Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Full service tax prep business?

Some paid tax preparers are all about the "one stop shopping" concept.

A GAO report noted that many used car dealers will do your taxes (and apply your refund as a down payment to the purchase of a car) and there's a shoe store that will give you a free pair of shoes with every tax return they prepare. Pawn shops are also big on tax preparation.

And this morning, I encountered new heights in the full service/one-stop shopping concept.

Here are excerpts from an exchange on a discussion forum for users of professional tax software:

Tax Pro 1: Where are you sending your customers with large refund checks to have them cashed? ...

Tax Pro 2: We do it ourselves charge 2%. ...

Tax Pro 3: I didn't know that an Income Tax Preparation Firm was allowed to cash client's checks.

Tax Pro 4: We have a check cashing license. We are also a liquor store.


  1. I was heartened by the reply of Tax Pro 5:

    "I encourage my customers to open a bank account at the local bank next door."

  2. Just in case you didn't know, (but you probably do), Walmart will cash refund checks up to $5,000 for $6. ($1,000 check is only $3) This is really helpful for clients who don't have the ability to open a bank account due to past problems. Before Walmart offered this it could really be a problem for some or our VITA clients who had EIC coming to them. It is still a problem when the refund is higher than $5,000. I have also advised clients to find a friend or relative that has an account to either co-sign or deposit the money and wait for it to clear. It seems to me that in the long run the IRS should offer some sort of pre-paid card to cut down on the loan sharking.
    One year we did have a credit union set up a table at our tax site and they would work with people to get them into a bank account. I thought that was great and it seemed to work out well.

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