OT - Tax 'advance' loans

I know this is off topic, but as I sit here watching the tube as I catch up on the world's home repair issues, I can't help but wonder - are there THAT many people that are so poor they need to pay H&R Block or some other store-front tax preparer the outlandish fees to get their tax return a week or two earlier? With E-file they say you'll get it in about a week.
Besides, it seems pretty clear that if you are getting $2,600 back you probably should reduce your withholdings and bring home that extra $216 each month rather than sending it to Uncle Sam and letting him use it interest free for a year.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming................
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Mark wrote:

Heh! Those Californians who over-estimated their state income tax as a method of forced savings just got word that their "refunds" will be delayed - maybe forever. The state's out of money.
'Course those of us who live in a state that doesn't HAVE an income tax* don't have to take that chance.
------ * There are seven states that don't have a state income tax. They are: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. The income tax in New Hampshire and Tennessee is based only on dividends and interest income.
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HeyBub wrote:

What's amazing is that they do something like this rather than put the money into an interest bearing account. You can't fix stupid.
OTOH, one time when I filed late and had overpaid on federal tax with an estimated tax payment and got paid a very good interest rate from the IRS. They must have some safeguards in place to stop people from doing this intentionally. The rate is presently 5%, but it was much higher in the past, i.e. 9% in parts of 2000.

You have to be careful here because in some of the states with no income tax, other taxes make up the difference. I.e., the average tax burden in Wyoming was 10.1% in 2005, versus 10.3% in California. Only 0.2% difference, despite the California state income tax.
"http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/taxesbystate2005 /"
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SMS wrote:

Good point. Income taxes are only PART of the tax load. Your table shows California as the 20th most taxing state, but it's from 2005. California has moved up to #11 in total tax burden.
For the no-income-tax state, their relative "tax-burden*" ranks are: Alaska - 18 Florida - 15 Nevada - 7 South Dakota - 30(?) Texas - 21 Washington - 8 Wyoming - 5
http://www.retirementliving.com/RLtaxburdens.html ------- *Tax burden is a ratio of revenue to tax load from all sources (sales, income, fuel, cigarettes, etc.)
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Man I worked for H&R Block for two seasons. That "Rapid Refund" was the biggest bunch of crap I've ever seen. I bet I did the worst job of selling that feature than any other tax preparer ever.
I don't know if they have a better system now but back then people would come in with a fake W-2 and get a check the next day for a couple of thousand dollars and then the IRS would eventually deny their refund and Block would be stuck with it. I hate crooks but in this case it seemed to be one crook screwing another.
David
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Never heard of earned income credit , huh??? The hand out to those who don't pay taxes.....No puter to e-file or checking account to direct deposit , not that most of them would even know how.....
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Refundable credits. Credits for pumping out kids. Credits for doing a little work...but careful...not too much or you won't get the credit. I did taxes for a year. Like 160 of them. It's sickning. People coming in and having paid in a grand in takes then they "get's a chek" for like 5k (I'm not shittin'!!!) due to refundable credits. It's free money to them so they don't care if HR Crock gets a couple of C notes of it.

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Yes there are. It is the "american way" which is deciphered into " I want it all and I want it now".

You are correct, but it is the American way.
I am getting back approx. the amount you speak of only because of the loses I took in stock towards the end of the year. Some of us don't know until the end of the year if we are going to pay or get a return due to the market.
Hank <~~~don't mind paying if making money too
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Mark wrote:

You can go on line and do your taxes free and electronically file free (Federal) and save a copy in PDF format free on taxact dot com. And you can do your state there too for a small fee ($13.00 or so) and print that in PDF format. No more messing with papers and filing. My state has ifile online electronic but it ain't worth a crap to use. Still send them idiots paper. Once you input you can't fix, have to file an amendment. I'm the fracking inputer but I can't change an input? That is crap.
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Usually I " i-file" and this year got my refund after 4 ( four) days - deposited to my acct. Many '"working poor" with children - even if they max out their federal personal exemptions ( on Form W-9), still get EIC. Sometimes quite substantial. There's always a way to receive " advance EIC" on your paycheck but within that class of people nothing job related is quite predictable. They often change jobs, or new babies are born ( remember recent tv celebrities: OCTUPLETS ?). Or they lose jobs because they happen to forget they did have them.... And the last but not least - as they're poor , they can't afford an accountant to do right paperwork for them. p.s. did you know that: 1) nationwide, back in 2008 47% of families eligible for Medicaid did not have it simply because they did not apply ? 2) nationwide, back in 2007 29% of households eligible for EIC haven't received it just because they didn't do EIC Schedule on their 2006 federal tax return ?
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"Mark" wrote

People who use them, don't really do it for the fast return, so much as a complex tax situation beyond their own understanding. I happen to do my own now but with software. I then e-file all but one state that wont let a NR file electronically.
Time is money and I can do it faster and cheaper on my own with their software than by sitting in their office and answering the same questions.

Technically yes, but there is a nice side benefit to those not all that great at saving money (and with minimal credit bills) in that the annual return can pay for a vacation.
Take my case in point when at it's worst to see why folks cant always use the online free system: Dual military, 1 child, both parents from different taxable states (both tax military income and military retirement income), living overseas with one with second job overseas out on the economy and subject to that countries taxes on that portion as well as USA and state assements in 2 states. House rented while overseas a portion of the year and primary residence (no longer rented) another portion of the year. 15,000$ worth of energystar improvements and 10,000$ pure rental damage (was actually 25,000$ but got a better return claiming the fixes as energystar as thats what we fixed it with).
This isnt the level where you hire a tax consultant, but it is a case where a person may well use HR block type services quite reasonably.
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While you make a good point, I know of many people that use Block and they use the EZ form. I do tax returns for a few people at work because they are just lost when it comes to doing them. I do it for free, but the tax preparers charge $100 or so.
In one case a worker asked me to use the fast refund option for an additional $60 rather than wait two weeks. For someone making $10 an hour, that is a lot of money to spend just to save a week, but he was desperate.
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"Ed Pawlowski" wrote "cshenk" wrote

He didnt even save a week. A few mins and the EZ form is easy to do online. It's the more complex ones that cant be done totally online.
Military folks generally on base can get help with tax filing, but seldom beyond EZ level forms. If you own a house and rent it out as they moved you (real common for us as you can imagine), you are 'on your own bub' which really sucks when overseas.
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cshenk wrote:

Very, very many military personnel change their residence to Florida or Texas (or five others) to avoid state income taxes. You might consider this for the duration of your military service.
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"HeyBub" wrote

That generally is only possible if you live there ;-) I dont and havent since I was 11.
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