Home Personal Finance What’s a Tax Refund Advance and Is It a Smart Money Move?

What’s a Tax Refund Advance and Is It a Smart Money Move?

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Getting a big refund may be the highlight of tax season for many. And since tax refund advance loans advertise access to your refund now, you may be tempted to take out a loan to get your money early, but experts warn against this. I’m here.

Prepayment of tax refund Loan type it gives you a part of you Expected refund amount weeks or months before the actual refund.The premise may look compelling, especially if you’re still knee-deep in holiday shoppingInflation will make everything more expensive this holiday season, so while it’s helpful to have extra funds at your disposal, it’s usually not a good idea to pay high-interest tax refunds up front.

RJ Weiss, a certified financial planner, said, “Many companies advertise 0% annual interest loans, but in reality they charge this, including the tax preparation fee they charge to file the return in the first place. We charge a fee to offset it.” website founder, road to wealth.

What exactly is a tax refund prepayment and does it make sense for your financial situation? Below we explain everything you need to know about this unique loan.

What is prepaid tax refund?

Prepayment of tax refund short term loan Use expected tax returns as collateral. Usually from December to February he can borrow between $200 and $4,000.

Interest rates for this type of loan are usually higher than most other loans, around 35% per annum. For context, his APR for the average credit card is: about 18%the APR for personal loans is about 11.08%Some tax filing services do not charge interest for this service as long as you agree to file your taxes, which may mean paying a fee to file your tax return.

“This is not a standardized product,” says Weiss. “So the fees, requirements, and his APR vary greatly from company to company.” If you’re looking to prepay your tax refund, read on to learn more and compare different options, Weiss said. Recommended.

How does prepaid tax refund work?

Apply for a prepaid tax refund on the website of the tax preparation company. You may be required to provide proof of income, a W-2 (if available), and other financial records.

Tax refund prepaid loans generally do not have the same credit score requirements as other loans. Also, the amount approved may vary depending on the amount of refund expected. Therefore, even if the service advertises a $3,000 upfront payment, you may not be eligible to receive this full amount.

You can receive your funds within a few business days, but some services allow you to access your money the same day or the next day. If you are required to file a tax return with a tax preparation company, the unpaid amount will be automatically deducted from your refund. Otherwise, you must repay the loan by the agreed due date.

What are the risks of using a tax refund advance loan?

There are several reasons why you should be careful with tax refund pre-loans.

These loans are based on expected repayments, so there’s always the chance that you won’t get reimbursed when you file your taxes in 2023. Or your refund may be less than expected. If this happens, you are responsible for repaying the loan in full (or any amount not covered by reimbursement) out of your own pocket.

Second, Weiss said that prepaid refunds are rarely free, even if they’re advertised as 0% APR. There may be hidden charges, such as requiring you to pay for tax filing services, which can be expensive. Additionally, some services charge high interest rates, making this a more expensive loan option.

Who will provide prepaid tax refunds?

Many major tax filing companies offer prepaid tax refunds. It’s still pretty early in the tax season, but Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block are now offering some form of prepaid tax refund.

Two Jackson Hewitt Refund of prepaid loan: Early Refund Option and No Fee Refund Option. The early repayment option allows you to receive up to $1,000 in December and $3,500 in January, but with loan fees and a steep APR of 34.22%. Fee-free reimbursement advance loans are up to $3,500 at 0% p.a. and are not available until January. Both loans must be filed with Jackson Hewitt for taxes.

Brought to you by H&R Block Emerald Advance®, which is slightly different. This is a line of credit up to $1,000 from now until January 7th. You don’t have to file a tax return with H&R Block to apply it, but if you do, you can use your refund to pay your credit line.

Note: Beware of payday lenders who may advertise similar loans during this time. This is because these companies often set very high interest rates and fees.Payday loan rates are average in some states 391% to 521% heightPersonal finance experts recommend avoiding payday loans at all costs.

What are good alternatives to tax refund prepaid loans?

The best option is to wait until 2023 for the refund to occur. Even a simple miscalculation can cause you to expect a higher refund and accidentally borrow more money than you can pay back when the refund arrives in your account.

There are better borrowing options for urgent expenses such as essential medical bills, car repairs, and other necessities. Weiss personal loan If you need quick funding, they often offer better terms and lower interest rates than tax refund advances.

again, credit card As a last resort. Make sure you can pay off your balance in full within 30 days to avoid interest, late fees, and other penalties.

For more tax advice, check out the following articles: Major tax changes Acknowledging that this may affect refunds for next year, Homeowner Credits and Deductions may be billed.

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