The accusations against the Ohio-based Instant Tax Service franchise aren't pretty. According to a preliminary injunction filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the stores routinely prepare fraudulent tax returns, file returns without customer authorization, and charge exorbitant and bogus fees. The stores operate in several states, including Mississippi.
We went to the location in the Northwood Shopping Center on State Street in Jackson to ask about the injunction, but no manager was present.
According to the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi, the Instant Tax Service locations in this state have an F rating.
"The F rating they have here is because they haven't answered complaints from last year. There is also a Department of Justice government action out that they are soliciting tax returns from people maybe from low-income, and they are falsifying documentations," says BBBMS CEO John O'Hara.
A regional manager for Instant Tax Service spoke to us by phone. He says the stores in Mississippi have not taken part in any fraudulent activity, and he has received no complaints.
Attorney General Jim Hood's office says it has received no complaints either.
Still, the Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be wary.
"When they're hiring a tax professional, to make sure they know what they're paying for. You shouldn't have to pay $800 for a return that should take no longer than half an hour to be completed," O'Hara says.
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