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Lost: Small black male dog, white on chest, has Harley Davidson collar, answers to Spaz, last seen Nov. 10 on corner of Eagle Ridge/Hwy. 181. Call/text 210-723-5893.
Found: Military dog tag at Wal-mart fuel station, name on tag is Perez Lilliana. If you are or know this person, call Felix 830-391-3003 to claim.
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Are you looking for a fast-paced, fun-filled work environment with the opportunity for advancement and competitive pay? THE DEN in La Vernia is NOW HIRING for the following positions - Cashier/Host, Server/Bartender, and Line cook. Apply online at, search The Den LV, zip code 78121.
CASA VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR, FULL-TIME POSITION. Provides professional staff support to CASA volunteers to ensure that abused children’s best interests are represented in court. Social services experience required.  Responsible for assisting with recruiting and initial training of advocates, and coordinating cases in Wilson County and Karnes County with Atascosa County (home office). Must demonstrate written and presentation communication skills. Must be available to work intermittent evenings/weekends with some travel.  Must have personal car, current TDL, and auto liability insurance. Call CASA of South Texas at 830-569-4696 for application, or e-mail request to by November 30.
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Scam Central

What to Expect with Tax Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) in 2011

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January 20, 2011 | 3,781 views | Post a comment

BBB Explains Higher Risk and Cost of RALs

Austin, TX -- With tax season just around the corner, many Americans are looking forward to the expected refunds from their 2010 federal income taxes. Many people may also consider applying for a refund anticipation loan (RAL) to speed up the process of receiving the refunds that they expect. BBB suggests consumers review how a recent change implemented by the IRS will impact RALs this year.

RALs are loans based on a taxpayer’s anticipated refund and they are currently offered by tax preparation companies such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt. Until this year, in support of RAL lending, the IRS would notify tax preparers about whether their clients had any debts that might offset the anticipated refunds. If no debt was indicated, the tax preparation company issued a RAL accordingly. However, in effort to encourage taxpayers to file their taxes electronically and set up direct deposit accounts instead of RALs, the IRS will no longer provide tax preparers with the debt indicator notification in 2011 and beyond.

The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) emphasizes that without the debt indication, RALs will be increasingly risky and expensive, as they won’t be estimated with as much clarity about the taxpayer’s expected refund amount. BBB advises consumers preparing for tax return season this year to consider using free alternatives, such as e-filing and non-profit tax counseling centers, to avoid the risk of having a loan with high interest rates.

For those interested in obtaining an RAL this year, BBB advises consumers to review the following checklist of what to expect:

· High Interest Rates. In 2009 the IRS cited a statistic from the General Accountability Office stating that the interest rates and fees for RALs vary widely, ranging from 36 percent to over 500 percent.

· Administration Fees. In addition to the interest rates on RALs, tax preparers can add on fees for administering the loans and these fees can range from $25 to several hundred dollars.

· Obligation for Full Repayment of the Loan. Even if the refund amount is less than the loan issued based on the anticipated estimates, consumers will be held responsible for paying the full amount of the loan in the timeframe agreed upon in the lending contract.

As consumers look to hire tax preparation companies, BBB offers the following tips:

· Check credentials ahead of time. It is very important to take the time to research tax preparation services well in advance to confirm all credentials. Keep in mind that only attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs) and federally authorized tax practitioners may represent taxpayers before the IRS. It is also beneficial to find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that holds its members to a code of ethics.

· Don’t fall for the promise of a big refund. Be wary of any tax preparation service that promises larger refunds than the competition and avoid any tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.

· Ask around. Get referrals from friends and family on who they use and then check the BBB Business Review on each tax preparation business at .

· Read the contract carefully in advance. Read tax preparation service contracts closely to verify the cost of services ahead of time. Also, be sure to confirm how the cost will be affected if preparation is more complicated or time consuming than expected. Additionally, be sure to find out whether or not the tax preparer will represent you in the case of an IRS audit.

· Think long term. Many tax preparation services only operate for the months leading up to April 18th. In case the IRS finds errors or in the case of an audit, consumers will need to contact the tax preparer in the future. Be sure to get your representative’s year-round contact information in case you have any questions or concerns.
To check the reliability of a company , visit BBB.

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities.

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal and Southwest Texas at (512) 445-4748.

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