Cooper Earns TRO Against Tax Preparer

March 26, 2012
Legal Newsline 

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper recently announced a temporary restraining order against Instant Tax Service and Eden Kidane, its owner. Cooper filed a lawsuit against the Charlotte-area tax preparer, alleging that the company engaged in multiple tax violations, including failing to disclose fees for refund anticipation loans and filing taxes for consumers without their permission. The lawsuit asked the Wake County Superior Court to permanently ban the firm from offering illegal services for tax preparation and refunds for anticipation and instant loans. Instant Tax Service allegedly released television and radio advertisements in December offering loans of up to $1,000. Taking information from consumers' pay stubs, which they submitted to qualify for the loans, Instant Tax Service allegedly filed tax returns without consumers' permission. Customers who did give Instant Tax Service permission to file their tax returns complained that the company did not disclose its fees. It allegedly charged fees of up to $800 for returns that would have cost about $200 at other national tax preparers. Cooper's Consumer Protection Division received six written complaints and 130 phone complaints about Instant Tax Service locations.

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