Preparing for Tax Season

Delays and Risks Await Many Taxpayers in 2017

The holiday season may still be in full swing, but advocates from the National Consumer Law Center and Consumer Federation of America urge Americans to start now to plan for tax-time, especially for those who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Taxpayers should be aware of new and old problems and risks, including:

  • Refund delays for millions of vulnerable taxpayers. Refunds for EITC and ACTC recipients will be delayed until late February, which may cause problems for millions of financially-strapped taxpayers who expect to receive their refunds several weeks earlier.
  • Fraud and errors from unregulated preparers. The majority of paid tax preparers are not required to meet any minimum educational, competency, or training standards. Consumers are at risk from preparers who make errors or commit fraud.
  • A confusing landscape of financial products. Paid preparers offer and promote financial products that vary in their cost and usefulness. “No fee” refund anticipation loans (RALs) do not charge taxpayers a direct fee and may be tempting to taxpayers facing delayed refunds. But unscrupulous preparers could pad their fees to borrowers and some lenders might impose a hidden fee by charging more if borrowers later opt for another product, a refund anticipation check.

“Tax time is often a tough time for consumers,” noted Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, “Delays created by Congress, incompetent and abusive preparers, and financial products of varying cost will make it even more confusing and tricky.”

Read more…

Free & Reliable Tax Preparation Services in Georgia

AARP and IRS VITA provide free tax preparation.

  • VITA sites will complete and file tax returns for families with incomes below $54,000.  To find a site near you:
  • AARP sites have no income maximum or other eligibility requirements. To find a site near you:
    • Email:
    • Toll-free Nationwide: 888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)
    • Toll-free TTY: 877-434-7598

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