The Real Cost of Tax Refund Loans

This is the latest work I’ve done for My Generations FCU, a credit union in Texas. We created this data visualization to bring some awareness to the exsobadant fees that are charged to people by tax peparers such as H&R Block [add others] just to recieve there refund a few days sooner than they would. The research suggested that a lorge portion of the individuals who get RALs or RACs (refund anticipation loans and refund anticipation checks respectivly) get them to pay their tax preperation service. These individuals are also usually recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit(ETIC) and would beniffit from haveing more of their tax refund ¬†go into their pocket and not to the tax prepares. The IRS is currently looking into what they are calling a split return. A split return would be able to do exactly wht the name suggests, allowing the individual to pay for the preperation of their taxes right out of their return with out the high fees of an RAL or an RAC. This would not stop tax peparers from charching even higher fees to make up for the loss in profits, but there is only so much the government can do in this situation. This information was not included in the chart because we wanted the visualiztion to be printable, while it proved a bit too tough to get the sizing right on an 8.5″ x 11″ it seemed to come together on an 11″ x 17″. so if you were thinking of printing this, do so, we designed it this way just for you. This did mean that we had to leave off a few sections we originally planned on including. One was a chart displaying ETIC levels, the other displayed federal poverty levels. I tryed to bombine them in one chat, but I seemd to be the only one who could make heads or tails of what the information was saying, so not an efective enough design to include. Here[insert graphics] are some early versions of the charts mentioned above.

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