Offers of extra cash or immediate tax refunds are often attractive to consumers in difficult financial situations, but the use of Refund Anticipation Loans, Refund Anticipation Checks, and Bonus Deposit Checks will ultimately reduce the amount of your tax refund and possibly cost you extra money. RALs and RACs are essentially high-interest loans which must be repaid by your actual tax return. Don’t pay to borrow your own money. If your tax return is less than estimated, you will be on the hook for the difference, usually at an exorbitant interest rate.
Many Arkansans can utilize the IRS’s Free File program. This Web-based program is a free federal tax preparation and electronic filing program for the approximately 70 percent of taxpayers who earn less than $57,000 in annual adjusted gross income. Eligible consumers can go to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free and choose from multiple private companies that will file federal returns at no charge.
If you cannot afford to pay for tax preparation assistance, you may also be eligible to receive free help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Call (800) 829-1040 for information about VITA volunteer locations near you. Additionally, seniors can contact the AARP at (888) 227-7669 to find the nearest TCE/Tax-Aide site.
When it comes to your money, we’ve got your back, Arkansas.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General's Office is here to help you obtain a successful resolution to your consumer complaints.