LANSING, Mich. – Three days after a federal judge threw out all but one of a plaintiff’s claims in a class-action lawsuit against H&R Block and the bank it uses to issue tax Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL) – Household International Inc. – Commissioner Linda Watters of the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services urged consumers in the state to stay away from RAL, describing them as “one of the most avoidable tax-season expenses.” She added that, “By refusing to take the bait offered by those pushing RAL, taxpayers across the country can avoid paying more than $1 billion in fees.” According to a statement in an OFIS release, Watters stated that, “With the advent of electronic filing – which allows for state tax refunds in as little as seven business days – the need for Refund Anticipation Loans is questionable at best. Taxpayers should think twice before they hand over a portion of their refund to a tax preparer in return for the privilege of getting their money as few days quicker.”

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