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LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints

August 11, 2009

UnhappyFranchisee.com asked: Are LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Owners Happy? If you’re familiarliberty_logo with the Liberty Tax franchise, please share a comment below.

Entrepreneur magazine has ranked the Liberty Tax Service franchise #3 behind  McDonald’s & Subway.  However, some commenters who claimed to be former Liberty Tax franchisees left stern warnings on the Franchise-chat forum.

BostonTax wrote:

I’m a former Liberty Tax Franchisee

I hope you are ready for a little enlightenment! I held a successful Liberty Tax Franchise for 5 years until I decided to let the franchise agreement lapse. I did this for a few reasons:
1. The royalty fees were outrageous! 14% went to normal royalty while and ADDITIONAL 5% went for so called advertising royalties. The ad royalties were supposed to be put back into your local market to build the brand name. This was never done! All advertising in addition to the ad royalty I had to pay for because it did not fit into Liberty’s concept of advertising. I don’t know exactly what the concept was because our AD could not give an answer and the approved methods changed by the week.
2. Corporate was totally unresponsive to the needs of the franchisees. The AD system is designed to recruit anyone who can write a check for 100K. No other skills or ability required.
3. The minute you are behind in a royalty payment, they send you a notice to cure. After that, if you don’tpay, they try to terminate your franchise agreement.
4. Upon termination, Liberty enforces through legal proceeding a 2 year, 25 mile radis non compete clause that is in the franchise agreement. This is enforceable in the Eastern Division of the Federal District court, where, at least 2 Liberty friendly judges preside.
5. Liberty does not recognize chargebacks for bad debts as an adjustment for your royalty fees. All royalties are based on your gross, not your net collectable. This was an ongoing issue with them and the accounting department did not have the ability or the inclination to resolve!
My best advice is do not go with these guys, they are bad news. If you like to have people collect royalties and provide no support, then this is the franchise for you! It is very expensive to get into, the initial fee is around $32K just to buy the territory plus those pesky royalties. You can’t make money on this concept.

Most of the surviving franchisees I’ve talked to in the last 2 years have experienced great difficulty not only in making a profit, but in the corporate support or lack thereof.Remember, 19% of your gross is getting kicked back to Liberty, which is excessive by any standards. Please do yourself a favor and call former franchisees ,those that are currently getting sued (they are very likely to talk, as I found out), and current ones to try to get the straight poop.

Barbara Green wrote:

I too was a Liberty Tax Franchisee and I agree with everything you said.

The only reason for purchasing any franchise is because the business model is a proven marketing success as evidenced by the profitable franchisees. That is why you pay a license fee of $25,000. Being profitable is not in the cards for a Liberty Tax franchisee. Liberty Tax’s market/ business model is aimed at individuals who have very simple tax returns, i.e one W-2 and standard deduction which is why they were very successful in Norfolk, Va. That market is full of military people with one w-2.

Liberty will sell anyone a franchise at any location, in any georgraphic area, even if there is not a chance in hell of the franchisee being successful.

At one time, I too owned a Liberty Tax Franchise for one tax season. It was only one season because of the behavior of the Regional Manager who called me on January 15th demanding and screaming “Why had I not generated 200 tax returns and that maybe this business was not for me. I was stunned and confused since employers are given until January 31st. to give w-2’s to employees. Apparently, he thought that I was in Norfolk, Va. where that is possible.

It only goes downhill from there. The bottom line is I lost all of my investment in this businees (approx. $80,000) because I closed it rather than becoming a victim of this unethical company. NOthing would make me happier than to be a part of a class action lawsuit.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  DO YOU OR HAVE YOU OWNED A LIBERTY TAX SERVICE FRANCHISE?  ARE LIBERTY TAX SERVICE FRANCHISEES HAPPY?  WHY OR WHY NOT?




Comments

5,034 Responses to “LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints”

  1. Sad but true says:

    Hopefully it will not take another 5000 posts to inform others that Liberty Corp. is a bad investment. I truly believe that it would be best for all associated with them that they either fail or they change their business practices.

  2. 2Chains says:

    Still haven’t finished reading all 5,000 posts yet, but I can tell you I’m very, very glad I didn’t invest in this franchise. You get almost nothing except software and a system that doesn’t work for your 14% royalties and you get NOTHING for your 5% advertising royalty. Personally, I think that’s the worst. If you’re paying for advertising, then you damn well better see that money put where it belongs which is not John Hewitt’s pocket.

    Liberty has definitely done some shady things in the past but IRS investigations mean they aren’t actively endorsing illegal tax practices any more.

    If they didn’t have so many lawyers and that horrible non-compete clause in their contract, I doubt they’d have any franchisees next year as the value for what you pay for just isn’t there.

    In short, if you aren’t already under contract, read all the comments on this board but recognize the shills and do not throw your money away by “investing” in this company. I wish those of you already chained up the best and hopefully you can get out without losing everything.

  3. Out and Glad says:

    I have two items to add:
    1. Unfortunately Liberty could be in that IRS conversation. It was about tax fraud due to Identity Theft. That is about the one thing they were not doing.

    2. Liberty is hurting for people to become franchisee’s. This week they called one person, that I know, that called to inquire about a franchise (five years ago.) That person told them to go away and not contact them again.
    It seems like they are going after anyone that has ever called about a franchise.

  4. Sad but true says:

    Went by a closed down Jackson Hewitt today. Does anybody know how they did this past tax season?

  5. T.EA says:

    Sad but true no public news since they are no longer public after going into receivership but word on the street is national down ~6-9% just word on the street though.

  6. Sad but true says:

    Thanks T.EA.

    Block, JH, and Liberty were down and overall paid preparer returns were about the same this year. Maybe the savvy consumers have finally stopped paying high tax prep fees or let’s make a deal on what you will charge me.

    Good news for mom and pops! Most mom and pops are ethical (as a percentage of how many there are) as are Block and JH. Too bad that Liberty is the poster child for fraud.

  7. Frustrated and Disgusted says:

    Just wondering. Are there really still 4000 franchises in existence ? I have been out of this SCAM for over 5 years now, and even then they were touting 4000 offices. The ones around me still close at an alarming rate, never to be seen again, so clearly they must be finding suckers on a yearly basis to purchase them to say that they are still around 4000. When you think of it, 4000 in the entire US and Canada is pretty small. That is only 80 per state which when you consider the population of the US has grown to 322M people, that is nothing. Keep posting as this site has discouraged many from going to the next level. There is no way to make a profit, and it should be avoided at all cost.

  8. Dr Zhivago says:

    See Table G at the bottom of the press release below. There are 1,856 Liberty franchisees in the U.S.

    The big problem may be that the number of former/burned franchisees far exceeds the number of current franchisees. “Over-fishing”, mistreatment by Liberty, and this site may be making the search for new recruits harder every year.

    http://ir.libertytax.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=233197&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2177533

  9. SanFranDan says:

    ^^Thanks for the link. It makes me nauseous. Hewitt needs to go to hell asap. What a %&*@#! jerk. And if not hell, then jail. Jail is too good for him, hell is better.

  10. Frustrated and Disgusted says:

    Dr. Zhivago, thank you for the info. So last year they grew by 23 offices through franchisees. That is almost a joke. So now we go back to our original premise.

    Based on their published numbers;
    Total revenue; $98,724 per store (433 returns per office, $228 per return.)
    Rent; 25,000 (if you are lucky)
    Utilities; 3,000
    Wages; 10-15,000
    And the big one; Royalites; $18,757
    You are already at $36,967 net income
    Now take out Marketing of $10,000
    A whopping $26K in income supposedly.
    You are making $12.96 per hour as the owner.

    And that is a mature office. Now realize that for the first few years you do around 250 returns. HELP!!!

  11. 2Chains says:

    Us franchisees went down from 2015 to 2016. That’s a start.

  12. Don't Be Fooled says:

    Frustrated, you are right. Those expenses you list are just the tip of the iceberg. Owning a Liberty Tax office is a surefire way to lose your shirt. Its a bad investment and a crumbling industry.

  13. SaraEA says:

    I disagree that it’s a “crumbling industry.” The paid tax prep industry has pretty much kept its share of the number of returns filed (close to 60%). Most people with complex financial situations or who are self-employed will always use paid tax prep. Others don’t have the time or inclination to learn the rules and fill out forms like Schedules A, B and D. They just want to get it over with, and this group is likely to use the tax chains because they don’t have or they think a CPA or EA firm is too expensive. Little do they know.

    The industry that is crumbling is the one that targeted low-income, earned income credit, want fast refund clients. Refunds are no longer all that fast, and these places–Liberty, HRB, and JH–raised their prices beyond the point most people are willing to pay. Some of their former clients are using DIY software or free tax prep sites, and some are trying out independents and discovering how much less they charge. They ain’t coming back to the chains.

    Block is in the best position to recapture some of this market share. They have the brand name that everyone knows, and their preparers have the best training and some have been there for years and have great knowledge. Liberty and JH have little to offer in these important areas. A Liberty franchisee might have a chance of making it if s/he already has tax expertise and can train employees who will learn more each year and develop the expertise to serve clients with more than very simple returns. Of course, this person will need time to build a clientele. They won’t be able to pay the royalties and advertising fees Liberty demands and be able to eat for the first few years. Thus Liberty’s franchise model is doomed to failure because few tax experts who can really build the brand can afford to live on nothing until they establish a middle-class client base.

  14. Franchizee says:

    I agree with SaraEA – The tax prep industry is not failing, but growing, only in a different direction.

    However, the tax prep industry like LTS, H&R and JH that caterer to the EIC people is crumbling. If it was not for EIC, 1/2 of H&R Blocks offices would not exist. LTS would loose most of their office and JH maybe put out of business completely due to their target marketing of EIC.

    The middle and upper middle class are looking for solutions to their burdensome tax bill and are seeking help from people like me and others. That is where the growth is not EIC.

    So in conclusion, if you look at LTS, you are will have a potential market downturn with the EIC market shifting and changing. Which starts in the 2017 tax year of delayed payments, which in turn means no money especially if you borrowed from LTS prior to the tax season. Very disturbing situation.

  15. Don't Be Fooled says:

    You are right. I meant to say the EIC, Liberty model is crumbling. There will always be a demand for competent tax preparation from CPS’s, EA’s and knowledgable tax-pros, something seldom seen inside the walls of a Liberty Tax office.

    If you have tax-prep ability, go for it on your own. No need to pay 20% right off the top for a simple piece of software.

  16. Franchizee says:

    Remember when looking at a Liberty Tax Office, their main money maker is EIC forms on their clients tax returns. This is where the bulk of the money charged to clients is created. Without the large refunds due to EIC, you would not be able to collect your money per tax return. EIC is about 50% or more of the tax return done in a typical LTS office.

    When looking at a contract with LTS, this is vague and all the hoops you must jump through are not spelled out in the original signing contract but in their Operation Manual which is giving to an unsuspecting new owner is not received until the first required boot camp type meeting. Once you have that, they try and hold your feet to the fire, to intimidate and coerce in doing potential unethical things.

    If a person takes a loan from LTS, that operations manual is in full effect. You must adhere to the letter of the law with manual. Once you take money from Hewitt, you are a “slave” to their every whim, no matter what. Basically an indentured servant.

    Our advise, if you have tax experience, jump out on your own and go for it. Otherwise, make sure you have enough cash flow from other areas in your life to float this failed system because it is built on the EIC model. The same model that is landing franchisees in jail and massive fines.

  17. SanFranDan says:

    ^^^Good post, Franchizee.

    I believe the failed system was built on RAL’s and the EIC’s. Totally going after their target audience: The poor, disadvantaged, under served and lower income people who want or need to get their money faster.

    That’s exactly why they should be regulating preparers now and making them have certain skills and perhaps even pass a test. No more people coming off the street taking a class for @ 2 weeks or so and being “skilled and certified” enough to prepare taxes.

    I didn’t borrow one penny from them and they still make you an indentured servant. It is absolutely unbelievable that HE is allowed to get away with this for years and years and years. The government must be getting something out of it in the way of $$$. I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    I keep asking: What happened to Bill?

    For potential franchisees looking at this site before plunking down your hard earned dollars: DON’T!!!!! Many, many of us who have “Been there and Done That” are writing here to stop you from making the same terrible mistake we made. It’s a sham and a scam. Hope it goes downhill faster and faster until it’s finally shut down.

  18. Franchizee says:

    Thanks SanFranDan – We came in on the last year of the big RAL, then it started shaving away to nothing to what it is today.

    Also, by H&R and LTS and JH, having their “Free Tax Courses”, they have taught many of the EIC frauds that the government is dealing with to this day.

    I taught one class and I had girls there from certain neighborhoods trying to learn the ins and outs of tax preparation. They were particularly interested in EIC and child tax credit specifically in next of kin, cousin, step child, niece and nephew. What were the exact rules etc. They were there not to have a job with my office, but just learn the tax return. What a scam!

    Also, in these housing projects or whatever they are called, they will have classes in early January explaining to people all the ins and outs of the new tax codes. Also a lot of my clients in one of my offices were from other American Territories and their big thing was not to marry, have many children and live with 20 people in the household. They would in turn share the kids for tax credits stating they are their nephew, niece’s or cousins. They could not prove up, because no one has the same last name. They would all use the same address and be head of household. Now the IRS has that semi buttoned up. But that was in 09-11 when this was going on.

    Bottom line people, you are responsible for errors like I mention above, $500 per file and up to $5,000 per case. LTS is known for those above senarios and so are the other big two. People will come to your office with lie after lie and you as an owner are ultimately responsible with the IRS, even though you don’t sign the tax return, but you own the most important item in order to efile, an EFIN.

    The EFIN holder is going to prison if there is a shadow of a doubt of tax fraud.

    So, think long and hard. It is not anything like Hewitt spews in his phone calls nor his webinars or in person. He will be the first to turn you into the IRS if they come a knocking on his door. Because he ain’t going down without a fight.

    It was like that as he stated up until 2010 when all preparers are under Circular 230.

  19. Texastee says:

    The IRS holds the EFIN holders to a very high and narrow standard. Liberty Tax knows this and knows that the EFIN will take the fall for any wrongdoing that has been taught and put in practice by Liberty. There are many examples of Liberty Franchisee’s taking the fall because of Liberty’s malfeasance. Remember, the EFINS are fingerprinted and checked by the department of justice. Not many low end jobs require fingerprinting. Liberty management is not required by the justice department to be fingerprinted. It just goes to show that the IRS ultimately hold the little gal/guy as the party responsible.

    No wonder Liberty has been able to get away with what they do. A little money in the right places helps a lot, too. Stay away from these crooks!

  20. SaraEA says:

    First, I don’t think it is accurate to group HRB in with Liberty. HRB did NOT teach “many of the EIC frauds.” When I worked there it was before the due diligence requirements, but we were taught to follow the letter of the law. A lot of course time was spent on teaching the rules for EIC and filing status and we were expected to follow them. With the more recent due diligence standards, I’ll be all their preparers have to take a course in Form 8867.

    I would be surprised if Liberty preparers didn’t have to take a similar course. The $500 penalty applies to BOTH the preparer and his or her employer, so franchisees could be charged with massive penalties if they let inexperienced or dishonest employees prepare EIC returns. That said, does anyone know how franchisees are handling the documentation requirements? Due diligence in certain instances now requires preparers to keep copies of documents like business records, parentage (birth certificates), proof that a child lives with a taxpayer, etc. Are Liberty offices now required to have scanners or copy machines to meet these mandates? Does anyone check to be sure they are conforming to the standards?

    By the way, due diligence rules will also apply to returns claiming the additional child tax credit next filing season. I can see how dishonest franchisees (franchisors?) could have gotten away with this type of fraud in the past, but the rules and consequences have changed.

  21. guest says:

    It’s obvious the IRS has a problem with shutting down bad preparers. If a tax office allows fraud, it’s on them. That’s the bottom line. If you so-called ‘own a business’, you should understand how it works. You own the office if the EFIN is in your name.

    I agree, many of the past problems will be corrected by the new requirements. Hope to be wrong, but expecting a lot of letters before refunds are sent. Means longer delays. State refunds to be slow also. The strong offices will survive. Independent or franchised.

  22. SanFranDan says:

    ^^guest:

    I was a very strong franchisee of several offices in my area. I would have survived if it wasn’t for the chief shark biting my head off and leaving me in the water to bleed to death on my own. What’s really the point of sinking money in and paying a franchise, when they do NOT support you, then steal your money, steal your clients, intercept your income and spy on you with their software?!?!? And that’s just the easy stuff.

    I think what you mean is: strong INDEPENDENT offices will survive. NOT strong franchised offices. If they are strong, they are most likely doing something illegal. And it is taught by the top on down. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s just a business owners responsibility. Easy to say until you get caught up in HIS madness. There are many if’s. Not as easy as black & white.

    Yes, it is way overdue for ALL preparers to be regulated, taught & tested. Amen.

  23. T.EA says:

    Any bets on retail tax industry regulations changes from either side which ever wins? Want to see what others expect.

  24. Franchizee says:

    Thanks T.EA. That sure is a large and change.

    When looking a this franchise, you the owner which is usually the EFIN owner is responsible for EVERY TAX RETURN, even though you NEVER sign nor even do a tax return. According the IRS, EFIN number is just as important as your SSN in everything else.

    Be wary now with statements, no tax experience needed, which is true, but not knowing the IRS laws, could land you in trouble with the DOJ.

    When having a franchise, your expenses are so GREAT, that people will bend the rules to sell that return, just so they pay off bill to LTS and make it to the next season. With a franchise, you have so much more expectations for production which puts pressure on preparers to write EVERYTHING and EVERYONE that walks in the door, without discerning the truth.

    I know, Sara EA does not like anything negative about H&R, but they are changing in my area, because I work and live in the same area for over 30 years. They are not double checking tax returns and running people through like LTS to pay the bills. It is happening and I am writing people slowly from their stores.

    All franchises are the same! One size fits all. They have the same large number expectations and demand their fair share and cut.

    If you know taxes, just jump on your own and become certified with AFSP.

  25. Franchizee says:

    Think about this:

    If the Franchisor is making money and doing well, someone else is NOT doing well.

    Franchisor’s make all their money from the Franchisees which pay ALL bills and assumes all the RISK.

    Most franchisees live from one loan to next the next rarely ever getting ahead. And they are not in market for you the franchisee to sell your franchise, but for you to hand it back to them for them to resell and start over again.

    Hewitt and others don’t make their big money off of the royalties, but off the sell and resell of the same territories over and over again.

  26. SaraEA says:

    Hey Franchizee, I am certainly not against negative comments about HRB. (Why do you think I left? It sure wasn’t because of my positive impression of the company.) Where I disagree is that they encourage/teach fraudulent practices. Not at all the case when I worked there; in fact people were fired on the slightest bit of evidence that they were bending the rules. Realize that most HRB offices are company owned, although there are a few large franchisees left in certain areas of the country. Stating that the HRB office near you is not checking returns is a far cry from accusing them of encouraging fraud.

    Vermont announced that several tax software programs were incorrectly coded, which resulted in people paying too little tax. While the normal procedure is to amend the returns (or let VT correct them), the state is in the middle of changing its IT platform and can’t handle the extra work. Instead of inconveniencing their clients and the state, Intuit (maker of TurboTax) contributed $2.4mm to the state, and HRB gave $44k for its DIY software clients to make the state whole. In other words, these companies paid their users’ underpayments for them.

    On the list of affected software programs are both Liberty Tax Service and Liberty’s We File. Sounds like both the office and DIY software had it wrong. Any bets as to whether the company steps up like the big boys did and pays what their clients owe?

  27. Sad but true says:

    SaraEA,
    I am not sure what the franchisee contract states about corporate error in the software and whom bears the liability. You would think it would be the creator (Liberty Corp.) of the software.

    Is the error on the Federal or various State(s) or is this just for Vermont?

  28. guest says:

    This was an exception for HRB. It’s not news that they don’t normally pay the tax but they pay penalties and interest. All of the major tax offices will if the error is caused by them.
    It looks like a great tax season may be coming for those getting ready early. For summer activity, we are busy with customers who did’nt file yet. I’ll guess that offices who answer the phones are also busy.

    There will always be tax work, unless the laws change. No need for fraud. You can make decent money if you manage well and stay up to date.
    Training and customer service is the key, even with a franchised location.

  29. SaraEA says:

    The error was on Vermont software only, affecting Form IN-155. The form had new limits on certain deductions. I thought the states approved all software, just like IRS does, before it is accepted for efile. Don’t know how these software companies failed to update to the new laws and still got accepted by VT. Interesting how HRB’s office software was compliant but its DIY was not. Both Liberty’s office and DIY were wrong. Even TurboTax was wrong, and that’s a biggie.Any zees from VT, please tell us how Liberty is going to handle this.

  30. quest says:

    Probably no major exposure. Estimated population of Vermont is 626,000 people, entire state.

  31. 2Chains says:

    I originally came here to offer a more balanced opinion than the haters and the all-too-obvious corporate plants since I am a former employee of a well-run franchise but never owned my own shop. However, as I’ve read more and more of the earlier posts, it’s become clear to me that John Hewitt is an enormous fraud. He makes astronomical promises to franchisees but never in writing and then collects his 19% without providing a lick of service ever.

    So, I’d like to share an old post I found that’s very well written. Originally posted by NCHILLBILLY on August 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm.

    I would not recommend the Liberty Franchise to anyone.

    Lets address some facts.

    Contract — 5 years, royalty fees 14% marketing fees 5%. Right off the very beginning you pay 19% of your revenue to Liberty JTH Holdings. Before I forget, there is a minimum royalty fee beginning at $8000.00 1st year and the amount increases to $11500.00 beginning the 2nd year.

    Franchise Agreement: is a living document for the franchisor not the franchisee. When you originally sign this agreement, you have no input at all, it is very one sided. This means that JTH Holdings can change this agreement at anytime without you having to sign a thing and you still have to be responsible for the changes in this living agreement. Liberty constantly changes this not to protect you but to protect Liberty themselves.

    In the franchise agreement the area developer is not responsible for anything they do. So if you are provided some bad advice by the area developer. Too bad they are not responsible for anything they do. Most AD’s do not care about your success at all.

    In the franchise agreement you sign away your rights to mention or speak about Liberty Tax Service for a minimum 2 years after your contract ends. If you are terminated then it is for life. Pretty hard to explain to your future employer what your have been doing for the past 5 years, almost like being in jail.

    In the franchise agreement you agree that any legal case will go through the federal court system in Norfolk Virginia. This puts you at a great disadvantage, especially when you live outside of Virginia. You will have a difficult time finding an attorney that can represent you in Norfolk or is familiar with the federal judges.
    Tech Support, Liberty promises you the sun, wait until you have to request tech support, and you quickly discover how poor the support is.

    You pay 5% advertising fee, very little of that money is spent into your territory. Instead Liberty wants you to spend your money and time advertising. Depending on where your territory is you will quickly learn that Liberty’s marketing techniques do not work. There marketing techniques are aimed for low income areas and bank product type clients (not ones that have their refunds directly deposited into their own bank accounts), instead clients that are talked into getting bank loans at extremely high interest rates, bank fees, transmitter fees and much higher preparation fees. Liberty’s practice is to prey on the low income clients, similar to vultures on dead carcasses.

    Franchise agreement requires you to do 200 free returns. If you fail to do 200 free returns then Liberty threatens you with failing to follow the system. They will also keep any bank product refunds that you may be eligible for and reverse royalties.
    Liberty does not promote teamwork amongst franchisees. Instead you use one franchisee against the other. Each Liberty office is totally independent, you will quickly learn that other Liberty offices do not work or market together.

    Return pricing there is no standard pricing between offices. Instead you may have a Liberty office offering deep discounts and you are expected to offer the same. Deep discounts do not work, instead of helping you to grow they actually destroy your business. Just carefully watch the “Closing the Sale video” or attend the Fanatical University and you will learn differently.

    After signing your 5 year contract, Liberty will encourage you to sign a 5year plus lease on a space. Even if you terminate your agreement with Liberty early this does not necessarily mean that you can terminate your contract with your landlord. Which now leaves you on the hook to continue to pay the rent until your contract has expired or until the landlord finds a new tenant.

    If the reasons I have listed or all of the previous posts do not convince you to stay away from Liberty. Then sign on, however you will most likely will loose your life savings, retirement plans, cash value in your life insurance policy and maybe your own home. The failure rate is extremely high or the expected income is far less and the expenses are far higher than expected.

    Liberty Tax maybe a franchise, but it does not automatically draw in clients.

  32. Sad but true says:

    Yes 2Chains, not much has changed since 2013 for the franchisee’s other than the numerous frauds at a number of Liberty offices. What does that do for their reputation? It puts them in the eyes of the public as an unethical business. I am not saying all franchisee’s are fraudsters, just that in recent years many of the franchise tax offices with fraud have been Liberty stores. The average consumer does not know that Liberty offices are mostly independently owned. So, when news stories come out about fraud at Liberty, it hurts the honest franchisee’s too.

    The negative comments by NCHillbilly are still applicable today. Add the fact that the tax prep industry for the 3 big chains is one with market share losses and the fraud (Liberty) makes investing with Liberty a risky one.

    By the way, I am not a hater. I just hope they fail so the independents can pick up some of their market share. Independent operators are good for the tax prep industry. More income for the owners, less operating restraints, and better prep fee pricing for the consumer. Everybody wins with independent operators, except Liberty Corp. and the other 2 (Block and JH).

  33. SanFranDan says:

    ^^I love when NCHillbilly contributes. He writes beautifully and accurately.

    2Chains: FYI
    My one 5 year contract became a 14 year nightmare. Dead serious. You will hear these same horror stories from many ex-franchisees. I also hate to wish anything bad on the honest franchisees…….I was one too! But it is so incredibly clear now that I’ve stepped away, how rigged this system really is and how many honest franchisees just don’t stand a chance. Their ‘system’ may have had a place when RAL’s were accepted, but now there is NO reason for Liberty to even function as a company any longer. They are garbage, dirt and definitely con artists. Again, HR is different because as others have said, many are company owned and they do not promote fraud as Liberty has done. Btw, Liberty has gotten away with plenty since their inception. It is finally just catching up to them with the invention of the internet and this wonderful forum (thanks Admin!!) It’s ABOUT TIME!!

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