IRS Moves To Discourage Big-Fee Refund Anticipation LoansThe Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will cease issuing debt indicator notices to tax preparers. Debt indicator notices inform tax preparers of any possible reasons a taxpayer’s refund could be garnished.  For example, taxpayers with outstanding student loans, child support or other debts could face a reduction in their tax refunds.  Tax preparers use this debt indicator notice to help them determine if they should issue a tax refund anticipation loan and how much of a loan they would issue.  But the IRS and consumer advocates say that the tax refund anticipation loans were burdened with heavy fees even when the refund is due to arrive in just a few days.  They are hoping that by withholding the notices, the fees will go down; but the IRS has gone down this road before.  The IRS stopped sending out the debt indicator notices in 1994 with the same motivation; but fees went up instead down so that debt indicator notices were once again issued  in 1999.  But once again the fees on these tax refund anticipation loans have skyrocketed over the years.  The real problem may not be the debt indictor notices but the greed of many of the tax preparers who offer these loans.  The companies who offer these loans are trying to make as much money as possible from the loans, but the people who end up paying the most in fees are those who are already closest to bankruptcy.  Many of the borrowers are in such dire financial circumstances that they cannot even afford to wait a few days to receive their tax refunds and feel compelled to take out these tax refund anticipation loans despite the high fees.

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