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LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints 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.

This post was originally published 

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.


5,730 thoughts on “LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints

  • Don't be fooled

    Glad to see Martha is gone, but you still won’t make money with 20% of your income going to royalties and ad fees. Liberty is a dated “system” with a tarnished name. Get out now if you can.

  • don't Be Fooled

    This new format is terrible. You can’t see what company people are referring to in the ‘most recent’ comments. Please go back to the old way.

    Proof this format is losing viewers is that no one has commented on Liberty Tax in well over a week.

  • dr zhivago

    At LinkedIn, Martha O’Gorman is now listed as Chief Marketing Officer at Loyalty Brands, Hewitt’s new company, so probably mutually agreeable solution for all involved.

  • SanFranDan

    I don’t understand how this guy can get away with opening a franchise (with his namesake), being asked to leave, opening second franchise, being asked to leave, open third company and get away with years of defrauding people of their money and defrauding the US government. And asking for 19% in Royalty. I will never join a franchise ever again and I am telling everyone I know to stay away from franchising. However I have seen some franchises charge literally 2 or 3% Royalty fees! With actual support, ongoing training, support from AD’s (what a joke) and not spying on you with their software. That chapter of my life lasted waaayyy longer than the 5 year contract period. My life is incredibly less stressful now. The mistake of a lifetime. What the hell is Loyalty Brands supposed to do except rip people off even more? And barter for services?!?! When will the appropriate people WAKE UP and stop covering for him? I’m waiting for the full circle moment.

  • I appreciate the input about format.

    I operate this site on a shoestring and rely on your contributions (which are pretty nonexistent, with a few exceptions. You can contribute here: .

    I’m thinking about running a GoFundMe campaign for both a site redesign, server change, tech support, and SEO assistance. Serious question: What do you think? Would anyone contribute?

    The last few weeks we’ve had a lot of downtime thanks to our web host being sold to a company that has eliminated support and allowed its software to pass “end-of-life” while billing me double.

    Some of the more tenacious and worst scammers (The NY Bagel Craigslist Scammers) I’ve exposed have decided to anonymously create an attack website against my family which includes pictures of my kids, my daughter’s wedding pictures, etc. with defamatory smears intended to damage their personal and professional lives. They think this will coerce me into removing the only warnings protecting people from their blatantly predatory scam.

    I’m not saying this to generate pity or donations (though no complaints on the latter) but just to say that I would love put the redesign and SEO on the front burner, and will as soon as I get some time and money. Those who have followed the site know that I’ve successfully fended off coercive lawsuits ranging from $30K to $35M to keep the site going and providing a trustworthy forum where ya’ll can share the truth about these franchise bullies and blowhards.

    So sorry for the inconvenience. I will get there eventually and do a proper redesign. In the meantime, if people simply bookmark this URL you should be able to find this main discussion right away:

    Bookmark this URL for the archive of all Liberty Tax posts with the most recent first:



  • John will Continue his run as Ceo of successful companies as long as the public is blinded to the facts of how business is truly operated these days.

    John is no fool, and I believe that John saw the writing on the wall and saw that monetizing poor people which is what, made him very rich, was coming to an end no matter if he fought on and remained at Liberty or if he decided to leave. Leaving allowed him to pocket a huge sum of capital and also allowed him to refocus his abilities and capital on a more stable market and a market that is going to last much longer than the Liberty Tax business model, which is a model that is dying very quickly!

    John over the years has been able to take other peoples great ideas in his organizations and once he is able to separate the idea from the person or persons that envisioned it, he is able to make the idea his own and capitalize on it! He does this over and over and over!

    He understands that small business is one of the only possible bright spots in the income tax prep industry and even the small business side is very limited overall. But he does know and understand the tax industry very well so including it at the start of this new adventure only makes good sense. So this new adventure with loyalty brands enables him to spread the risk out and be more flexible with the products and services he offers. It ensures that this next adventure has the flexibility needed to survive no matter what business environment we may be in at any particular time. Except for a total collapse of the American economy and at that point I’m sure he will find a way to capitalize and monetize that also.

    In the end the business model will be much the same. John will not make money on the services that Loyalty Brands provides. He will make his fortune convincing talented but cash strapped entrepreneurs or business owners that want to be a part of something special, to join him by offering them things that they don’t think they would be able to obtain on there own easily. With Liberty he used financing and a well written contract to lure many in and it worked great. For those people who bought into the Area Developer scam don’t feel bad. It was a genius business move on Libertys part to create such an amazing contract that even impressed some of the most talented lawyers out there and fooled so many! But the execution by John and Liberty of the Area Developers contract was anything but genius it was as corrupt as anything I have ever seen. Many good people went broke because of the way Liberty used the Area Developer Contract and financing. Not only the people who bought Into being Area Developers but also the franchisees. Liberty became what it is today because of the choice to become a high interest low risk loan shark plain and simple.

    Over the next several years many of the talented and loyal people who helped build liberty will be brought into Loyalty Brands to pump up the excitement and to create the needed culture for John and investors to sell this opportunity to the masses. Many of the people will be brought on to ensure control of the franchisees or the business owners who decide to get involved. Control is key to Johns. Success!

    I’ve not yet looked at Loyalty Brands Opportunity very in depth but I plan on it and I can almost guarantee you many will be able to see what the hook is and how this will play out. John sells the dream like very few out there are able to do. And people believe they are truly buying a dream and a partnership when in reality the majority are buying into nothing but a living nightmare. Yes a very few will go on to be successful with John. But the design is that the majority are used then discarded for the benefit of the very few who are chosen to share in the ultimate rewards. And if you ever have the opportunity to sit down with John and talk business he will tell you this! It won’t be so blunt or brutal as I have presented it but he will tell you what the end game is and if your listening you will catch on and keep you wallet in your pocket! If there’s one thing John loves to do it is talking about himself and his companies.

    What happens to Liberty is beyond me. The current model is a dying one so unless the new ownership is wiling to listen and include the talented franchisees and employees who remain I don’t hold much hope out.

  • I also want to encourage anyone who has found this site to be helpful and think that spreading the truth of what is really going on in the franchise world today is of utmost importance to donate and support Sean with the financing of this site!

    Sean has been a lone warrior who has went out and battled many of these franchisor and there lawyers and has won! He has been threatened and told that they were going to destroy him and this site yet he still remains and still is fighting the fight!

    Sean never started out desiring to be the one who exposed the franchising industry he wanted to highlight the good franchisors out there and be a place for the masses to come when they were looking for a honest and good business opportunity.

    But quickly like so many of us found out that the franchising industry as a whole is corrupt and full of nightmare stories of intimidation and threats.

    If you have the resources please consider donating to this very worth cause.

  • Guest

    Sometimes the most difficult thing is understanding and accepting that your time has come and gone. Mr. Hewitt time has come and gone. The millennials won’t care or know of him and the rest of potential investors are seniors looking to keep their monies happily into retirement. No one has time to look at the past. We need all our time to cover the future. Franchisees have said goodbye and are moving on.

  • Guest

    Hate to say it but I told you it would happen. Kills store equity but makes it open season to jump ship.

  • SanFranDan

    Who wants to bet that HE is involved with this somehow. He’s a creep & I wouldn’t put anything past him. :(
    PLEASE jump ship before the start of the next season. HE really has the kahunas to wreak havoc on your life for years. It is SO not worth it.

  • Anon

    Oh, I’d be willing to bet good money that John Hewitt is behind the private equity buyout attempt. It sounds kind of like the Papa John’s situation where their board forced Papa John out and he’s been attempting to get backing of private equity to buybuck his company and take it private again. I’d imagine John Hewitt is trying as well. As much of a con artist as John is, I can’t honestly say it would be any worse for the remaining franchisees as they are basically rudderless now. John was a jerk, but he was a steadying presence and at least gave the brand some legitamacy via his background in the industry. Either way, I’d recommend people start looking for an exit as these are the final gasps of a dying company. Maybe after this tax season, maybe two or three more, but it’s not turning around and will eventually collapse.

  • SanFranDan

    ^^”The brand” had NO legitimacy! No one came to me to have their Taxes done because it was Liberty Tax! Hell, no one cared! Liberty Tax was and is a fictitious, made up name to hide behind. It could have been “Joe’s Tax Service”. They came to me because I was honest, fast, knowledgeable and fair. That’s it! And they referred many friends & family. His “industry background” meant nothing! How much do you want to bet he most certainly has never prepared a Tax return? I had people coming back to me every year for ME. If they wanted the “brand”, they could have asked for any preparer instead of waiting for me. Especially since I had multiple offices. It’s amazing what you can create out of thin air and coax people’s money from them from these “territories” that are all just imagined and drawn up. He has been in the business of ripping people off again and again and again no matter what company brand he was hiding behind. The fact that the DOJ still hasn’t arrested him, knowing full well how much info. they have on him, frankly is nauseating. Karma will happen eventually. Never thought I’d have to wait so long. He’s out of LTS but completely free to work, rip people off and continue his shenanigans over & over again. It’s marketing, sales, whatever you want to call his business, but it certainly has never been Taxes.

  • dr zhivago

    A new nugget inserted into Liberty’s recently released 10-Q filing for their second quarter. I don’t recall seeing this before, so it may be a recent and ongoing investigation:
    “The IRS has been conducting an investigation of our policies, practices and procedures in connection with such tax return preparation activities. We are cooperating fully with the government in connection with these matters, including by providing documents and other information. The Company is unable to predict what action, if any, might be taken in the future as a result of these matters or the impact, if any, of the cost of responding to the government or any potential remedies as a result of these matters could have on the Company. It is possible, however, that any such remedies could have a material adverse impact on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position, or cash flows.”

  • Don't Be Fooled

    I feel sorry for all of the newbies as they are gearing up for a new season, unaware of the money they are likely to lose. My advice to them is to get out now, no matter what. Start an exit plan immediately.

  • T.EA

    Dr Zhivago, Best news news I’ve heard in a while better late than never.

  • Franchizee

    Awesome, glad I’m gone from this circus.

  • NCHillBilly

    IRS investigating Liberty Tax, company says
    By Kimberly Pierceall
    Staff writer

    Kimberly Pierceall

    Dec 14, 2018
    The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice have pursued multiple cases against Liberty Tax franchises in recent years, but the IRS has also been investigating the company itself, according to a Liberty Tax financial filing .
    The mention, deep into the Virginia Beach-based company’s quarterly earnings report filed Monday, appears to be the first public acknowledgment that there’s an investigation into corporate activities.

    Under “other matters” in the filing, the company says “the IRS has been conducting an investigation of our policies, practices and procedures in connection with such tax return preparation activities.” The phrasing inferred the investigation into the corporate headquarters’ activities could be related to other cases the agency is looking into involving the company’s franchisees.
    “We are cooperating fully with the government in connection with these matters, including by providing documents and other information,” the company notes.

    Multiple cases have been brought against individual franchisees who collectively operated hundreds of stores. In April, the Department of Justice sued to shut down a longtime Florida franchisee with corporate connections, accusing it of filing fraudulent tax returns. The case, which seeks $1 million in what the federal government described as ill-gotten gains, is pending in a Florida federal court. In 2016, at least 70 franchise locations were shut down and scrutinized by federal authorities.

    In the same financial filing, Liberty Tax said it had determined its internal controls and procedures for financial reporting had a “material weakness” and referenced issues it had with “tone at the top,” a concern cited by its original auditor, KPMG, when it resigned from its role with the company in late 2017.
    Liberty Tax founder John Hewitt had been ousted as the CEO that year after an internal investigation determined he could be fired for cause. He was ultimately fired without cause but remained in control of the board of directors because of the class of shares he owned, causing a management shakeup.
    Among the fixes the company said it had made: buying Hewitt out of his stock and forcing his resignation from the board, forcing the resignation of his appointed board members, hiring a new chief financial officer and retaining franchisee Nicole Ossenfort as the company’s CEO and president, electing new board members and hiring Ernst & Young to review its corporate governance practices.

    The company’s chief financial officer did not return a call and email seeking comment. The IRS declined to comment, citing the agency’s disclosure and privacy rules.

  • Texastee

    I think a lot of us were expecting the IRS to investigate but did not anticipate why it took so long for them to catch up with Hewitt and his merry band of robbers. If Liberty has gone to the extent of disclosing that they are under investigation, then there is certainly something substantial going on regarding their business. We all know that there is monkey business going on there and we know it started at the top. Its just too bad that in the intervening time between us all describing our torments with this franchise, until now, many others have been lured into Hewitt’s scam.

    Now, if all of us can somehow let the IRS know the true extent of the Liberty Tax scam, maybe Hewitt and his gang can finally spend some time as guests of the Feds. But, then again, he has a very natural ability to squirm out of any jam he gets into, usually greasing the path with cash.

    It has taken me quite a few years to nearly recover from my experience with this predatory franchise. I’m still paying some of the bills from well over 10 years ago that were incurred by these clowns. It has always sickened me to see that Hewitt would get this award or that recognition when it has been well known what a scum he really is. I really hope that the IRS will step up their game and really dig down to the facts of what this guy has done to his customers, franchisees and to the government. Advise to the IRS investigators: There are a lot of skeletons in this closet and look at the franchisee’s that have left. It will be enlightening.

  • Kimberly Grise

    I know that tax services have to be some what compliant to the original franchise protocol and customer service requests.

    I have contacted the BBB on the Plainfield IL location. I have made multiple appointments to request a form copy from my 2017 taxes that aren’t listed in my vault. No one has shown up.

    I need this form for my husbands citizenship we are filing for. If I can’t attain it by a certain date, he gets deported.

    Customer service says the only way to see someone is to make an appointment, and that there is nothing more they can do.

    This office is over an hour from my house. I made every appointment I could today. The agent never sho we and did not respond to calls or texts from customer service.

    I am at a loss here. I figured you should know about these occurrences.

    I just need this form. It’s not a joke. This isn’t something that should be done to people regarding their taxes, or anything else for that matter.

  • Concerned Zee

    The Bank Fees just came out with being able to offer up to a $6250 Loan. Results give Liberty Corporate the Lions share of the Revenue for example say we get a normal $400 tax prep fee and the Loan is approved. We pay Liberty Corp $76 Royalty plus $140.63 Bank Fee leaving us with $183.37+$16 NetSpend=$199.37. Corporate keeps $76+$140.63 Zee Paid Bank Fee+$49.95 RT Fee+ $108.33 New Customer Paid Loan Fee=$374.91+unknown NetSpend likely at least $20=$394.91
    Wow!!! Corporate Keeps 66% of total Revenue and we get 34% of which $6 goes to our preparers. They don’t get it we can’t survive in this model. ADs will do nothing about this other than say we have to offer it to be competitive. We could make $$$ years ago when we only had to pay 19% and kept 81% now we are keeping less than 50 cents on the dollar when we do all this marketing. The new CEO and company have done nothing to minimize this added cost. We’ve been screwed again with Bank Charges.

  • Itsmylastyear

    Increase prep fee by $25.00, offer but don’t push loan, let customer decide on debit card, promote check with fee. HRB has check fee. Spot on Zees pay for most.

  • Kimberly, I totally agree that it unacceptable for franchisees not to show up for appointments. Sounds like customer service is not communicating with the owner. If the fault lies with corporate, complaining to corporate will get you no where. That said, you were surely given a copy of your tax return when you filed it. You can’t fault Liberty if you lost it. I hope you find it because it contains personal information ID thieves would love to have. For the missed appointments, you can blame Liberty. For the missing tax return that necessitated the need for an appointment, you can only blame yourself.

  • Kimberly Grise

    The copy I was given said efiled in place of the information I had. I had what they gave me. Thanks.

  • NCHillBilly

    Kimberly. visit a Liberty office that is closer to where you live. Any Liberty Office will have access to the national database and they will be able to retrieve your 2017 tax return. Hopefully this will help.

  • I can tell you that it’s a new day at Liberty Tax Service. The leadership is very concentrated on franchisee growth and success. Gone are the days of mis-management.

  • Concerned Zee

    Very Quite for all the Zees, I like the leadership too, but the retail tax is evolving and can’t support the exorbitant fees of a franchise system. The only way to survive is to become an independent owner that focuses not only on taxes but also financial planning, bookkeeping and financial statements. 19% haircut on the Gross is over 50% of the Profit. Its unsustainable!!

  • Kimberly Grise, you can call the IRS on their 800-829-1040 number. You may have to be on hold for a bit, but they can send you a return transcript in a few days. You might be able to go the IRS website and download a copy, once you have validated your identity. You could also go to an Enrolled Agent, fill out a Power of Attorney, and ask them to get a copy of your return from the IRS.

  • Concerned Z is correct. Even with great ownership and solid management at the top at Liberty now, franchisees will struggle to make enough for the investment and the time spent. Any franchisee already bought in has little choice but to try to make it work. But if your considering entering the tax prep business do not spend money on a franchise. It will force you to have prices uncompetitive and will all but ensure you a life of struggle and misery. And all that if the franchise is good one and has good management! The math and reality just doesnt support going with the franchise model! Take the money you was going to give the franchisor and instead buy yourself a education. Also use part of that money to set yourself up for a great tax season. If you wisely take the 40k that Liberty or other franchise models charge and spend that money smart along with setting up your business wisely you can come out if your first tax season in the black and then ready to roll! A franchise is not going to bring clients in the door. And what few they may bring they will be more than offset by the clientelle who refuses to enter your door because of what they have heard or experienced in the past. Trust me my first several years with Liberty I and my team brought in 99 percent of the clients! Liberty got paid allot for doing very very little.

    Focusing all your attention on early season clients also will never be a long term solution. To have a prayer of surviving you must expand your services while minimizing your expenses. Early season clients look good at first but they bring with them so many issues and so many nightmares they normally are not worth iy. If i was back into the tax industry i would heavily focus on real tax clients which will require some education. I would also highly suggest franchisees find non liberty or non franchise sources of income like selling financial products and annuities. This could be the difference between bankruptcy and a comfortable life!

    Franchising is not a good answer for the vast majority of people who want to succeed in business. Thats why you will hear 1000 times more nightmare stories than the very few success stories. Sure many will fail with or without franchising but your overall chances of success go way up if you choose to go on your own and invest your money and resources wisely.

    The truth about franchising is slowly getting out there but not nearly fast enough. So many franchise opportunities i would put in a class similar to Multi Level Marketing. Because the deck has been stacked against the vast majority of those buying into either before they even start! It doesnt have to be this way but is going to take a complete change in business culture and ethics for this to change anytime soon. Right now think long and hard before investing in any franchise opportunity. You will be thankful you did I can gurantee that;

  • Now Some free business advice to anyone looking into the Tax Preparation business. This is free and a generalization but a great track to start running on. Its just a start not nearly everything.

    With the explosion of tech over the past 30 years it is now possible to gain tax.clientelle from all over this great land. You are no longer forced into accepting what has become the norm of only marketing to a small geographic area around a physical office and building a tax practice from referals around that same small area.

    Starting out marketing to those close to you will be the easiest way to get started but it isnjust a tiny part of what should be a much larger effort. With tech a client is no longer required to drive inyo your physical office and sit there in front of you. A client can just as easily upload docs via secure channels available today over the internet. Any conversations needed can be done by video call or telephone. When the return is done the client can pay your fees via electronic payment that is set up in your system and once payment is made and all electronic signatures are gotten the return can be sent to irs. The client can have access to all their returns and docs via there own online vault or locker. They can print out whatever they choose anytime they choose. Servicing a client does not need to be labor intensive or difficult. Also maintianing a strong relationahip with a person or family that lives hundreds miles away does not need to be any lrss than the relationships you have with yout local clientelle.

    The future of paid tax preparation business is going to be business owners who can build strong relationships while keeping expenses at a minimum by utilizing tech and all other tools available while being able to offer a product that has more perecived value than the price charged.

    Years ago if a client moved to another state they would need to find another preparer to build a relationship with Today those relationships can be maintained and strengthened by using tech and having some vision. Now you can get referals from clients nationwide! Also now your preparers can build large profitable tax prep client bases that will ensure your retention is near the top of the charts! Now you can start building real long term business profit!

    This is just the beginning of what can be done. And no you do not need to pay a franchisor a bunch of money to do it. You need to do your homework locate the tech that is available and secure it. Then go about the tasks of growing your business and possibly your empire! Most taxpayers of course would much rather have a professional tax preparer they know and trust assisting them year in and year out. The question becomes can they afford the cost of having the trusted advisor or will they have to accept something less that they can fit into their budget! What i see currently they can seldom afford the cost of the advisor so they eventually settle for less.

    Now that i have given you for free more valuable and useful business information than most any franchisor would charge you for do your homework and dont be afraid to help a fellow business owner out when they are in need and you are able too. You dont have to be part of a franchise to have those close bonds with other tax preparers or other business owners. You just have to put yourself out there and be willing to truely add value to their business and to their lives. Not because you will get something back in return but because it is the right way to conduct business!

  • Jewel McHardy

    Out. Would love to discuss this with you.

  • Raymond D. Nations, EA

    I am already in trouble because I dared to prepare returns within the 25 mile radius, so I can not discuss anything negative about Liberty with anyone or face more serious trouble. I’m being sued now by them.

  • SanFranDan

    ^^^Yeah, sued in Virginia Beach, right? Same here. Years ago. I had to find and hire a Virginia Beach lawyer and then fly him here to see my operation. You will not win in VA Beach, no way, no how. With or without that disgusting leader, who was finally pushed out. It’s all fixed. That was the beginning of my issues with LTS, which is closer to 2 decades ago and still wrapped up in their crap. Well, not so much with LTS now, but what the asshole did to me that I’m still picking up the pieces of. Almost 2 decades later! No joke! The amount of stress and money expended is SO not worth it. That guy, JTH, should be hung by his toes, upside down and tortured. Money down the drain faster than drain-o. :(

    I then moved my office way outside the 25 mile radius–36 miles– and they still went after me and shut me down. That organization and their past leader, JTH the asshole, was as vindictive as anyone can get. They did everything they could to harass me. Because I was a threat and knew too much and saw too much. If you notice in the last 10-15 years how many zee’s have left and why, I bet it’s because they were driven out by his truly. He was the one to call the IRS on each and every zee, and he even admitted to that stupid fact! And he was the one who taught each and every zee for “special after hours” training, where the more seasoned people taught you how to screw around with the system. So he taught them (the new zee’s) and then called the IRS to go after them to get them out of LTS. That includes all the first Canadian owners (in 1997) where he experimented and perfected in setting up his unique scam. That enabled him to re-sell a developed territory to some other poor schlump. As I stated so many times before, this was a marketing company, not a Tax company. That’s precisely how they made their money. Selling made up territories to unsuspecting people willing to part with their hard earned money. It was and is a scam. Read some of the other forum’s on this website. You will see a familiar pattern……..



    John Hewitt graces the cover of the February, 2019 Franchise Times magazine.

    The article lays out his plans for his next franchise venture, his view on his many scandals, and his priorities of God, Family & Business… in that order.

    Oh, and whether he had loud sex in his office.

    February-2019-Hewitt-CoverForced out of Liberty Tax Service, founder John Hewitt will try again

    “John Hewitt is poised to launch his third tax prep franchise from scratch after the other two brands he founded, most recently Liberty Tax Service where his alleged actions wreaked havoc, pushed him out in a chaotic mess. Can the man who sold 5,000 units, which he figures has ‘got to be the top 10 in the world,’ gain franchisees’ trust and do it all over again?”

    Excerpts:  “With his trademark braggadocio, Hewitt, age 70, says he expects to duplicate his success with his third tax brand, to be launched under the umbrella name Loyalty Brands and to also include three other franchise concepts. “I’ve sold 5,000 franchises in my career. That’s got to be the top 10 in the world,” he tells me from the shared conference room in his new headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where in October he had leased a suite of offices but had not yet furnished them.”

    “Earlier, at the office tower for Loyalty Brands, Hewitt and Martha O’Gorman detailed some of their plans for their new company. O’Gorman was with Hewitt at Jackson Hewitt, and she joined him to launch Liberty Tax, too… The plans are for four concepts: a business brokerage franchise called First Choice; a ‘high-end’ franchise to provide bookkeeping, accounting and tax services to small businesses and high net worth clients; a barter organization, in which businesses provide their excess capacity to trade for other needed services; and the new retail tax service, scheduled to be launched the day after Hewitt’s non-compete expires. He plans to focus on the Hispanic market, he says, something he tried at Liberty by launching SiempreTax in 2014.

    “I asked O’Gorman why she joined Hewitt to help him start over. “Why not?” she says, adding she helped him to start Liberty Tax, too. “It was so much fun. I got so energized, and seeing the potential, I’m excited to be able to do it again.”

    “’My priorities are God, family, business,’ in that order, [Hewitt] declares…

    “Is there anything he regrets about what happened at Liberty Tax? ‘I don’t look back. I try never to think about it because it’s a waste of my time… We felt blessed to be with Liberty Tax. We had great years. I can guarantee you that Loyalty is going to do the same thing to Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax and H&R Block. We’re going to beat them up,’ he says. ‘I come to play.’

    Caution, you may need therapy to unremember this one: “I asked [Hewitt] if the allegations that employees heard him having sex in the office were true. ‘A guy came to my office at 7 a.m. He heard sounds that sounded like sex in the office. I didn’t refute it,’ [Hewitt] says. So is that a yes, I asked? He didn’t directly answer.”

  • Anyone seen any LTS or JH performance numbers yet? Look on the LTS website at locations for sale WOW fire sale!

  • Where do you see a list?

  • I bet a lot of Liberty Tax owners are relieved the season is over. Now start your exit strategy.

  • Frustrated and Disgusted

    I have been off this site for awhile, but had to put my two cents worth in again. Again, I live in a major city, and cannot even find a Liberty Tax store. Those that were are no longer, and even if you look on the website, the number has fallen dramatically. I lost $100K on this garbage franchise, and can only imagine how many others have lost that and more. I lasted two years before becoming insolvent. I bought an existing franchise. I found out early the next year that his preparers were filing false returns, taking business expenses that did not exist, and defrauding customers by overcharging them for bank products. What did LT do when I told them? Look the other way and just forget what you found. Yes, that is the company you really want on your side…… This franchise is a certain money loser, and at the end all you will have are a lot of debts you will be paying off for years to come, a lesson you will never forget. I can’t stress enough how bad this company is. Stay away.

  • SanFranDan

    ^^^ It started at the very top. The founder & CEO was the biggest con man of them all and that’s how he chose to live his life and run the franchises as well as his own personal family life too. It was a fraudulent company from day one. Anything that thief touches is automatically fraudulent and false in every way shape and form. He has been ousted out of each company………………hmmmm…………not hard at all to figure out why. And yet he is still walking around a free man. Something is wrong with this picture. DOJ, IRS: you are all aware of his shenanigans and yet you allow him to continue to walk free…….. “look the other way” was a daily occurrence back then and certainly what was taught, especially at those “night classes”. That guy has been sued so many times, he has an office at the courthouse! (just kidding, but not really)

    Worst time of my life. My 5 year contract turned into a multi-year nightmare. Franchises in general are the worst, but LTS took it one step further and was downright disgusting, manipulative, used scare tactics and threw everyone under the bus. ^^^ Like Frustrated and Disgusted, my advice is to back away, keep your money, your mind in tact, your shirt on your back and your stress level on an even level. Go with them and you lose everything: your money, your sanity, the stress is unbearable and it’s SO not worth it. Find some other way to earn a living. You’re welcome!! :)

  • icompeteichoke

    Seven years of lies and tricks to think you are in a real business when in fact its all a scam . No two people put more into a small business . Our clients loved us , our integrity is still intact but …….Lets start at the very beginning . We went to the franchise day in Virginia Beach and you got some very good info on taxes in general and were promised a visit to a local office to see how one is set up . We boarded a bus and traveled a few miles to find the office was closed . Someone dropped the ball this was day 1 .

  • I too was a Franchise owner. I purchased a failing office and turned it around in a year. In 4 years I increased my business to 1000 returns. I did this by reducing the fees that I charged to a resasonalble rate for the area that I was located in.

    I also did not use the Liberty Tax waivers, people in my area thought that Liberty Tax Service was a big circus act. The first year I had my office things were great with corporate. In the fee intercept program corporate kept 1/ 2 of the bank product fees and I got the other 1/ 2. The following years I had to beg to get some of the bank product money from corporate to make payroll and pay the office rent and utilities, until my regular cash paying clients came in.

    Corporates policy of 100% fee intercept of bank products is done with intent to cause financial harm to their franchises. I received threading call from corporate saying that I wasn’t charging enough. Then my area developer tried behind my back with a person from corporate to force me out of my store so she could give it to someone she owed money to.

    I went through an internal audit from corporate and the only thing corporate could find that I was not doing as to Their guidelines and rules was that I didn’t read Their management manual daily. My response was that I had eidetic memory so I didn’t need to. I proceeded to verbalize page parargraph and line of the manual. I was given aB+ on my audit. And told that nobody had ever gotten that high of rating.

    Corporate’s and my Area Developer’s actions ended up causing me $100,000 in financial harm and almost cost me my marriage. If there was a way to sue I would.

  • Liberty Tax is now becoming a furniture store company and changing their name!! hahahahah they are finally done! Adios!

  • It looks like some of the franchisee office furniture is going to come to some use in Buddys rentals . What a joke ? So glad to be out of this . Screwitt is now concentrating on franchises etc . Maybe he can get an old office relic .

  • #itsashameitscometothis

    Really looks like jumped out of the frying pan into the fire when John Hewitt left. It’s starting to look like the company is being RAIDED from inside by people with outside interests. Expect MANY franchisees to jump ship or just close before the coming season. This meets the defination of confusion and chaos. Major drop outs before 2020. Too bad those who have put in the time and work are left dealing with the appearance of covered up theft and dishonesty. They can probably use those chairs to hold open the door for people leaving. Ridiculous!!!

  • totallypissed

    Will wait out the 2 year non compete and run this company out of town.

  • Now The Vitamin Shoppe. I’m confused!

  • #treatlibertyfranchiseeslikedirt!

    Thanks for the heads up. They are tying up the company’s capital and it’s ability to provide help for franchisees. It would appear as desertion. another way to rob tax franchisees. No internal communication and it’s summer so who’s looking. No oversight. Take the money and credit and kick the tax business to the curb. Raiding without caring. Who knew. Makes liberty stores worthless. Just take the sign down and keep operating since abandoned already.

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