If H&R Block Can't Even Get Its Own Taxes Right…

from the ouch dept

It’s getting to that time of the year again, when we all start procrastinating on actually filing our taxes, and we see a marked increase in the number of serious, trustworthy-looking actors pretending to be financial advisors in TV commercials. Many of those commercials will probably be from H&R Block, whose claim to fame is their ability to help you with your taxes. Apparently, those serious, trustworthy folks weren’t used on the company’s own taxes, though, because the company has now admitted it screwed up its own taxes. The timing on this, obviously, is not particularly good. Maybe they should just claim they went to a competitor…

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Comments on “If H&R Block Can't Even Get Its Own Taxes Right…”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

arent the the ones who do the double check thing which on average finds a large ammount extra you can get back? i dont remember if it was 500 or more.. but either way.. that basically says ON AVERAGE they screw up SOO BAD the first time that the 2nd time thru the manage to find HUGE ammounts extra they could save you?

The Other Mike says:

Re: No Subject Given

They are saying bring in your taxes that was done by someone ELSE (the previous year’s usually) and they find $500 in missed savings (or refund) on average.

I used them for the past 5 years or so with no problems at all. In fact they saved me more than some other place I used prior to them so they had my loyalty at that point. This year I did my own online with TurboTax (which will not get my business again) because it was supposed to be cheaper and I have nothing complicated to fill out. The Block may end up with my business again next year because they have always been good to me – even if they are a bit more expensive.

One man’s treasure is another man’s trash, I guess.

Funny that they screwed themselves on their filing though. That has to cost them business since it is peak time. Wonder if they guaranteed their filing…

H&R Guerilla marketing says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

So which part of the block do you work for, I wonder.. I happen to work in marketing, and for all of you that don’t know, there are people, companies actually, who are paid to write crap like this to make the rest of us think exactly what they want, sometimes they even create multiple user accounts to make themselves look more legit. It happens in the gaming community a lot. so, be careful what you believe, and if there seems to be one comment that is completely off, someone might have been paid to place it.

freak3dot says:

Re: Re: Re: H & R block taxes

I went to H & R last year only because I was still complaining about the year before and getting a good deal. The person who prepared my taxes got done and then said, “Oh I forgot to enter this form.” She had that form in front of her the whole time. This year I decided I was done with them. I got my taxes done on a secure website and I only paid $9.99 for both state and federal. I found freetaxusa.com from a link on the IRS website.


The Other Mike says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Are you asking what part of them I work for, ‘H&R Guerilla marketing’??? Afraid you are mistaken if you think I work for them. Totally different industry actually. Look before you leap is always the best advice. I’ve been posting here off and on for months now. (So no conspiracy theory to be found there either).

Just because I don’t have to trash the company to feel cool, doesn’t mean I work for them either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

So i guess that goes for you 2. But you still have the option to ask questions and no matter how much work they do you can say yes or no if you want them to finish. At least they screwed themself and not someone else. There is another company that is being sued for double charging, they charge you on the computer and at the register so who ever you go to ask questions.

Julie says:

Re: No Subject Given

exactly. It’s really not hard to file your own taxes and get all the appropriate exemptions and savings. You can file your own taxes for free online or for advanced filing and state filing it doesn’t generally cost more than 20-25 dollars. I’ve been filling taxes out for other people including EIC and head of household with no formal training at all for the last 5 years and I still manage to find all the savings and exemptions.

Jimbo says:

Their loss, my gain

I work for an independent tax office. Every year I get LOTS of new clients who went to Block the year before and paid much more for their return than we charge. The extra money likely pays for thier advertising. Betcha they raise their prices a lot more next year to pay for clearing up this PR debacle.

By the way, most people don’t bring in a prior year return to be reviewed unless they think it was screwed up in the first place – usually from not claiming Earned Income Credit or not claiming a dependent that they could have claimed. (EIC credit can be as high as $4400 this year)

Aaron says:

Re: Their loss, my gain

I WORKED for H&R this year, and hated every second of it. I did my federal taxes on Turbo Tax’ website, and did the state returns by hand. If I never walk into another Block office, it’ll be too soon.

Tip: You can go through the whole process with them, and then walk out at the last minute AFTER you see how much you should be getting back, and not pay a dime. Just like getting the answer key.

KR (user link) says:

Re: Re: Their loss, my gain

H&R Block did my company’s corporate return 3 years ago. We contracted with them in February, and they finally filed in August. They would not return our calls or answer our questions. They screwed it up so bad that we hired a CPA the next year to figure it all out. The CPA, who has been in business for 43 years, said he had never seen a tax return prepared so poorly in his entire career. He had to reprepare it and resubmit for the previous year. H&R Block has a “money back guarantee” which we tried to use — we demanded our money back because they filed a nonsensical tax return on our behalf.
They refused to give a refund.
Beware. Beware. Beware.
Kevin R.
Austin, Texas

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: My father did mines with them?!

2 years ago I did my taxes with H&R block. First I called them and asked what was the fee to do my simple taxes. They told me $80. I double checked and said “Even if I use the ‘cash now’ service?” and they said “Yes.”

$150 later they had finished and were surprised I was upset. So I asked to talk to a manager. They made me wait for 45 minutes before talking to me. When I told him that his receptionist gave me false information, he went on to tell he how hard his job was, and how hard it is to keep his employees informed.

He basically told me that he wasn’t actually doing his job, but somehow didn’t realize what the words meant when they came out of his mouth. In attempt to calm my frustration, he gave me a phonecard. For a pay phone.

Don’t go to H&R block. Please?

Moron hater (user link) says:

Re: Re: Their loss, my gain

Yes you can. You can abuse the services, learn something then do it yourself. You could do this anyway w/o wasting a couple hours of someone’s time just to take advantage of them. You could actully learn something for yourself!? Instead you, and people like you, are part of the reason for the inflated rates for tax preparation by professionals. The flake factor has to be integrated into the pricing. Too many ppl think tax offices are just a place to exploit, therefore they have to jack up the prices on the honest people.
Thanks for your selfish attitude and jacking my costs to have my taxes done professionally and guaranteed vs the IRS. I could do them cheaper myself but the security is great… if the fuk up they deal with it, not me.

p.s. not affiliated with Block but a loooong time customer and I have 0 complaints. Just like any other service industry it depends on the individual you have not the corporate name.
Do yourself a favor and ask questions!
Don’t be intimidated by taxes, they’re easy and IMHO it’s well worth the extra 50 bucks or so to not have to worry about tax BS. My dude from Block takes care of everything for me, he’s awesome.
Find someone good and stick with em….. Block or not. W/e helps you sleep at night.

Clay (user link) says:


This just proves the tax code is way too complex and it cost Americans billions just to figure out how much to give the government. Today, the IRS will admit to 25% non-compliance(conservative estimate I’m sure) with the code. This means 25% of America are criminals according to the IRS. It is estimated that it costs taxpayers $225 billion for tax filing, tax record keeping, and tax reduction advice. That’s the equivalent of about $850 for every man, woman and child in America!

Some other interesting points….

-The tax code is filled with loopholes that are manipulated by high-priced lobbyists for their clients, and by other special interests.
-The complexity of the current income tax code is an open invitation to those with the means to manipulate the tax code.
-There are more lobbyists registered in Washington for taxes than for any other issue.

Maybe if we adopted the FairTax we wouldn’t have to worry about all this tax filing buisness. Get your whole paycheck.


Daniel (profile) says:

Re: FairTax

The problem with a simplified tax code is that it makes it easier for the government to take your money and harder for you to keep it. I want LESS taxes – not “fair” ones.

This would have helped H&R Block too – If you don’t owe as much, you can’t underpay as much.

Of course this would have to go for the states as well. It was the state returns that messed up H&R Block.

Anonymous Coward says:

HR Block

Once upon a time, my wife was a data transcribing person for the IRS (copying data from 1040 and other forms into electronic form for processing). This was before electronic filing.

She told me that there were two big jokes there.

  1. People who claimed their occupation was simply “Executive” (making $5,000/year).
  2. People who used H.R. Block, which invariably got kicked out for dumb errors.

No matter WHO you use, whether it be a nationwide tax preparer or a simple CPA, go over the figures and add them up yourself. Electronic filing will catch the obvious mistakes, but you’re still responsible for what you put your signature to.

Anon (user link) says:

Re: H&R Theives

Your roomate is the one to blame, not the tax preparer. Why did he not ask what charges were b4 he started LOL?! Filing State and Fed will cost ya 81$ min no matter what you’re getting back or owe. The fees have nothing to do with what you get back. Do a 1040EZ, notice the EZ part, yourself for nothing and get it all back if you have a simple return and you have the math abilities of an average 6th grader.

Midtown says:

F'd up more than that

I have a friend who did his taxes online, on H&R.com. They wanted to give him a Visa Card with the money on it instead of direct diposit or a normal check. He said he wanted a direct diposit, but they messed up. About 3 days later early one morning they called his house from some place in Texas saying that there was a mass error in the system and several people who wanted direct diposit/checks were going to recive the check cards anyways. So to correct the error they still sent the check card(that was void) and made him wait for them to send him a check with for the money. But to their credit they sent the check in overnight mail…even though it still took a few extra days.

Roachmill says:

No Subject Given

I’ve had H&R Block do my taxes for the last ten years without ever having a mistake. My wife always does it herself before we go to get an idea of how much we should be getting and it always turns out to be about $600 more than she figures.
Plus they hand me a check right there. Thats how they got your roommate. He probably told them he wanted to check the next day. If you wait a week the fees come down alot.

Former Block employee says:

Re: Idiots and all others

I worked for Block for many years. A lot has changed about taxes. It’s the governments fault ever since EIC came about and those loans, people have a severe entitlement attitude, especially those with low income. Most people would be shocked at the cheating,lying and basic scum of the earth that came in to demand “their” money. On the other hand, a lot of people down on their luck got helped by the very same thing. As for Block, like anyplace you go, some are good, some are not so good. I know they seem to spend non-tax season finding new ways they can screw the employees who work 3 1/2 grueling months for them. The other places aren’t any better, and people will make mistakes.

renee says:

Re: Re: Idiots and all others


Good comment, while I empathize with legitimate claims, it was refreshing to hear an opinion from the “other side of the desk” on the types of people HR Block employees deal with. Some will never be satisfied. I know that I try my best when doing taxes, am very consciencious, but do make mistakes. When I do, I do my best to rectify them. This is not a black and white situation as some people claim.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Idiots and all others


“I worked for Block for many years. A lot has changed about taxes. It’s the governments fault ever since EIC came about and those loans, people have a severe entitlement attitude, especially those with low income. Most people would be shocked at the cheating,lying and basic scum of the earth that came in to demand “their” money. On the other hand, a lot of people down on their luck got helped by the very same thing. As for Block, like anyplace you go, some are good, some are not so good. I know they seem to spend non-tax season finding new ways they can screw the employees who work 3 1/2 grueling months for them. The other places aren’t any better, and people will make mistakes”

Amen brother

matt says:

h&r block sucks

i’m married block filed me as head of household because my wife had no income and 2 kids this threw up a red flag with the irs. i got audited i called the block office they clamed that was correct i told them that the irs said that was wrong they admitted to the mistake and offered to pay me only the interest on the $3000 i have to give back i’m sueing h$r block and holding them to their written guarantee

Without a Job & happier says:


My company was recently bought out by H&R Bloch. After 6 years as a taxpreparer they wanted to pay me $7.00 an hour. If I worked for them for the entire tax season I would supposedly receive 25% of prep fees. Is this another WalMart story? Buy off the independent companies,get owners under contract with no compete clauses, jack up the price, then who ya gonna call. With them it is the quanity not the quality. I have fixed too many H&Rs mistakes in the past. I could not bring myself down to their level of slam bam. Training and software are both mostly about how to sell extra products–I would like feedback from prior employees. Am I just mistrusting? -If you get one of their loans-PLEASE check the percentage rates. Some of the taxpreparers are knowledgable, others not so much. Yes, it is true once the return is complete (not printed) you can walk out if they are charging too much-TAXPAYERS BEWARE!

Annie M says:

H&R Block cheated me out of $1,000!

I just did my 2006 taxes using TurboTax online (wonderful!) and found out that last year H&R Block cheated me out of a MAJOR deduction, costing me about $1,000. When I was there I got the impression that the girlie “doing” my taxes was just reading through an online questionnaire and entering stuff. This is why I decided to do it myself this year. I can do that and not have to pay $125 for useless services.

I also have an IRA from them that is doing NOTHING and is about to be rolled over.

Trav says:

The lady who attempted to do my taxes this year at H & R Block could barely speak English and raced through her little tax program as fast as she could. I would have asked for someone who could better understand what I was saying, but I think everyone else who worked there was worse. Scary! I walked out and ended up doing them myself. I had to do a little research on some of it, but it was fairly simple.

Ald says:

UNDER AGE Of 18 $3500 Lost becuase of H&R

so i take my taxes into H&R….
i work all year and get taxed thousands of dollars as a minor,
and i only got $250 back plus…. they dont account for the 1500 RRSPs i put away!!!! if anyone can explain this to me please… please email me i will send you 50$ via paypal if you can give me the info to get that money!

educator says:

screwed out of more than $7000!

because of THEIR (h&r block’s) calculation error, I owe the IRS more than $7000…my “tax professional” admits that their company is responsible for making the error, but will only pay interest fees and penalties…..how “responsible” is that? Anyone interested in a class-action lawsuit? I have very little free time on my hands to do the research right now, but I would be interested to know how many others out there are left squirming. I travel out of country next month and will be prepping for the trip and teaching and training, but if someone found out the numbers, I would think an attorney would definitely be interested in pursuing the matter.

Robert Shirey says:


I think Block’s guarantee to take responsibility for their mistakes is a joke, not a funny one. I paid over $5,ooo in penalties and interest for a mistake they made by not reporting everything on my 1099 forms. One form had three items and they only reported two of them. I have contacted them many times about this and all I get are excuses. The Franchise changed hands,so what. My claim has been approved but I should pay the IRS so no more interest accrues and they would reemburse me, I never got a check. The latest excuse is the claim is being considered by Region, What’s to be considered? They screwed up and they made a promise to pay for their mistakes.

Barbara Wright says:

Tax places seem to side with the Government

I had the same problem last year with Jackson Hewitt. I oaid for a service. I am a Condo owner. They wanted to fill out a short form saying that a long form would mean I would owe the Government.

They left out all of the property tax and interest I paid. I got back a measly $100 back out of thousands I paid. The government is suing Jackson Hewitt for cheating them. Oh, but the government won’t help people like me. They need our money for all of those illegal immigrants pouring into this country. Government has to use our money to feed the orphans on our doorstep.(Illegals, that is)

California Filer says:

Taxcut Online will screw up your California Taxes

Block only pays for mistakes if they result in a penalty to you. YOU have to file an amended return if their dumb-sh** software fouls up.

Their online service made an error last year on my California return that resulted in me paying more tax than I otherwise should have. (It disallowed SDI from my state deductions on form CA in addition to foreign tax paid in the federal “other tax” box on Schedule A.)

Since correcting the error results in a refund to me, and there were no penalties, the response from H&R Block is “so what?”.

Well it’s not going to take too long to file an amended return for 2006 but why bother to pay $40 to file your state return if it’s going to make mistakes.

Jenny Laguna says:

nightmare nightmare - avoid H&R Block

WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!! For some reason we thought we’d spare ourselves time versus doing it ourselves with taxonline.com (as we’d always done), and pay H&R Block to do it for us. Here’s the result:
– had to deal with someone who had NO idea of what they were doing
– charged us $460 to do our federal and two state taxes
– did not do our state taxes – sent them to another office, who then lost them, then refused to file and extension (even though we’d scheduled to do taxes the week prior to the deadline)
– made us go through hell – we had to call & visit many offices to try and locate our paperwork (unsuccessfully) and we had to scramble to file our own extensions (California one sucks)
– made us feel like idiots – giving away our money to waste our time and do (not do) a very sh*tty job.


Paula says:

Defending me

I’ve read some of the comments and can absolutely sympathize with every single one of them. I got a bad deal with Block several years ago and never went back. I was a Jackson Hewitt convert only because they were just as convenient. It wasn’t until I tried to itemize one year that I found a problem.
They said I couldn’t itemize but couldn’t explain why. This year I decided to take a tax course myself, I called H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt asking each of them questions about what I would be learning. Imagine my surprise when the company I had been using (JH) tells me don’t worry it’s easy, any body can pass it. I was even more amazed when the lady from H&R Block says, “I can’t promise you’ll pass the course but we have excellent teachers and are very thorough in our training.”
And she was. My teacher was a retired colledge professor of finance. A graduate of Perdue she had more than 25 years experience and taught us things beyond the scope of the book. She was everything I could have wanted in a teacher.
I decided to work for block this year as a first year Tax Pro. I don’t know everything, it’s the first thing I’ll tell you. (Have you seen all the different IRS Publications that deal with specific tax law? Check irs.gov for an eye-openner.) I also won’t do a return I am not confident that I can handle. Do I question the abilities of others I have met? Absolutely. And there are a number of preparers I would never have handle my taxes but that should be how everyone feels. Honestly, there are good and bad everywhere. Turbotax cost a friend of mine 5,000 because of a glitch in software compatibility. An Independent Contractor I know went to a CPA for years then went to Block and had a competent preparer go over her last return only to find out the IRS owed her 7,000. Jackson Hewitt cost me an extra 300. There is no perfect system. Horror stories exist everywhere. This is your money, you should research people and options, don’t settle for the next preparer on the list – especially if your itemizing, have investments or own your own business. Take the time to find someone that fits – someone that is competent and your comfotable with, then STICK TO THEM. If their good at their job and they really care about the people they help, they will give you, your concerns and your needs every consideration. I’ve been on your side of the table. I want to do this because I want to help people not only recieve the best tax liability and return possible (BY LAW!) but because I want to become a part of their investment in their own futures. And if you sit at my desk and I don’t know how to help you – believe me, I would send you to someone who did.

Pete says:


HR Block helped my ex-wife commit Fraud!! I was entitled to claim 1 of my children including earned income credit because she lived with me!! They gave her the deduction and now I have to clear it up with the IRS…I hope it is able to be proved because Im sure they have done this several times before and they need to pay along with the ex for letting it happen…

Jjvilla says:

1st at H&R block.. Am I obligated to file with them?

Went in to h&r block, rep just filled In the blanks, didnt try to help us get more $ bk. I had to ask for to itemize bc that’s what we have done in the past. He said im going on vacation, byt bring in our receipts and I will do it when I get back from vaca or drop it off and some else can do it here. I didn’t pay anything, didnt file my taxes bc I wanted to add stuff to itemize. He gave me my w2 back. He guesstimated I owe $8000, when we’ve always gotten a refund? My question now is.. I will file taxes myself using online software, Am I obligated to file with them?

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