Tam's Two Cents, aka-High Tax Time Gankery

*in Baptist preacher voice* I won't be before ya long...

It's been a while since I shared my thoughts with you all, but I had something to get off my chest portion.

Last night, I saw a news report about Super Fast Taxes and how they ganked a lady out of $1800. Go here if you didn't see it (http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/news/local/022711-tax-filers-cheated-out-of-refunds). As I watched it, I got angry. I got mad because people are being robbed by all of these refund places that pop up out of the woodwork. But what I got angriest about is how ignorance spreads in our community and it seems as if we aren't doing a damn thing about it.

The young lady stated that she went to that place because it was in walking distance, which was understandable. But if you look at the place, it looks about as janky as the Tape Man that popped up in beauty shops years ago. Of course, the IRS doesn't regulate those places because anyone can be a tax preparer. Hell, I could prepare them bad boys if I had a preparer ID.

What we are all aware of is that people go to these places in search of a quicker refund than the 8 - 14 day wait for eFiling. I know if you've been broke as what we call hell for a few months, the desire for a nice windfall is attractive. But the fact of the matter is that we aren't telling people the truth...which is you are essentially paying way more than if you wait. Trust me, I was a former H&R Block customer myself. Once I found out the truth, I couldn't go back.

I looked at my old H&R Block paperwork and saw just how much they were cutting my dome for with regard to the fees for filing my taxes. Essentially, they got paid because I was afraid to handle my taxes on my own and too damn impatient to wait on my coins. Those familiar with H&R know that they charge damn near by the form and some other random fees. Since I was writing off childcare, Lex (at the time), tuition and more, they were racking up on me. Then, being poor as hell, I wanted my loot within 48 hours. I kind of wish I could go back and snatch my loot.

Now, H&R and Jackson Hewitt are more reputable establishments, but they make a killing off of our fear. When I was dealing with H&R, they often sold me on Audit Protection and that was a comfort. Then, I often looked at the forms I had to use and got as confused as hell. When you are afraid of being audited and confused, it's really easy to lean on these joints. I mean, if they made a mistake, they would help you out.

One year, I decided to try TurboTax. They asked questions. I answered them. I got my refund and I only paid $40 for the software usage. Shelling out $40 compared nearly $400 is a damn sight better. I only waited 2 weeks and all was well in the hood. I started sharing this with fokes I knew went to those places. I also referred a few cats to the IRS website for help in preparing taxes...anything to avoid those damn joins like Super Fast Taxes.

While many people probably saw that news report and rolled their eyes, I felt bad for her. Nobody told her to get a ride or go online. Some fool is having a nice time with her money and there isn't much she can do. I ask people to spread the truth. If you know someone who is considering one of those places, help them go online and eFile. Just don't let them be ganked. It's too hard out here to have someone take your money. Fokes get shot for less.

Alright, done preaching.

In short...stop watching people get ganked and having a "they should've known better" mentality. Some people really don't know better. Be thankful that YOU know better and help someone up along the way.



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