Some Tax Return Options Costly - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/1/05-East Texas

Some Tax Return Options Costly

It's tax season and many local businesses are offering deals to get you the money from your return as quickly as possible. Businesses all over East Texas promise to give you money if you give them your tax return. Tyler CPA Tony Morgan said for most people it's a bad idea.

"If you really had to have the money for something urgent perhaps you're going to lose your car, miss a car payment, I guess I could see that, but again you're paying a pretty stiff fee to borrow that money for a week or two."

In most cases you can take out a loan and turn your tax refund into cash in just a day or two, but it comes at a price. For a refund of $2,000 you can expect, on average, the business to charge a loan fee of $89 and a preparation fee of $130. That means you'll get back just over $1,700-- but you'll get it in 1-3 days.

If you choose the route endorsed by the IRS, filing online, you'll get back the entire $2,000 in 2-3 weeks. Kay Robinson is the director of the Better Business Bureau in East Texas. She said the BBB gets some complaints about these types of loans, but there is little they can do.

"I think it's just praying on people's anxiety to get that refund," she said. "I just think it's not in people's best interest to pay that much of your refund back to the tax preparer, who you're already paying that tax preparer anyway for the use of that money for such a short period of time, it doesn't equate."

Morgan said be smart with your money, a little time and you'll see a bigger payoff.

"Go to the IRS website, file it yourself, save the money, wait a week to get the refund and enjoy the deferred gratification and the money you saved."

Morgan recommends taking a look at your situation. He said most simple returns may not need any help at all.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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