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Alternative refund settlement products may compromise asset-building goals

Wenhua Di and Emily Ryder

e-Perspectives, 2013, issue 1

Abstract: High-cost, short-term loans such as the refund anticipation loan (RAL) have historically been popular with low-income filers. RALs are based on the taxpayer?s expected refund and are issued at the time of filing. They allow the taxpayer to receive an anticipated refund earlier, in the form of a loan. These products have often been associated with high prices and extra filing costs. Nationwide, 7.2 million taxpayers received RALs in 2009, and 87 percent of those were low income.

Date: 2013
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