RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- My mother was facing a large tax burden and we needed legal advice and tax preparation. The IRS wanted a tax return and payment within two weeks, so we contacted JK Harris (after watching a TV commercial). We were set up with an appointment in their Richmond office (700 E Main, Suite 1633) with an attorney named ** in August 2004.
He indicated that the fee for their services was $750.00 for the legal advice and $250.00 for the tax preparation and imprinted my debit card on a carbon form by running a pen across it. He said an attorney would be assigned and he gave us some papers to review that evening, and promised that the card would not be processed until I called him back to indicate my approval.
When I got home and reviewed the papers, they were for financial planning services when what we needed was legal advice and tax preparation. I called him back and he told me they did not provide the services I need (although their TV ads indicate that that is exactly what they do) and that it would take quite some time to get the taxes done (way beyond the IRS deadline). He gave me a number to call for a refund. They requested that I fax a statement indicating that I did not require the financial and tax services, which I did. The next day, I contacted a real attorney; got the advice I needed, and got the taxes done two days later by an accounting firm.
In October, two months after our original contact, a woman from JK Harris called saying she was ready to do my mother's taxes. I let her know that they had already been done by a different firm, and that I was supposed to get a refund. She said that she checked the record, and that I was correct about the refund and that it would be taken care of.
In November, three months after I was supposed to receive my refund, I began my calling marathon starting with their 800 number and lasting several hours. In total, I talked to twelve different people on nine different phone numbers without ever getting through to anyone that could help. Five additional numbers I was given were invalid. The only suggestion one of them had was to re-fax my request for a refund, which I did.
I then called Mr. ** back (the one who took my money in the first place), and he promised to contact the home office that afternoon to check on the refund. I heard nothing, so I called the corporate office again in December but only got a voice machine. I left my number but never got a call back.
I then called ** again and he promised to contact the main office and have them call me. I have not heard from anyone and it is now January and I cannot make my house payment. I did a web search and found a huge number of problems and complaints indicating that the company appears to be a complete fraud; a scam.
First, I am amazed that there aren't more complaints on this sight. Look at BadDeals.com, the ripoffreport.com. Maybe I shouldn't advertise other sights, but JK Harris seems to be known coast-to-coast for the same problems with consumers. The one person that I have found on this site seems to be just an echo of all the other sites, and I have run into the same problem. JK Harris seems to take your money fast enough, but the same story seems to appear all the time. That is lost files, no service, no customer contact, and refuse to refund your deposit for a plethora of reasons. Here's my story (which is an ongoing soap opera).
On August 25th, 2002 I contacted the local office of J.K. Harris & Company based on their advertisement in the Salem News for a Free Tax Settlement Analysis, an appointment was made for August 2nd at 11:00 am. Upon meeting with their representative, Miss **, I initially agreed to use their services. At that time I was given a Form 2848 (Pg. 21), and asked to sign and return.
The initial fee was to be $3,000 based on the number of years to settle with the IRS, and negotiation fee. On the original agreement, there was an error that they made that they didn't notice. The fee should have been $2,900. ($2,300 + 600 = $2,900) (Pg 4). Upon discussion with my wife and further consideration, I decided to cancel the contract based on their contract terms (Pg. 5, para. 5).
The corporate office was called on August 13th to cancel the contract, and to initiate a refund of my funds. I was told to send a letter (Pg. 9) requesting a refund. J.K. Harris subsequently replied (Page 10), stating that due to financial hardship, they would close my case (Page 10, Para 1). I did not cancel the contract due to financial hardship (Pg.9) and have not stated in any correspondence that there was any financial hardship. J.K. Harris insists on continuing to misrepresent and construe the facts (Pg.21, 3rd para). Once again referring to my letter of August 19th (Pg9).
After stating that they would close my case due to financial hardship (Pg. 10, para 1, dated Aug 23, 2002 1), they subsequently sent me another letter, Account Closure due to Non Payment (Pg.11, dated Aug 17, 2002) and threatened me that they would report me to three credit bureaus.
I subsequently sent them an e-mail on August 30th (Page 12) referencing their letters, and restating that I did not cancel due to financial hardship and pointing out that no where in their contract does it state that I have to give a reason to cancel. I also initiated a call to the arbitration board to try to arbitrate this dispute. I was unable to contact anyone, and left a message to contact me. Subsequently no contact was initiated by the arbitration company.
They subsequently set me another letter stating that they would terminate my case (Pg. 15 dated Sept 12) due to me ignoring their attempts to assist me (Pg 15, para 2 dated 9/12/03). There is an answering machine at my home, and at no time did J.K. Harris try and contact me by leaving a message. This letter is almost three weeks after their initial letter stating my case was terminated.
On September 4th I contacted the Attorney General's office to solicit help from their Consumer Affairs Division, to recover my funds. After sending out four letters to J.K. Harris Co., J.K. Harris responded by sending back copies of the same letter three times (Pages 16,17,18,dated Oct 3,2002). The facts stated in that a letter have been misconstrued and dates manipulated.
Para 3, Line 1 - Was sent a power of attorney. This was sent with the altered letter (Page 24). Para 3, Line 2 - Document needed to communicate with the IRS. ACCOUNT CLOSURE LETTER (Page 11, para 3) states our (J.K. Harris) power of attorney submitted to the relevant tax authorities will be revoked. I did not submit this document, so I question how they submitted this without my signature.
Para 3, Line 4 - Mr. ** told our Customer Service Representative that the services were too expensive. Misstatement of fact (Page 12, para 3). Para 4, Line 3 - Was sent a letter detailing why his refund was denied. This letter is missing, or it is the: Account Closure Due to Non-Payment (Pg 11, dated Aug 27,2002), Case Closure For Unpaid Retainer (Pg 13, dated Sept 5, 2002), Case Termination (Pg 15, dated Sept 12, 2002)
Para 5, Line 1 - J.K. Harris and Company understands financial hardship. This seems to be in total contradiction to the letter (Pg 10, para 1), referring to delinquency charges, and the Account Closure letter (Pg 11, para 2) and Case Closure letter (Pg 13, para 1, line 2), termination of contractual relationship.
Para 6, Page2, Line 2 - Processing and research. The portion of the fees that Mr. xxxxx has paid will be kept to cover these expenses. No processing or research was done on my behalf, for the case was closed (Pg 10, para 1, dated Aug 23, 2002), also no power of attorney was given.
Once again, J.K. Harris persists on misstating the facts, i.e. that they sent me a power of attorney on August 6th. Upon my initial meeting with ** at the Beverly office of J.K. Harris, I was told that the whole process may take a year for J.K. Harris to resolve my problem with the I.R.S (Pg. 4B).
For J.K. Harris to have sent me a power of attorney as referenced in their letter (Pg 24, dated Aug 13th) - where J.K. Harris altered the date, August 13th, which is coincidentally the date I first contacted J.K. Harris to cancel the contract - the following would have had to occur: August 2, 2002, Friday 11:00 am initial appointment, after the appointment to send out my paper work in an overnight envelope to arrive by Monday August 5th. Receive and process my paper work, then send out again. All this was said to have occurred in 24 hours (Pgs 16,17,18, para3, line 1).
Unless I was their only account they had to process in that time period, I find this hard to believe, and question why the letter is altered to August 13th, if it was sent out on the 6th (Pg 24). If they did send me a power of attorney as previously stated, why did ** continue to call both our home and my wife's office to have us return the Form 2848 (Pg 12, para 6, dated Aug 30, 2002). Also that they understand that clients may experience financial hardship (Pgs 16, 17, 18, para 5, Pg 1). Also the fact that the portion of the retainer was returned due to non-sufficient funds (Pgs 16,17, 18, para 1, pg 2).
After much correspondence with J.K. Harris Co. through the Attorney General's office, the Attorney General's office informed me that they are only an arbitrator and have no authority to seek legal action against J.K. Harris. I had also initially contacted the Consumer Affairs department at WCVB (Channel 5), in hopes that they could help (Pg 21, dated Sept 9,2002), and again in December of 2002. The Consumer Affairs department must have contacted J.K. Harris for they subsequently placed an advertisement that aired in February of 2003 at about 4 am. WCVB now had a conflict of interest and could no longer assist me.
J.K. Harris has left me with no recourse that than to seek a legal remedy through the court. A representative from J.K. Harris, **, Director of legal Affairs, recently contacted me (February 2004) to inform me that they have filed a motion for dismissal, based on the fact that they do not recognize the courts jurisdiction, and that it must go to arbitration.
In answer to J.K. Harris MOTION TO DISMISS, I must reintegrate that J.K. Harris gave up its right to binding arbitration, and does recognize the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Courts, in its correspondence to the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office of Consumer Affairs on three separate occasion where J.K. Harris responded with the same letter on three separate dates.
So that there can be no misunderstanding, J.K. Harris clearly states in the first paragraph, second line: "Please understand that while we are willing to comply in whatever way you, (Revere Office of Consumer Affairs), deem necessary, the Confidentiality Clause in our contract prohibits us from disclosing certain information involved in this case."
The first I have seen of this document was on March 9, 2004 at the hearing. Although J.K. Harris signed a certificate of service, they sent it to 520 Broad Street. The highest the numbers go on Broad Street is 58. The following is the latest correspondence from **, Director of the Problem Resolution Office, Legal Affairs. The only reason I have been able to get this dialog was to telling everyone on a website to be nice to her, for she is brain-dead, and that she will say anything old JK tells her to. Also that she almost died from a transplant two years ago, the A H rejected her.
Since that time, she has become very vociferous and sensitive. Like shes sensitive to consumer problems. What I put on the website was probable the closest she's ever come to someone defending her actions. Anyway, read on, for this is a continuing soap opera.
GOOSE CREEK, SOUTH CAROLINA -- On April 10, 2007 I consulted with JK Harris & Co. in reference to a problem that I was having with the IRS. I thought I had back federal and state income taxes that were due from prior years. I was informed that I had to file all taxes for all years that I had not filed, which were tax years 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 and 07. After filing all outstanding taxes I began getting refund checks from the IRS, I could not understand why.
Finally I telephoned the representative that was handling my case (**) to find out why I was getting the refunds when I owed back taxes. Mr. ** informed me that I did not owe any back taxes. I then telephoned the IRS and found out that the taxes that I thought I owed were discharged in 1995 and 1996. I then went to the Circuit Court of Baltimore City to pick up the copy of release information.
After picking up the copy of release, I telephoned Mr. ** again to find out what happen to the payment of $4,800.00 that I had paid to JK Harris & Co. He informed me that I may be entitled to a refund and I had to fax the request to the refund department. Later I received a letter from the refund department that several documents had been filed with IRS at a cost of $2,208.00 and I was entitled to a refund amount of $2,592.00.
On July 19, 2009 I received a Receipt and General Release form to sign and return to them. The letter stated that once the release form was received, it would be forwarded to the accounting department for processing. It also stated that they would process the request in the order in which it was received and this process could take between 90-120 days.
As of today, July 10, 2010, almost one year later, I have not received the refund check. I have sent several e-mails to (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the only response that I get is “we are processing refunds as fast as possible; we will e-mail you when your refund check is ready”. My engagement number is **.
I cannot understand why JK Harris had to charge me $2,208.00 for documents that had to be processed when the IRS discharged my case in 1995 and 1996 and I did not engage their services until 2007. What took them so long to find out that I did not owe the IRS the money? I feel that I am being ignored in reference to my refund check - that is almost a year later and I still have not gotten any results. I only had 1 week to pay the $4,800.00 - why does it take a year to process a refund check?
I am in the process of purchasing a home and I could use this money to help with the closing cost. This has been a frustrating situation for me. Looking forward to your response. I have copies of all paperwork if needed. Thank you.
I contacted JK Harris in 2009 to help me reduce my tax debt. I didn't file for 2000-2004. Apparently the IRS will file for you if you don't. So the IRS told me I owed 20k in back taxes and had started garnishing my pay. At JK Harris they told me based on my hardship and financial situation, I was qualified for an Offer In Compromise and would only have to pay the IRS $1,000. LIES!!! I paid them $2,200 up front so they could file a Power of Attorney and stop the garnishment and 1,200 a month for the next 3 months would be my total fees for the POA and the OIC. The garnishments stopped… for 3 months.
I called in to see why and they told me my OIC was rejected and there was nothing they could do for me. Then they told me that I was not entitled to a refund because there is no guarantee for the outcome and the money I paid them was for their services which they performed!! COMPLETE BS!!!! THEY DID NOTHING FOR ME AND TOOK $5,800 FROM ME!!!
About 6 months ago after searching for some sort of solution to my taxes, and came across www.settlewiththeirs.info (877) 517-0067. According to them, OIC is not even a legitimate way to reduce your tax debt unless the IRS determines that you have no way of repaying the debt, i.e. on your death bed with no job or assets. But they did a tax investigation for free and got back to me with the results the next day. It turns out that I was not entitled to an OIC like they stated earlier, but they said they could reduce most of the interest and penalties on my debt and stop the garnishment indefinitely.
I have 12 months left of $250 a month back to the IRS then I will be done with this tax debt FOREVER! And they were about 2 grand less than JK Harris. Moral of the story: if it sounds too good to be true, then it is! Stay away from JK Harris. I'm filling a complaint to the Attorney General, the BBB and my Governor! I suggest that you all do the same!
JK Harris "promises" to help you with the IRS. Like a fool, I believed this and after having spent over $5000 for their services, they totally dropped the ball and ignored my calls for information, stating that they had other clients who also needed attention, and that they were short on personnel. They will call you 2-3 times a day before you send them the check to show that they care, but once they get paid...you're on your own!!!
Also they have many different people and departments and locations, and are constantly switching you around and keeping you in a state of confusion as nobody seems to know what is going on, and your eventual caseworker is always "unexpectedly" out of the office. Your caseworker never has a direct lineyou always have to leave a message with voice mail as they are never in the office. The only ones who are ever around are the ones in the office who advise you where to send your check for initial payment.
** (agent in Deerfield Beach) had such great ideas before payment was made, but like a friggin' weasel, never answered any call once payment was received. I almost lost my wages and had an impending levy that JK Harris ignored. The only way that I was able to circumvent the levy was to go to the nearest IRS regional office at the last minute and speak personally to the agent himself. Fortunately he was understanding and agreed to help me. He advised that JK Harris "ADVERTISES IN A DECEPTIVE FASHION AND IS ONLY DOING WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF BY SIMPLY STUDYING THE IRS OFFER IN COMPROMISE WORKSHEET."
The company also charges about 6 times what other companies charge to do the same work. Yet despite this extra fee, they are the worst imaginable. I was finally able to get this mess straightened out by doing my own homework.
REMEMBER THAT NO ONE HAS A VESTED INTEREST IN YOUR WELL-BEING OTHER THAN YOURSELF. Please save yourself a lot of money and grief and either do this yourself (only takes a few hours of your time) or get another company to do it for you. Whether you know it or not, how much you owe in the final analysis depends upon your income and allowable expenses for the next 48 months as well as your assets. JK Harris can not do a darn thing to change this. They only take your info and use it to fill out the forms that the IRS gives them.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: REMEMBER, IF THIS WERE SO DIFFICULT, THEN WHY ARE THERE SO MANY COMPANIES THAT OFFER TO DO THIS FOR AS LITTLE AS $500? Good luck to you and may God bless. Hope this helps... REMEMBER JK HARRIS IS A SCAM. PLEASE DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP!!!
I sent this to Plaza Associates PO Box 18008 in Hauppauge, NY after receiving fraudulent collection notices. Looking at the back of the letter, I find it interesting that the follow disclaimer states, "This letter is for information purposes only. The letter is not a demand for payment or an attempt to collect, assess, or recover a claim against you that arose before the commencement of your case." HA!
"To whom it may concern, regarding your separate letters to me and to my husband ** dated May 27, 2007, regarding case XXXXXXXX, which states that we EACH, apparently, owe $2,869.62. SOMEONE is attempting to perpetuate a fraud. That JK Harris might try it is not a surprise, but I certainly hope your company is not.
First of all, that my husband and I received SEPARATE letters would imply that we owe $5,700+ dollars. On our JK Harris contract dated 11/22/02, the contract total is $2995.00. We made an initial payment of $200 and direct installments of $300 each month from December 2002 through August of 2003.
At the risk of sounding infuriated, I am emailing you to inform you that not only do I not owe a dime to JK Harris, but that they have NEVER voluntarily contacted us since the DAY WE SIGNED OUR CONTRACT in 2002. I am endlessly amused at these letters since I filed a letter of intent with my lawyer to sue JK Harris for fraud.
We spent hours on the phone with JK Harris in 2002 and 2003, being transferred from one incompetent person to the next. Only after contacting JK Harris when the IRS was attaching our wages IN 2005 did we give up in absolute disgust. The IRS notified us that, in fact, JK Harris was a fraudulent business. We then worked with the IRS...OURSELVES. And found that in a 15-minute phone call with the IRS, we were easily able to come to a satisfactory agreement. After almost 3 years, JK Harris did not do one thing to assist us.
My intent to enter into this lawsuit against JK Harris was filed on April 20, 2007. I find the timing of this sudden accusation for a "past due balance" suspicious. If you want to pursue this nonsense past this point, contact my lawyer. My husband ** died on March 30, 2007."
I hired JK Harris and Associates about 4 years ago to negotiate an offer and compromise with the IRS. They charged me almost $7000 and said it was going to take a long time...could be up to 10 months, they said. Well its been 4 years. I'm just now finishing the negotiations with the IRS and JK Harris is nowhere to be found. They did nothing but fill out a form with the information I provided.
My IRS contact said she has never heard from JK Harris and Associates. The IRS give me a settlement of $78,000. I freaked out! When calling JK Harris, they told me that there was nothing they could do....that the IRS offer is what it is.
Well that's just not true. I finally stepped in and did my own negotiations and I reduced the $78,000 by $31,000 to $47,000. JK Harris and Associates were supposed to see this IRS ordeal to finish. But they are nowhere to be found. No calls, no updates (how could they...they aren't involved).
JK Harris and Associates are WORTHLESS!!! It would be better to go to the Taxpayer Advocacy group provided by the IRS to work on your behalf. DON'T GIVE JK HARRIS and ASSOCIATES your money. Burn it first...it'll make you feel better in the long run.
On March 24,2009, I employed J.K. Harris to help me with an I.R.S. problem. I paid them 2,300.00 upfront. I got a call from the representative handling my case and she needed me to hurry up and send all the documentation as soon as possible because she said they couldn't get started without it.
Soon after that, I found out it would not be in my best interest to go through an agency so I cancelled with J. K. Harris and asked for a refund. They told be they were taking 25% of the 2300 because they had done some work on the case and I asked what they had done without my documentation and received no answer. They also sent me a document agreeing to the reduced refund and in that document, I was to promise not to bad mouth them to anyone.
I signed the agreement reluctantly and in anger last October and it is now June of the next year and still no refund. I was emailing them every month at the beginning of the month with a reply that I am in line for payment but they can't tell me where I am at in the process or when to expect my refund. If someone out there can tell me what I can do, please let me know. Something is very wrong and that company should be accountable for their actions or inactions.
I was amazed at the number of people who also got taken by JK HARRIS. My own nightmare began on July 2001. Well after 154,677 client notes, which they sent me copies of dating from 08/16/2002 to 10/28/2004, I had enough. Lo and behold, I received a class action settlement notice. By this time I had already paid my back taxes with the IRS. $85.00 a month from March 2003 to 2006. IRS also kept every years tax return.
I negotiated my own settlement with the IRS. Thank God that is over. Well the settlement is fine except we will not see any money until Sept. 2011. That is when the "fund" has reached 6-million. What a farce. Some of us will be dead by then. I paid JK HARRIS 2,000.00 and I want it BACK.