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H&R Block Owes California $4.85 million

Behind Bars | Photo: The Consumerist
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As tax season approaches, California Attorney General came to an agreement today with H&R Block over deceptive practices, although the tax preparation company claims no wrongdoing, according to the state. The settlement is over what Brown calls deceptive marketing of tax refund loans. Basically, "a refund anticipation loan is a short-term loan secured by a taxpayer's anticipated income tax refund," as described by Brown's office.

$2.45 million in restitution will go to customers who purchased a “Refund Anticipation Loan” or a “Refund Anticipation Check” through H&R Block between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008. The rest of the money goes towards a fine, costs and fees.

H&R will also be banned from deceptive marketing, but only for three years.