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While shopping at a nearby Walmart, someone had placed a leaflet on my car door that looked like in the image linked at the bottom of this question (I removed the contact details section from the leaflet).

The leaflet seems to imply that it is possible to get tax credits if a person has worked in certain jobs.

enter image description here

I wasn't aware of any particular tax credits that would be available for such a variety of occupations, but I could be wrong of course. Or this is a case of either creative advertising or some kind of a tax return scam(?)

Question:

Are there legitimate ways to get tax credits for the occupations listed above?

(In case it makes a difference, I live in Orlando, Florida)

  • maybe that "Univeral" Tax Refund is supposed to be "Universal" Tax Refund as there seems to be (have been?) a company with that name in Orlando. Maybe the same as in this online complaint – x457812 Feb 26 '18 at 19:39
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    @x457812 "Univeral Tax Refund" is a registered LLC in Florida, possibly because "Universal Tax Refund" was already taken. – D Stanley Feb 26 '18 at 20:01
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    It's probably not a scam, but just a low quality business with cheesey advertising. Regarding the "secret deductions!" they are offering, all they mean is the obvious, for example, photographers can deduct batteries, etc. The whole "deduction" thing is stupid: inevitably the standard deduction swamps anything you could fake-up, so it's moot. – Fattie Feb 26 '18 at 20:25
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    They may be referring to the earned income tax credit which is only available to low-to-middle income earners which would normally include the listed jobs and which supposedly 20% of eligible people don't take. – mkennedy Feb 26 '18 at 21:18
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I think there are two components to this advertisement and would not classify either of them as a scam.

Would this place offer a cash advance if you did none of the listed occupations? Sure, I bet they would. As you are probably well aware the fees on those advances are high and tend to be very poor financial decisions. I believe even Turbo Tax offers this seductive option.

By tax credits they probably mean write offs for self employment (1099) income. Without question the wording is poor, perhaps deceptive, but I would not classify it as a scam. It is just a tickler to earn business.

However, it is best to stay away from these kinds of places. Really all they are doing is having a person enter data into a Turbo Tax type app. You can do that yourself for free.

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Major tax preparation companies will offer you an advance on your tax refund, provided you file through them. This is essentially a loan which uses your refund as collateral. Tax preparers do this because it can attract customers. Since the company doing is not one of the major firms be careful to watch out for extra fees or an interest rate attached to the cash advance.

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Given the poor grammar, and the emphasis on the "cash advance", I'd say this is either a scam or a pay-day lender trying to drum up business. I know of no tax credits that would apply specifically to any of these occupations.

This report paints a bad picture as well.

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    Regardless of the scam question, there wouldn't need to be specific tax credits for those specific things. It would be a list of common "gig" jobs that might all fall under a few broader tax credits. – WakeDemons3 Feb 26 '18 at 19:48
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    @WakeDemons3 well, they could have mode deductions due to being self-employed, but not credits that I know of. It's a semantic argument, though. – D Stanley Feb 26 '18 at 19:59
  • @DStanley For a company that prints "Did You Do Any of the following on 2017", semantics clearly isn't their strong point (nor is consistent capitalisation). – TripeHound Feb 27 '18 at 14:01

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