What makes it worse is that the IRS facilitates the ability of these tax return preparation companies (like H&R Block) to make these predatory loans with almost no risk whatsoever that they won't get their money back, since it permits a return preparer company to share private information acquired in the preparation of the return with its lending affiliate for just this purpose.
For more on this, see Alternet's story by Alexander Zaitchik, How the IRS Helps H&R Block Scam Taxpayers, Mar. 17, 2010. Alternet says it's time for these companies to quit this predatory behavior. I agree, don't you? And the rules should be changed to deny these lending companies the ability to access the taxpayer's private information for purposes of their assessment of risks.