You've seen the commercials and signs at storefronts. 'Walkout with your refund today' offers.
It sure sounds great. Cash in hand, the day you file. Even if they tell you this offer is free, it will cost you.
If you're hire a tax pro and they offer a same-day refund, here's how it works.
"They charge you a premium so you can get your refund today but you won't leave with all of it," said Tiffany Cossey with Drury University.
It's like a small loan.
Tiffany Cossey is an accountant and teaches future tax preparers. She says walk away from immediate refund offers. The small loans typically come from a bank that works with the tax preparation company. The IRS sends your refund to that bank. The tax prep company handles your money and takes a chunk.
"You will get a portion of whatever refund is calculated for you and when the refund comes in the preparer will keep the whole thing and the difference between the two is treated like interest or service fee," she said.
In order to get that same-day refund, you might even have to have a credit check. You should get your money from the IRS within 21 days of filing. The fastest way to get it is to be an early bird and file now.