Buyer Beware: Tax Services

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GREEN LEVEL, N.C. -- An Green Level man believes he got a raw deal when he used a tax service to file his federal and state income taxes in February.

Steven Dixon says Loan Buy Sell Tax Services, or LBS, charged him $949 to e-file his taxes.

Dixon says LBS originally told him it would cost him $75 to file.

The Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina also received another complaint from a Burlington woman named Nancy Alvarez. By phone Alvarez said LBS had charged here between $900 and $1,000 as well.

At the store, which is located in a strip mall just off of North Church Street, an LBS associate said $75 was the "basic charge."

"Depends on your situation. Some people need more forms so it's more expensive," the associate said.

The Better Business Bureau advises getting all your information up front when you go with a third-party to prepare your taxes.

"Ask for a quote. If they're tax professionals and they've talked to you, they should have a pretty good idea of what it will take to file your taxes," said Central North Carolina BBB President and CEO Kevin Hinterberger.

"If they charge you way more than they estimated, then they need to justify why it took a huge amount longer than they thought. That's when you ask for an itemized bill."

Hinterberger said there are plenty of options for tax preparation out there, if a business refuses to give you the information you want up front.