Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Product Endorsement: Tax Resources, Inc Audit Protection

I've been paying the $35 a year fee for TaxResource's audit protection service every year in recent years as part of my turbotax filing. The product is essentially an insurance scheme. The $35 a year buys you representation in case the IRS audits you for any reason --- they'll represent you, deal with the paperwork, meet with the IRS agents, etc. I always wondered whether this is money being poured down the drain or whether these guys would actually pull through for me.

A great opportunity to find out happened this year --- I received a notification that I was in arrears for a money market fund I bought and sold in 2004. I had made no money from the fund other than the tax-exempt interest, so I'd assumed that I did not need to file for it. Naturally, I was wrong. I received an IRS notification in June, and called TaxResources.

I sent them supporting documentation, a power of attorney form, and they took care of everything. Not only that, every time I called them, my representative always had my file at her fingertips, and always knew what was going on. Every time they spoke with the IRS, they'd call me and tell me what was going on. When the matter was finally resolved (in August, and yes, in my favor), they called me before I even had a chance to check my mail! All through the process, the folks I worked with exhibited confidence, competence, and provided customer service that I didn't expect.

So from now on, I'm happy to pay their $35 fee. It's money well spent. Given how complicated my taxes have become, the nominal fee paid for the insurance provides good peace of mind.
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