On Friday the 16th of January I recieved my W2 from my employer, and unlike past years, decided to have someone do my taxes for me because I needed the money as soon as I could have a check in my hands. I called around and Instant Tax Service invited me in right away, no appoitment or waiting, the other guys were busy and I would need an appoitment.
Upon arriving at the office in the Cross Creek Shopping Center, I felt great. They advertise fast cash, usually instant $1000. The office was clean and comfortable, a play area for the kids, free juice and popcorn for the kids and soda for the adults.
We went through the process of doing my taxes. I had actually used the Turbo Tax online software and knew what I should be getting back and had no problem paying a little bit to get that much back that fast. Let me see, using Turbo Tax, it took me 20 minutes.
Sitting there, the guy goes over my paperwork. He seems nice enough, but as I found out, I was his first tax client ever, not a good feeling being the test case. Anyways, after about 1 1/2 hours of him typing stuff in, he showed me the screen and said "this is your refund" which was $2000 lower than I came up with. We went through things, and the store manager had me pull up the turbo tax online thing I used so she could compare, she seen the error right away with their work and then it took them like 20 minutes to figure out how to fix it. Finally fixed.
They ran me for the instant loan and I was denied, the manager said she was not suprised because they had yet to see anyone approved for this, so in my thinking, it is just a marketing scheme to get you into the store. So the new guy, along with the manager tell me they will have me processed for the Refund Anticipation Loan and I will have my funds in 24-48hrs (the document I signed actually said 12-24hrs), Here we are, right at 48 hours into the day and no funds are in my account (I opted for direct deposit). I was told by the store manager that if I do not see the funds today 1/18 to call the store after 12pm. I have tried to call since 12pm and they are conviently closed. I went to their website which stated they were open from noon-5pm today and so I decided to drive by the store, maybe they did not take the phones off of night mode. Nope, nobody there.
I paid $287 for this money to be here in no more than 48hrs. I do not feel I should have to pay for a service I did not get from them. I went as far as calling the bank, SBBT and they said that we are looking at closer to Tuesday before anyone gets any RAL money, but that is ok about the fee, because they do not count the time of filing, but the time the IRS actually accepts the return, which they are not doing until today.
Had Instant Tax Service told me this, I would have just used Turbo Tax and filed and waited until the 30th to file and would have had the benifit of the $287 that I paid for my use instead of theirs.
I would avoid Instant Tax Service. If you can answer a few simple questions and follow simple instructions, go online and use the free sites and do your own and save the money for your pockets.