The city has issued a list citing tax preparation businesses for not following city rules, and they call the numbers “shocking”.
The city said consumers should ask a lot of questions when hiring someone to prepare their taxes, especially after last year when complaints against Mo’ Money Taxes led to a lawsuit by the state.
Mo’ Money Taxes had people lined up questioning what happened to their IRS returns. They eventually shut down last year.
The short term shops are no longer around, but the city’s Department of Consumer Protection is warning there may be others.
The Mo’ Money story led to a city ordinance that requires tax preparers to show consumers a bill or fights and to be completely up front about fees.
After an undercover investigation, the city found of the approximately 100 places they visited, 97% were not following any of those rules.
The Better Business Bureau said they are not surprised by that number. They said that in March and April, about a quarter of the complaints they receive are for pop-up tax shops.
The IRS has tried to regulate these shops, but there is currently a court injunction keeping them from doing that, so it is up to consumers to pay attention.
For more tips and information on the spots that didn’t meet the city’s requirements go to the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Agency’s website at Cityofchicago.org/bacp.