California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 22253.1

(a) Any tax preparer who advertises the availability of a refund anticipation loan shall not directly or indirectly represent the loan as a client's actual refund.  Any advertisement that mentions a refund anticipation loan shall state conspicuously that it is a loan and that a fee or interest will be charged by the lending institution.  The advertisement shall also disclose the name of the lending institution.

(b) Every tax preparer who offers to facilitate, or who facilitates, a refund anticipation loan to a client shall display a refund anticipation loan schedule showing the current fees for refund anticipation loans facilitated at the office, for the electronic filing of the client's tax return, for setting up a refund account, and any other related activities necessary to receive a refund anticipation loan.  The fee schedule shall also include a statement indicating that the client may have the tax return filed electronically without also obtaining a refund anticipation loan.

(c) The postings required by this section shall be made in not less than 28-point type on a document measuring not less than 16 by 20 inches.  The postings required in this section shall be displayed in a prominent location at each office where any tax preparer is offering to facilitate or facilitating a refund anticipation loan.

(d)(1) Prior to the client's completion of the refund anticipation loan application, a tax preparer that offers to facilitate a refund anticipation loan shall provide to the client a clear, written disclosure containing all of the following information:

(A) The refund anticipation loan fee schedule.

(B) That a refund anticipation loan is a loan and is not the client's actual income tax refund.

(C) That the taxpayer can file an income tax return electronically without applying for a refund anticipation loan.

(D) The average amount of time, according to the Internal Revenue Service, within which a taxpayer who does not obtain a refund anticipation loan can expect to receive a refund if the taxpayer's return is filed or mailed as follows:

(i) Filed electronically and the refund is deposited directly into the taxpayer's bank account or mailed to the taxpayer.

(ii) Mailed to the Internal Revenue Service and the refund is deposited directly into the taxpayer's bank account or mailed to the taxpayer.

(E) That the Internal Revenue Service does not guarantee that it will pay the full amount of the anticipated refund and it does not guarantee a specific date that a refund will be deposited into the taxpayer's bank account or mailed to the taxpayer.

(F) That the client is responsible for the repayment of the refund anticipation loan and the related fees in the event that the tax refund is not paid or paid in full.

(G) The estimated time within which the loan proceeds will be paid to the client if the loan is approved.

(H) The fee that will be charged, if any, if the client's loan is not approved.

(2) Prior to the client's consummation of the refund anticipation loan transaction, a tax preparer that facilitates a refund anticipation loan shall provide to the client, in either written or electronic form, the following information:

(A) The estimated total fees for obtaining the refund anticipation loan.

(B) The estimated annual percentage rate for the client's refund anticipation loan, using the guidelines established under the federal Truth in Lending Act ( 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1601 and following).

(C) A comparison of the various costs, fees, and finance charges, if applicable, associated with receiving a refund by mail or by direct deposit directly from the Internal Revenue Service, a refund anticipation loan, a refund anticipation check, or any other refund settlement options facilitated by the tax preparation service.

(e) This section shall comply with the language requirements set forth in Section 1632 of the Civil Code .

(f) Any tax preparer who offers to facilitate, or who facilitates, a refund anticipation loan may not engage in any of the following activities:

(1) Requiring a client to enter into a loan arrangement in order to complete a tax return.

(2) Misrepresenting a material factor or condition of a refund anticipation loan.

(3) Failing to process the application for a refund anticipation loan promptly after the client applies for the loan.

(4) Engaging in any transaction, practice, or course of business that operates a fraud upon any person in connection with a refund anticipation loan.


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