TaxMasters CEO Patrick Cox declined to be interviewed by ABC News, and in a written statement he did not address the specific allegations in the Texas and Minnesota lawsuits. TaxMasters has denied the allegations in the lawsuits and Cox said the company "prides itself on honest customer service, a transparent process with our customer, and seeking fair treatment from the IRS."
Of the allegations made by dissatisfied customers in the Nightline and World News with Diane Sawyer reports, Cox said, "It is not surprising that ABC News dug through the tens of thousands of taxpayers we have spoken with over the years and found a few individuals willing to complain on camera."
Cox said he could not comment on specific cases cited to him by ABC News, but said they "are not a fair representation of TaxMasters' client base or business practice."
Read Patrick Cox's Full Statement to ABC News.
Despite the pending lawsuits, TaxMasters has continued to flood CNN, Fox News and other cable channels with commercials that promise to help Americans facing problems with the IRS. The ads feature TaxMasters' red-bearded founder and CEO Cox, who claims his company's staff of former IRS agents and tax professionals "have helped many good people just like you."
In a statement, CNN said the network was "aware of pending legal activity" and had been told by TaxMasters that it was working to address the claims with the state authorities. "We continue to monitor any activity for developments or resolution, and will further evaluate our relationship as it becomes necessary," the network said in the statement.
Fox News acknowledged receiving viewer complaints. "Anytime we have received a complaint about TaxMasters we forward it to them and tell them they have five working days to resolve the complaint," said a Fox News spokeswoman. While the spokeswoman did not disclose the number or nature of the complaints, she said they have all been resolved.
The TaxMasters ad blitz has been a driving force in the company's soaring corporate revenues. The company linked "an increase in advertising expense" to "increased sales volume" in its year-end filing.