promises of tax relief.

The coalition was founded by Michael Rozbruch, founder and CEO of Tax Resolution Services Co., of Encino, Calif.; Kathy Hill, co-owner and CEO of Tax Tiger Inc., of Sacramento; Lawrence Lawler of the American Society of Tax Problem Resolvers; and Byron Pedersen of Instant Tax Solutions LLC.

The TPRSC (now 35 members and growing) plans to work with state and federal regulators to identify best practices in protecting consumers from deceptive advertising. They seek the enactment of legislation to rein in questionable practices, create more disclosure, cause greater transparency of services, and provide redress for taxpayers. As part of its mandate, TPRSC has crafted its own proposed federal and state legislation to protect taxpayers from unscrupulous practices.

“Quite simply, it’s time to put an end to the unfair and deceptive advertising claims and inappropriate practices of the scam artists and crooks who hold themselves out as tax debt relief firms,” said Rozbruch of Tax Resolution Services Co. “I am part of TPRSC to help educate and protect consumers. What many people don’t realize is that TPRSC member firms provide the American consumer much more than just negotiating payment plans, penalty removal, and offers in compromise. We are a voice, an advocate, a mediator for the consumer who is the David about to face Goliath in a showdown.”

“During tax time, in particular, vulnerable and stressed taxpayers are bombarded with television commercials, Internet ads, emails, and other communications,” said Hill of Tax Tiger Inc. “Some of these are legitimate and some are just outright false promises.”

Many consumers have been bilked by demands of upfront or escalating fees from tax resolution firms with little or no relief to show from it. “This coalition unites the efforts of different segments of the industry to ensure that taxpayers are protected,” said Hill.

“As national director of the leading association that requires certification and continuing education, we believe that these same fundamentals should be mandated by law so that all practitioners have to meet quality standards,” said Lawler, national director of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers, a national not-for-profit organization of attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents specializing in representing taxpayers before the IRS.

For more information, visit www.taxproblemresolutionservicescoalition.com.

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