Dealing with the ACS (Automated Collection System) of the IRS can be a Nightmare

Having a bad day? Take it out
by levying someones bank account
or sending out a wage garnishment!
If you are miserable why shouldn't
everyone else be?  IRS ACS

Here is a brief example of what I deal with on a daily basis throughout the work week:

1) Wait on hold from anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour (most often closer to an hour).

2) Speak to some angry IRS collection representatives who has been brainwashed to think that people who don't pay their taxes are criminals and deserve to be told a lesson about how morally correct it is to pay their taxes on time (which is really annoying for me having to hear the same lecture every time I call).

3) You think judges who legislate from the bench are bad?  Try dealing with a lowly IRS bill collector who tries to legislate from his cubicle.

Example:  I had a client last week who owed an amount so low that by law she was guaranteed a 5-year installment agreement.  I asked for this particular client to be placed into this type of payment plan and the ACS Agent says to me, "This taxpayer has avoided us for so long, why should we place her on an installment agreement."  I politely said, "Because per the tax code the Service is required to grant this taxpayers request."  The agent says he doesn't believe this taxpayer deserves to be placed on a payment plan and they are going to continue to garnish her wages if I can not convince him why they should lift the wage levy (garnishment)!!!  Immediately after he said that I asked to speak with a supervisor and of course it was going to take 24-48 hours for one to call me back. So I called back talked to another agent and had the payment plan set up and garnishment released (although instead of faxing to me they mailed it to the employer which is another story).

Dealing with the IRS Automated Collection Systems (ACS) is a nightmare and continues to get worse.  If this economy is as bad as the media says it is (or is it a conspiracy so billionaires can get away with paying employees less so they can skim more off the top?) then the IRS should have no problem finding competent employees to staff their collection division (although being competent and having a desire to work for an oppressive big brother organization like the IRS is a paradoxical juxtaposition of two seemingly contradictory values). 

4) Good luck trying to find two ACS agents who will tell you the same thing.  Sometimes I just have to laugh at the misinformation that these agents spew.  If you don't know the laws you are screwed, although the IRS is able to convince some misguided individuals, they ARE NOT THERE TO HELP YOU!

I could not imagine being a taxpayer who owes money and dealing with the IRS/ACS on my own.

Nicholas Hartney, E.A.


What Clients Are Saying...

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A Few Clients Nice Enough To Allow Me To Place On My Blog (Unsolicited References)

Robert (Bob) Telischak 720-226-2843 or 303-494-5885

Grand Lake Security Center, Inc.: Diana Rice 918-782-9020 or 918-782-2731

AAA Plumbing and Heating: Scott Landsgroener (989) 426-4733

Dave Cooley  720.290.1356


I failed to file tax returns to the IRS for over 10 years.  Finally, this problem caught up with me and the IRS levied my bank accounts, leaving me with absolutely zero amounts in my checking and saving accounts.  More, they garnished my retirement pay by an amount that would have only left me about $300 per month from the $3,000 I usually receive.
Naturally, I was in a panic.  I had seen all the commercials on TV for tax resolution companies, but each one failed scrutiny via Google searches about complaints against them.  I didn't know what to do so I tried Googling for local tax resolution companies and found Nick Hartney's website,  
I checked his company out on the Internet and couldn't find a single complaint ... I gave him a call.  
Here are the facts I've learned:
1.  You see TV commercial after TV commercial from companies promising to handle your IRS problems for "pennies on the dollar" and each is BS ... that is, unless you are in certain circumstances that only apply to a very few ... that's how they try to get away with making the "pennies on the dollar" claims
2. Nevertheless, most of the "TV commercial companies" eventually wind up being busted by the Federal Trade Commission and/or their local state attorney generals office ... such as Roni Deutch, American Tax Relief, Tax Masters and just about any other tax resolution company you see advertised on TV!
3. You're going to have to file your back tax returns and you're going to have to pay the IRS, including penalties, interest and fees ... the only questions are how can you get the back returns filed quickly and then negotiate with the IRS for how much you'll have to pay each month to enable the IRS to release bank levies, garnishments and withhold action to take your home -- that's where a tax resolution expert can help and Nick is an expert in this field
No "pie in the sky" promises; no unrealistic expectations, Nick tells you the facts and then goes to work to get your returns filed and then negotiate the best deal possible with the IRS to enable you to pay the lowest amount each month possible (that amount will be high ... but not as high as it would be if you tried this on your own!).
Nick is an honest player in a sea of dishonest big TV advertised companies.  He saved my financial life.  Plain and simple.
Dave Cooley  720.290.1356


Hi Nick,

Thanks for staying in touch. You should be commended on your professional and timely correspondence.

John A.

You are great. Hope I have a chance to meet you personally and shake your hand. If the world had more people like you it would be a blessing.


Melinda F.

YOU are THE man! thanks again

Gerry D.

If I don't talk to you again before the holidays I wish you all the best and a great big huge fat THANK YOU !!!!

Diana R.

Why does Omni-Financial, Berkshire Capital Partners and other tax resolution companies have a decent BBB record but horrible reputations?

Get a call from Omni-Finanical or Berkshire Capital Partners regarding a federal or state tax lien?  Read this and my other posts before deciding on who to hire for back tax debt help.


Get a call from a tax resolution company due to a federal or state tax lien being filed? Did it sound anything like this video?

Because of the high level of competition in the tax help/resolution industry there are several telemarketing companies slick enough to realize that it is smarter to refund a client in full then to get another BBB complaint.  On average, I am able to assist my clients by drafting a demand of refund letter after they realize they had been hoodwinked (i.e. the sales guy tells them one thing, the person assigned to their case tells them another and asks them several more thousands of dollars in the process).  

Another trick they use to mislead consumers is to change the business name by using a dba name such as Berkshire Financial Consulting who bought a company called Quantum Financial in 2008.  

Quantum Financial had a horrible BBB record due to the amount of complaints and also had several lawsuits pending.  All of a sudden an out of state company came in and took over the same clients, same employees, same building, same phone number (i.e. an alter ego of Quantum).  They registered with the BBB and overnight had an A+ rating.  It is undetermined if Berkshire was a shell company (i.e. if it was even doing business and/or if it provided the same services they do now - it is extremely unlikely that they did).  Of course it was inevitable being that they were hit with BBB complaints and when they were they quickly changed their operating name from Berkshire Financial Partners to Berkshire Capital Partners.  

The BBB clearly did not do its due diligence even though several competitors reported this to them.  When you take into account that the BBB gave the middle east terror group Hamas an A- after a group of joksters registered it in 2010 you start to see the bigger picture (ABC NEWS BBB HAMAS)

If you are looking for help it is smart to use someone who is independent, someone you can talk to-not to their assistants or another sales person.  Bigger companies, trust me, view you as a dollar sign and not a person.   The ones who do care about their clients are the ones who refuse to continue to work for big companies that require them to squeeze their book of clients every month so they can hit their commission quota.  That is the bottom line. 

Nicholas Hartney, E.A.

Addendum:I would like to say that I have been in this industry long enough to see many of my once colleagues go on and either create their own business or become a manager at one of these firms. They all started out with good intentions but after they got a taste of the money they quickly sell out and their ethics go down the drain. Of course they will tell you that they are not boiler rooms but the fact is they are.

They have their managers knock on the doors of their tax professionals offices daily, every hour asking them how much money they have coming in. When I was at Omni-Financial from 2002-2004 I remember the meetings of their management staff every morning in front of the whole company (I would say approximately 100 people at that time)going around the room and asking each Associate (tax professional) how much money they had coming in on that day and throughout the week. They were so much of a boiler room that they would make you pick up your clients checks using Federal Express and you would have to write on the "Money Board" where everyone could see who you "rewrote" (i.e. ask for additional money above the initial sales contract) and throughout the day made you confirm three times by marking x 1, x 2, x 3. They were blood thirsty vampires, and their employees and clients were nothing more than a means to the owners end. If you continued to miss your quota you were fired, the turnover rate was remarkable. It was ALL about money, don't let them fool you. Look up boiler room in a dictionary and you will find Omni-Financial.


How to Get Your Money Back From Tax Resolution Companies

Because of the high level of competition in the tax debt help/resolution industry some companies remain concerned with their BBB report.  I know one large tax firm in Colorado who will give you a refund if you:

1) Threaten to report them to the Better Business Bureau.

2) If you threaten the person who signed your power of attorney individually by reporting them to their states BAR (if an attorney) and/or the Office of Professional Responsibility.

3) File a complaint with your State's Attorney Generals Office.

Most of the companies out there already have such a poor BBB record that they do not care about further complaints in which case it is best to go directly to the person assigned to your case (assuming they are even licensed) with your threat and refund demand.  Send them a thirty day demand of refund letter specify your issues you had with their services and/or marketing lies (i.e. the sales guy told you it would be a flat fee and a few months later they are asking you for several more thousand dollars).

The State Attorney Generals Office should be used as a last resort.  Attorney General Offices across the country have already shut down or sued various tax resolution companies such as JK Harris, Tax Masters, American Tax Relief and Roni Deutch among others.

I can help you draft a formal letter if you need assistance.  Last month I helped my clients obtain refunds of $11,500 from money they were duped out of by slick talking high pressure con artists.  Please contact me at 720.340.4065 or email  and I will help you not only solve your tax situation but also get your money back from these bottom feeders.