You Do NOT Want a Refund Anticipation Loan
I saw an ad for a refund anticipation loan yesterday and my blood started boiling. These loans provide money equal to your tax refund but they generally charge high interest rates and fees. A study found that taxpayers paid about $800 million in loan fees and other fees for refund anticipation loans in 2008. According to the study, the effective annual percentage rate for refund anticipation loans can range from about 50% (for a $10,000 loan) up to nearly 500% (for a $300 loan), when you include interest charges and refund account fees.
As discussed in our post last week about tax refunds, if you have a good accountant you won’t be getting a big refund because you will have been using your money to your advantage all year along. That aside, if you are expecting a refund this year, you can get your money from the IRS almost as quickly as you can by applying for a refund anticipation loan and without any fees or interest charges. E-file your taxes and have your money deposited directly into your bank account and you can generally get your refund in fewer than ten days.