Treasury's tax refund debit card experiment apparently failed
When to expect your tax refund

Check out tax refund loan alternatives

Tax season is here! I know you're as jazzed as I am. You are, after all, reading a tax blog.

January is a big month for the Internal Revenue Service. That's when almost everyone expecting a refund files a return.

In the past, tax refund anticipation loans, or RALs, also were big January business. That's not so true any more. Fewer places offer them, thanks to efforts by consumer advocacy groups, the IRS itself (remember the debt indicator decision?) and financial regulators.

But there still are some RALs out there, along with their fast tax cash cousins.

I totally understand the desire and, in too many cases, the need for refund money as soon as possible.

However, there are less costly alternatives. And that's this week's Weekly Tax Tip.

This is the end of the 2011 (plus a bonus one in 2012) Weekly Tax Tip series. But don't dismay.

As work begins in ernest on filing 2011 returns, the ol' blog will be posting Daily Tax Tips. The 2012 version of that annual series begins next week.

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