The Rise and Fall of Roni Deutch
IRS tax help and tax resolution scams are on the rise everywhere. Many tax resolution companies have flourished during the economic downturn because a plenty of desperate people have pending taxes they can’t pay. Similar to JK Harris and TaxMasters, Roni Deutch is another name in the tax resolution industry that was discovered to be fraudulent and ended up in the tax relief scam list. Self described herself as the “Tax Lady,” Roni Deutch preyed on innocent, troubled taxpayers who were hoping to settle their tax issues with the IRS. Using high-pressure sales tactics, Ms. Deutch swindled millions from taxpayers without providing any resolution to their tax problem.
Scam Artist: Roni Deutch
In 1991, Roni started a law office under her name in a small one room condominium and initially, her firm began as one-person practice in Sacramento, California. However, she was able to develop her firm into a big professional tax corporation, occupying 20,000 square foot building in North Highlands, CA and has grown into largest tax resolution law firm in the nation.
After years of success in leading the firm, Roni launched her first own retail tax preparation company in 2006 with services mainly focused on providing quality income tax return preparation. One year later, she began selling franchises under the name "Roni Deutch Tax Center, RTDC Inc." By 2009, it has become one of the fastest growing franchise companies in the country with around 80 RTDC locations in 23 USA states. Deutch appeared in several television news shows offering tax advice and she also wrote two books related to taxes. No doubt, she became a popular media personality and one of the few go-to tax experts in America.
While the growth rate of Roni Deutch tax resolution firm was phenomenal, she has been challenged several times in court at the same time. In 2006, Roni settled a lawsuit filed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) for deceptive advertising practices by paying $300,000, including $100,000 in fines and $200,000 in restitution to affected consumers. Also, lots of complaints were raised by her clients stating that she took large up-front payments but provided little or no help in lowering their tax bills.
In 2010, California Attorney General Office sued Roni Deutch by filing a $34 million lawsuit, alleging that her law firm falsely represents their success rate in negotiating tax resolution for clients and overstating their ability to lower payments with the IRS. Roni was also hit with serious other allegations that includes deliberately destroying documents of pertinent evidence. In April 2011, the California court has frozen all of her assets after the Attorney General asked to hold Deutch in contempt of court for shredding millions of pages of documents and wrongfully diverting funds out of the company.
“Tax Lady” Closes Up Shop
On May 2011, the tax lady, who gained a measure of fame from late night TV commercials, announced that she will be closing her law firm and will surrender her license to practice law as well. Later, Roni Deutch submitted her resignation to the California State Bar and is not eligible to practice law anymore. Ms. Deutch is now facing hundreds of contempt of court charges and possible prison time.
Get Real Help
The various cases of fraud in the tax relief industry shows that delusory advertisements that promise instant tax solutions, “pennies on the dollar” and huge refunds are all a scam. One on the other hand, there are many honest and legitimate tax resolution firms who can really help you resolve tax problems with the IRS. Hire a tax professional or a tax firm that gives you a clear, accurate and genuine tax resolution, not a rosy picture and hollow promises.