These days, identity theft exists in many different forms — and some types are growing in popularity among thieves. This seems to be particularly true for fraud related to government benefits, which can not only harm consumers’ finances, but land them in other hot water, too. Types of identity theft that target a consumer’s tax… Read More
If you use an online tax preparation service, you’ll no doubt see ads promoting a prepaid card as a “fast and secure” way to get your refund. One of my colleagues said that as she prepared her taxes online, the promotions for a particular issuer’s prepaid card popped up numerous times. And in fact, it’s… Read More
In the past several years, the number of incidents of identity theft related to consumers’ tax returns has surged, and there seems to be little the Internal Revenue Service can do about it. Now, some experts say that a major reason for this increase in fraud could be the result of the agency’s e-filing option…. Read More
These days, the Internal Revenue Service allows Americans to collect their tax returns electronically, via direct deposit into their bank accounts. However, this option is often not used by underbanked, low-income consumers, and now the government is working to determine how best to roll out these programs to a broader base. Today, some 43 million… Read More
Now that Governor Mitt Romney has picked US Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running-mate there is little doubt that the budget will be a major issue in the 2012 campaign. While both parties will vigorously debate which path should be taken regarding taxes and spending, one area of little dispute will be… Read More
Identity thieves who have fallen on hard times, take heart. The IRS could be the answer to your prayers. The IRS may have delivered more than $5 billion in refund checks to you and your compadres who took the initiative to file fraudulent tax returns in 2011, according to Treasury Department investigators. Keep your nose… Read More
It’s rare to see an entire industry die. But according to a new study by consumers advocates, 2011 may be the last year that companies can offer for tax anticipation loans, which have been criticized by the IRS and consumer advocates for being expensive and unnecessary. “We will be glad to see the last of… Read More
Wondering where the heck your tax refund is? Check your phone. The IRS announced Monday that it will introduce IRS2Go, an app for iPhones and Android phones that lets people check on the status of their tax refunds, plus get tips on tax filing. “As technology evolves and younger taxpayers get their information in new… Read More
If you owe money on your 2007 tax return this year and meet the income qualifications for the stimulus rebate, you will still get the bonus check. Single tax filers with an income below $75,000 can receive up to $600. Couples with an income below $150,000 will get a rebate up to $1,200. And parents will receive an additional $300 for each child under 17.
Would you pay a lender 100 – 1800% to borrow your own money? Millions of consumers do when they get their tax refunds immediately through Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs). Though the service may seem innocent enough – get your refund now instead of waiting a few weeks – the costs are staggering. According to a recent report by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), one out of every 10 tax returns in the 2004 filing season involved an RAL and those consumers paid an estimated $1.24 billion in loan fees and more than $360 million in administrative fees. The working poor are especially vulnerable targets of this “coporate profiteering,” says NCLC’s Chi Chi Wu.