Metro woman regrets referring friends, family after she says tax deal went wrong

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It’s that time of year: Tax season. There are so many programs out there to help you file your taxes. A metro woman says she told friends and family about one program that offered money upfront, but now she regrets the decision.

Pamela Andrews says she saw the commercials and the ads from Liberty Tax. You get $50 if you file your taxes with them and another $50 if you refer a friend, and Andrews says she can't resist a good deal. “Deals you deserve” displays on the front page of its website, but she says it wasn’t worth it.

Andrews thought the cash was distributed up front with no strings attached when she first told her fiancé about the program.

“We were going to go to Outback and just have a nice dinner,” she said.

But he came back empty handed. She called corporate and eventually got the promised $50. By then, Andrews already referred several other friends.

“There’s no fine print saying you have to wait. It says you bring your friend in or your family and you will get the $50,” said Andrews.

Andrews is also upset because she believes her friends and family overpaid to have Liberty Tax file their returns.

Paperwork shows her fiancé paid $461 to file his 1040 EZ short form. Her friend paid $453. Andrews says that’s about four-times higher than what she’s paid to have a short form filed.

Liberty Tax says it has nothing to hide and offers a free estimated quote. All they had to do was ask.

The Internal Revenue Service offers completely free tax help with its volunteer income tax assistance -- or "VITA" program.

It's open to anyone making less than $54,000, the elderly, people with disabilities, and people who can't speak English.

Dozens of metro tax preparers participate at places like libraries and colleges. Click on this link for a locator tool.

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