Tax preparer angers clients over refunds

February 4, 2012 3:21:35 PM PST
Dozens of angry customers of a South Side tax preparation business showed up at several of the company's locations Saturday, complaining they had not yet received tax refund money promised to them.

A crowd of concerned people grew Saturday afternoon outside the Mo Money Taxes' 63rd Street location, where several police officers were eventually called after a woman inside the office appeared to openly taunt those waiting with what was believed to be refund checks. A security guard allegedly displayed a taser to frustrated customers.

One woman was seen kicking at a door.

Police provided safe passage for one worker when waiting customers became aggressive.

Some of the problems were resolved Saturday and some customers were issued tax refund checks. The company says it is a problem with the currency exchange. Without a code, a person can not verify the funds.

Customers at the 53rd Street store said they were told to come back on Monday, when they would have verification codes for the funds that would allow customers to cash the checks.

"I've been waiting over a month and a half," said Daniel Nieves. "I was told I was going to get $8,300."

When questioned, Mo Money Taxes area manager Rodney Williams promised customers will get their money, blaming the delay on the Internal Revenue Service and banking and software glitches.

"We're working as fast as we can," he said. "As soon as they release the checks to us (people can) come pick up their check."

Trescena Snell filed a police report after she didn't get the $8,800 refund she was told she'd get.

"They took the money that I needed to pay my car note and help out around the house," she said in tears.

Mo Money Taxes, also known as Money Co. USA, has a history of troubles. The Better Business Bureau gave it an "F" for service. In Arkansas, the company agreed to pay $25,000 for not properly posting fee schedules.

So far, the Illinois Attorney General has received at least one complaint but more could follow.

The IRS can't comment on any cases but did offer some tips:
1. Check the preparer's qualifications.
2. Ask about their service fees.
3. Make sure the tax preparer is accessible.
4. Never sign a blank return.
5. Review the entire return before signing it.