Jackson Hewitt no longer offers the Money Now loan, according to its website. As of 2015, it offers tax refund anticipation loans of up to $850 through First Money Center.
The California Attorney General alleged that Jackson Hewitt violated state and federal laws in marketing Money Now loans and other expensive tax refund anticipation loans to low-income customers. California charged that Jackson-Hewitt made substantial profit by encouraging customers to take out expensive loans instead of waiting for their refunds from the IRS, which were free.
In 2007, Jackson-Hewitt settled the case and was required to pay $4 million in restitution to California customers who received a refund anticipation loan between 2001 and 2004. The company was also required to pay $1 million in fees and penalties. However, the Money Now loan program was still advertised as late as 2009 with Magic Johnson as its spokesman, according to the Huffington Post. The annual interest rate on Money Now loans was 40 to 500 percent.
Tax refund anticipation loans are not recommended by the Center for Responsible Lending. Banks are no longer allowed to offer them, but other firms may. ResponsibleLending.org offers tips on how consumers can get their tax refunds quickly without paying extra fees.