|Why would someone pay such high interest rates to borrow their own money when the IRS can return their money in as little as 10 days if they file electronically?
For many working poor, like Mary Carter, itís the all too common issue of needing money to make ends meet. Carter paid H&R Block $218 out of her $760 refund to get a Rapid Refund loan.
I needed some money right away," said Mary Carter in an interview with the Chicago Reporter. "I've always known it wasn't a good deal because that's too much, but if you need money, all you see is that money coming back in a day or two that you can use right away.
Cash strapped or not, it just doesnít make sense to pay hundreds of dollars to borrow your own money especially when there are a number of free ways that filers can speed up their refund from the IRS.
The easiest and least costly method to get your money from the IRS is to change your income tax withholding on your W-4 with your employer. Your tax refund is based on money withheld from your pay during the year. If you consistently receive a large refund at the end of the year, you should consider changing your income tax withholding during the year so youíll receive more of your paycheck throughout the year. Thereís no sense in giving the federal government a free loan if you can avoid it.
If you donít want to change your income tax withholding but would like to get you refund quickly at the end of the year, file your income tax electronically and have your refund deposited electronically into your checking or savings account -- it usually takes about 10 days. Electronic filing has become easier over the years and for many tax payers itís free.
In 2002, the IRS implemented the Free File program that allows millions of Americans to have their tax returns prepared and filed for free. The IRS partnered with 17 companies to provide the service to tax filers. Youíll need to meet certain eligibility criteria and have internet access. For more information visit the Free File section of the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov or Google IRS + free file.
If your income is less than $35,000 you can get free help filing your return from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). VITA provides tax preparation for free throughout the nation and many VITA sites can file your return electronically. To find a site near you, call 800-829-1040.
Companies like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt make millions each tax season from unwitting taxpayers by appealing to their need for money to pay pressing bills. They offer quick money to help the working poor, but, in reality, all their doing is fleecing those who can least afford it.
Be money smart and file your return for free and let the IRS deposit your return into your checking or savings account. The wait can save you $200 or more.
About The Author
Drahcir Semaj is a freelance writer. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.