Call for Action - Alert

Its that time of year when you start getting those important tax documents in the mail - reminding you - filing season's around the corner. Before you get started, consider your options it could save you a lot of money.

Consumer groups say they are zeroing in on H&R Block this year. In fact, they promise to hold protests in front of their offices all across the
country. The reason - groups are trying to warn cash-strapped families to know exactly what they are getting into. If they sign up for any kind of 'tax anticipation loan.

H&R Block and some other tax preparers hook up with banks. They file your taxes electronically, and then they loan you your refund amount minus interest charges and a series of fees. Only, we are told in some cases, those charges and fees can add up to 1/3rd your refund amount.

H&R Block has been the target of class action lawsuits in Illinois and Texas for misrepresentation. The bottom line - getting your refund immediately versus waiting a week or two is expensive.

The National Consumer Law Center says in 2001 - low-income families paid tax preparers and banks close to $2 billion just to get refunds immediately.

If you need help preparing your taxes - you can get it for free at several
locations in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Ecumenical Social Ministries offers assistance Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. starting Feb. 2.

Seniors can go to the Senior Center on Hancock starting Feb. 2. Just call to make an appointment.

In Pueblo, head to the Pueblo Community College on Orman. They have folks who speak both English and Spanish.