Office of Immigrant Assistance
Consumer Advisory: "Instant" Tax Refunds May Be Expensive Loans
Attorney General Lockyer warns Californians to beware of high-interest loans disguised as "instant" or "rapid" tax refunds.
Lockyer says some storefront tax preparers are luring consumers with offers of quick refund cash that really are short-term loans that can carry annual interest rates of more than 700 percent. These refund anticipation loans may require consumers to pay fees for tax preparation, electronic filing, check cashing and other so-called benefits.
The Attorney General urges families who may be eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit to check out free tax assistance programs in their communities before paying to have their returns prepared. To find out if you qualify for free assistance, call toll-free 1-800-829-1040. More Information.
Consumers who believe they have been victimized by a tax return preparer can file an on-line complaint or mail your complaint information to the Attorney General's Office at P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.