Opt Out Of H&R Block's Arbitration Agreement

Reader Justin writes in to tell us how to opt-out of H&R Block’s arbitration clause in their 2007 Client Service Agreement.

Justin says: ” I filled out everything the next night (tonight) and got an email right away confirming (Written notice coming in the mail as well.) “

Boo arbitration clauses. Yay, opting out.

Opt Out [H&R Block]


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  1. Randy says:

    Arbitration agreements need to be either made illegal or be governed by some strict rules. I’m glad people are posting about how to get out of these one-sided travesties.

  2. sickofthis says:

    I closed on a re-fi of my mortgage yesterday and was on the lookout for an arbitration agreement in the paperwork somewhere. There wasn’t one.

  3. Kevin Cotter says:

    Mortgage companies are required to carry E&O Policies (Errors & Omissions). You really end up suing the insurance carrier that wrote the E&O bond.

  4. Parting says:

    Why would you have your taxes done by H&R ? If it’s a simple situation, get tax software, don’t pay 80$ for nothing. If it’s complex, pay a REAL accountant to do it. An accountant has better education, and not just some random training, and will be a better judge which situation saves you most money.

  5. disavow says:

    @chouchou: H&R Block training is far from “random.” First-year preparers undergo probably a hundred hours at least, and returning ones are required to complete additional training each year to maintain and further develop their skills. Note that this is JUST for taxes. Accountants are very good at keeping the books, but often taxes are their weakest area, simply because they have less incentive to keep up with rule changes.

    For the record, I do my own taxes.

  6. kc2idf says:

    Did this last week. I mentioned it to the preparer as we were having them done, that I would be opting out. She was a little confused at first (not a good sign), and was going to get some assistance for me (which was a good response), until I told her that she didn’t need to do anything special, and that I was just thinking out loud.

    Hopefully, however, I planted the idea in one person’s brain that arbitration might be a Bad Thingâ„¢.

  7. Roycester says:

    It’s nastier than most people realize. There’s an entire website devoted…
    http://www.arbitrationjustice.com that is very revealing

  8. FreemanB says:

    Just to clarify Chouchou’s statement, you don’t just want an accountant, you want a CPA. Anyone can call themselves an accountant, and many of them are really just bookkeepers. If your tax situation is more complex than you think you can handle yourself, then you are better off going to a professional. Not only are they less likely to screw it up, but they can also give you good advice that can help you out on next year’s taxes as well.

  9. Parting says:

    @disavow: Sorry to blow your bubble, but I did ”first year” training at H&R. I thought it would help me with my accounting classes. I was 60 hours training. Most people in class, didn’t understand shit, and simple things had to be repeated by the teacher over and over again. I wouldn’t trust them with my pet, and especially not my taxes.

    You better take your taxes, and go to a college/university students in accounting (You can call local establishment to ask for their tax programs by students). At least they are supervised by a competent teacher. And often they will charge only 15$/20$ to so your taxes.

  10. Parting says:

    @FreemanB: You’re right, CPA, I wasn’t clear enough. (There so many ”types” of accountants:)

  11. Nighthawke says:

    Their opt-out site is partially enrypted. I can’t really tell what is secure and what is not. But if you are submitting all of the information you have to them, it might not hurt to have the full page locked down.

  12. Curiosity says:

    An even better solution if you have problems and no $ is to pair basic tax help from an accounting student with a free clinic from a law school.

    For instance a great clinic in Chicago for federal taxes is [www.luc.edu]

  13. Osi says:

    H&R Block charges over $300 in fees. Plus they do not file the taxes correctly (at least not in AK). I went for them once, after I filled out the TurboTax online, and notice a drop in almost $1k in returns.

    Guess which one I choose? So no, H&R Block is a bunch of bull.

  14. Bungus Aurelius says:

    I’ve been noticing explicit opt-out instructions for arbitration agreements more frequently recently. Might be a response to the court case last year (9th Circuit? Calif state court? Can’t remember the court or the exact ruling) that ruled the clauses unenforceable. Companies may be thinking that if there is an explicit opt-out provision and customers don’t choose to opt out, then they’ll be enforceable. The T&A for my E*Trade accounts all were explicit about how to opt out, and just yesterday I got a new T&A with my bill from Comcast that had explicit opt out instructions plus a URL that made opting out of the mandatory arbitration clause very easy. But in both cases you had to do it within 30 days of receiving the terms.

  15. Empire says:

    TurboTax has no arbitration agreement (thanks to this site, I thought to actually read the EULA and check) and offers (at least in the package I got) free audit support. It asks a series of simple questions substantially the same as what they would ask you at a brick-and-mortar retail tax place like H&R Block. If your taxes are complicated enough that you don’t want to do them yourself, but not complicated enough to warrant paying someone $100 or more to do them for you, it is the ideal solution.

  16. Ragman says:

    Notice in the pic that there are two places you don’t want to take your money. Must be the Screw-U Shopping Center. Wonder if there’s a Geek Squad store on either side…