Before you file your taxes, watch for the fees hidden in fine print

Posted at 11:09 PM, Feb 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-04 23:29:53-05

Norfolk. Va. - $100 up front is what The Tax Group offered Joyce Perez, it was a deal she had to take advantage of.

"Well I thought it was a good deal, but come to find out it ain't," Perez said.

The tax group on Church Street in Norfolk offered Perez one-hundred dollars before it even did her taxes.

The business estimated how much she was owed, and had her sign a contract promising to only let the tax group file her taxes once she brought in her W-2.

A service the fine print said would cost $700.

"Oh it hurts a lot especially when you're used to paying $300 and you end up paying $700," Perez said. "It's a lot of money."

An employee with the tax group made no apologies for her company's high fees. Newschannel 3 asked to see the contract Perez signed, to determine how clear the $700 charge was made. Unfortunately, the tax group wouldn't show us their fine print.

"I don't remember seeing it," Perez said. "I remember seeing in the lettering I would bring back my W-2s and file my taxes with them but I never seen on there where they were going to charge me $700 for my income tax."

Evans Poston, Norfolk's new Commissioner of Revenue says what happened to Perez is legal, he just wishes more people knew they had cheaper options, like getting their state return done for free at his office.

"We're not a part of a market to make money off this," Poston said. "You're not going to go out to some firm that may market themselves to serve the public but is really preying on the public, so we offer a free tax service here."

Here are a list of places you can get your taxes, both state and federal, done for free, broken down by city.


The Great Bridge Presbyterian Church
333 Cedar Road
Tuesday and Wednesday 9 AM-2PM

Russell Memorial Library
2808 Taylor Road
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9AM-2PM

South Norfolk Memorial Library
801 Poindexter Street
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9:30AM-1:30PM


Churchland Library
4934 High Street
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10AM-2PM


Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center
7300 Newport Avenue
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30AM-3:30PM
Wednesday 9:30AM-6:30PM
Saturday 10AM-1PM

Virginia Beach:
Central Library
4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard
Monday, Wednesday 10AM-6PM
Tuesday, Thursday 10AM-8PM
Friday, Saturday 10AM-4PM

Princess Anne Library
1444 Primo Parkway
Monday, Wednesday 10AM-2PM
Thursday 3PM-6PM


Workforce Development Center
157 N Main Street
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 12:30PM-3:30PM