Chesterton Tribune



AG's Office: Think carefully before paying for tax refund advance service

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The Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division (CPD) is urging Hoosiers to exercise caution when considering tax-refund advances, or tax refund-related loan programs, commonly offered by well-known tax preparation service companies.

The CPD has received complaints from Hoosiers involving both traditional loans and debit cards funded with tax refund advances, according to a statement released this week.

In one complaint, a consumer reported incurring two $35-per-transaction fees when withdrawing funds using the debit card under certain circumstances. In another, a consumer reported that he paid $400 for tax preparation services believing he would qualify for a tax refund-related loan but later learned he did not qualify for the loan.

“The CPD and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General advise that consumers wishing to take advantage of these tax-refund advances or loan programs carefully review all of the terms of the programs,” the statement said. “Hoosiers should ask representatives soliciting participation in these programs detailed questions about the fees, interest, and qualification criteria of the programs.”

“While these programs may benefit some consumers, they may not be beneficial for all,” the statement added. “Consumers should also understand that they may not qualify for the programs. They should base their decisions about whether to use the services of a tax preparation service company on factors other than whether the company offers one of these programs.”

Hoosiers who believe they have been misled or deceived about these products or services may file a complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division by contacting (317) 232-6330 or (800) 382-5516. Complaint forms can be mailed or emailed to consumers by a customer service representative. Consumers can also download a copy of the complaint form or submit a complaint online at


Posted 2/24/2017




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