Anthem Tax Services Review 2023: Honest Opinion by a Tax AttorneyTax Relief
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Anthem Tax Services
- Basics: Founded in 2010, Anthem Tax Services helps clients resolve their tax debts with the IRS and/or state tax agency. The company also provides personal and business tax preparation and bookkeeping services.
- Pros: The company has a low initial fee and a relatively generous refund policy.
- Cons: Anthem does not clearly lay out the process for its customers. Also, client reviews complained of poor communication and a disconnect between what was promised and the actual results.
- MINIMUM DEBT:
- LOCATION AVAILABILITY:
All 50 U.S States
- INITIAL FEE:
Sites indicate an initial fee starting at $250, though fees can vary.
- YEAR FOUNDED:
Anthem Tax Services focuses on resolving tax debts for its clients, claiming to have saved them “millions of dollars in back taxes.”
But is Anthem a legit tax resolution company? After all, the tax relief industry is notorious for failing to deliver on lofty promises of reducing and eliminating tax debt for their clients.
Given the industry’s spotty reputation, I decided to draw on my experience as a tax attorney to evaluate Anthem and its services. Here’s what I found.
GET TAX HELP NOWCALL 800-840-4082
Anthem Tax Services At a Glance
|Resolution Fee||$2,500 - $7,000 (Based on BBB Client Reviews)|
|Minimum Debt Required||$10,000|
|Refund Policy||100% Money-Back Guarantee (Available if Anthem Does Not Save You Money or Rework Your Payments)|
|Dedicated Case Manager||Yes|
|Speed of Service||2 - 6 months|
|Location Availability||All 50 U.S. States|
|Phone Number||(888) 548-0478|
As with other companies in this space, Anthem offers various tax relief services, including:
- Offer in Compromise
- Penalty Abatement
- Currently Not collectible Status Placement
- Installment Plans
- IRS Tax Liens
- IRS Levy/Wage Garnishment
The company also offers tax return preparation and bookkeeping services.
- BBB Accredited: A+ Rating With 5/5 Rating
- Guarantee: 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee
- Reasonable Fees: Lower than Industry Averages
How Does Anthem Tax Services Work?
Unlike some other firms in this space, Anthem does not clearly lay out the process for its customers, which is a red flag for me.
Resolving your tax debts with the IRS is confusing and stressful enough — tax relief companies like Anthem should be there to clarify the process as much as possible.
This does not inspire confidence that Anthem will ultimately serve the client, which is highlighted by the negative BBB reviews of the company.
Client reviews and third-party sites, however, do provide some insight into Anthem’s process.
Step 1: Request a “consultation.”
To sign up for Anthem’s services, you must first request a consultation through its website.
Step 2: Have a “consultation” over the phone.
The initial consultation is free, but based on the reviews, you are likely to speak to a salesperson rather than a tax professional at this stage.
The company website advertises prospective clients to “end your tax problems today with a free consultation.”
This description makes the consultation more than what it actually is — that is, an opportunity for the company to sell its services rather than preliminarily evaluating your tax debt situation.
If you decide to move forward, a tax representative will review your situation and provide options to resolve your case as well as the estimated fee for each option.
Step 3: Pay Anthem’s fee.
Once you agree on an option and pay the fee, the company claims that it will work towards resolving your case with the IRS and/or state tax agency.
There were a number of negative client reviews focusing on these stages of the process. For example, in one review, a former client complained that the company “severely misled on what result I could expect,” with the end result being that he ended up paying more to the IRS.
It is important to keep in mind that I had no way of verifying whether this review is accurate or even from an actual client of Anthem Tax Services.
However, this review and others like it, if they are true, consistently show a huge disconnect between what the client was promised and what the company actually delivered.
Related: How Far Back Can the IRS Go?
Anthem Tax Services Requirements
As mentioned above, to sign up for Anthem’s services, you must request a consultation through the company website.
Based on third-party sites, the minimum amount of tax debt required for Anthem to work with you is $10,000, which is in line with other tax relief companies.
There appears to be no other requirement to qualify for Anthem’s services
Because an installment payment plan is relatively easy to obtain with the IRS (and/or state tax agency), I suspect that Anthem will be willing to accept any case exceeding the $10,000 threshold.
Anthem Tax Services Cost
Based on BBB client reviews and third-party sites, Anthem’s fees are as follows:
|Resolution Fee||$2,500 - $7,000 (Based on BBB Client Reviews)|
Anthem charges an initial fee starting at $250 as part of its services, which is lower than other companies in this space.
It is unclear, however, what this fee is for and when it is paid.
Other tax relief companies charge an upfront fee during an “investigation” or “discovery” phase, so I suspect the fee is for the company’s presentation of your options to resolve your case.
Based on the research I found, the resolution can vary, with the typical range between $2,500 to $7,000.
Of course, this is no different than any other tax relief firm’s practices: Complex cases such as an offer in compromise will require more time and be more expensive while simpler cases will be cheaper.
How Much Could You Save with Anthem Tax Services?
The amount of money you can save depends on your specific tax situation.
In some cases, Anthem was able to substantially reduce its clients’ tax debts, based on the testimonials posted on the company website and some BBB client reviews.
In other cases, Anthem was only able to secure an installment plan for its clients.
This outcome is not uncommon — oftentimes tax reduction is not achievable, and a payment plan with the IRS is the only option to manage your tax debts.
That said, a consistent theme among the negative reviews is that clients were offered a payment plan despite lofty promises of substantial tax reduction.
For example, one client claimed that the company obtained a settlement that did not reduce his taxes and that would cripple the family budget after being “promised a forensic dive into our backed [sic] IRS taxes…and a settlement that would fit our budget and time to repay.”
Assuming this client review is true, this disconnect shows, at a minimum, that Anthem was not upfront with the client on the possibility of not being able to reduce his back taxes.
At its worst, the review suggests that Anthem employs aggressive sales pitches of substantial tax reduction in order to get the fee from the client without properly evaluating whether the client can qualify for such relief.
Related: Ultimate Guide to Filing Back Taxes
Anthem Tax Services Pros and Cons
- Low Initial Fee: Anthem has an initial fee starting at $250, which is comparatively lower than other tax relief firms.
- Money-Back Guarantee: Customers are allowed to get a refund if Anthem fails to save them taxes or rework their tax debts. However, client reviews suggest some difficulty in obtaining a refund.
- Disconnect Between Promises and Actual Results: A lot of client reviews pointed out that Anthem did nothing for them or only negotiated a payment plan on their behalf, despite promises of substantial tax reduction in the beginning.
- Poor Communication: In a number of client reviews, former clients complained of high staff turnover on their case and having to repeatedly call to find out the status of their tax situation.
- Lack of Clear Process: Anthem does not clearly lay out the process for its customers, which can contribute to further confusion on the part of the client.
Is Anthem Tax Services Legit?
Anthem has a middling rating of 3.64/5.00 on the BBB website.
The company did receive some favorable BBB reviews, but there were also several negative reviews specifically pointing out the company’s poor customer service and the disconnect between Anthem’s promises and the end result.
We describe the guarantee policy and negative client reviews further below.
Anthem provides a money-back guarantee if it does not save you money or rework your tax debts with the IRS (and/or state tax agency).
At first glance, the guarantee is more robust than other firms in this space.
But if you look closer, the guarantee may be less generous than it sounds.
After all, obtaining an installment plan with the IRS is relatively easy — does that count as “reworking your tax debt?”
Additionally, client reviews suggest that obtaining a refund is quite difficult in some cases.
In one review, a former client requested his money back after realizing Anthem was doing nothing with his case.
According to him, the company refused to provide the refund because it had already claimed to have resolved his case.
Assuming the client’s claims are true, this suggests some inconsistency between Anthem’s stated guarantee policy and the actual process of obtaining the refund.
Anthem Tax Service Complaints and Customer Reviews
As mentioned above, the company received several negative BBB reviews. The following table lists some representative examples of the negative BBB reviews:
|Reviewer||Issue||My Take (Assuming Reviewer’s Claims Are True)|
|Toro M. 02/02/2022||Toro claimed that he asked whether he was eligible for an Offer in Compromise (“OIC”) on his tax debts and was told by an Anthem representative that he qualified for the program. The representative asked him to pay the $2,500 fee to move forward with the OIC process.
According to Toro, the company failed to reach out or submit anything to the IRS for several months. Then, Toro claimed that a representative reached out to inform him that he no longer qualified for the OIC program, based on his new finances (i.e., a new job). Anthem refused to refund the fee back to Toro, leaving him to deal with his tax debts.
|Assuming Toro’s claims are true, the fact that Anthem failed to do anything on behalf of the client after receiving the fee and despite telling him he qualified for an OIC is especially concerning. The disconnect suggests, at a minimum, that Anthem failed to advocate for its client after receiving the fee despite promises to reduce Toro’s tax debts.
To be fair, the representative may be correct in stating that a change in Toro’s finances could impact his eligibility for the OIC program. However, the fact that the client was surprised at his disqualification from the program suggests that Anthem may not have been upfront with him on the requirements for the OIC program.
|Nina R. 08/24/2021||Nina claimed that, despite “promising us everything” on her tax debts, she could never reach anyone assigned to her case on phone and was constantly passed around to other representatives after she paid the fee.
In the few instances she was able to reach someone, Nina claims that the representative was not especially helpful. In one troubling exchange, she claimed that the representative requested Nina to give her a good business review before she would perform one specific task on her case. In another case, she claimed that one of the owners of the firm emailed her to assure her that the Anthem team was working during the pandemic, but the email was nonfunctional when she tried to respond back.
According to Nina, she ultimately ended up owing twice her original tax debt and has not received a refund on the fees from Anthem.
|If Nina’s claims are true, her inability to reach anyone about her case is concerning. As a firm that claims that it is “passionate about [its] work” and “inspired to resolve your tax situation,” Anthem should, at a minimum, return her calls and periodically update Nina on her case. The firm’s lack of communication suggests that no dedicated representative is steering her case towards resolution.
Additionally, the treatment of her case before and after payment of the fee hits at a common complaint against Anthem – that is, the company employs a “bait and switch” approach where it gives lofty promises to clients about their tax situation in the beginning, but ultimately fails to deliver on such promises.
|Stacey T. 01/26/2021||Stacey claimed that she retained Anthem’s services two years ago, but could not get phone calls or emails returned over the two-year period, despite paying the $2,500 fee. The former client even cites specific excuses the company has provided for its lack of communication, including “We are moving offices and I cannot locate your files” and the “case manager suddenly retired and your case has not yet been reassigned.”
Stacey further claims that the company would only call her on matters related to the fee. In one example, she claimed that the President of the company called to inform her that the fee she paid was too low and that Anthem would require another payment to continue with her case.
|Stacey’s experience, if true, again highlights Anthem’s poor client service after the company has received its fee, a common complaint against tax relief companies in general.
The lack of communication over such a long period of time, and the excuses cited in the review, are problematic from a client service perspective. Achieving a resolution with the IRS is time-consuming and confusing enough – the lack of communication from a tax relief company that is supposedly in your corner only compounds the problem.
The fact that the company only calls for fee-related matters is also concerning. Of course, it is not uncommon to seek an increase in fees if the case turns out to be more complex. However, the company should be upfront about the possibility of fee increases and pay just as much attention to the resolution of the case and the client experience as it does to the fees.
|Sam G. 11/07/2020||Sam claimed that he paid Anthem $3,000 in fees after the company promised him it could resolve his tax debt issue.
According to Sam, upon paying the fee, he sent over the required documents (including pay stubs), but the company failed to bother reviewing his documents. Sam claimed that he repeatedly tried contacting someone assigned to his case to no avail. Finally, when he was able to reach someone, Sam claims the representative incorrectly told him that his monthly income was $15,000, and that he could only qualify for an installment plan with the IRS. Sam claims that the company incorrectly calculated his income and failed to take into account his expenses.
In his review, Sam mentions the case is still unresolved and that “they simply don't care and they do a very shoddy job once you pay them.”
|Assuming Sam’s claims are true, it is another instance of the company overpromising at the beginning and failing to perform the basic due diligence required to resolve the tax debt once the fee is paid.
The company’s failure to correctly calculate his income and expenses, if true, is especially concerning. The review does not detail what type of relief Sam and Anthem were pursuing, but I suspect it was an OIC. As someone that has worked on putting together OICs, capturing the client’s taxable income is integral to the approval or rejection of the request. The fact that Anthem did not properly do this shows that the company either failed at performing the one item necessary for an OIC, or, in the worst case, failed to properly vet whether the client actually qualified for such relief.
Alternatives to Anthem Tax Service
Below is a comparison of Anthem’s services and other established tax relief companies:
|Anthem Tax Services||Choice Tax Relief|
|Jackson Hewitt Tax Resolution||Community Tax|
|Minimum Debt Required||
|Dedicated Case Manager||
|Speed of Service||
|Tax Relief Phone Number||
Is Anthem Tax Services Worth It?
In my opinion, Anthem’s services are not worth the trouble.
Based on several client reviews, the company fails to deliver on the lofty promises it makes to clients with respect to their tax situation and provides poor customer service (e.g., no call backs, constant reassignment to another case manager, etc.) once it receives the resolution fee.
Who Anthem Tax Service Is Best For
Anthem Tax Services is best for individuals with simple tax debt situations (e.g., tax lien, wage garnishment) that prefer to hand off their tax case to someone else.
Who Anthem Tax Service Is Not For
Anthem Tax Services is not for individuals with more complex cases that like to be involved in the process.
Some client reviews have suggested that Anthem fails to perform basic due diligence necessary for the resolution in a timely manner, something that is required for cases where the client has a complex financial situation and several years of back taxes.
Ultimately, a number of client reviews showed that Anthem provided poor customer service and failed to deliver on promises made to clients in the beginning with respect to their tax case.
Additionally, the company does not lay out a clear process for resolving tax debt cases, which adds further confusion to clients already dealing with a stressful situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is Anthem Tax?
Anthem Tax helps clients with their tax debts with the IRS (and/or state tax agency). The company also provides tax return and bookkeeping preparation services.
- Are tax relief companies legit?
There are some tax relief companies that provide their clients with realistic expectations on their tax debt options and genuinely try to help them through their tax issues. That said, the tax relief industry is notorious for misleading clients on the reduction of tax debts, poor client service, and opaque pricing. You should do your due diligence if you are considering retaining a tax debt relief firm to help resolve your tax debts.
- Are tax relief companies worth it?
You are not required to retain a tax relief firm to resolve your tax debts. It is worth noting that you can do all the things that tax relief companies can do, including requesting a reduction in your tax debts, entering into an installment plan, and/or placing your case into Currently Not Collectible status.
- How do I get relief from IRS debt?
There are a variety of ways to obtain IRS relief, including entering into an Offer in Compromise for a reduced tax settlement or agreeing to an installment payment plan with the IRS.
- Who owns Anthem Tax service?
Anthem Tax Services appears to be owned by Josh Kahn, who is also the current Chief Executive Officer of the company.
- Where is Anthem Tax Services located?
Anthem Tax Services is based in Los Angeles, California.
Steve Ching, J.D., covers tax topics for Money Done Right. He is a practicing tax attorney and also has several years of experience at national accounting firms. Steve is passionate about writing and helping people understand and resolve their tax issues.
Logan is a practicing CPA and founder of Choice Tax Relief and Money Done Right. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.