Blog Archives

Thankful for RALs’ Decline – But RACs Still Around

RALsIt may be turkey time for the rest of the country, but NCTC members and commercial preparers are busy gearing up for the upcoming tax season. One big difference we’ll see in 2013 is the departure of refund anticipation loans (RALs). Last tax season was the final one in which these high-cost, high-risk loans will be made, at least on a large scale by banks. In December 2011, Republic Bank & Trust, which was the last of the RAL-lending banks, entered into a settlement with its federal regulator agreeing to cease making RALs after the 2012 tax season.    Read the rest of this entry

Six Things You Should Know From the NCLC/CFA Report on RALs

On Wednesday, the National Consumer Law Center and Consumer Federation of America released their 12th annual Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) Report. While it victoriously declares “the party’s over for quickie tax loans,” the report also warns that other dangers remain in place for taxpayers, specifically the low-income families we serve.

Here are some things you should know from the report: Read the rest of this entry

What’s Going on at Instant Tax Service?

JLC Interview

NCTC Executive Director Jackie Lynn Coleman talks to a reporter about the questionable practices paid preparers sometimes employ

Would it surprise you to hear that there are questionable practices going on at the offices of some paid preparers this tax season? Of course not. But for a couple groups, the media exposure of these practices is really picking up.

On Tuesday, NCTC Executive Director Jackie Lynn Coleman went on CBS-Houston to talk about preparers who are using old customer information to file new returns without their permission.

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The New Realities of the RAL

David Rothstein

David Rothstein is a Researcher at Policy Matters Ohio and an NCTC Steering Committee member

Instant money. Money now loans. Quick refunds. Tax refund anticipation loans have dozens of names but this year, they may be anything but instant, quick, or…available. Guest Bloggers David Rothstein and David Marzahl take a look at the new realities of the RAL.

Just before Christmas, the Office of the Controller Currency (OCC) delivered a lump of coal to H&R Block, the nation’s largest tax chain, ruling that their partner bank (HSBC) was not stable enough to sell tax loans this year. This added to the growing list of banks that are out of the RAL market, most notably JP Morgan Chase and Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. Funneled down to the taxpayer level those expecting RALs will face new realities come January 14 when the IRS begins accepting electronic returns. Read the rest of this entry