Article on Liberty Allowing Franchisees to Impose Optional Fees to Pay for "no-fee" RALs

Chi Chi Wu from the National Consumer Law Center sent the following article and information:

As most of you know, refund anticipation loans have made a comeback in the last few years, promoted as "refund advances" and stating they do not impose any fees or interest on the consumer. (See our January 29 advisory for more info) Instead, the fees for these RALs are paid by the tax preparer. Consumer advocates have been concerned that some tax preparers would pass along these fees, but had no evidence that was actually happening - until now.

The Virginian Pilot has done excellent work in uncovering documents showing that Liberty Tax specifically told its franchisees that they were permitted to impose optional fees to cover the cost of "no-fee" RALs. The following is a link to the article:

Specifically, check out the documents that accompany the article, one of which lists: "Options and Revenue to Help Offset the Cost of the Advance,' including up to $40 for a 'Federal E-file Fee" and up to $25 for a "Check Processing Fee."

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