FTC tax-relief scam bust causes collateral damage


Tax Resolution Institute says it offers effective and professional service to its clients, but is operating in an industry that has suffered broad-brush tarnishing in the wake of the FTC-driven shut-down of American Tax Relief.

TRI recapped ATR’s case, saying “TV, radio and Internet ads claimed American Tax Relief could quickly settle Federal and State delinquent tax bills for pennies on the dollar. In reality, they did practically nothing beyond stealing money and compounding back tax problems of their innocent clients, leading to a bevy of tax resolution complaints.”

TRI touts its own “sterling” record, saying that it “helps clients in distress find workable solutions to their back tax debt problems with State and Federal authorities.”

And in no uncertain terms, it calls for a clean-up of the tax relief industry. “The tax scams of companies like American Tax Relief need to come to an end.”

RBR-TVBR observation: To effectively advertise a service like this, a company has to offer a ray of hope to a person with a tax problem. The trick is to avoid promising something cannot be delivered.

This also illustrates why broadcasters cannot be deputized to police advertisements for accuracy and truthfulness. Although broadcasters should have a healthy skepticism about advertising claims, in many cases it is a matter for investigation by the proper authorities.