H & R Block payscale
Pat

Inola, OK

#690 Nov 24, 2009
Pat wrote:
<quoted text>
I found the following in the CPE Guide which would seem to verify your understanding about CPA's.
MASTER TAX ADVISOR. A Tax Professional who meets both of the following requirements (in either order) Becomes a Master Tax Advisor:
1) The Tax Professional is currently authorized under Circular 230.(includes CPA's)
2) The Tax Professional has passed all of the Representation Courses.
I found the representation courses and it looks like first yr preparers are eligible to take the classes. There are 4 of them and it looks like they are around 6hrs of CPE each. All four are CBT's. So, it looks like it would be a pretty simple task to move to Master Tax Advisor for year 2.
Having said all of that I'm not sure what that means as far as pay. Maybe we'll move all the way up to like $11 an hour or something really great LOL.
Oh, one other benefit, and it's a biggie:

Circular 230 professionals are exempt from the $20 annual enrollment fee for TTS Courses!

Yee Haw! I don't have to pay to be trained!
HR Block Losers

New York, NY

#691 Nov 24, 2009
Pat wrote:
<quoted text>
I found the following in the CPE Guide which would seem to verify your understanding about CPA's.
MASTER TAX ADVISOR. A Tax Professional who meets both of the following requirements (in either order) Becomes a Master Tax Advisor:
1) The Tax Professional is currently authorized under Circular 230.(includes CPA's)
2) The Tax Professional has passed all of the Representation Courses.

I found the representation courses and it looks like first yr preparers are eligible to take the classes. There are 4 of them and it looks like they are around 6hrs of CPE each. All four are CBT's. So, it looks like it would be a pretty simple task to move to Master Tax Advisor for year 2.
Having said all of that I'm not sure what that means as far as pay. Maybe we'll move all the way up to like $11 an hour or something really great LOL.
Pat, I suggest you find ways to build your own business and clientele. It seems like the right direction for someone of your calibre. By being an EA or a MTA in Block isn't much of a big deal, unless you bring in more than $100k of revenue for the company. You would get 30% of it minus all the taxes. Now imagine what you would bring in if you had your own business? I know some EAs who left the company because they felt they were stiffed by the compensation plans which changes every year. And to be very honest, many EAs in Block don't know a darn thing about audits or representation. Nor do they know about the tax prep market outside of Block. Plain and simple many of them are just dumb as a brick. They don't even know the importance of networking and being part of some professional organization. You would be smarter and more knowledgeable had you started your own thing because it forces you to be independent, and not rely on their easy TPS software and tax courses every time. If I'm not mistaken, I think you can take Block courses even if you are a sole practioner. Not sure how it exactly works, but I know it's possible. And last but not least, from what you have told me, you don't need the benefits offered by the company anyway and since you don't qualified for unemployment being a seasonal worker because of OK's state laws, then there is really no point hang on with the company.
Pat

Inola, OK

#692 Nov 24, 2009
Pat wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, one other benefit, and it's a biggie:
Circular 230 professionals are exempt from the $20 annual enrollment fee for TTS Courses!
Yee Haw! I don't have to pay to be trained!
I told my wife that since I have my CPA I won't have to pay $20 for the training. She had a puzzled look on her face and said "why would you have to pay for training?"
Pretty funny. Block will be the first company that I've worked for that didn't pay me to be trained. Oh well, can't have everything. My pay will more than compensate, I'm sure....
cherie

Manchester, NH

#693 Dec 2, 2009
Pat wrote:
"Don’t forget you drew $500 before you ever did a return. You had the 30 hour class in Dec & 20 hours the 1st two weeks of Jan where you did role playing and sample returns."
Surely those hours you work in December aren't considered draw money?? I wouldn't even think the training in January should count since the odds of doing a return are slim.
Oops, haven't even started yet and already complaining. I need to keep telling myself the first year is for experience - not money. I might just tell Block I'll do it for free, just so I won't think about it.
Speaking of doing taxes for free, has anyone done the VITA thing put on by the IRS? Would Block have a problem with it?
I believe the VITA program states if you apply for the exam and pass they want you to sign a waiver that you will do only tax return on a voluntary basis, and you could't work for HR Block and do VITA on side because of breaching the HR Block hiring contract.
Btw the VITA practise course is quite good, and show some interview techniques.
1st Year

Cape Coral, FL

#694 Dec 3, 2009
Does taking continuing education courses from Block after the end of your contract (April 15) prevent you from working for a competitor the next year?

I do not see any reference in the non-compete clause in H&R Block's employment contract. It's possible they invoke a non-compete when you sign up for post-season classes.
Does anyone who has actually signed up and taken post-season classes know?
cherie

Manchester, NH

#695 Dec 3, 2009
Anybody here who can tell me about the hiring contract, I just got one a day before training and I am stunned about this clause like I cant do tax returns for my kids and its legal wordings about the post-termination covenants. Does this prevents me from working at other tax preparation or even bookkeeping offices for 2 years?
TP_Prospect

Glen Burnie, MD

#696 Dec 3, 2009
The way I read the Post-Termination clauses is that they are preventing you from "servicing" (tax returns/additional products services) or "soliciting" existing H&R Block customers for 2 years (the "Restricted Period")-- but NOT precluding you from working in ANY tax preparation capacity during that time. Nor is there any mention of a "mile" radius or even working for a competitor (or starting your own business)-- so I think they've pulled back from the overly broad (and obviously non-enforceable) restrictions that I've seen mentioned in other posts (from years past).
Pat

Inola, OK

#697 Dec 3, 2009
TP_Prospect wrote:
The way I read the Post-Termination clauses is that they are preventing you from "servicing" (tax returns/additional products services) or "soliciting" existing H&R Block customers for 2 years (the "Restricted Period")-- but NOT precluding you from working in ANY tax preparation capacity during that time. Nor is there any mention of a "mile" radius or even working for a competitor (or starting your own business)-- so I think they've pulled back from the overly broad (and obviously non-enforceable) restrictions that I've seen mentioned in other posts (from years past).
And I might add to this, the definition of "client" is an HRB client that was YOUR client. So, basically you can't (for 2 years) prepare returns for YOUR HRB clients and you can't solicit any HRB clients. Really, it's not that bad and is reasonable from Block perspective. It shouldn't be too hard to go work elsewhere and still adhere to the non-compete.
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#698 Dec 3, 2009
Well, I just gotta jump in here with my two cents on this whole "non-compete" deal. Firstly, any US corporation with a decent lawyer would tailor their employment contract on a state-by-state basis. The courts of different states vary wildly in their interpretation and enforcement of these types of clauses. For example, in California, a so-called "right to work" state, I know of an employer whose non-compete clause was deemed to be unenforceable because it was too broad in scope.
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#699 Dec 3, 2009
Now for some specific language:
"9. Extent of Services.
Associate agrees that during the term of Associate's employment Associate shall not directly or indirectly:
a) compete with the Company at any location or in any capacity by preparing tax returns, by filing tax returns electronically, or by
providing any other product or service that the Company offers in the Associate's district of employment (for example, bookkeeping if
provided in the district);
b) solicit or accept any of the Company's clients for the aforementioned services; or
c) be an Electronic Return Originator (“ERO”) with the IRS.
Associate agrees and accepts as a condition of employment that during the term of Associate's employment all tax returns Associate
prepares, including any returns Associate prepares for friends and family, but excluding Associate's own return, must be processed through
the Company in accordance with Company policies and procedures as returns prepared by the Company. Associate may prepare and
electronically file Associate's own tax return free of charge. For associates employed within the State of Texas, for purposes of this Section
9,“Company” means both HRB Texas Enterprises, Inc. and H&R Block Enterprises, Inc.
Associate shall not be in violation of Section 9(a) if providing the prohibited services for an H&R Block franchise.
10. Post-Termination Covenants."
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#700 Dec 3, 2009
Y mucho mas:

"10. Post-Termination Covenants.
a) Associate covenants that for two (2) years following the cessation of Associate's employment hereunder for any reason (the
“Restricted Period”), Associate shall not directly or indirectly:
(1) Provide any of the following services to any Company Client:(i) preparation of tax returns; (ii) electronic filing of file tax
returns; or (iii) any Alternative Products or Services; or
(2) Solicit Company Clients for the purpose of offering to such clients:(i) tax return preparation services; (ii) electronic filing of
tax returns; or (iii) any Alternative Products or Services.
b) Associate agrees that the Restricted Period for each of the above covenants shall be tolled during (i) any period(s) of violation
that occur during the original Restricted Period; and (ii) any period(s) of time required by litigation to enforce the covenant (other than any
periods during which Associate is enjoined from engaging in the prohibited activity and is in compliance with such order of enjoinment)
provided that the litigation is filed within one year following the end of the original Restricted Period.
c) For purposes of this Section 10,“Company Clients” is defined as every person or entity whose federal or state tax return was
prepared or electronically transmitted by Associate, or for whom Associate provided any Alternative Products or Services, during the term of
this Agreement or during any period of time in which Associate was employed by the Company or an affiliate during the twelve (12) months
immediately preceding the effective date of this Agreement.
d) For purposes of this Section 10,“Alternative Products or Services” means products or services, other than the preparation or
electronic filing of tax returns, that the Company provides to clients within Associate's district of employment (for example, bookkeeping if
provided in such district).
e) In the event a Court of competent jurisdiction finds the time period, geographic scope, scope of activity, or any definition
contained in this Section 10 to be overly broad, the time period, geographic scope, scope of activity, or definition the Court deems
reasonable shall be substituted for the language in this Agreement.
f) Associate shall not be in violation of Section 10(a)(1) if providing the prohibited services for an H&R Block franchise.
g) Sections 10(a) and (b) are not applicable to associates employed in the state of North Dakota.
h) Section 10(b) is not applicable to associates employed in the state of Wisconsin."
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#701 Dec 3, 2009
OK, now all you attorneys out there can chime in with your opinions. However, as a previous post pointed out, the most important indicator is Block's past litigation history in this regard. Whom have they sued? How often do they sue? Are "cease and desist" orders issued by courts as a result? Are damages awarded to Block as a result? This history is key, and I'm afraid I don't have that information to offer.

Hope this/these post(s) give y'all something to "chew on".
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#702 Dec 3, 2009
NOW I return to my whining.
I hate working for Block. Their management is a bunch of disorganized unprofessional losers. If they had even a touch of experience or management skill, they would work elsewhere for twice as much money.
It exasperates me to work for 20-something-year-old nitwits, lecturing me on courtesy and telephone ethics. I know how to use a telephone, thank you, and most of the other grandparents working for Block do, too. We don't need lectures from these children upstarts. Buy us a PHONE that WORKS with appropriate VOICE MAIL and most of us would respond with excellent customer service. That is, good customer service that corresponds to the fact that our average age is OVER 50.
We don't need to be lectured on customer service. What we need is for H&R Block to get out of our way. Give me a voice mail that I can check myself. Give me an email account, and don't shut it off most of the year. And most importantly, don't ask MY CLIENTS to call a customer service line staffed by people with limited English skills. That's insulting. When I complete a tax return, it is correct based on the information given me. If my client gets a letter from the IRS, I want to be the one to assist them with a response. If my client gets audited, I want to be the one to represent them. Barring this, I would at the very least appreciate the capability to follow up with my HRB Associates when my clients complain about the horrific service they receive from H&R Block Bank, or Customer Service.
Lastly, I have worked in the industries of Real Estate, Insurance, and Financial Services. In those fields, licensing and continuing education are required, just as in the field of Taxes. However, professionals in those industries are paid for their services; careers are available to those who excel; and they don't get treated like a FYTP (First-Year-Tax-Pro).
I am just sick and tired of being talked down to by kids who are younger than my oldest pair of boots!
Well, that is my rant. Feel free to chime in. Feel free to give your opinion.
1st Year

Cape Coral, FL

#703 Dec 3, 2009
Why does Block have a problem if you have ERO status? Say you were in business for yourself in a previous year with ERO status and then worked solely for Block in Year 2.

"Associate agrees that during the term of Associate's employment Associate shall not directly or indirectly:
... c) be an Electronic Return Originator (“ERO”) with the IRS"
1st Year

Cape Coral, FL

#704 Dec 3, 2009
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO wrote:
OK, now all you attorneys out there can chime in with your opinions. However, as a previous post pointed out, the most important indicator is Block's past litigation history in this regard. Whom have they sued? How often do they sue? Are "cease and desist" orders issued by courts as a result? Are damages awarded to Block as a result? This history is key, and I'm afraid I don't have that information to offer.
Hope this/these post(s) give y'all something to "chew on".
They have sued several times mostly when people left with customer lists or started their own firm nearby. Usually they win (except in Wisconsin). Google "Block non-compete".
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO

Chicago, IL

#705 Dec 3, 2009
The ERO question is a very good one. I only know that HRB's own ERO status could be jeopardized if one of their employees violated the IRS's rules. So I just assume that an employee having his own ERO status would only magnify that possibility.
Also, you are already held to an agreement that you will not file any taxes outside of H&R Blocks programs and protocols.
1st Year

Cape Coral, FL

#706 Dec 3, 2009
To sum up the non-compete:
While you are working for Block under contract you can't do returns except via Block. That means for example you can't do any "on the side" (apparently even for free).

After your contract ends, for two years thereafter you can't:
1) solicit Block employees to work elsewhere or
2) Prepare a tax return or offer Block type services:
a) to any Block client for which you prepared a return or performed services
b) within a defined geographic area.

In other words, "Don't work for someone else while you are under contract with us; Don't poach our employees; don't steal our clients (that you worked with).

After 2 years you are free to do the above.
1st Year

Cape Coral, FL

#707 Dec 3, 2009
HRB Enrolled Agent KCMO wrote:
The ERO question is a very good one. I only know that HRB's own ERO status could be jeopardized if one of their employees violated the IRS's rules. So I just assume that an employee having his own ERO status would only magnify that possibility.
Also, you are already held to an agreement that you will not file any taxes outside of H&R Blocks programs and protocols.
Block has its own ERO status that has nothing to do with someone elses' status. If for some reason you filed a Block return with your ERO number and screwed it up the IRS would have a problem with you, not Block.
ERO status takes weeks to get and has a lot of hassle - special fingerprinting, background check etc. If you had already been thru the process why would you want to give it up just to try Block for a season?
I just can't see the rationale for the rule given you already agreed to abstain from filing returns during your contract - what about after? Say you don't like Block and return to your own practice the next year.
Pat

Inola, OK

#708 Dec 4, 2009
1st Year wrote:
To sum up the non-compete:
While you are working for Block under contract you can't do returns except via Block. That means for example you can't do any "on the side" (apparently even for free).
After your contract ends, for two years thereafter you can't:
1) solicit Block employees to work elsewhere or
2) Prepare a tax return or offer Block type services:
a) to any Block client for which you prepared a return or performed services
b) within a defined geographic area.
In other words, "Don't work for someone else while you are under contract with us; Don't poach our employees; don't steal our clients (that you worked with).
After 2 years you are free to do the above.
This is close to what I think except mine had no mention of Geography and mine said I couldn't "solicit" Block Clients. So, for 2 years, I can't:
1) Solicit ANY Block Clients
2) Prepare returns for MY Block Clients
3) Solicit Block Employees
All pretty reasonable. Now, if you're a 20 year veteran with 300 clients, it would be tough not to break this non-compete if you had a bunch of people that wanted to follow you somewhere. If you're a 2 or 3 year preparer, it would be easy to start over somewhere without worrying about this.
TP_Prospect

Glen Burnie, MD

#709 Dec 4, 2009
Ah, thanks -- I missed the additional definition of "Company Client" -- which, as Pat correctly states -- is "your" (Associate's) client -- not ANY or ALL client(s) of Block's.

So it's even less restrictive than I originally thought -- I'm seriously considering starting up on my own after a couple years (or maybe even after this first year)-- so if I'm still eligible to service clients OTHER than my OWN (while employed with Block)-- all the better -- as long as I don't solicit them (perhaps coming through referral from someone else).

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