Each year, we receive in the mail (in Johns Creek) these annoying, anonymous (or near anonymous) sales letters offering property owners the opportunity to sign up for their tax appeal services to help them save money on property taxes.
And yet when I read through the letter trying to find out WHO is running this service and HOW it is being serviced, the details are practically non-existent. In these offer letters for a tax appeal service, they not only want to charge a hefty upfront fee but they also get a percentage of the supposed “savings” they negotiated for you.
Each year when I do the math in my head and read these letters sent to her, I tell her what a scam these tax appeal sales letters are. My feeling is when a professional gets paid upfront, they should do the best job they can to save money for their client. They don’t get a percentage of the benefit their client receives.
Can you imagine hiring a tax accountant or tax return preparer to maximize your tax deductions and tax write-offs to help minimize paying income taxes but then they turn around ask you for an additional percentage of the great job they did of saving you taxes? It would be outrageous. Tax accountants and tax return preparers are supposed to do the best job they can for the fix fee they charge. Tax appeal services are certainly not tax accountants or tax return preparers but I view tax appeal servicing in a similar vein.
In my view, it feels icky for tax appeal servicers to ask for a percentage of the “savings” they negotiated on behalf of their client. It feels like they are taking advantage of property owners ignorance of the tax appeal process. One reason I created GTAI is to help remove the curtain behind the tax appeals process so people are more empowered to take charge of their own financial affairs and not get taken advantaged of.
I dislike and am suspicious of anonymous (or near-anonymous) offer letters that come in the mail that provide no names, information, or a website to visit. Only a phone number to call, presumably so someone can sell you on the over-priced service.
I am not saying that the parties behind these tax appeal servicers are actually engaged in fraudulent or unethical behavior but I am very suspicious. What I am saying is that it definitely feels icky how these anonymous sales letters come across. Very little information of who sent the letter, where the letter came from, how the business operates, no business website to refer to, a sales pitch playing on people’s fears and ignorance, along with a hefty upfront fee with an additional percentage compensation on the back-end.
For me, I could not recommend any business that operates in that manner. For the property owners receiving these letters, beware. Read this website, visit your county tax appeal office, and do some homework before you blindly sign up for a tax appeals service over the telephone.
Learn to do it yourself or if you must get outside help, do yourself a favor and find out who you are dealing and get details of how they operate.