Norfolk aims to prevent future tax season nightmares

Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-07 19:16:07-05

An angry crowd demanded their money.

That was the scene last year in Norfolk after people trusted Mo' Money, a company out of Memphis, to do their taxes.

Thursday, Norfolk's Commissioner of the Revenue is taking action to prevent that from happening again.

"If they came to City Hall, their federal income tax returns would not only be prepared for free, but they would be prepared in a safe and secure manner. And people are entitled to that," said Charlie Hartig, from the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue.

Safe and secure. That's what the crowds last year told NewsChannel 3 they weren't getting from Mo' Money. Our investigation found allegations of fees over $1,000, people weren't getting the refunds they were promised, and tax forms that were filled out incorrectly.

But the trip to the commissioner's office this year can protect those with fixed incomes from that.

"I've tried a few places that want to charge 4 or 500 dollars, and you get your taxes back in a week or two, or 24 hours, but the fee was just outrageous," said Jessie Nunn Sr., who was there to get his taxes done.

And that's not all. NewsChannel 3 tagged along Thursday with city tax compliance supervisors, who went around to all the former Mo' Money locations just to make sure they weren't back under a different name.

"You can't trust everybody. You can't do it. Especially when you're dealing with your income... you can't do it," Nunn added.