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This opinion was issued during the second quarter of 1998.
It is the position of the Division that an income tax refund financing business which is advancing funds to individuals based on the amount of their income tax refunds, in amounts of $6,000.00 or less, and who is charging interest on those funds, is making a small loan under Massachusetts law. Mass. Gen. Laws chapter 140, section 96 and its implementing regulation 209 CMR 12.00 require that any person engaging in the business of making loans of $6,000.00 or less and charging interest, including fees, at a rate greater than twelve percent per annum must obtain a small loan license from the Division. If the interest rate charged on the income tax refund loans is less than twelve percent, then a small loan license would not be required. Persons seeking to establish and conduct such businesses also should be aware of the Commonwealth's Truth-In-Lending statute, chapter 140D of the General Laws.