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Old 14.10.2016, 18:33
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Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a tax accountant in Zurich who (from our experience) appears to be scamming expats (we aren't the only ones who have written this type of review over the last year). He advertises himself as being able to do both U.S. and Swiss taxes for less than $2500. We bought into this, paid him, and after months of no response he finally calculated our Swiss taxes late and horribly incorrectly. When we went to deregister from Switzerland a few weeks ago, the government said that we had overpaid by 20%. This is now a complete disaster because we need to adjust our U.S. taxes and only have a few days to do this. After incorrectly calculating our taxes, the firm (Robert Meili) then sent us a bill for $2000 just for the Swiss taxes (which were originally quoted at 500 CHF), and we got another email saying that our US taxes would be another $2000-$3000 on top of that (originally quoted at $1500). Remember that we've prepaid him $2700 and he's refusing to recognize that payment. Now we've heard from the US affiliate that she was never paid by Robert and we are on the hook to directly pay her. He has been unresponsive to all emails and calls (even the one stating that he needs to reimburse us for the amount we overpaid him and that the state said his calculations were incorrect). Throughout our relationship with him he has avoided meeting in person, talking on the phone, and essentially goes for long periods of time without responding at all. He even passed our case along to another person at his firm without telling us and without giving that person the information so that we were essentially starting over halfway through (and they charged us for this handoff).

As far as we can tell, this is a giant scam. I would recommend avoiding his firm at all cost: steuren.meili.ch
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Old 14.10.2016, 22:52
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

Here's a warning sign: they ask for payment before doing the work
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Old 15.10.2016, 03:17
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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Here's a warning sign: they ask for payment before doing the work
Classic sign and would have thought the OP saw that one coming a prepayment for tax services before they have done the work is a sure sign of a scam
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Old 15.10.2016, 09:54
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

All I can say, is I'm sorry to hear about this and can understand your frustration. At least others know about it now.
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Old 15.10.2016, 14:51
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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As far as we can tell, this is a giant scam. I would recommend avoiding his firm at all cost: steuren.meili.ch
This domain doesn't exist. Playing a bit with dashes (see subject) results on a working domain, but based on OP's post it's unclear if that is indeed the company OP complains about.

The inconsistency on this absolutely crucial piece of info raises quite a red flag. Then there's the otherwise unfounded claim that "we aren't the only ones who have written this type of review over the last year", why is there no link to these reviews?

Considering these two points, coupled with the fact that the company this probably is about employs quite a few people from the legal department, it may actually be in the best interest of EF itself to close this thread or remove it altogether.
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Old 15.10.2016, 15:17
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

My partner has been using Steurn Meili for several years already to fill his tax returns. It worked out just fine so far. it wasn't a very smooth experience either, but nothing that went terribly wrong.

300-400 Fr or so per tax return via a bill, slow response time (months), forgetting to forward responses from tax authorities, some ethically questionable gray tax tricks (deducting non existant "open bills" for thousands of franks)...
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Old 15.10.2016, 16:15
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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This domain doesn't exist. Playing a bit with dashes (see subject) results on a working domain, but based on OP's post it's unclear if that is indeed the company OP complains about.
No. It's very clear it's the same. Google for Steuern-Meili (as in the post title) and you get the correct URL, which is so close to what was entered that it's obviously a typo.

The OP may have received appalling service, but to call it a scam is really a bit much. I don't understand why people who feel they've lost money start screaming "scam!", as though the company has set out to defraud. If you think it's a scam, go to the police. Certainly don't defame them in a public forum. That's really stupid and won't get you anything except a world of pain...

Incompetence and stupidity is always far more likely than deliberate acts of fraud.
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Old 15.10.2016, 17:47
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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This domain doesn't exist. Playing a bit with dashes (see subject) results on a working domain, but based on OP's post it's unclear if that is indeed the company OP complains about.

The inconsistency on this absolutely crucial piece of info raises quite a red flag. Then there's the otherwise unfounded claim that "we aren't the only ones who have written this type of review over the last year", why is there no link to these reviews?

Considering these two points, coupled with the fact that the company this probably is about employs quite a few people from the legal department, it may actually be in the best interest of EF itself to close this thread or remove it altogether.
Do you work for Steuern-Melli or something?
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Old 15.10.2016, 20:41
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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...we aren't the only ones who have written this type of review over the last year...
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...Then there's the otherwise unfounded claim that "we aren't the only ones who have written this type of review over the last year", why is there no link to these reviews?...
That's a good question. I can't see any reviews online other than the one apparently from the OP on the firm's Facebook page.
https://en-pi.facebook.com/steuern.meili/reviews/
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Old 15.10.2016, 23:01
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

Why in heavens name would anyone go hiring a firm to do one's taxes when they clearly have not got a single professional between them!
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Old 16.10.2016, 16:16
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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No. It's very clear it's the same. Google for Steuern-Meili (as in the post title) and you get the correct URL, which is so close to what was entered that it's obviously a typo.
I generally agree, but when shaming someone I think one should be extra precise. For one you may shame an unrelated 3rd person otherwise, and it takes away credibility - if a core aspect is wrong why should the rest assumed to be correct and true?
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Old 16.10.2016, 18:48
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

Sounds like incompetence rather than a scam. They are not setting out to defraud ... just not much good at what they do... or too good if you consider the extra income from elastic pricing estimates.
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Old 17.10.2016, 19:30
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Hi guys -

Thanks for all of the follow-up. To clear-up any confusion (or my typos), I'm pasting the web addresses from the email signatures from the two people we've dealt with there (Robert Meili being the primary). It appears they may have multiple firms. Also, here's a link to the Google Reviews. You can see that someone else had a similar experience (incorrect filing / way overcharged etc).

meili-consulting.ch
steuern-meili.ch
Google Reviews: Oddly enough I can't paste a direct link to reviews but if you type in "Steuern-Meili" this comes up and then you can click reviews and see a few:

Match from Google --> "Robert Meili lic. oec. publ., Steuerberatung für Private & Unternehmen"

We're actually going through the steps with the Canton to have him investigated and hopefully he won't be able to do this to anyone else.

For the avoidance of doubt, I didn't post this to be annoying, ha. Sorry that some of you have a problem with the language I used. We didn't prepay b/c we are idiots - we had to due to my husband's policy with work reimbursements for accounting support. Anyway, whether you call it a scam or not, I was just trying to help others avoid the situation we are in (trusting someone who completely mislaid our trust). Semantics aside, let me tell you how fun it is explaining this to the IRS...Take that (and my typos) with a grain of salt please. If you want to take the risk, go for it and use Robert

Kindly,
Meredith

Sorry I just read the "maybe it isn't a scam" post, and honestly I thought about that (and hoped for that) but now they won't answer our calls, won't pay their US counterpart, won't acknowledge our repeated attempts to contact them about how wrong the taxes are, and won't acknowledge that we prepaid them. It's constantly evolving, but yeah, I mean that doesn't sound like just incompetence to me? Trust me, I hate going down this path - not the way I generally like to spend my time. So again, take this as you will.

Kindly,
Meredith

Last edited by 3Wishes; 17.10.2016 at 21:12. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 18.10.2016, 08:25
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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Hi guys -

Thanks for all of the follow-up. To clear-up any confusion (or my typos), I'm pasting the web addresses from the email signatures from the two people we've dealt with there (Robert Meili being the primary). It appears they may have multiple firms. Also, here's a link to the Google Reviews. You can see that someone else had a similar experience (incorrect filing / way overcharged etc).

meili-consulting.ch
steuern-meili.ch
Google Reviews: Oddly enough I can't paste a direct link to reviews but if you type in "Steuern-Meili" this comes up and then you can click reviews and see a few:

Match from Google --> "Robert Meili lic. oec. publ., Steuerberatung für Private & Unternehmen"

We're actually going through the steps with the Canton to have him investigated and hopefully he won't be able to do this to anyone else.

For the avoidance of doubt, I didn't post this to be annoying, ha. Sorry that some of you have a problem with the language I used. We didn't prepay b/c we are idiots - we had to due to my husband's policy with work reimbursements for accounting support. Anyway, whether you call it a scam or not, I was just trying to help others avoid the situation we are in (trusting someone who completely mislaid our trust). Semantics aside, let me tell you how fun it is explaining this to the IRS...Take that (and my typos) with a grain of salt please. If you want to take the risk, go for it and use Robert

Kindly,
Meredith

Sorry I just read the "maybe it isn't a scam" post, and honestly I thought about that (and hoped for that) but now they won't answer our calls, won't pay their US counterpart, won't acknowledge our repeated attempts to contact them about how wrong the taxes are, and won't acknowledge that we prepaid them. It's constantly evolving, but yeah, I mean that doesn't sound like just incompetence to me? Trust me, I hate going down this path - not the way I generally like to spend my time. So again, take this as you will.

Kindly,
Meredith
Doubtful its a scam per se as it seems like a legitimate business, but it clearly seems like they did a very bad job and are now wilfully ignoring you... therefore they are certainly trying to cheat you in some sense.

Hopefully this thread will serve as a warning for people to think twice before using them.

PS: Don't worry about Urs Max, he has about as much emotional intelligence as a plastic bucket.
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Old 19.10.2016, 14:47
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

They even used to advertise on EF not long ago.
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Old 08.12.2016, 14:38
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

Question is.Would you give them Power of Attorney over your tax affairs when you leave Switzerland?
The gemeinde is requesting this POA before they will hand over the de-registration form.
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Old 09.12.2016, 08:10
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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Question is.Would you give them Power of Attorney over your tax affairs when you leave Switzerland?
The gemeinde is requesting this POA before they will hand over the de-registration form.
The federal court has ruled on such a case saying it's illegal as it violates the Willkürverbot.
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Old 09.12.2016, 12:42
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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The federal court has ruled on such a case saying it's illegal as it violates the Willkürverbot.
My tax affairs are in order.In fact I have a 5000 chf tax credit with them.I am refusing to sign POA as are Steuern-Meili. So I guess I leave without the de-registration form.Stalemate.
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Old 10.12.2016, 15:04
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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My tax affairs are in order.
I didn't mean to imply anything to that end. But if withholding the deregistration form of someone who is indeed in debt is illegal, it's even more so for someone who isn't or who's even a creditor.
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Old 10.12.2016, 15:43
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Re: Beware of a Scam Tax Firm: Steuern-Meili

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I didn't mean to imply anything to that end. But if withholding the deregistration form of someone who is indeed in debt is illegal, it's even more so for someone who isn't or who's even a creditor.
The strange thing is that they now want you and your tax adviser to sign the POA. Also they want any payments to go via the tax adviser. Which is why the tax adviser also refused to sign, as they become liable for your future payments.
They are not debt collectors. Anyway,I just cannot deal with these authorities anymore. So I just walk away.
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