The early tax preparation refund ripoff / by kevin murray

Regrettably, a significant swath of Americans are somehow not able to fill out and file their own taxes or don’t feel competent to do so without the aid of tax preparation outfits.  It is one thing, for those that make a lot of money, equity trades, have businesses, other assets, and a lot of other considerations, that would in prudence necessitate the consultation of a tax professional which seems quite reasonable; as compared to the million of Americans that really don’t have much more than W-2s, childcare, and not much else, but still fell the need to get their taxes prepared by an outside company.


If, in the getting taxes done, those that did so, simply paid a reasonable fix fee, then probably, in the scheme of things, since the filing of taxes for those that have income is a legal requirement, as well as a necessity in order to get tax refunds for the Earned Income Credit or for having more tax dollars withheld during the year than necessary, than this would seem to be a prudent step and a reasonable course of action; but in America, where the dollar seems to be the king of many decisions and the be-all and end-all of life, it has become a way for those in the tax refund preparation industry to exploit the ignorance of basic mathematics of their clientele as well as to appeal to their  client’s instant gratification monetary needs.


In point of fact, the government, allows tax preparation companies to offer a service that is extremely profitable to them, which is to provide the option to advance the tax refund to their customer base in return for a fee for having done so.  A fair analysis, though, would seem to suggest, that tax preparation companies that provide this, should be more seriously regulated in the amount and reasonableness of such a fee, akin to financial institutions as in banks and credit unions which are regulated in the legal usury that they can charge; and in particular, taking into full consideration that since tax refunds for a significant amount of Americans is the only time in the entire year that a hefty amount of money will accrue into their hands, that this should by all accounts be respected and not be exploited.


Of course, in America, when there are millions upon millions of dollars to be made off of millions of people that are in most cases,  financially stupid and inept, than there will be created parasitic companies that will market their tax preparation services, including advances on tax refunds as filling a need, but in short, it’s a ripoff, costing consumers on an annualized basis interest of nearly 36% on the monies so loaned, in addition, to those very pesky and annoying fees for prepaid cards, ATM access, and so forth.


Those people, for the most part, paying those fees and interest rates, are the very people that really do need every dollar that they can get a-hold of, but instead are having siphoned off from their pocketbooks meaningful amounts of dollars, of which these tax preparation companies are exploiting the weaknesses of those people, in a blatant betrayal of actually providing a fair service to them, of which those that have labored to earn the money, should really get all of what is rightfully theirs.