I went to a Jackson Hewitt (located inside Wal-Mart) to file my taxes on a Wednesday. I waited in line for almost 2 hours for the "professional" to process 2 applicants. Most of my time waiting was spent listening to the "professional" talk to her supervisor on the phone.
Finally it was my turn! I went to Jackson Hewitt in hopes of an instant RAL. After seeing all the commercials I thought it would be easy. The preparer told me that they could not issue any checks until Friday but could issue me an I-Power card for my funds to be available within 24 hours.
After sitting and answering questions for an hour and listening to her call her supervisor (for help), my preparer told me the amount of my anticipated refund and said she would load it onto a card for me. She had to switch computers to send the approval request to Republic Bank. After telling me I was approved for the full RAL and the I-Power card I sat and enjoyed the feeling of security. I needed the money to pay for rent, groceries, and other sorts of living expenses and I knew it would soon be taken care of.
Then my preparer froze herself out of the computer by entering in the wrong password too many times. We waited for 30 minutes for her supervisor to call back. He said I would have to wait until the next day to finish filing. My preparer told me everything was done and I would have to spend maybe 15 minutes the next to complete everything and 4 hours after to receive my funds.
I went back the next day to finish. When I arrived she informed me her supervisor was on his way from the main office to help her finish my file. He arrived and we began to finish. After another 45 minutes we were done. I was handed the I-Power card and told my funds would be available within 2 hours.
After 2 hours of waiting I tried to activate my card. The automated phone system in which you activate the card told me my card number did not exist. I immediately went back to Jackson Hewitt. The supervisor told me he did not know why it was not activated and that he thought it may be a problem with the bank approving me. He explained some crap story to me about the IRS being able to do what they want and how it wasn't his fault. I asked him (after having paid extra for the instant RAL) who was accountable for this inconvenience. He quickly barked at me, "You're just hearing what you want to hear instead of everything I'm saying." After that he took my file information and said to call him in the morning. He also told me I had a 80% chance of receiving the RAL the next day (Friday) and a 90% chance of receiving the RAL on Saturday.
The next day (Friday) I call his office. He tells me that the IRS has put a hold on accepting taxes until 10p.m. that night.
The next day (Saturday) I call his office. He tells me that the IRS did not accept anything and that they would start accepting taxes Sunday night at 10:00p.m. He told me my chances of recieving the RAL was now about 51% on Sunday.
Nothing happened Sunday night. A girl from Jackson Hewitt called me on Monday morning. The left a message to call them back, so I quickly returned their call in hopes of good news. An extremely rude female answered the phone and looked up my information. She told me my RAL had been declined and that I would receive a letter in the mail from the bank stating reasons why. She then told me I would receive my Federal Refund Check in the mail in 8-15 business days.
I called my tax preparer and she was shocked. She told me she could not look up my information and that because my taxes had already been submitted I could not withdraw and go somewhere else. I asked her about waiving the fees for me not getting my instant RAL. She said something along the lines of, "I'm sure they'll probably take the fees out. I don't see why they wouldn't."
I filed for an instant refund 6 days ago. I paid over $300 total to have my taxes prepared, an instant refund onto a re loadable debit card, and the loan interest. My preparer told me at least 4 different amounts of my estimated refund throughout this process and had no clue what she was doing. How can a tax preparer not know what Earned Income Tax or a Child Credit is?
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