buying a franchise

Tax Service Franchisees vs IRS

Government Goes after Instant Tax Service Franchisees for Fraudulent Returns

LOS ANGELES – As the deadline for filing tax returns is fast approaching, tax preparation companies are busy advertising their services to beat the competition.  One company, self-proclaimed as one of the fastest growing tax services in the nation, is having to work a little harder than others. Last year the tax preparation firm was sued by the U.S. government on claims of violating federal tax laws through its franchisees. 

After complaints were filed last March against Instant Tax Service and franchisees in five different states alleging store owners were intentionally filing fraudulent tax returns to maximize customer refunds, a district court in California took its own action. The court order permanently barred a husband and wife team out of Rancho Palos Verdes from engaging in certain abusive practices in their multiple Los Angeles offices.

Central District Judge Michael Fitzgerald signed a permanent injunction order stating the franchise owners are now barred from preparing tax forms with unsubstantiated business income, falsely claiming education credits, improperly claiming false filing status and reporting false dependents. They are also prohibited from selling deceptive loan products, and preparing tax returns based on information from employee paystubs rather than employer-issued W-2 forms.

Henock Teferi and wife Ruth Berhane, operating under their Plover Financial Services company, have been shut down since 2011. The court order issued last month requires them to select an outside monitor to review a sample of tax returns that they prepare in connection with their tax preparation business. The franchisees must also report to a designated representative of the United States government to ensure compliance with the injunction. In addition, the order states that they are barred from marketing abusive loan products, including holiday or instant cash loans or advance loan products offered to customers based on information obtained from customers’ paystubs.

The California franchisees have consented to the permanent injunction without admitting the allegation brought against them. If they violate the injunction, they may be subject to civil and criminal sanctions for contempt of court.

The Department of Justice is attempting to permanently shut down Instant Tax Service. The franchisor operates under parent company ITS Financial LLC in Dayton, Ohio. The five civil injunction suits allege Instant Tax has been “deliberately ignoring systemic and pervasive fraud through its franchisees.” Also named in the government’s lawsuit against the franchisor is owner Fesum Ogbazion. The court has entered a preliminary injunction, and trial is scheduled for May 2013.

Business as usual?

On its website today, Instant Tax Service advertises its services as usual—its beautiful offices, a 2013 loan program and opportunities to buy franchises. It also advertises its high ratings in franchise publications. In 2009 it was ranked 93rd in Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 fastest growing private businesses, showing its three-year growth at 1,658 percent, up from 2008 revenue of $27.2 million. The tax preparation franchisor also promotes its success in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500, listed as No. 1 in 2007.

Now, right at tax season, those accolades at the bottom of its web page are marred by the required posting of the Department of Justice complaint, the lawsuit that is trying to shut its business down permanently: United States of America v. Fesum Ogbazion, ITS Financial, and Tax Tree, issued on October 29, 2012. 

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Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off

Telemarketing Service Providers

Telemarketing Service Provider – Points To Consider While Hiring One

If making a large number of telephone calls is a key component of your business, then using inbound/outbound telemarketing services can be a potential way of extending your marketing reach. While some businesses prefer to keep their telemarketing services in-house, others find the hassles and expenses involved with it to be prohibitive. Therefore, most companies are now turning towards specialist telemarketing service providers for their marketing needs. Such providers can help expand any business, build a client base, and increase sales leads by providing superior marketing service at a reasonable cost.

Some significant benefits and features of telemarketing providers are mentioned below to help you select the best contender out the many present in the sector.

Major Benefits of Using Inbound/Outbound Telemarketing Services

In addition to reaching out to prospective clients and helping businesses expand their client base, telemarketing services can save the time of the company’s employees, money spent on technology and infrastructure, and various other investments associated with setting up an in-house telemarketing team. The best part is that the cost of outbound services can be up to 40% less than an in-house set-up. These savings can be used to increase overall productivity of any business. Apart from the aforementioned, some other benefits include:

•    Enhanced Sales
•    Targeted Lead Generation
•    Market Research and Surveys
•    Verification services
•    Scheduling Appointments
•    Credit Management

Features to Look For When Selecting a Telemarketing Service Provider:

There is a plethora of options when it comes to telemarketing service providers, making it imperative for you to have a framework in mind for the assessment. While costing is the main reason why most businesses select one provider over another, some other features that you must look for are:

•    Direct marketing or promotional response management
•    Overflow call handling
•    Market research and customer satisfaction surveys
•    Inbound and outbound telemarketing services
•    Promotional, product or brand help lines
•    Catalogue order and brochure request lines
•    Credit card payments processing and banking
•    Data cleansing
•    Mystery shopping
•    Donations and appeals
•    Product Up selling

As different factors go into telemarketing service cost, the prices are always hard to pinpoint. In such cases, the best way to select the top telemarketing service provider is to get quotes from multiple providers and check their proficiency by browsing through their case studies and user reviews. Also, make sure to check if the provider you have selected offers automate IVR solutions for high-volume response management.more..

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Sunday, March 10th, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off

Your Business Efficiency

Optimize the Efficiency of your Business with E-Commerce Fulfilment

When it comes to starting a business, even though you need a good model. It is also equally important to have the right partners in place to handle the functions you may outsource, such as e-commerce fulfilment. By opting for fulfilment services from credible provider, you can let the experts take care of all your needs pertaining to e-commerce fulfilment while you can concentrate on the more critical aspects of your business.

Opting for e-commerce fulfilment services eliminates all the back office headaches, saving you from all the hassles associated with the fulfilment of customer orders. With the features such as real-time order processing, batch order processing, real-time payment processing, order tracking facility, and ledger management, you can certainly optimize the efficiency of your online business without having to make any major investment.

In fact, as far as money is concerned, you can be sure that outsourcing the fulfilment requisites of your business to a specialist provider will reduce your overall operational spending. This is because the providers specializing at online retail fulfilment have intricate expertise at what they do and know how to meet the requisites in minimum time and money. Moreover, such providers leverage various low cost means for order fulfilment, including telephone, post, and e-mail.

So, if you are looking to optimize the efficiency of your online retail business while actually cutting down on your operational expenses, availing fulfilment services from a specialist provider is us arguably a great solution. However, considering the criticality of efficient fulfilment in the success of any business leveraging e-commerce, it is strongly recommended that before you partner with any suitable provider, always verify the level of competence you can expect by examining their client reviews.

Hope this brief post helps in letting you optimize the efficiency of your business.

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Thursday, February 21st, 2013 Get Educated!, Get Motivated!, Self Employment Ideas Comments Off