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Thinking about a tax refund anticipation loan? DoD regulation limits interest rates for military, families

Published Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2014 13:30:16 CST

Most of us have heard the horror stories of payday loan offices and used car lots charging military members interest rates that are through the roof. Some service members find it difficult to get out of a cycle of debt that grows faster than they can repay.

DoD was tasked by law (National Defense Authorization Action for Fiscal Year 2007) to draft a Predatory Lending regulation which protects service members and their families from unscrupulous loan products. The regulation was written and enforcement began on October 1, 2007, and sets the max interest rate allowed is 36 percent.

Military members and families are often targeted by payday lenders. Payday loans are short-term cash loans based on the borrower's personal check held for future deposit or electronic access to the borrower's bank account. Borrowers write a personal check for the amount borrowed plus the finance charge and receive cash. In some cases, borrowers sign over electronic access to their bank accounts to receive and repay payday loans. Lenders hold the checks until the next payday when loans and the finance charge must be paid in one lump sum. To pay a loan, borrowers can redeem the check for cash, allow the check to be deposited at the bank, or just pay the finance charge to roll the loan over for another pay period.

Since October 2007, the Federal regulation has prohibited creditors from making payday loans, vehicle title loans and tax refund anticipation loans to active duty service members and their dependents with annual percentage rates over 36 percent. Knowing the rules can help military members understand their rights, and to report violators to their Coast Guard Legal Assistance office.

To avoid debt, consider financial management courses and personalized support from financial management specialists offered through CGSuprt.

Coast Guard Personnel now have FREE access to a personal financial management program, My Secure Advantage (MSA).

CGSuprt is pleased to offer all eligible Coast Guard Personnel enhanced personal financial management services with our new Financial Wellness program, MY Secure Advantage. The program provides one on one Money Coaching, a personalized website with helpful tools and calculators, Financial Education classes and more!

A Money Coach provides live Financial Education webinars twice a month on a variety of financial topics, with a brief Q and A session at the conclusion of the presentation. Registration for the webinars is open to all eligible Coast Guard Personnel and their family members.

You may work with a Money Coach on topics such as Debt, Budgeting, Spending, Retirement, Taxes, Credit, Investing and much more. This program is packed with many more benefits and includes fun raffles and prizes for items such as gift cards, apple TV's and ipads! Call 855-CGSUPRT to get started and ask for the MSA Financial Wellness Benefit!

To activate your personal Money Coaching website, please CLICK HERE.

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Free tax-filing service offered through CGSUPRT

Published Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2015 10:30:16 CST

The Internal Revenue Service 2015 tax season begins on Jan. 20. Starting Jan. 13, CGSUPRT will offer free 2014 tax return filing services from H&R Block. This free offer is only valid if you access H&R Block through the link on the CGSUPRT website.

Summary

You must start your return from the CG SUPRT H&R Block Tax Software link to access this free offer.

The IRS will begin processing efile returns on January 20, 2014. If you complete your returns with the H&R Block Tax Software service offered through CG SUPRT prior to the 20th of January, your files will be held in a pending status. Once efile opens, the system automatically submits the return to the IRS.

This is the same free tax preparation program you may have used in past years. So, if you created an H&R Block account last year, your login credentials for that account will still work and you will be able to access last year's personal tax information.

For technical assistance with the H&R Block Tax Software tool, please call 1-800-HRBLOCK (472-5625).

To learn more about the H&R Block Tax service, please see the FAQs.

If you have questions about this tax service or about your own tax returns, please call 855-CG SUPRT (247-8778) and ask to schedule an appointment with a CG SUPRT tax consultant. Trained tax consultants are available 5 days a week (Monday - Friday) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., EST by appointment.

Best practices for filing your taxes

  • Have all of your documents and information ready when preparing your taxes-Social Security number, TIN's, W-2's, 1099 forms, expense documents, bank account information in case of refund, etc.
  • Be sure to disclose all of your income from the year-including wages, investments, etc.
  • Determine the best way to file for yourself-prepare your taxes online, paper file, or take them to a preparer.
  • File early-it's best to do it once you receive all of your documents, reducing the risk of misplacing them, reducing the wait time of receiving a refund, and/or avoiding penalties for late filing.
  • Know the deadline for filing your taxes-it is not always the same date every year. This year it is Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Eligibility

The following are eligible for the CG SUPRT tax service:
  • All Active-duty and selected reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Spouses and dependent children of the services noted above, and who are authorized in DEERS.
  • All civilian employees (GS) of the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Household members and dependents of U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees.


SPO News Archive 2014

Links from pages within this site to non-Coast Guard sites are provided as a customer service and do not represent any implicit or explicit endorsement by the United States Coast Guard of any commercial or private issues or products presented there.

NOTE: Outside links will open in a new browser window unless you click on an article title.

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Last Modified 1/26/2015