Getting a taxpayer his money back

Seven On Your Side
March 23, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
With the tax deadline only weeks away, a lot of people rely on their accountants to make sure everything is in order.So imagine the shock when a couple got a letter in the mail from the IRS saying they owed more then $30,000.

They went to a company that was supposed to help them, but when that didn't happen, they got Tappy Phillips and Seven On Your Side.

It started when their tax preparer made a big mistake on their taxes that cost the young couple tens of thousands. That's when they turned to the nation's leading tax fighter for help. But when the company didn't act in time, the couple wanted a refund - and help from Seven On Your Side.

The IRS letter was a bombshell, saying that the couple owed nearly $30,000 in back taxes.

"The idea that we could owe that much money was unbelievable," Michael Reilly said.

But help was on the way from a company that says it's, "The nation's largest tax representation firm."

The JK Harris ad continued, "Call JK Harris now."

"I thought this was heaven sent, you know," Reilly said. "This is perfect."

So Michael paid JK Harris more than $3,000 to help. The tax fighter estimated they could help whittle Michael's tax bill down to just $7,000.

But the amount every month was going up about $1,000 from penalties and interest.

The Reilly's tax bill increased to nearly $50,000. They had 10 days to pay the bill or have a lien put on their house.

Michael began thinking he would lose his house and have no place to stay.

So he took out a loan, paid the IRS on his own and asked JK Harris for a refund.

"They wasted a year and a half, almost two years and then nothing, so that's when I asked for my refund," Reilly said.

And last July, JK Harris promised to cut Reilly a check for a partial refund by the end of the year. But...

"They told us no refunds will be issued until April," Michael said.

JK Harris says they did their best for the Reilly's, and that their original $7,000 estimate was based on incorrect information given to them by Michael. But they did say they apologized for not getting the Reilly's the promised refund out quicker.

And after we called, Michael finally got his check.

"Tappy, thank you," Michael said. "Without you, I'd be out my money."

You can fight the IRS on your own. If you have a small tax dispute, you can check out the IRS taxpayers' advocate office. It's an independent unit of the IRS that helps taxpayers understand their rights.

For more info on the advocate, click here.

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