Count the refund anticipation loan ("the RAL") as something in the past.
Just a few hours ago, the IRS announced that it will not offer the debt indicator for the next tax season.
The debt indicator is an underwriting tool for refund anticipation loans (RALs). The debt indicator tells the banks that make RALs on behalf of a tax prep shop if the tax filer is going to have his or her refund held up. There have been thousands of tax prep shop offering RALS in North Carolina. After today, this is a thing of the past.
More than 470,000 North Carolina households paid for a RAL in 2006 (the last year that data is available.) They spent more than $48 million, by our estimate, to get their refund back a week earlier.