Tax Prep Company Blames IRS, Indian Software Developers, Customers For Bounced Checks

Old school Consumerist readers may remember Memphis-based Mo Money Taxes from its appearance in this classic Great Moments In Commercial History post. But now the company, which provides tax prep services in several states, is making headlines because it has put a lot of bad refund checks in the hands of its customers.

Depending on who customers speak to, they get a different explanation on why the checks are not clearing. WGN-TV reports on a Chicago woman who says a Mo Money employee told her “they did do my taxes but there is no money here and we don’t know where the money is coming from.”

In Norfolk, VA, customers have gone to pick up or inquire about their checks and found stores closed or told that there was a software or printer glitch that prevented them from printing out a new check.

The owner of one Mo Money outlet in Norfolk says that 30 of the 50 checks he printed last Friday did not clear.

Norfolk’s WAVY-TV recorded a lengthy phone interview with the Mo Money CEO, in which he blames everyone from the IRS to customers to franchise owners to software developers in India:

Meanwhile, in Mo Money’s home town of Memphis, the CEO held a press conference where he squarely laid the blame at the feet of the IRS. “We prepare the taxes, electronically file them, and we’re out of it,” he explained.

Almost all reports on the Mo Money situation mention that the company has held an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau.

No money for “Mo’ Money” tax filers [WGN]
Mo Money customers have more problems [WAVY]
Customer: Mo’Money Taxes wrote bad refund check [WMCTV.com]

Thanks to Nicole for the tip!

Comments

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  1. Cicadymn says:

    The first mistake: Using a business called “Mo Money Taxes”

  2. GMFish says:

    I’m not sure how much sympathy I could have for someone who let a company named “Mo Money Taxes” prepare their taxes.

    Wait. I am sure. None. I have absolutely no sympathy.

    • alana0j says:

      Yeah…I’m thinking if you don’t have the money to shell out for a more professional and reputable tax preparer you’re probably better off using a free online service

  3. Benny says:

    It’s basically a ghetto tax service for ghetto people.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      And, it’s also a rip-off scam. They know where to find people that are easy targets.

      YO MONEY IS GONE!

      • Bsamm09 says:

        They find each other. These places used to let anyone come in and claim dependents for the EIC. That’s why the gov’t changed the tax preparer rules. When I volunteered for VITA, we had people come in all the time with copies of social security cards for their “dependents”. We’d tell them we need an original and to come back. They would just go to another VITA place. I would discuss them with friends who were at other sites. They would hit them all.

  4. Darrone says:

    Mo Money, Mo Problems.

  5. Bsamm09 says:

    Mo Money Taxes = EIC scam central. YMMV but a good many of these places are terrible. Even with easy stuff.

    A lot of new clients of mine came from these kind of places after they get a notice from the IRS. Not usually too difficult to remedy but sometimes there isn’t much time to do so and penalties and interest add up.

  6. dolemite says:

    We did our taxes 2.5 weeks ago through H&R Block’s online software. Still no refund. I don’t remember it taking this long when electronically filing them and doing direct deposit. Usually it’s 7-10 days.

    • Kestris says:

      The husband filed our federal using the online H&R Block software on Jan 31st. We got the direct deposit today. So that’s what? 9 days? I’d say if it’s been over 2 weeks, then you might need to call someone and find out what’s going on.

    • mischlep says:

      Refund status tool from the IRS:
      https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp

      There have been delays this year in processing returns for all e-filers.

      • Darury says:

        You can’t put a lot of faith in the website though. I filed on Jan 23, few days later the website said no later than Feb 7. Then by Feb 3 it started saying “up to six weeks”. And oddly enough, it arrived today.

  7. crispyduck13 says:

    So what they did is offer instant tax refunds to people, I’m not sure what the exchange was – do they charge a premium to file taxes like that, interest or a flat percentage maybe? I hear radio spots all the time advertising similar services, around here they call them “refund anticipation loans” or “file your taxes with us and walk out with a check.” How do these places operate in this manner?

    It is hilarious and yet sad that this asshole is blaming everyone except his own crooked company for this mess. Looking forward to the Chapter 11.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Those services (offered by the likes of this company, H&R Block, etc) prey on the poor. They’re like payday loans – rapid anticipation loans give you money you’re expecting ahead of time (e.g. a tax refund) in the form of a loan, but the interest rates are extremely high and there are of course costs for the filing service itself.

  8. Tim says:

    Why is the tax preparer writing refund checks? Are they refund anticipation loans?

    • MJDickPhoto says:

      that’s what it looks like, as the check showing on everything I’ve seen looks nothing like the US returns note.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      The scam here is the company was pretending to provide refund anticipation loans, probably at some high interest rate, but they don’t actually have the money to loan out (hence the need to rename it to “No Money Taxes”).

      Maybe the IRS needs to cut them off and not send any money to this company here on out.

  9. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    http://www.momoneytaxes.com/

    Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.

    • Gehasst says:

      Sounds like the coffers are empty, can’t afford bandwidth, can’t afford to pay checks out…the ship is going down, time to bail out!

  10. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I suspect the company will be in bankruptcy by Monday, and the execs indicted within 2 years. All this points to the final moments of a company going under.

  11. nicoleintrovert says:

    We could definitely blame the people for going to this horrid place, but what is that going to help? It’s sad because the people this place targets knows that they don’t trust a lot of people especially some middle class white folks doing their taxes at some “fancy” place like Liberty or H&R Block.

    I sent this tip in because I was frustrated after sitting here at work today (credit union) and listening to some drama unfold about a person who had deposited their check with Mo Money into their account here, and it was returned this morning. I had seen the story break yesterday but didn’t realize we had them in my area too and people would be affected.

    It just makes me frustrated that even tax preparation services can be predators. These folks seriously wait all year for a refund and that is taken from them (and who knows what has been done with their personal info).

  12. axolotl says:

    Oh my goodness that is the most amazing commercial I have ever seen. hahhahahhahaahha!

  13. Kestris says:

    I’m so glad we filed online and selected direct deposit for our federal tax refund, which we got today. It’s great not having any bills for the rest of the month and being able to put a good chunk of money in savings as a result. .

  14. Lyn Torden says:

    “We prepare the taxes, electronically file them, and we’re out of it,”

    No you are not … liar … you are supposed to also be cutting the checks for the refund loan, and you are supposed to be honoring those checks. You are supposed to have financing to front the money for the interest you are earning on that money.

    There is nothing for the IRS to be blamed for. They will send you the refund money when they get around to it. That’s what the loan financing is for.

    This appears to be some sort of refund pyramid scheme, expecting money from the IRS to cover the next loan check. A criminal investigation needs to be done in each state, and also by the IRS, FTC, DOJ, etc. BOP needs to get some room ready.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      I wonder what their liability is for adjustments by the IRS. Let’s say they prepare a return with a refund of $1,000 and get a cut of $250 for fees and interest from the loan. The IRS deposits $1,000 in their account. Couple years later, IRS realizes they (Taxpayer) should only get back $500. The taxpayer is the one on the hook for the extra money, not the tax place.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      No, they aren’t. If you don’t understand the system *at all*, don’t comment on it.

      1) Return is transmitted to the IRS.
      2) Return is Accepted by the IRS, and the acknowledgement is sent back to the software.
      3) Refund is transmitted from the IRS to the bank.
      4) The bank transmits a check printing authorisation to the software.
      5) The preparer can then *AND ONLY THEN* print the check.

  15. Cacao says:

    Well it’s 1 (IRS), 2 (Indian software developers), 3 (Customers), strikes you’re out, at the ball (tax refund) game!

  16. sirwired says:

    If the check that “Mo Money” writes you bounces, the IRS has bupkis, absolutely bupkis, to do with it; that’s just a load of crap from somebody who might as well have “scammer” tattooed on his forehead.

    If a check with “United States Treasury” and the Statue of Liberty on it bounces? We might could blame that on the IRS. But the IRS has got nothing to do with Mo Money writing checks that can’t be cashed.

  17. MikeVx says:

    Never do the refund anticipation loan thing. It’s bad deal when the most reputable places do it, it only gets worse from there.

    File your taxes, and then wait for your refund if you get one at all. Slower, but safer.

  18. mopman64 says:

    How about “Cracks Tax Back”. Get your tax refund back in crack.

  19. EarthAngel says:

    I would call the IRS @ 800-829-1040. If these were refund anticipation loans (and it sounds like they are) the refunds may not have been issued by the IRS yet. Call the IRS (open from 8 am – 10 pm), tell them about the scam and ask them if they can intercept the Electronic Deposit and have a paper check issued to the address on record. It’s going to take longer, but at least the money won’t end up in Mo Money’s pockets.

  20. bitplayer says:

    The poeple who use mo money don’t have computers and defintely wouldn’t come here. IRS can’t do a trace on a dd refund until after five days of the date of deposit. Even if people don’t have anticipation loans most people who use these kinds of services don’t pay for preparation. They have the preparer take their fee out of the refund. In that case they elected to have the prearer get their refund first and cut them a check for the difference. It’s a civil matter between prearers and filers. Bottom line people should either learn to do it themsleves or go some place reputable to get help with it.

  21. APCO25guy says:

    that’s 30 minutes of my life I’d like to have back.
    what a douche nozzle, the CEO talked in more circles than a used car salesman.
    my money says he’ll be arrested within the next 30 days…

  22. teamplur says:

    Why didn’t they just get direct deposit? Who the hell gets a paper check? Ya ya, bla bla, some people don’t have checking accounts. If you are willing to pay $300-$400 for someone to prepare your taxes, then I sure as hell hope you have a checking account.

  23. stuntman-james says:

    Mo Money tax services has a F rating? No way.

  24. Silverhawk says:

    This is not the first time Mo’ Money has had problems issuing refund checks to customers. After some bad press a couple years ago, they rebranded as MoneyCo USA. Then this year they changed their name back to Mo’ Money.