Apr 14 2014

Unregulated Industry of Tax Preparation Preys on Poor And People of Color

Tomorrow is April 15th, the dreaded deadline for millions of Americans to send in their tax payments to the IRS. Millions of families will turn to tax preparers to help them fill out their forms and many of them will be of low income.

The tax preparation business is a $100 billion industry and the working poor have been a continual source of profit for these institutions. Tax preparers often charge low-income people hundreds of dollars to fill out tax forms which they can complete in a matter of minutes.

Exorbitant fees for these services reduce the amount families receive in tax refunds, which are often an economic lifeline for families who depend on these once-a-year influxes of funds to make ends meet. The tax preparation industry, like the payday loan business, is seen as one of the many industries which work to profit off poverty.

GUEST: Imara Jones, Economic Justice contributor for Colorlines.com. He served in the Clinton White House, where he worked on international trade policy, and was an executive at Viacom. Imara has a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics, and holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia in political science.

Click here to read Imara Jones’ article on the tax preparation industry

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