Tax refund advances appeal to more cash-strapped Americans

Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees.
 
Some consumer tips to help avoid excessive fees or potential fraud when using paid tax preparers, according to the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  
 
Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees.
 
 
For what has seemed like countless years under countless owners, Cupertino residents, elected officials and curious out-of-towners have felt powerless as they wait for the day or moment when Vallco Shopping Mall finally turns the corner and evolves into something more successful.  
 
JOHN GREEN/Staff file photo
Fresh & Easy is closing 50 to 55 stores in three states, including seven in the Bay Area, and testing out a new e-commerce convenience store business model, the company announced Monday.
 
 
Brennan Linsley
The proposed deal would combine two of the largest U.S. shopping mall operators.
 
 
 
( Randy McMullen )
Review: 'Stupid (expletive) Bird' is a (expletive) blast

San Francisco Playhouse presents Aaron Posner's adaptation/send-up of Chekhov's 'The Seagull' in a winning, creative production; it runs through May 2.