Be Thankful I Don’t Take It All Part II

May 22, 2007

In looking at my blogs stats, searches on religion and taxes have been causing me to get 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 www.oicsettlement.com, which, as I understood it, allowed people with a complaint to JK Harris that contacted them before March 31, 2005 to enter a class action suit (assuming they hadn’t privately sued JK Harris previously).

For whatever reason, the link to the oicsettlement now requires a password to view it.  This could be because they were getting too many people trying to join in, I don’t really know.  I even thought about it when I posted their site that it could effect the amount of money I get back, in that the settlement is a specific amount, but the amount I got back didn’t really concern me, as my case has been settled (not by JK Harris) and anything I get back is just extra money.  And I was more concerned that there were others out there like myself, that got in a bind and was wondering if they were ever going to get out, and then got strung along by JK Harris or another company like them.  For the record, do a google search on “JK Harris complaints” and see the list you get.  I am not alone by any means.  And if I referred another 50-60 people over to the settlement page and helped them I am glad.  I just hope they get their problems with the IRS solved, which is the most important.

Hopefully there is no problem with the me advertising the oicsettlement page.  I don’t see how there could be as it was printed in numerous newspapers in April, both in print and online.  Not to mention on the actual Class Action Settlement form it says you can get info and a copy of the forms at their website.  If in a day or two I do not find any issues with it, and it seems people are still hitting my JK Harris pages, I will see if I can scan in a blank settlement form and post it somewhere for download.

One other thing to note, my original post I had posted that the cutoff date was May 25, 2007 to get you paperwork turned in.  This is actually the wrong date.  The correct date is July 31, 2007.  The May 25 date is if you wanted to make an appearance or objection.

Edit to Add:  Since the original post the www.oicsettlement.com page has went back up.


Be Thankful I Don’t Take It All

April 16, 2007

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!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.