NJ lawmakers seek to crack down on tax refund anticipation checks

TRENTON — A Senate committee on Thursday advanced a package of consumer protection proposals, including restrictions on tax refund anticipation checks that critics say exploit low-income people.

Beginning in 2023, when filing 2022 tax returns, tax preparation services would be prohibited from requiring clients to agree to repay advance checks as part of preparing their tax returns, if the bill eventually becomes law. They also couldn’t advertise these loans as free if they incur higher or additional fees.

“Low-income families in need of assistance may find themselves exposed to consumer protection risks when working with tax preparation services,” said Sen. Nellie Pou, D-Passaic. “This legislation will require tax preparers to fully explain to customers what a prepayment check entails and prohibit them from requiring customers to enter into such agreements.”

In addition, itemized statements of service charges and fees would be expanded to include costs associated with loans and repayment anticipation checks, including interest charged.

“We are very supportive of the bill,” said Sean Neafsey, acting director of the Consumer Affairs Division. “The division believes there are many important facets and will help tax preparation services for a variety of consumers.”

Kate Reilly, president of the New Jersey Association for Justice, said the bill will end advertising that tricks taxpayers into thinking they’re providing a refund anticipation check or loan for free.

“Many companies such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and other such companies derive a significant portion of their profits from providing consumers with a pre-release tax refund from the IRS in exchange for a fee. or a charge,” Reilly said.

“These services are generally not free and at no cost to consumers,” she said. “S891 provides additional consumer protections by preventing potential misleading sales practices in this industry.”

The Senate Commerce Committee has also advanced bills that:

  • Update notification requirements under the Consumer Fraud Act and Antitrust Act for actions alleging consumer fraud violations; make indirect purchasers, such as municipalities or the state, eligible to receive damages for violations of antitrust laws; and requiring private prosecution notices to be sent electronically to the Attorney General within 24 hours of filing rather than the 10 days currently required.
  • Prohibit service contract providers, or companies that offer contracts to cover repairs to a consumer’s home, car or other property, from using the words “insurance“, “accident”, ” surety” or “mutual” in their products, product descriptions and advertisements or materials. They already cannot use these words in their names.

Michael Symons is the State House Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].

The Ultimate Guide to New Jersey Breweries

With the Big Game fast approaching, many people in New Jersey are looking for good places to watch it. From the website that gave you the “friendliest bars” and places to watch the game, comes the ultimate guide to New Jersey’s breweries.

So what is a “brasserie”?

According to Section of Thompson’s Island on the differences between a craft brewery, a microbrewery, a craft brewery and a gastropub, it is written:

“A craft brewery is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery. It sells at least 25% of its beer on site in combination with extensive catering services. In a craft brewery, beer is primarily brewed for sale to the inside the restaurant or bar. Where legally permitted, breweries may sell beer to take-out or distribute it to certain off-site destinations.”

New Jersey has tons of Brewpubs, some of which have been around for years and some that just opened last year.

11 things that make a restaurant in New Jersey a real restaurant

About Daisy Rawson

Check Also

First judgment against non-bank lender for redlining set at $22 million

Trident Mortgage ordered to pay for racist lending practices By Charlene Crowell, The Washington Informer …