LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints

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?




5,348 thoughts on “LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints

  • May 18, 2017 at 9:37 am
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    I was a Zee for 4+ years and proudly never wasted a dime attending one of those dog & pony shows!

  • May 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm
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    ^^Actually, Texas: I don’t think they actually believe their own crap. I think they just know how to impart it on others very successfully.

    ^^Yeah, Tom: You were so smart. They were a waste of time & money. I felt my brain cells just rush out of me as soon as we arrived. I didn’t stop at one, yeah, I had to waste time and money three years in a row. :(:(

    Anyone that’s a new franchisee that is getting ready to head to their “dog & pony” show convention: use the wisdom that you read on here. Save your $$ and don’t bother. In fact, don’t bother SIGNING a franchise agreement with these scoundrels in the first place! Talk about saving money…….. and time and headaches and stress and, and, and, and, and………..the worst possible choice in your life would be to join these greedy creatures.

  • May 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm
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    I talked to one zee last week, they definitely are NOT going to the convention for the first time in several years, as a matter of fact they are likely pondering an exit strategy. Unfortunately this person did not heed the warning to purchase because the fell hook-line and sinker.

  • May 21, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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    It needs to be reiterated to a lot of franchisees or potential franchisees that Liberty Tax is not in the tax business but in the franchise business. That being said, Liberty earns its revenues through franchise fees that are at startup(territory purchase) and on continuing royalties. The customer is not the taxpayer, but the franchisee. This causes Liberty to only be interested in its royalties that are generated by the large fees that the franchisee charges. Liberty deliberately encourages high fees by any method possible. This includes showing the franchisees illegal and immoral methods of preparing taxes, thus raising fees or outright creation of fraudulent tax returns. Inevitably, the scammers and the schemers get caught, but not Liberty, just their franchisees! To make matters worse, Liberty has been known to turn in franchisees that it has a dispute with (always over money), to the IRS. Liberty provides the IRS with the details on how the questionable returns are prepared, since Liberty would know how it was done, after all, they taught these methods to their franchisee’s.

    There has to be a deal between Liberty and the IRS that allows Liberty to stay in business as long as it gives the IRS enough names of its franchisees to prosecute. I’m not saying all the franchisee’s were innocent, some were as big a crook as John Hewitt himself, but I have observed that the fraud perpetuated by Liberty and its franchisees fall into several patterns: Creation of a small business to reduce taxes of increase earned income credit; Filing of false tax returns with other peoples social security numbers; and, Married spouses filing as if they are not married and splitting up the dependents to get 2 payments of EIC. These are methods that ere clearly expressed to me and some other zee’s when we were with this franchise. This was part of our training by Liberty. Again, Liberty will retaliate in any way the can from excluding you on conference calls to calling in off season “corporate audits” to setting you up for investigation with the IRS.

    This is why Liberty Tax is so disreputable. If you haven’t figured it out by now how bad this company really is, then you deserve your fate with them.

    I would like to know if there is a way that a lot of ex and current franchisee’s can get together to put our heads together and finally defeat the Liberty Tax criminals? Any ideas?

  • May 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm
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    The only reason Liberty Corporate has been safe so far is they completely corporate with the IRS and with the states where accusations are made. They do not back the Zs they throw them under the bus and claim that they were bad people. The IRS and States are not going to try to bring Liberty down now because they are too big have too much money and it would take a huge budget to fight them in court. So much easier to get Liberty to roll on any franchisee that the IRS or State wants.

    Unless the model changes Liberty is in serious trouble. And for the model to change it requires a ton of retraining and a huge effort to train Zs how to hire professionals that can be trained to complete the more complicated returns.

    Liberty right now does very little in the way of complicated returns as a whole. Their end of season business rush consists of low income filers for the most part still. There are some franchisees who understand how to build a tax practice but few. And those few are not celebrated they are looked down on more than anything.

  • May 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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    ^^Bingo. You are 100% correct. Well said.

  • May 26, 2017 at 4:42 pm
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    I wish I would of been so right before I got involved with Liberty…lol…But after very costly lessons I have learned. Honestly there is no way I would suggest anyone buy into a Franchise Operation of any kind. Sooner or later there is going to need to be protections for franchisees, but I fear like always it will come way too late and help very few. The truth is that not only is our country pretty messed up with corruption so is business and franchising is without question.

    With lending starting to come back I am afraid many will end up borrowing whatever equity they may have and many will choose to buy a Franchise of one kind or another. And as before, up till 2007, most who choose to buy a franchise will end up loosing the equity with a failed franchise operation or a franchise business that barely pays to keep itself afloat. But now more than any other point in time the information is available to people if they want to do some simple research. There may not be proper protections from government but the information is still out there to inform people what franchising is really like and what they can expect overall. If people will research it and heed the warnings it will save many.

  • June 4, 2017 at 11:24 am
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    Hi, I have been watching your posts for a couple of years now and I wanted to say what was on my mind. A few years ago, I signed up for Liberty Tax . They were teaching me how to file wrong tax returns for poor people. This was done by making up tax returns for people who claimed to be babysitters or Carpenters on a schedule C. By changing the income and expense numbers around, they showed me how to get the most money back from the government. Liberty said that this was the way to get more money from customers and more money for me and them. I felt this was wrong, but they kept telling me that it was no big deal. I read these posts and sounds like it is a big deal. Now I am getting IRS letters to my old company that had the franchise for Liberty and they want to see me. What I have seen on this site, I am afraid to respond to them. This is scaring me to death.

    Liberty asked me to do a lot of things that are illegal. I have closed my tax company and Liberty is looking for more money from me too. What should I do about Liberty and IRS?

  • June 5, 2017 at 3:58 pm
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    Hello Liberty Fool,

    We’ve done some research on the company and would be willing to talk to you about your situation. You can call our office (no obligation) – 314-522-2312

  • June 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm
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    I am not sure I can afford legal expenses. Liberty Tax has made me very poor, in fact, they have all of my retirement money. I can’t believe that they are still in business doing what they do to us franchisees. Is there some government agency that should be looking into how Liberty takes advantage of their franchisees? I have hired too many lawyers because of Liberty tax and have not had any success. Will they continue to steal from more people?

  • June 11, 2017 at 8:02 pm
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    Do not blow off the IRS! They will NOT go away. If you knowingly filed false tax returns, you will be held accountable. There is no way out. That said, if they are on to Liberty teaching franchisees to do the wrong thing, they may offer a plea deal if you can provide them with proof. I wish you good luck.

  • June 12, 2017 at 4:58 pm
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    SiempreTax+ Named a Top New Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine! Different name same old game. Hopefully someone with one of these franchisees will write into this site and post about
    their experiences with this company. Hate to see this company take more peoples’ money.

  • June 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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    ^^Hi Bill:

    It is extremely obvious to anyone that knows LTS that Siempre Tax’s new status as a top franchise was BOUGHT by the man himself. No question in my mind. You are right. Nothing new. Different name, same old game. This company has taken way too many people’s money in the last 20 years they’ve been “in business”. Franchises in general are awful, awful, awful, but this one is at the head of the class, in a category of it’s own. Someone may want to research why Franchises can get away with being so one-sided and how much money it makes for our government. There is a reason the “little guys” are prosecuted, not the big guys. The whole thing stinks. :(:(

  • June 14, 2017 at 8:04 am
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    Results for 2017 are in. Liberty is way down in Return count and lost over 100 zees and over 400 stores. Keep listening to John? John needs to retire! Oh wait he can’t if he does the credit line that floats the company disappears.

  • June 14, 2017 at 9:24 am
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    The company needs to develop some updated marketing and spend money on advertising. Hire an outside marketing firm that’s in touch with the real world. Their stuff is outdated and they did’nt see the competition coming.
    Zees who are loaded with bad returns will continue to drop out of the mix, but there is no point in saying you did’nt know the returns were bad. The IRS has training and they warn you before hitting you with the penalties brick.
    The strong stores will survive but maybe under a different logo. The question is why are you surviving?

  • June 14, 2017 at 10:17 am
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    Liberty would make a profit if they only had 1000 stores. It is the individual Zees that continues to pay the 19% fees and eventually go out of business while making John richer. John can supplement his retirement with just a few Zees contributing to him. If you like spending your money on a company that is faltering, go ahead, you have been warned – this message is for those of you whom may have found this site and are thinking about boarding a sinking operation – buying a Liberty territory.

  • June 14, 2017 at 12:14 pm
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    At this point anyone seriously thinking of investing with this company has not been on this website.

    If you look at this year’s 8-K you can see the company’s priorities. the company’s net income is down 33% from last year. So their cut “Advertising” expense by $5,437,000.00 and issue a dividend of .16 cents per share to shareholders of record as of July 14,2017. Total amount of dividend will be around 2,222,750.00.

    Buyer Beware!!!

  • June 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm
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    HR Block had a good earnings report. Everything was up where it counted. Liberty reporting is down,a reflection of really bad management.Its time to close down this company and show the public what it really is: a front for John Hewitt to scam as many potential franchisee’s as possible. Maybe the market is finally getting wise? Stock price is down about 10% on High volume. Looks like stock could be headed to the $10 range. I wonder how that will affect insider options?

  • June 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm
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    Good points by Bill about advertising and dividends. It just proves that Liberty, VA Beach is out to enrich themselves. I would guess that outstanding stock is owned mostly by the company’s current and former executives.

    When you think about Liberty as a whole, the poor Zees work to hopefully have a successful business but too often only the home office prospers.

  • June 14, 2017 at 1:50 pm
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    Siempre, Liberty and now 360? Hmmmm, sounds like more competition for the individual zees, or maybe,,,,,,,let’s open a new brand so people won’t realize that it was us that committed all the fraud????? Any thoughts?

  • June 14, 2017 at 2:00 pm
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    It sure would make sense to open a new brand to disguise the failings of Liberty and to bilk more franchisees and investors. It’s still lipstick on a pig!

  • June 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm
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    Liberty Tax : CEO sued by ex-girlfriend claiming he shoved her down stairs

    https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/liberty-tax-ceo-sued-by-ex-girlfriend-claiming-he-shoved/article_1af7fb4f-d4b8-5745-a071-43241099f230.html

    By Kimberly Pierceall
    The Virginian-Pilot

    Liberty Tax CEO John Hewitt, seen in August 2016, is being sued in Virginia Beach Circuit Court by an ex-girlfriend who claims he shoved her down stairs and grabbed her by the face and neck.
    A lawsuit filed against Liberty Tax CEO John Hewitt claims he shoved a woman down the stairs and threatened to throw her dog in the lake outside the Virginia Beach home they shared.
    Tiffany K. Glenn filed the lawsuit in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, nearly two years after the night of May 26, 2015, when she claims Hewitt grabbed her by the face and neck and shouted: “This is my house. Get out!”

    Glenn claims Hewitt shoved her down the stairs from behind, threatened her dog “Gucci” and threw her boots into a lake on the property, according to requests for admission filed by her attorney.
    Calls and an email sent to Hewitt at his Liberty Tax address seeking comment were not returned. His attorney, Larry Woodward, declined to comment, but said he would be filing a response to the complaint in the next few days. Hewitt founded the Virginia Beach-based tax prep franchise company.
    The lawsuit says Glenn was left with “numerous bruises and marks on her face, neck, arm and other places.”

    Glenn’s attorney, Kevin Martingayle, said Hewitt was arrested and criminally charged at the time, but his client dropped the charges at the urging of Hewitt and his then attorney. She and Hewitt had been in a relationship for a significant period of time and she believed they might reconcile, Martingayle said. The relationship, though, ended.
    Glenn is seeking up to $700,000 in combined compensatory and punitive damages.

  • June 21, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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    ^^Wow, NCHillbilly, that’s awesome.

    I’m glad that a—— is getting the negative press he so deserves. Hopefully someone along the line needs to know that money can’t pay your way out of everything and put him in jail already.

  • June 21, 2017 at 4:06 pm
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    If he slaps around his girlfriend (allegedly), what do you think he would do to his franchisees? This should definitely be a warning to all current and possible new zees! WHAT A POS!!!

  • June 25, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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    We all know that Hewitt is a moral degenerate. Look at how he treats his family. Look at how he treats his girlfriend. Look at how he treats his lawyers (note that this is not the original lawyer that represented him when he was arrested). There is a certain arrogance with this guy, how he treats his girlfriend as a piece of property that he can do whatever he wants to.How he treats his companies to make sure shareholders pay for his extravagances. How he treats his franchisees as dirt once he has their money. I can’t believe that shareholders are actually tolerating his behavior domestically as well as corporately.

    It just goes to show that you can fool a few people all of the time. Hewitt uses his corporate resources for his own personal vendettas. Look at the size of the legal team he has on the corporate payroll. Look at the number of lawyers he has hired and fired privately. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

    Since Hewitt has to go through a state court for his domestic malfeasance, he will not have the control he has over the Federal District Court in Virginia. I could be ironic that his lack of morality would be punished by the state instead of the feds. I hope they find him guilty, as he surely is, and award him the time in the State pen that he so richly deserves.

  • June 30, 2017 at 12:13 pm
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    John Hewitt has so many different faces that he wears and he can switch in a moment’s time. A couple of comments though. I have never ever heard or seen John or any corporate employee ever train any franchisee in doing fraudulent returns. What I did see was franchisees and some ADs who were also franchisees train other franchisees in questionable practices. Why would they do this? That’s pretty easy, many within Libettys system realizes that the system that Liberty praises and worships is a sham and will not produce the income needed to pay the expenses. And I’m not just talking about basic operating expenses. I’m talking about the royalties, ad fee, franchisee fee for every territory, and this one is what kills most every franchisee I know, the interest that Liberty charges for loans and for any back royalties and ad fee not paid on time. Tax fraud became a issue because of survival not greed by franchisees.

    Since Liberty has always wanted it’s identity to be one of a company that is growing fast and always expanding they have always been a company that goes after the easiest type of business there is and that is low income and low educated taxpayers. The vast majority of franchisees I have known are the most honest people on the face of the earth but once in the Libertys financial death spiral they start down a path doing almost anything they can to avoid total failure and many times this includes a series of more and more questionable tax return preperation tactics. These franchisees are not enriching themselves they are just trying to survive and to pay John and Corp the fees that are owed. This worked for a while but with the IRS and States crackdowns this has now turned many into criminals. It’s sad but most that have been prosecuted were honest people in very bad situations forced to do just about anything if they didn’t want to fail. Liberty has never been stupid at the highest levels they allow others to take the risk and pay the heavy price when it comes to fraudulent tax preperation practices

    Let’s be honest here. Franchisees and vast majority of ADs never make any money they just struggle to pay corp their fees and interest. John knows this and understands this. He and others designed Liberty in an ingenious way that grew Liberty the fastest and most profitable way possible. This design still has never really been exposed or understood by many. The Dma or Area Developer opp was designed to give the appearance of the most amazing franchisee offering out there and was if it was ever paid in full but in reality it was nothing more than a Venus Fly Trap. Look at the amount of people who failed that purchased DMAS and became Area Developers. Did Lberty really choose that many bad ADs that could not execute? Was Liberty that pitiful at choosing talent when selling the DMAs? And with such an amazing AD contract why did Liberty seldom find any potential ADs that had enough capital and I am talking about Cash that could buy a DMA and not short term finance millions of dollars? This was no accident. They grew Liberty very quick by cutting expenses dramaticly at home office via the AD system amongst other parts of this clever scheme. Instead of spending millions of dollars on support staff they found their victims which had some talent but no real capital to be Area Developers with no intent of very many at all would ever be able to pay off the loan that Liberty graciously offered them. Instead of paying a corp AD 30k to 50k a year to support and run a DMA they paid zero and instead made a ton of money on the sale of DMAs and most Importantly the interest payments. they took a major expense at corp amd turned it into a cash cow that they had nearly no downside and all upside potential. At first Liberty did not force ADs to pay the contract per the contractual terms because the growth was not their. Liberty could by contract choose to enforce or not enforce the payments and foreclosure process. But as soon as the growth took off They chose to enforce the terms of the contract to its fullest extent. It was always important to Liberty to find ADs who would not have the resources to actually pay the contract off before Luberty forced them to give it back because that would kill Libertys bottom line and growth potential. Now as years have passed they changed this some and have allowed some ADs who had enough financial resources to buy a few DMAs and actually own them. But the vast majority were handpicked because they knew they could keep them from ever being able to complete the financing portion of the contract with its very short term and inflated price and interest rates. Many of those hand picked were current franchisees who were able to grow a DMA and even support a DMA but because of the massive debt load and Libertys desire were ever able to actually pay the contract off and own the DMA. These ADs had little to no cash but they did have inflated equity in their franchisee operation which allowed Liberty to justify the sale and ensure they had someone who could do the job. Even better it ensured Liberty could collect even more of the inflated purchase price and interest charged because of fee intercept. But Nearly All of these franchisees who bought DMAs were forclosed on or liberty forced them to sell DMA back at severely deflated price just 2 or 3 years after purchasing. In the end AD not only didn’t make any money Owning a DMA but because they were franchisees also they put themselves in massive debt after being forced to sEll DMA back and then in financial trouble with there franchise operations. This caused many franchisees owning multiple stores to fail when all they did was do everything they could to help Liberty to succeed.

    None of what has happened at Liberty has been a accident. All calculated and planned knowing that there would be many victims in the building of this franchise. I wish more people could understand how this ingenious but deceitful plan was carried out.

  • June 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm
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    ^^Yes, that’s exactly right. :(:( He treats people like dirt. That, unfortunately is not illegal. What is illegal is what he has done with and for that company and instructed people to do and not do.

    Any new franchisees want to tell us how bad the conventions are these days? What are ‘his’ next plans? Anyone guess? I haven’t looked up current cases recently, is LTS getting sued lately? Whom are they suing these days & why? When I was a franchisee, I remember their Law dept. being very large………hmmmm. Are all franchise headquarters law depts. also huge or just this one? Just wondering…what’s happening off season? How to tell if existing franchisees are closing down their offices permanently?

  • June 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm
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    Oooh, I didn’t see your post, ‘out’. I was actually answering the one above yours, from texastee. I’ll read yours now though.

  • June 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
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    ^^out: All I can say is this: He, himself, called the IRS on many, many franchisees. I know that because I am one of them. I also know that because he bragged about it in several news articles. That is disgusting. I also know what was taught to certain franchisees after hours at ‘cocktail’ parties at headquarters training classes. This was many years ago, when the franchise was in it’s infancy. So they better have cleaned up their act since then. But what they did back then was most certainly illegal. No question.

    Now he is a putz and getting into trouble with everyone, including ex-wives, ex girlfriends, ex franchisees, ex employees………….you name it. His reputation in Virginia Beach is going down the tubes, thank goodness. Hope this is the beginning of the end.

  • June 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm
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    San Fran I agree 1000 percent that John and corporate are in bed with the IRS and with state tax agencies. And as always I believe that John and many at corp use the relation with the IRS not only as a tool to keep themselves out of trouble but also as a tool to exact revenge on certain people like yourself. My biggest point with my last post was that most of what has destroyed peoples lives with Liberty was part of a master plan from the start to ensure Libertys success. It is a deceiptful way of doing business and well calculated so much that you hear very few speak about how Liberty designed a system to take advantage of so many, ensuring so many failures and financial ruin just so that John could avoid what happens with Jackson Hewitt and to ensure that John never lost control, financially or through Libertys culture, of the company. I don’t believe many understand how this company was designed so most complaints are about the symptoms not yh root causes. Very few have been able to succeed and to me the way they have artfully and without any compassion financially ruined people lives should n criminal.

    Honestly I wish someone with the knowledge would write a book explaining the way Liberty succeeded through DMA investment scams to Liberty becoming more of a financing company peddling high interest loans to franchisees with little to no risk. Some of the tactics were the result normal business and realizing they had opportunity to take advantage if they desired but the majority of what is wrong with Liberty was created when they sat down to form this franchise. John is able to live with himself Easily because of the many faces of J. Hewitt. He changes faces depending on the conditions and the setting he is in and he believes he is an amazing businessman that truely provides opportunity for all but majority of people who purchase into Liberty never take advantage of this great opportunity that he believes Liberty has offered. So systematically going after franchisees, ADs, and even some Corp employees does not bother him at all and he sleeps fine.

    No I have never seen John train anyone or suggest anyone commit fraud, but I have seen him and others turn a blind eye when it’s happening knowing that it will benefit them and if and when a franchisee is caught he can turn in them instantly taking zero blame yet profiting huge while it occurred. The fraud is just a symptom not the problem at Liberty. The way the franchise system was designed is the issue and why Liberty is the way it is.

  • June 30, 2017 at 6:14 pm
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    John Barilla, o where art thou?

  • July 1, 2017 at 3:07 pm
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    Tax preparation is a huge, saturated market. CPA’s, moms and pops, still have most of the business. Liberty very small share of the total market. Even if franchisee successful, can’t sell stores if they want to move on.
    By the way, large number of CPA’s, mom and pop operations for sale also.
    ‘Out’ – the math does’nt work for the DMA investment. The math says you can’t make it.
    Tax preparation is no longer the way to go for someone with no experience.
    Will say, don’t want to know about the personal stuff because it tends to be a one-sided story. Care more about my hard earned money.

  • July 2, 2017 at 11:41 pm
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    Very enlightening information, Out. I believe every bit of it.John is a smart man, and a great salesman, very charismatic, too. These ingredients make it easy to prey on people.

    Imagine this situation which is very profitable for Liberty: A territory, which is nothing note than a geographic boundary on a map, costs $40,000 (or whatever the cost is these days). Most people looking for a LTS franchise can’t afford $40,000 cash, and he knows this. He in turn will ‘loan’ you $40,000 at 12% interest! That makes him a guaranteed $4500 a year on money he never loaned or came out of pocket, backed by the iron clad franchise agreement that intercepts interest, fees, royalties and advertising from day one. What a racquet. Making huge money on interest for money he never risked.

    Stay away from this company.

  • July 3, 2017 at 8:36 pm
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    It’s scary how little anyone really knows about this company. John is an ego maniac. He runs the company as his own personal roman empire. He invites franchisees to come to the corporate headquarters to kiss his ring and to tell their story to all the coporate lemings who follow him blindly. Employees think they are learning from one of the greatest minds in business. Yet all he is teaching is how being a dirtbag can help you get rich. Every employee knows that John has had “relations” with multiple women in the company. Most treat it as the gross fact that it is. Employees have heard the noises coming from his office early in the morning or late at night. Anyone wondering who these women are need look no further than the lowest skilled, most highly paid women who would otherwise be working at a Starbucks. At Liberty they are managers, directors, department heads, franchise owners, AD’s, etc. Does anyone really think that this dirtball didn’t hit his ex? Does anyone believe that after 49 years in the tax industry, working at all 3 big tax firms, founding two of them that this guy doesn’t know that his franchisees are committing fraud? Do people think that this guy is rich? Look at the filings from JH when he got fired from that company he owned less than 5% and owned 0 when they were sold. He is being paid $550k per year plus bonus, plus another $1.2m in dividends and he needs to sell more stock near it’s 52 week low? That doesn’t happen unless he know the stock is going to be worthless or if he is actually broke. So John what’s the real story. How does this guy look in a mirror???

  • July 4, 2017 at 7:13 pm
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    Any woman bangin’ that UGLY POS, has issues!

  • July 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    I saw that Hewitt sold $500k of shares June 18th and 19th. Looks like he has to pay for some lawyer’s retainer. Stock is low too, but should be lower.

  • July 7, 2017 at 6:15 pm
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    That’s who makes the money (sometimes). Lawyers.
    Just read a report that states 8 of 10 new returns filed in the last 5 years were self prepared. Hope its fake news.
    If it’s true, would mean tax preparers are just moving around customers who are in the system. 80 percent of new business going to online software.
    Either way, should mean fierce competition. Low prospects in the long run. No growth potential.

  • July 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm
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    guest:
    It seems that 8 of 10 new returns would indicate first time job holders. I imagine that these returns would be 1 or only a few W-2’s for the returns. If so, these are simple returns with mostly H.S. students filing for the first time. Problem could be that these new filers learn at an early age to navigate on-line software and are emboldened to keep filing that way. I have also seen H.S. age clients without a clue when it comes to doing even a simple return.

    The trend has been for year-to-year, small incremental growth for self prepared returns. Liberty has been losing customers and franchisees – now that is a trend worth watching.

  • July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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    With all the new and sophisticated tax software out there, Liberty’s model for business is non-existent. Even the less knowledgeable taxpayer out there is learning this and will only go to a schlock tax prep company like Liberty once.

  • July 16, 2017 at 12:48 am
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    Franchizee: Are you still around? You, too, Bill?

    This ‘company’ has a long memory and are very patient. They pounce at the right moment that they have perfected over the years. The best thing we can all do is continue to write on this forum to really dissuade people from using their hard earned money for this waste of a nothing company and to get the new franchises sold down to ZERO.

    What a scam LTS and JTH are. PLEASE people, wake up and read through these thousands of posts. We are writing here year after year to warn people to stay away! :( Don’t lose your money on this crap.
    When the number of new franchises reaches ZERO, we can then celebrate. This forum has already made their numbers go way down and we need to continue to educate the potential franchisees out there why this would be such a BAD investment. HE needs to go away. That can only happen with more and more people coming together to tell the true story……..not the one that he portrays, but the REAL story of the miserable experiences you have encountered.

    The best thing would be for the news media to do some digging and to tell the true story for the world to hear. That would guarantee his downfall for sure. Just like other ‘top’ men who have paid people off with their money, he too will discover that money can no longer buy his way out anymore. That is when the real celebrations will begin.

    “OUT” said it best above, ^^^ they are all in bed with each other, LTS corporate and the IRS. The Gov’t is just as corrupt as JTH. No matter how much you succeed with this so called company, they will make sure to take it all away from you. You are left with nothing but big fat money lost and loans and ridiculous non-compete crap……………it is the big leagues at their finest and crookedness too. :(:(

  • July 19, 2017 at 5:08 pm
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    San Fran, seems most think that nothing is going to happen to libturdy or screwitt.

  • July 20, 2017 at 11:16 am
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    ^^Can’t say they haven’t been warned, Mike :(

  • July 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm
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    Guest: Can you provide a link to what you wrote above, i.e. “Just read a report that states 8 of 10 new returns filed in the last 5 years were self prepared. Hope its fake news”?

    Thanks,
    Dr. Z

  • July 25, 2017 at 9:25 pm
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    Sorry Dr. Z don’t have the report anymore. Was in one of the tax preparer or accounting mags.
    I do believe well-run stores will survive. Trained, updated, tax preparers and great managers. Stores open limited hours, up to 5 days off-season. Phones answered Mon – Fri.
    The rest will get weeded out. EIC and high fees are on life support.

  • July 31, 2017 at 7:07 am
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    Guest is correct. But what he is saying is that stores not following Libertys “System” and operating a Professional Tax Office might survive but those offices will still struggle significantly because of Royalty and Advertising Fees charged by Liberty.

  • August 2, 2017 at 6:08 pm
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    Thanks, Guest, for the reply!

  • August 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm
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    I’m curious to know how the franchise sales are going this year. Liberty has to be taking a tremendous hit with all the bad publicity. You would think that the Feds would have shut them down by now. I like how they put out publicity that they are helping the IRS on ID theft since they are the ones responsible. I wonder what else they are “cooperating with the IRS” on?

  • August 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm
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    NC Hillbilly:

    What’s the latest???

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