Liberty Tax Service tax refund advance review
Be prepared to pay a fee equal to 35.99% APR.
- Best for people with larger refunds who don't think they can qualify for a personal loan.
- Pick something else if you want to avoid a finance charge — other services out there don't charge this.
Tax preparation fee
February 28, 2020
|Product name||Liberty Tax Service Easy Advance|
|Maximum advance amount||$6,250|
|Minimum advance amount||$500|
|Turnaround||As soon as one business day — direct deposit may take longer|
|Tax preparation fee||Varies|
|Application deadline||February 28, 2020|
|States serviced||Available at participating locations|
|Requirements||File taxes through Liberty Tax, meet additional underwriting criteria|
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Liberty Tax offers the largest advance amount of all of the providers we’ve reviewed — but it’s also the only one that has a finance charge equal to an APR of 35.99%. That’s where most personal loan providers cap out. This means if you have good or even fair credit, you might be able to qualify for a better deal by taking out a personal loan instead.
Liberty Tax’s process isn’t transparent, either. Information like concrete eligibility requirements and how you’ll receive your funds isn’t available on its website. And you’ll have to visit a store to file your taxes and apply — it doesn’t offer an online application.
If you’re interested in a lower interest rate, you may want to compare personal loans instead.
Liberty Tax tax refund advance requirements
The only requirement Liberty Tax discloses is that you’ll need to file your taxes through its service. You’ll also need to meet some underwriting criteria set by Republic Bank & Trust Company, though it doesn’t state what those are. To learn more, contact your local Liberty Tax branch.
How Liberty Tax’s tax refund advance works
You can apply for an Easy Advance at a Liberty Tax branch when you file your taxes. Depending on your refund, you may be eligible for one of seven amounts: $500, $800, $1,300, $2,500, $3,000, $4,750 or $6,250. Your advance may be available within 24 hours of approval — though it doesn’t state how you’ll receive the funds. And if you choose direct deposit, it could take multiple business days for Liberty Tax to process your request.
How much does it cost?
Unlike similar tax refund advance services, Liberty Tax charges a finance fee. The exact amount you pay will be based on the amount of your advance — but will result in an APR of 35.99%. Here’s how it breaks down:
|Advance amount||Finance fee|
How do I apply?
You need to apply at a Liberty Tax store when you meet with a tax adviser to files your taxes. However, you can see if you’re potentially eligible online by following these steps:
- Visit the Liberty Tax website and navigate to the Easy Advance page.
- Select how you plan on filing.
- Enter your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, email and phone number.
- Enter your estimated 2019 tax refund.
- Review your information and click Submit.
If you’re eligible to apply for an advance, you’ll be able to make an appointment at a participating Liberty Tax branch to file your taxes and finalize your application. However, just because you’re eligible doesn’t mean you’ll ultimately get approved.
What documents do I need to apply?
You won’t need much to see if you qualify online, but you’ll need more information when you file your taxes at a Liberty Tax store. This includes:
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- W-2s and other tax forms
- Last year’s tax information
So, what’s the catch?
Liberty Tax isn’t the best refund advance service out there — it’s the only one we’ve reviewed that has a finance charge. Consider the following drawbacks before going with this provider:
- Finance charge. Liberty Tax requires you to pay a finance fee to take out an advance that’s equivalent to a 35.99% APR — where most personal loans cap out. If you have good or even fair credit, you might want to take out a personal loan instead — it could cost less.
- Have to apply in person. You’ll need to go to a Liberty Tax store to file your taxes and apply for an advance in person. And not every location is guaranteed to offer this service. You also can’t find a list of participating branches online.
- Limited info online. Liberty Tax doesn’t disclose eligibility requirements or how you’ll receive your funds on its website. This means you’ll have to call or visit your local branch for more information.
Will applying affect my credit?
It may. Liberty Tax doesn’t state outright if applying will affect your credit, so be sure to ask before you fill out an application.
3 tax prep sites like Liberty Tax
|Refund advance amount||APR||Tax preparation fee||Deadline||Online application|
|H&R Block||$250 to $3,500||0%||Yes, but not stated||February 29, 2020||No||Read review|
|Intuit TurboTax||$250 to $2,000||0%||Varies||February 7, 2020 — or until funds run out||Yes||Read review|
|Jackson Hewitt||$200 to $3,200||0%||Starts at $48||February 23, 2020||No||Read review|
Not what you’re looking for? Compare other personal loan options
Need to borrow more than $6,250? Check out our guide to personal loans to compare other options instead.