The Illinois Senate has unanimously passed a bill to offer greater consumer protection from the high costs of tax refund anticipation loans and refund anticipation checks. Rep. Michael Zalewski will sponsor the bill in the state House. "The only thing taxpayers should anticipate with these so-called ‘refund’ products are costly fees and smaller tax returns," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. "This legislation will limit a refund anticipation loan’s excessive costs and better protect consumers in communities where these products are heavily marketed." Senate Bill 3523 would crack down on the costs and fees of tax refund anticipation products and strengthen the disclosure of these fees. The bill also grants added protections for consumers who obtain refund anticipation loans from non-bank lenders, such as payday lenders. These loans can have interest rates up to 150 percent, potentially reducing a taxpayer’s refund by as much as 20 percent before they even receive it.