Consumer Alert on Credit Counseling Organizations
(Updated May 2006)
Although many credit counseling organizations provide valuable services to persons who find themselves in debt, the IRS is concerned that some have used their tax-exempt status to circumvent consumer protection laws and take advantage of those who are already in financial distress. The following items detail these concerns:
- News Release IR-2006-80 — IRS Takes New Steps on Credit Counseling Groups Following Widespread Abuse
- IRS Reports on Credit Counseling Initiative
- Recent Deletions from Cumulative List (Publication 78)
- News Release IR-2006-25 — IRS Announces "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams for 2006
- Commissioner Mark W. Everson's written testimony for the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight, Nov. 20, 2003, reviewing the tax-exempt status of credit counseling organizations and IRS actions to combat inappropriate activity (PDF 142K).
- News Release IR-2003-120 — IRS, FTC and State Regulators Urge Care When Seeking Help from Credit Counseling Organizations
- Fact Sheet 2003-117 — IRS Takes Steps to Ensure Credit Counseling Organizations Comply With Requirements for Tax-Exempt Status
- Federal Trade Commission — Get consumer tips, pick up scam alerts, or file complaints at the FTC Web site's Consumer Information page.
- Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits — Determine whether the organization is tax-exempt and what an organization must do to maintain that status.
- National Association of State Charity Officials — Obtain a list of state charity official offices.
- Office of Financial Education — To find more information on federal financial education programs and resources.