BBB Consumer Alert: Mo Money Taxes

2/7/2012

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BBB Consumer Alert: Mo Money Taxes

· Mo Money has an F rating with the BBB for failure to respond to complaints

· Consumer complaints allege that refunds were not received when promised and fees incurred were more than the company stated

Memphis TN, February 7, 2012 – The BBB is issuing a consumer alert about Mo Money Taxes, a tax preparation company headquartered in Memphis. Mo Money Taxes has had an F rating with the BBB in Memphis for several years for failure to respond to consumer complaints.

The BBB of the Mid-South has received 24 complaints on Mo Money Taxes in the past three years; 6 of those remain unanswered. Another 8 complaints that were recently filed are pending.

Complainants in the Memphis area allege that they have not received their refunds when promised. Many of the complaints cite poor service, stating that Mo Money Taxes is unresponsive when questioned about promised refund dates. Other complaints allege that the company charged them more than was disclosed. Some complainants have accused the company of not giving them copies of their returns.

In 2010, the Arkansas Attorney General sued Mo Money Taxes for failing to properly disclose fees on refund anticipation loans.

Consumers are urged to choose a tax preparer carefully since it is the taxpayer himself who is ultimately responsible for all information submitted to the IRS.

BBB Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

  • Understand that when the IRS detects an inaccurate return, the taxpayer – not the tax preparer – must pay any additional taxes, interest, fees and penalties.
  • Ask around. Get referrals from friends and family. Check the BBB Business Review on tax preparers or get a list of tax preparers who are BBB Accredited free-of-charge at www.bbb.org or by calling 901-759-1300 or 800-222-8754.
  • Look for credentials. A certified public accountant, tax attorney, or enrolled agent can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters, including an audit. Also, find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that holds its members to a code of ethics.
  • Be wary of any tax preparation service that promises larger refunds than the competition. Avoid any tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.
  • Think about accessibility. Some tax preparation services only set up shop for the months leading up to April 15th. If the IRS has questions or schedules an audit, consumers need to be able to contact their tax preparer throughout the year.
  • Read the contract and know what you’re paying for. Understand how much the service costs, how the cost will be affected if preparation is more complicated and time consuming than expected, and whether the tax preparer will represent you in case of an audit and how much that will cost.
  • Remember that it’s illegal for tax preparers to encourage you to falsify deductions, exemptions or income in order to pay less tax or obtain tax credits. If they ask you to sign a blank or incomplete form or guarantee that you won’t be audited, go elsewhere.
  • If the tax preparer offers you a Refund Anticipation Loan, understand that it’s a high cost advance against your own money. If your refund is delayed or reduced, you’re still responsible for repaying the loan and additional interest that may accrue.
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