It’s that time of the year where some of you go to your local tax franchise and get your taxes completed so you can get that “Instant Refund.” STOP! Before you go and take that step again or should I be advising the first timers. Either way let me explain what it really means to get that “instant” or “rapid” refund.
Getting an “Instant” or “Rapid” Refund means your getting the equivalent of your refund NOW instead of just waiting a couple of weeks for a check or seven to ten days to receive your refund via deposit to your bank account from the government. But should we really call it a “rapid refund?” No I don’t think so. It is really a short-term loan from a bank in anticipation that they get your tax refund. That’s why you have to fill out extra paperwork, including a loan application and a form releasing your refund to the ones who make the loan. Your refund will arrive straight to the lender to pay back what you owe. The fees and interest on these loans are considered predatory by consumer advocates making some preparers trying to inflate your refund to make borrowing against it more appealing because of the high fees at stake.
So why are you paying steep fees to borrow your own money? I Mean you’ve waited a year without the money and your saying that you can’t wait a couple of weeks to get ALL your money back that you’ve overpaid to the government. This is a bad way to start the new year of taking control of managing YOUR money.
Remember there are tax preparers who don’t charge to e-file your return and set you up for direct deposit. Do your research. Also, check out the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistant and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program (VITA/TCE) or call 1-800-906-9887 – they offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify.
Have a productive day, friends!