Maybe it should read its own report
© St. Petersburg Times, published September 11, 2000
J.K. Harris & Co. advertises what it calls an "insider" report on "How to End IRS Problems Forever." Turns out it might be able to use some of its own advice. The tax resolution service, which has three offices in the Tampa Bay area, is the subject of an IRS investigation.
Federal agents raided the company's Charleston, S.C., headquarters in July and hauled off a truckload of records. Founder and president John K. Harris said the company got its active files back in two days but he expects the investigation to take six to 12 months. He said he is confident the company will be found innocent of any wrongdoing. The feds declined comment.
It's no surprise that J.K. Harris attracted the IRS' attention. Founded just three years ago, the company has 380 offices in 32 states. Its specialty is helping small business people settle tax debts through the IRS' "offers in compromise" program.
The company's Web site features anonymous testimonials from people who got the IRS off their backs by paying as little as 2 to 5 cents on the dollar. Chris Westphal, who manages the company's Tampa Bay offices, says settlements of 10 to 20 cents on the dollar are more typical.
"We're here to help this segment that can't afford high-priced tax attorneys," he said. "But they make enough money so that they're pursued rather aggressively by the IRS."
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