Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
City Services

Bill of Rights for Consumers Using Tax Preparation Services

Tax payers in Chicago will now have recourse against unscrupulous tax preparers after the City Council passed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Tax Preparer Ordinance

Every tax season unsuspecting Chicagoans fall victim to tax preparation firms that use hidden charges and recommend unnecessary and expensive tax refund products like Refund Anticipation Loans (RALS) or Refund Anticipation Checks (RACS) to make a profit at the expense of citizens' deserved tax refunds.

The ordinance mandates that tax preparers:

  • Offer a detailed explanation of their available services.
  • Prior to rendering any service must provide the price of each offered service, any and all fees, and an estimate of the total charge based upon the services chosen for purchase.
  • Inform customers of the reasonable period of time they can expect to wait for a refund.
  • Tell customers they have the right NOT to utilize an alternative settlement product.
  • Certify that they provided a clear explanation and the required disclosures.
  • Inform customers of their right to file a complaint.

 

Click here to view the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparation Services. 

Click here to view the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparation Services in Spanish.

Know Before You Hire a Tax Preparer Flyer