Be Thankful I Don’t Take It All

Well, tomorrow is tax day.  I have a rather interesting tax and IRS story that has permeated my life for about, oh, 17 years.  I won’t go into it all right now, but with the deadline it’s a good time to start some back story, and give some advice from my past mistakes.

From the age of 20-31 I was basically an independent contractor.  Actually I was a salesman and then a sales manager but I was paid the same way many contractors are paid.  It is a way the direct sales business saves themselves tens of thousands of dollars a year so they don’t have to worry about or pay FICA and Medicare on certain workers that really should be employees.  I have a lot to say on this subject as well, but not today.

Basically because of the way we were paid many of the successful people in this type of business can easily get themselves in tax trouble.  You let it go, kind of hoping to get enough of a promotion to be able to pay off your tax debt the next year, and when it doesn’t happen the next year, you let it go again, and on, and on.

I finally got out of that business in 2001.  Soon after, the IRS came knocking, wanting their money.  Now, I do have some complaints about the IRS, but really most of my issues are with my original job, and my rant today is about the people that allow other good people to get themselves in a bad bind, and then the companies that claim “We can settle your tax debt for pennies on the dollar.”  I went to such a company, who could remain nameless, but, because I despise them, won’t.  I used a company called JK Harris.

My original tax debt was about $15,000.  With penalties and interest, the IRS added another $30,000.  JK Harris had a lot of testimonials saying they could settle debts like this for anywhere between $1,000 up to $3-4,000 for people that owed what I owed.  They charged me $3,500 to do all this.  Obviously at the time I couldn’t pay a lot, I was under a wage levy after all.  They promised to get rid of the levy within two weeks, I paid $700 that I didn’t have down, and went on a payment plan to pay them $300 per month.  They did get rid of the levy, but it took eight months, meanwhile I am still paying them their money even though I am getting half of my paycheck.  They put in an Offer in Compromise a year after I first contacted them, and it was refused by the IRS.  JK Harris then claims they will appeal.  Meanwhile, I start getting the familiar “Intend to Levy” notices from the IRS.  Knowing that when you get these the IRS means business, and as I couldn’t get a good response from JK Harris, I ended up going to a local attorney in my city.  Now, he did let me know it would be a long difficult battle.  And it was.  And even he didn’t do everything perfect, but he did get my account settled.  I did come into a little money and had to give all that up (about $25,000), but my case is settled and I no longer have to have sleepless nights wondering what the IRS is going to do to me.  Because of the two year delay in trying to use JK Harris, the interest and penalties increased, and then I had to still go and pay an attorney to get my mess solved.

So, my message in this story, for the (ahem) thousands of readers I have, do not go to any of the “We will settle your IRS debt for cheap” notices you will get soon after the IRS starts putting liens on everything you own.  Go to a local tax attorney with a good reputation, get a good accountant, and get your mess settled.  It sucks, and there will be a lot of stress while it is going on, but once it is over you will feel 1000% better.

Lastly, there is currently a class action suit against JK Harris for making the claims I mentioned above and not delivering.  If anyone stumbles across this and used JK Harris and got screwed like me go to www.oicsettlement.com.  You only have until May 25, 2007 to get it filed so get some money back!

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14 Responses to Be Thankful I Don’t Take It All

  1. [...] the most hits.  Lately I have been getting a lot of hits based on my experience that I wrote about here concerning JK Harris and some problems I had with the IRS.  In that post I included a link to [...]

  2. BOBBIE and JOHN CONNOR says:

    WE HAVE ALSO HAD A PROBLEM WITH JK HARRIS. WE PAID THEM AND THEY DID NOT DO AS THEY PROMISED. I (BOBBIE) HAD TO FILE BANKRUPTCY AND NOW THE IRS IS GARNISHING PART OF MY SOCIAL SECURITY.
    I TRIED TO GO TO THE WEB ADDRESS (oicsettlement.com) AND COULD NOT GET IN–IT SAID THAT WAS A BAD ADDRESS. IF YOU HAVE A WAY TO GET IN PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

    THANK YOU
    BOBBIE CONNOR

  3. George & Barbara Semler says:

    We had a problem with J.K. Harris also. They did not do anything they said they would. We owned over 30,000 and they said they would get the IRS to settle for 2,000. We had to sell our home and go to Mexico for medical treatment for my husband as we did not have medical insurance here. We were living on 1,130. a month which was my husbands disability. The IRS put a lien on that and took 200. a month so we had to come back to the states and live with our grandchildren. I ended up with a great job and payed all monies we owed the IRS but I want my money back from J.K. Harris. I ask them for it back and they said nothing was guranteed. When we signed the contract they made it sound as if it was nothing for them to get us a settlement. Please someone contact me and let me know what is going on. Thank You Barbara

  4. jonathan says:

    I also had the same problem with J.K. Harris including the settlement part with oicsettlement. I am also looking for a resulution to at least get some of my hard earned money back. If there is someone out there who has recieved any monies back or knows a way to get some of there money back please let me know.

  5. Kathryn says:

    I too was lied to by JK Harris tax scam. I am located in TEXAS and contacted the State Att General Office, who advised me to contact of North Carolina. I did not have much luck but finally (after several years) I rec’d a letter requesting copies of cancel checks and statements which I provided in 2007. Finally, rec’d a letter from JK Harris Settlement Admin P.O. Box 1877, Faribault, MN 55021-7132, with an 1-800-659-7609. I called the number on 1-11-08, spoke with a Carolyn, who verified my address and phone number. I follow-up on 2-6-08 and the number is no longer in service.

    I have emailed and mailed letters and to no avail. I went online and locatd 1-800-870-7156, call and a rude lady said wrong number and if I wanted more information to go back on line an research. After extensive research, I located Karen information, and yes I will be calling the attorney office at 1-803-252-4800 first thing monday morning. This company is a night mare!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Edward Nichols Wendy C Nichols says:

    We’re involved in the Class Action Settlement against JK Harris. All of our information had been admitted before May 2007 and was accepted. We have recently moved and are trying to contact the law firm handling the lawsuit to update our new information. We have hit dead ends on the website and the telephone number is disconnected. Can anyone supply information on how to contact the lawyers to get a status report and give them our new address?

    Thank you,
    Edward & Wendy Nichols

  7. donna matscherz says:

    we also were lied to by JK Harris We were completely honest with them and they lied to us we are still paying on our debt to the IRS. We aere supposed to be part of the class action law suit and turned in all of are paper work for proof of what we paid. We recieved a letter with what we had submitted confirmed and we never have heard another word from them, but the IRS still manages to find us. Thanks for listing. Donna

  8. Larry and Daisy vaughn says:

    We have the same problem as a lot of people, we were not happy with j.k.harris either, and signed a class action suit in 2007, and we have hit a dead end on trying to find out where we are, do you have any informaton as to where we could write to for what is going on with the suit.

  9. Victoria Parr says:

    I too have only found dead ends trying to find out about this class action suit to which I joined. What is going on with this? I am just sick about the way so many people have been ripped off by this company and then again in the class action suit. I am seriously wondering if JK Harris didn’t have something to do with this just so they could get rid of clients by sending them the letter that they would no longer talk to you if you joined the class action…….it all seems very fishy! Someone please help us!

  10. David Richardson says:

    I too submitted all the right paperwork on time in 2007 and ran into a dead end with the OIC website and phone number.
    HOWEVER, My persistence paid off and I found the RIGHT settlement administrator. I called and talked to them on the phone today and they said the first checks should be going out this month. Here is the information for those that need it.
    Rust Consulting – Special JK Harris settlement phone number: 866-903-1201.
    BTW, at JK Harris I was passed from account person to account person and they NEVER got one dime reduced or penalities waived. I finally went begging to the local IRS office and they actually helped me greatly. took off 95% of the penalities and put me on a payment plan. I guess I got a really good IRS agent.

  11. ROBERT SANTIAGO JR says:

    TO DAVE RICHARDSON:

    JUST WANTED TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESEARCH ON RUST CONSULTING I TOO HAD THEM SAME PROBLEM LOCATING THEM.

    THANKS TO YOU IWILL BE CALLING THOSE RASCALS AND GET UPDATE..

    THANKS A LOT

    ROBERT SANTIAGO JR

  12. Barb says:

    We are casualities too in this mess. We lost $2300. Now to add injury to insult they send me $14.75 in this class action suit. Guys, I have just emailed my rep in Washington…if we all did this, maybe this fat cat would be brought to task and we could make his life miserable. Its worth a try. I have complained to my congressman and ask him to do something about the business practices of this guy. They stink…he is bilking thousands and getting away with it.

  13. rick wetmore says:

    hey people i got my settlement check. paid jkharris 1400.00 i got back a whole 2.91.i have to wait till 2010 and the amount that jk is puttinbg in is even less i may get .89who screwing who.

  14. Tax Guru says:

    I’ve been interested in taxations for longer then I care to acknowledge, both on the private side (all my working life-time!!) and from a legal standpoint since satisfying the bar and pursuing tax law. I’ve furnished a lot of advice and redressed a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve put up makes impeccable sense. Please carry on the good work – the more people know the better they’ll be armed to comprehend with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.

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