H&R Block Gets Man in Tax Trouble, Doesn’t Care

Tax Prep ToDo list:

1) Gather receipts
2) Scrounge up W-2(s)
3) Don’t go to H&R Block…

Seriously. I’m in the middle of a huge battle with them right now, and they are SUCH a$$holes. The gist of it is:

My 2002 tax preparer failed to file a part-year resident tax return (I moved from state to state during that year)

Massachusetts got pissed and wrote a letter in 2005 demanding money

Another H & R Block preparer (the original guy was in a seasonal office and not available) filled out an amended return, which I sent out at the end of December 2005

I got another letter from the Mass Department of Revenue, which basically said “Thanks, but there’s still a discrepancy and you still owe taxes”

I tried to contact the woman who put together the amended return, but she 1) didn’t remember me, 2) didn’t have me in her files, 3) wouldn’t even let me explain the situation (she kept interrupting me every two seconds) and then 4) refused to give me H & R Block’s corporate office address so I could file a complaint.

I’m STILL dealing with them. I’m so furious right now, I can’t even tell you. What a waste of time and money they are. It’s THEIR error and they should take care of it, but no.

The whole saga and all the gory details are in my dumb blog:

Farklebarkle

Please tell your readers: Don’t go to H & R Block!

Comments

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  1. christy says:

    Reading this story made me want to remind everyone that getting your taxes done at H&R Block is not necessarily cheaper than going through an independent accountant. Just from talking to people I have heard many quotes that are higher than what we pay to have ours done by an actual trained professional.

    I think this is where the Block is really screwing with people. The general population assumes they will be cheaper because they are a chain. But, like anything you would spend your money on, shop around people!

  2. nweaver says:

    Also, don’t be afraid to just DO IT YOURSELF. Tax software theres days makes it damn painless. I had my taxes done around Feb 15th, and I have a high-average annoyance factor (lots of little investment income, some self employment, itemizing everything)

  3. airship says:

    Most people do NOT need an accountant’s help to do their taxes. If you are an average Joe or Jane Doe who rents, with nothing but regular income, you can easily figure out how to file a 10-line 1040EZ. Even if you have mortgage interest to claim, a regular 1040 isn’t much worse. Sure, there are a hundred lines on the form, but you won’t fill out more than about 20 of them, and half of those are subtotals.
    But if you’ve sold property, or have some weird income, or got divorced, I’d heartily recommend you find a good independent accountant.

  4. adamondi says:

    Exactly. Doing your own taxes is the way to go. Contrary to popular belief, it does not require an advanced degree in Accounting to do them properly. It just requires a little attention to detail and some good tax software.

    Besides, if this guy had done his own taxes in the first place, he wouldn’t have to jump through the H&R Block hoops to get something resolved. He would have everything in his own files.

  5. Smoking Pope says:

    Also, it helps if you claim your dog as 43 blind orphans and your residence is technically a foreign country. Trust me, this will get you a much bigger return than anything those weenies at H&R Block can come up with.

  6. tby says:

    I tried H&R Block once for a somewhat complicated tax return (stock options, foreign primary residence) during the off season. They thoroughly messed it up and refused to listen to my concerns. Fortunately I’d hadn’t paid yet, so I took back my documentation and prepared the return myself.

    Honestly, doing your own taxes isn’t that hard and the IRS provides top-notch assistance over the phone, just don’t wait until April to call for help.

    If your AGI is under $50K and you meet their residency restrictions, Intuit will prepare and e-File your tax return for free at http://www.taxfreedom.com/.

  7. Smoking Pope says:

    @tby: Uhhh, I’d read (a while ago, I admit) a study that said that IRS phone help was correct only 50% of the time. Do you know of anything that has changed?

  8. tby says:

    @Smoking Pope: I made several off-season calls during 2003, on advice of the Reps I claimed a larger chunk of income as “earned” and tax-exempt due to my foreign residence than I would have otherwise, and I included documentation of my calls and calculations with that return. My refund for the tax year that I had questions about was delayed due to review but I was never contacted to justify my claims or audited.

    I’d imagine that IRS call-centers have the same Seasonal Worker issues as other tax-related businesses.

  9. OkiMike says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is. We learned to do our own taxes in the 8th grade. Our teacher opened class one day by saying, “Close your books and take out a pencil kids. I’m gonna teach all you sissies how to be men!”

    And that’s how the 1040 was done.

  10. etinterrapax says:

    I’ve always done my own taxes, except for the few years my FIL had his accountant do them. And during those years, our return was always filed late and we never got much of a refund because the guy couldn’t sort out a simple partial-year refiling and fix our having been penalized when we shouldn’t have been. Which is not to say that there aren’t competent accountants. But I’m too much of a control freak to do that again. TurboTax makes it a breeze. I could do it without; it would just take longer.

    I learned in high school Accounting I, before I found out that colleges frown on one taking business courses. That seems supremely ironic to me.