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Avondale man facing huge tax turmoil

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

An Avondale man said he needed help resolving a tax problem. He hired a company to negotiate with the IRS but wound up further in debt.     

"We like it, but it's just actually too big for us. There's just three of us that live here," Eddie Oliver said of the home he rents in Avondale.  

Oliver said that although he likes his home, he's looking for something a little different. He's even considering purchasing a house. However, his tax problem might make that impossible.  

“[A realtor told me], 'You need to handle your past endeavors or your past responsibilities with the IRS,' and I've been trying to do that for the past six months," Oliver said.

According to Oliver, he owes the Internal Revenue Service from some past business ventures that didn't work out after he left the military. 
   
”I owe them approximately $30,000," he said. 

Oliver said that's an overwhelming amount of money for him. He said he was scared to even contact the IRS to work something out.

“I didn't know which way to turn. I was like most people - leery or afraid of the IRS," he said. 

After seeing a commercial that promised tax relief, he thought he'd found his answer. So, Oliver called a company called Optimum Tax Solutions and My Tax Support, which claims to help people settle their IRS debts.
   
After talking to the company, Oliver said he made three different payments to it in order that negotiations with the IRS could begin. 

“I think it was $1,270 that I've given them so far," he said. 

However, after paying that money, Oliver said Optimum Tax Solutions and My Tax Support hasn't done anything, and it's been seven months.

Oliver said calling the company has yielded no answers. 

“I wanted proof that they were doing these things, such as contacting the IRS. I also wanted receipts for the money I had sent them," he said.  

Feeling like nothing had been done over the course of seven months, Oliver asked for a refund, but he was declined.
   
A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, who has no personal involvement with Oliver's tax problem and is prevented from talking about individual cases, told 3 On Your Side that taxpayers should always keep communications open with the IRS and to not run from their tax problems.
   
In an email to 3 On Your Side, the IRS wrote: "Some taxpayers may qualify for payment plans and other relief. The IRS does offer payment options, such as a short-term extension to pay, an installment agreement or an offer-in-compromise. "
   
3 On Your Side got involved in Oliver's tax problem, and Optimum Tax Solutions and My Tax Support claimed to have spent numerous hours on his case. The company agreed to refund $400 to Oliver, however. 
   
Oliver said he's thankful to be getting something back and that he'll think twice before sending money to any company claiming to be able to negotiate with the IRS on his behalf. 

“You see these commercials, and they're very scary. Words are coming out at you like 'stop' and 'garnish.' Those are very powerful words. I believe most people contact places like Optimum Tax out of fear," Oliver said. 

Oliver said he will now deal directly with the IRS. 

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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