Tax Services In Gainesville, Refund Ripoff
Published March 20th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - While people hope for a rapid tax return, these people seemed to have been ripped off. I learned first hand how this business here in gainesville train their tax preparers with scripts. A former employee says it's a shady business she hopes to shed some light on.
Via their twitter page they promise you up to 9 thousand dollars if you have 3 kids. Does it sound too good to be true? Alicia Startling a former employee of Loan Buy sell (LBS) tax services in Gainesville says thats how they scam their clients.
Starling reads, "M'am or sir i can search for more forms to get you more money legally, each form will cost more." And that's the catch, 'more forms.'
"And they told us straight out, you're not filing any extra forms... You're just making them think that you're trying to get them more money," Starling adds.
She says she was given a script to memorize, and for those clients who were angry about the extra fees, there was a way to handle them. "The way to do so is to simply say m'am or sir, remember when i told you each form i used would cost you more but make you money? That's why i was able to get you an extra $1500, please sign here," Starling says.
The LBS Tax Services here in downtown Gainesville, is where starling used to work. She says the least a customer ever got charged for their taxes was $400.
Nancy Strampello, the manager of the H&R Block in Butler Plaza says, "Unless you have a super complicated return, the return should never be that expensive. You should always receive a copy of your return. You should always have it explained in length and detail to your satisfaction."
There are two LBS Tax Services locations here in Gainesville. When we showed up and knocked at their doors they seemed to be closed. However when we gave them a call and heard we were with TV20, they immediately hung up.
If you Google search the LBS name, you will see complaints about the business and its practices from all over Florida. One customer said, 'They charged me $850 here in Jacksonville, Florida, when i called i was told it would only cost $75-$125 at the most.'
If you're suspicious about a recent filing, there are services out there to help. Strampello says, "H&R Block actually has a service and that we call our second look, where you can come and get it checked for free and if it is correct we actually give it our standard guarantee that if the IRS disagrees with it, we will pay penalty and interest."
We did reach out to the IRS to ask them about LBS Tax Services, but they say they can not comment on any specific tax preparer. They just advice tax payers to be careful about choosing who prepares your taxes and to follow the guidelines in their website.
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