Tax Advance Loans On The Retreat

The number of refund anticipation loans declined 22.5% last year as consumers took advantage of cheaper and only slightly slower alternatives, NYT reports.

Taxpayers are increasingly forgoing the tax advance loans, and opting for electronic filing with direct deposit of the refund within seven to fourteen days. No fees, unlike what H&R Block charge for refund anticipation loans:

…about 3 percent for sums of $4,000 or more and as much as 12 percent for smaller sums because the base fee is usually $20 or $30. The interest rate, though it applies only until the refund arrives, would make a loan shark drool.

Don’t get a refund anticipation loan. They’re dumb. Just file electronically and get your refund direct deposited. Come to think of it, don’t go to H&R Block or JacksonHewiit. They’re ripoffs. Do TurboTax or get a real accountant. — BEN POPKEN

Tax Loans Are Losing Some Allure [NYT]
(Photo: Ben Popken)