Republic Tax Relief 2023: Honest Review by a Tax AttorneyTax Relief
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Republic Tax Relief
- Basics: Founded in 2006, Republic Tax Relief helps taxpayers resolve their state and/or IRS tax debts.
- Pros: The company does not appear to have a required minimum of tax debt to work with you, based on the lack of information on its website or in former client reviews.
- Cons: Several reviewers complained about the company’s lack of responsiveness, deceptive billing practices and/or a misleading money back guarantee.
- MINIMUM DEBT:
- LOCATION AVAILABILITY:
All 50 U.S. States
- INITIAL FEE:
$500 - $540
- YEAR fOUNDED:
Based in Corona, California, Republic Tax Relief provides tax resolution services for individuals and businesses alike. The company claims that, since its founding in 2006, it has appealed over $165 million in back taxes and has over 32,000 happy customers.
The numbers here are impressive, but how do Republic Tax Relief’s services actually measure up? After all, the tax relief industry is plagued with companies that promise substantial tax reduction while providing subpar service.
To find out whether Republic Tax Relief lives up to its hype, I decided to dig into the company’s services and customer reviews – here is what I found.
- BBB Accredited: A+ Rating With 5/5 Rating
- Guarantee: 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee
- Reasonable Fees: Lower than Industry Averages
- CPAs and Former IRS Officers: Decades of Combined Experience
How Does Republic Tax Relief Work?
Republic Tax Relief provides a three-step process for resolving your IRS and/or state tax debts:
The company’s process appears similar to the process at other tax relief firms. However, other than the graphic above, the company provides no further detail on each stage. For example, what type of “protection” does Republic Tax Relief offer in the first step? Is it relief from wage garnishment, bank levy, etc.? Is there an “investigation” fee that other firms charge?
Of course, customer reviews can shed light on such questions. That said, it would be helpful for Republic Tax Relief to provide more insight into how it handles the process, especially since clients may be forking over thousands of dollars for the company’ services.
Step 1: Protection
To sign up for Republic Tax Relief’s services, you must first request a free tax consultation online or over the phone.
Although the company claims that all cases are handled by “skilled tax professionals”, you will likely be speaking with a salesperson during the consultation, based on a number of client reviews. For example, in one review, a client wrote that a company representative told him he was a good candidate to have his taxes expunged or significantly reduced. Despite these promises, he claimed that Republic Tax Relief did absolutely nothing for him over the year and a half that he was a client. Ultimately, despite paying thousands of dollars in fees, he ended up in the same place he was before he contacted Republic Tax Relief.
Joel’s experience, if true, personifies how some tax relief firms mislead their clients by making lofty promises and failing to deliver. To be fair, very few clients actually qualify for substantial tax reduction. That said, Republic Tax Relief should have been more upfront with the client on this possibility.
Step 2: Investigation
If you decide to move forward with Republic Tax Relief, you will need to pay a flat fee for the company to investigate your case.
During this phase, the company claims it will evaluate and provide a few options for resolving your case.
Step 3: Resolution
If and once you agree to Republic Tax Relief’s proposed resolution, the company will supposedly execute on the plan developed under the investigation phase.
However, several customer reviews paint a different story. For example, in one review, one former client claimed that, despite paying $3,000 in fees and signing two separate agreements, “[they] received no resolution and no assistance with the IRS.” The client also claimed that the company double billed him, refused to return phone calls, and took weeks to respond to his emails. Ultimately, the client terminated its agreement with Republic Tax Relief, at which point the company supplied a final invoice deviating from the fees agreed to by both parties.
I have no way of knowing whether Steven’s claims are accurate. However, his claims, if true show that the company may employ deceptive billing practices and are not communicative during the resolution process.
How to Qualify for Republic Tax Relief
If you are interested in retaining the company, you must first set up an initial free consultation through the website or over the phone.
We did not find any information as to whether Republic Tax Relief has a required minimum amount of debt required for the company to work with you or any other requirements. That said, in the FAQs section of its website, the company states that it does “not take on all cases and sometimes it is hard to tell clients they will not be a good candidate, but we would rather give you the cold hard reality of the situation, than lead you on.”
Republic Tax Relief At a Glance
|Services||Tax Resolution (Business and Individual)
Tax Compliance (Business and Individual)
|Fees||$3,000 - $7,000 (Can be higher depending on the case)|
|Minimum Debt Required||Unknown|
|Refund Policy||Within 14 days from the start of the Investigation phase|
|Dedicated Case Manager||Unknown|
|Speed of Service||Varies|
|Location Availability||All 50 U.S. States|
|Phone Number||(800) 676-6014|
Republic Tax Relief provides a whole slate of tax debt resolution services as other companies, including:
- Offers in Compromise
- Installment agreements
- Currently not collectible
- Wage garnishment/bank levies
- State tax relief
The company also offers tax preparation/compliance (including back tax filings) services for individuals and businesses.
Republic Tax Relief Fees
The company does not disclose the fees on its website, but customer reviews and third-party sites show the following:
|Investigation Fee||$500 - $540|
|Resolution Fee||$3,000 - $7,000 (Can be higher depending on the case)|
Based on client reviews and third-party websites, Republic Tax Relief charges an initial investigation fee between $500 and $540 to investigate and provide options for resolving your case.
Republic Tax Relief’s resolution fees can range from $3,000 to $7,000, which is in line with the fees of other firms in this space.
That said, in at least one review (already described above), one client claimed that the company double billed its time and charged fees that exceeded what the parties agreed upon.
How Much Could You Save with Republic Tax Relief?
The amount of money you can save with Republic depends on your specific tax debt case.
Several customers reviews, however, paint a picture of the company failing to do anything and/or dragging their case for years.
Republic Tax Relief Pros and Cons
- No Disclosed Required Minimum Tax Debt: The company does not appear to have a required minimum of tax debt to work with you, based on the lack of information on its website or in former client reviews.
- Poor communication: Several clients claimed that the company is not responsive throughout the process and drags your case for years.
- Deceptive billing practices: Some clients complained that Republic Tax Relief doubled them for the same work and had errors in their invoices.
- Misleading Money Back Guarantee Policy: In at least one review, one client claimed that the money back guarantee is misleading because the company does not do anything until after the guarantee period passes.
Is Republic Tax Relief Legit?
THC has a 4.65 (out of 5.0) rating on BBB and some positive reviews on other websites. There were, however, several negative reviews on BBB and other review sites
The following table lists some representative examples of reviews across BBB and other websites:
|Reviewer||Issue||My Take (Assuming Reviewer’s Claims are True)|
|Melanie reached out to Republic Tax Relief in 2019 to help out with her tax debts and because it was a veteran-owned company.
Even though she paid $5,000, she claims she only received sporadic email updates (with dates changed) and little to no update on the status of her case over a two year period.
She claimed that the company told her the IRS was backed up, but believed she should not have had to pay all the fees given the lack of progress.
Ultimately, she was disappointed in the company’s services and surprised that it would take advantage of an elderly individual on a fixed income.
|Melanie’s claims, if true, are concerning.
Given that she paid $5,000 in fees, the company’s lack of responsiveness on her case over a 2-year period is simply unacceptable. Individuals struggling with tax debts are often vulnerable and overwhelmed. This is especially true if the individual is elderly and on a fixed income. In these cases, a trusted tax advisor is needed not only to navigate the tax resolution process, but provide frequent updates on the case to reassure the client that their case is being handled.
Republic Tax Relief, however, did not do anything close to this. Rather, based on Melanie’s experience, it seemed like the company did not prioritize her case after it received the $5,000 fee.
|Anonymous BBB Complainant
|This unnamed BBB complainant reached out to Republic Tax Relief to handle his/her tax debts with the IRS, which had ballooned to over $53,000.
The former client claimed that he/she paid the $500 investigation fee and reached an agreement to pay over $200 per month to Republic Tax Relief for the remainder of the fees.
After paying the fees, the client received various IRS letters, which Republic Tax Relief advised the client to disregard. Then, a few months later, the company sent a text informing the client that the IRS was going to garnish his/her bank account and to call the agency to set up a payment plan, which s/he had expected the company would do on his/her behalf.
Shortly thereafter, the company texted the client again to inform him/her that the company could not do anything else with his/her case.
|This former client’s claims, if true, are disturbing.
First, the client seemed to be caught off guard at various points in her case, including receiving IRS letters and receiving texts from Republic Tax Relief that s/he needed to set up a payment plan with the IRS. This suggests that the company failed to provide updates or explain the case to the client, which was further supported by the fact that the company’s preferred method of communication was through text.
Additionally, I was surprised to read that the company texted the client to tell him/her to set up a payment plan with the IRS. On its website, Republic Tax Relief advertises that it can help the clients set up a payment plan with the IRS, so this should have been taken care of by the company.
|Michelle reached out to Republic Tax Relief to help resolve her IRS tax debts.
She thought the company was working on her case for three years, only to find out that the company failed to do anything on her case during this period.
She further claimed that company will “ghost” you and that it was difficult to reach the actual tax attorney working on her case.
Ultimately, Michelle claimed that she paid over $6,000 in fees only for the company to tell her it could do nothing for her case.
|Michelle’s experience, if true, is troubling.
First, the company did nothing for her case or presumably provide updates on her situation for 3 years. Additionally, it was difficult to get a hold of the tax practitioner resolving her case.
These two details show that the company is either not committed to resolving your case once it receives the fee or is not competent in navigating through the IRS resolution process.
Republic Tax Relief does not appear to disclose whether it has a money back guarantee policy on its website.
Based on at least one review, the company has a money back guarantee if such request is made within 15 days from the start of the investigation phase. In that same review, the client claimed the Republic Tax Relief’s money back guarantee is all smoke and mirrors, given that the company completes the assessment of your case (i.e., investigation of your situation) on or shortly before the end of the 15-day period.
Alternatives to Republic Tax Relief
Below is a comparison of Republic Tax Relief and other established tax relief companies:
|Republic Tax Relief||Choice Tax Relief|
|Tax Defense Network||Ideal Tax Solution|
|Minimum Debt Required||
|Dedicated Case Manager||
|Speed of Service||
|Tax Relief Phone Number||
Is Republic Tax Relief Worth It?
Based on customer reviews, I don’t believe Republic Tax Relief is worth the money.
The company did have some positive reviews, but also received several negative comments on its services. Importantly, these comments focused on the company’s lack of responsiveness and tendency to drag out the case for years. In addition, a few former clients complained about the company’s deceptive billing practices and its bait-and-switch approach to its money back guarantee policy.
In my opinion, you need a tax advisor that is transparent and responsive to steer your tax debt case to resolution, which these reviewers claim the company falls short of.
Who Republic Tax Relief Is Best For
Republic Tax Relief is best for clients with relatively simple cases and who prefer a hands-off approach to resolving their tax debts.
Who Republic Tax Relief Is Not For
Republic Tax Relief is not for clients who have more complex cases and want to have frequent updates on the status of their case.
As mentioned above, the company does not appear to have a required amount of debt in order to work with you and has a number of positive reviews on BBB and other websites.
At the same time, many former clients complained of the company’s lack of responsiveness and tendency to drag their case out for years. A few clients also claimed that the company has a misleading money back guarantee and deceptive billing practices. Given this, Republic Tax Relief may not be the best tax advisor to help you navigate and resolve your tax liabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are tax relief programs real?
Individuals and businesses with tax debts can qualify for various tax relief programs, including tax debt reduction and suspension of IRS collection activities. That said, these tax relief programs have specific and strict requirements for who can qualify.
- How can I get relief from tax debt?
Individuals with significant tax debt issues can apply to the IRS to have their debts reduced or even fully eliminated under qualifying programs. These programs include Offer in Compromise, Currently not Collectable, and other agency programs
You should do your due diligence if you are thinking about retaining a tax relief firm to represent your case.
- Is there really the IRS Fresh Start Program?
Many tax relief companies incorrectly claim that the IRS Fresh Start Program is a separate tax relief program that can substantially reduce or even eliminate your tax debts. In reality, the program was initiated in 2011 and adopted more flexible and taxpayer-friendly changes to the Offer in Compromise program.
- Can you negotiate with the IRS without a lawyer?
You are not required to retain a lawyer to help you negotiate with the IRS. You can submit an Offer-in-Compromise or a request to place an account on Currently not Collectable without the necessary law degree.
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.