Clergy Financial Resources - Missed Simple Tax Credit Three Years in a Row Totaling $10000
Tax Service - Complaint
MAPLE GROVE, MINNESOTA -- I returned to the U.S. after spending many years in Canada. Since I didn't know the U.S. tax system well, I hired Clergy Financial Resources to do my taxes. The first year was a split year between Canada and the U.S. and I did not have any problems. For the next three years (2007-2009), they failed to claim the Child Tax Credit for my children. In 2007, the credit was $4000. In 2008 and 2009, the credit was $3000 for each year. For my 2010 taxes I switched tax companies. I found one that did my taxes for half the price and they also specialized in my profession. This new company quickly discovered the error in my previous years taxes. I was able to get the $6000 from the 2008 and 2009 years returned with interest. I was unable to get the $4000 from the 2007 year because over three years had passed since filing my 2007 taxes with the I.R.S. I was recently told that I should be able to sue the company for the taxes. I first worked with them to see if they would back up their claim of "Accurate Tax Guarantee". They didn't. Now I will be going to court with them to get back the $4000 and interest they owe me. I suppose that I could also sue for the cost of doing my taxes as well since they did not do their job satisfactorily. We will see when I get my day in court.
Well, since Clergy Financial Resources said I was "misrepresenting the facts", I contacted them last Friday because they said they wanted a "open and direct conversation" and so I took the initiative. Their response on Monday was through a lawyer with a $750 offer.
To make full disclosure on this matter, here is the content of their letter:
"Your request for reirnbursement of your alleged expenses is denied for two reasons. First, under the terms of your agreement with Clergy Financial, you were required to notify it of any communication from the IRS within thirty days of its receipt. It is undisputed that you first received a notice from the IRS in November, 2011, and that you did not contact Clergy Financial until May, 2013, which prevented it from assisting you in resolving your dispute with the IRS. Furthermore, you did not avail yourselves of the opportunity to appeal the IRS decision, a process with which Clergy Financial also could have assisted had it received a timely notice. For both of these reasons, your demand is rejected.
Notwithstanding the above factors, Clergy Financial would like to put this matter to rest once and for all, and it is prepared to offer you a payment of $750.00 in return for your release of any and all potential claims against it, your agreement not to disparage Clergy Financial in the future, and your agreement to delete all of your existing public comments that relate in any way to this dispute. This offer will be withdrawn on September 6, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. CDT unless written acceptance is received by the Firm prior to that time.
I look forward to receiving your written acceptance of Clergy Financial's offer prior to the deadline set forth above. Please feel free to contact me in the interim if you have any questions."
What I had told Clergy Financial was that I did not think that the subsequent letter from the I.R.S. had anything to do with their company because I had another company file the correction for the error that they made. I gave Clergy Financial all pertinent correspondences related to the taxes they filed for me. They did not catch the $4000 error (which they still haven't acknowledged) in 2007. The I.R.S. did not deny me the money because my amended return was incorrect, but because over three years had passed since the original filing of the taxes.
The amended returns from 2008 and 2009 which were also filed by another company resulted in a return of $6000 plus interest. These are more errors that Clergy Financial has not acknowledged it made. After making $10,000 in errors over 3 years on my tax forms, I find it surprising that they would think I would trust Clergy Financial Resources again to give me any help.
They want to fault me for not seeking help from them. I know I was slow in seeking to do something about all this. As I suspected, the grief that this has caused me hardly seems worth it. I waited 18 months to begin pursuing some sort of action. From what I understand, I have up to six years from the original date of filing of my taxes in April 2008 to bring this matter to Small Claims Court. The error that Clergy Financial made on my 2007 taxes began in April of 2008 and lasted until August 2011--over 3 years. For the 2008 tax error, it was about 2 years; and for the 2009 tax error it was about 1 year. So they are troubled by my waiting 18 months to address this problem when I can claim over 6 years of time where they did not discover the errors they made on my three tax returns--which were discovered when I switched companies.
As I did not agree to their terms, this is the response I have received:
"In light of your rejection of my client's offer, I see no point in further communications on this issue.
Be aware that Clergy Financial will continue to monitor your public statements regarding this dispute. If any of those statements are defamatory or otherwise actionable, Clergy Financial reserves the right to pursue all appropriate legal remedies.