ID Thieves Take Aim at Govt. Benefits

Identity Theft

ID Thieves Take Aim at Govt. Benefits

ID Thieves Take Aim at Govt. Benefits

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

Is E-Filing to Blame for Uptick in Tax Identity Theft?

Identity Theft

Is E-Filing to Blame for Uptick in Tax Identity Theft?

Is E-Filing to Blame for Uptick in Tax Identity Theft?

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

Consumers Pass on Tax Refunds via Prepaid Cards

Personal Finance

Consumers Pass on Tax Refunds via Prepaid Cards

Consumers Pass on Tax Refunds via Prepaid Cards

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

The End of the Road for Tax Prep Loans?

Personal Finance

The End of the Road for Tax Prep Loans?

The End of the Road for Tax Prep Loans?

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

IRS Introduces Refund Tracking App

Personal Finance

IRS Introduces Refund Tracking App

IRS Introduces Refund Tracking App

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

Reader Question: Tax Rebate

Personal Finance

Reader Question: Tax Rebate

Reader Question: Tax Rebate

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.

Need A Fast Tax Refund? Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans

Personal Loans

Need A Fast Tax Refund? Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans

Need A Fast Tax Refund? Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans

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.

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