So filing taxes is neither easy nor intuitive. It's a challenge, especially for the majority of the American population that are not college graduates. (Isn't that an amazing figure -- less than half of the over-22 population has a college degree).
The working poor get a lot of tax breaks, as they should, to increase purchasing power among those who will spend their money in this country and boost our economy, creating jobs here.
But filing for those breaks is a challenge, and people often need that money fast.
There are two ways to deal with this.
One is to get governments and non-profits set up to help people file their taxes, teach them how to do it, and get more working people their money.
The other is to see this as a profit center. Get the biggest financial companies in the country to open up store fronts in poor neighborhoods, fill out the tax forms for them and charge, oh, 100% interest. A HUNDRED PERCENT!
And the latter is what's happening.
This article in Crain's Chicago Business lays it out.
And so the feds cut the funding for non-profits to do this for our residents, instead letting the banks make money off our residents.
It's basically exporting wealth from our working residents to the owners of the banks (few of whom live in Illinois, as these big banks are publicly traded. Maybe the Saudi Royal Family is getting rich of Illinois residents filing taxes, if they own a big chunk of stock in these banks. That's a feel good thought, isn't it?)
Maybe we should require every Illinois resident to open a bank account and quit getting ripped off by these banks.