What's the catch with H&R Block's fre...

What's the catch with H&R Block's free tax service?

There are 7 comments on the KansasCity.com story from Jan 18, 2011, titled What's the catch with H&R Block's free tax service?. In it, KansasCity.com reports that:

Block's free tax service -- what's the catch? Giving business away Perhaps you've seen the television ads over the past week from H&R Block promoting its free tax service.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at KansasCity.com.

Joy

Mission, KS

#1 Jan 18, 2011
If you file on form 1040EZ, the cost of the FEDERAL return is free. There is no free state returns, or free returns on the 1040 or the 1040A. For those of you that have a simple return (no dependents, no itemizing, filing Single or Married Filing Jointly); this is a great deal!
You get what you pay for

Topeka, KS

#2 Jan 23, 2011
Joy wrote:
If you file on form 1040EZ, the cost of the FEDERAL return is free. There is no free state returns, or free returns on the 1040 or the 1040A. For those of you that have a simple return (no dependents, no itemizing, filing Single or Married Filing Jointly); this is a great deal!
Yeah, these (1040EZ returns) are about the only thing Block is capable of preparing properly.
John from Plano IL

Aurora, IL

#3 Feb 8, 2011
I'd be skeptical about H&RBlock and here is a valid reason in my opinion. My wife and I went to Wal-Mart yesterday to purchase tax preparation software and after reading all of the packages we settled on the (Do-it-yourself tax software H&R Block At Home Deluxe Investors/Homeowners edition) for just under $40. We chose this product because on the front of the packaging it reads Federal + e-file + State and this information is also listed on the back of the packaging and it states further that this "State" download is a $36.95 value which we mistakenly believed would include a state e-file. Turns out we were "wrong." I called customer service to inquire why we were being asked to pay an additional $39.90 plus tax and they informed me that only the preparation software is included but you can't e-file it without paying an additional $19.95+tax fee per person. Now it does state on the packaging that "one state program download included" so I was expecting that they were going to charge us for one of our state returns even though we're filing jointly, that I thought was a cheap shot but to then say we both have to pay; that's deceptive advertising in my opinion. If they're willing to deceive their clients so blatantly in writing for $40, what would they do to get you to pay hundreds. My wife and I were paying H&R Block nearly $300 each in previous years to prepare our taxes in their office but now that we're married we attempted this alternative to save money.$40 was a welcomed alternative even though I had to go through the hassle of doing everything myself but now they just doubled the cost so deceptively, I'm upset. Had I known from the get go that it would be $80, I probably would have done it anyway but I wouldn't have been angry about it, I wouldn't have felt deceived. Now, I plan to post this on as many forums as I can find to provide a public service to anyone interested in purchasing software to file their own taxes. My advice, purchase any other software than H&R Block, don't perpetuate this act of deception. Additionally, if you plan to have your taxes prepared by a tax professional, don't go to H&R Block.
Jane

Tulsa, OK

#4 Feb 13, 2011
John from Plano IL wrote:
I'd be skeptical about H&RBlock and here is a valid reason in my opinion. My wife and I went to Wal-Mart yesterday to purchase tax preparation software and after reading all of the packages we settled on the (Do-it-yourself tax software H&R Block At Home Deluxe Investors/Homeowners edition) for just under $40. We chose this product because on the front of the packaging it reads Federal + e-file + State and this information is also listed on the back of the packaging and it states further that this "State" download is a $36.95 value which we mistakenly believed would include a state e-file. Turns out we were "wrong." I called customer service to inquire why we were being asked to pay an additional $39.90 plus tax and they informed me that only the preparation software is included but you can't e-file it without paying an additional $19.95+tax fee per person. Now it does state on the packaging that "one state program download included" so I was expecting that they were going to charge us for one of our state returns even though we're filing jointly, that I thought was a cheap shot but to then say we both have to pay; that's deceptive advertising in my opinion. If they're willing to deceive their clients so blatantly in writing for $40, what would they do to get you to pay hundreds. My wife and I were paying H&R Block nearly $300 each in previous years to prepare our taxes in their office but now that we're married we attempted this alternative to save money.$40 was a welcomed alternative even though I had to go through the hassle of doing everything myself but now they just doubled the cost so deceptively, I'm upset. Had I known from the get go that it would be $80, I probably would have done it anyway but I wouldn't have been angry about it, I wouldn't have felt deceived. Now, I plan to post this on as many forums as I can find to provide a public service to anyone interested in purchasing software to file their own taxes. My advice, purchase any other software than H&R Block, don't perpetuate this act of deception. Additionally, if you plan to have your taxes prepared by a tax professional, don't go to H&R Block.
First of all, just so you know, Turbotax is the same way and advertises the same as Block. Free FEDERAL e-file. Why don't you just mail in your state return for the price of a stamp? Also, if your filing jointly you will not both be charged to e-file your state. It's only one return and only one efile.
Anne Stults

Jackson, MS

#5 Jan 27, 2012
Hi,

I have worked for Block for many years as well as being a Mortgage Consultant for 25 years. You all make very costly mistakes on your returns. Stop doing them yourself unless you are certain the bottom line is right. That is how I and every other good preparer makes sure we are right in what we have entered. We are calculating what we know the refund should be BEFORE it is calculated on the return. If you do not know this, pay to have you return done.
15 Yr Tax Pro

AOL

#6 Feb 5, 2012
Anne Stults wrote:
Hi,
I have worked for Block for many years as well as being a Mortgage Consultant for 25 years. You all make very costly mistakes on your returns. Stop doing them yourself unless you are certain the bottom line is right. That is how I and every other good preparer makes sure we are right in what we have entered. We are calculating what we know the refund should be BEFORE it is calculated on the return. If you do not know this, pay to have you return done.
^^^this^^^

I had a young lady in her early 20's come into my office the other day. She wanted to take adv of the free 1040EZ special. However, she didn't realize that cashing out an old 401k plus a private IRA from a bank in 2011 would bump her to another form. She didn't want to file with us when she found this tidbit out and was almost ready to get up and leave. Then I mentioned the other manilla envelope of things...she'd brought her three previous returns in to be looked at under the 2nd look promo that's going on at present.

With her having been a college student over the 08-10 time frame, I looked at each of them (prepped on Turbo Tax) to see what she'd done. Each year she had something close to $10,000 in tuition expenses and about $2500 in grants/scholarships. For each year...each year...she'd managed to count the grants/scholarships amount as add'l income and deny herself any education credits. Yes, she could claim herself all three years.

When she saw this, she decided to go ahead and file her 2011 with me and then pay to amend each of the prior yr returns. No, she paid more than the cost of buying another year's worth of Turbo Tax, but she left feeling it was more than worth it.
chris

New Port Richey, FL

#7 Feb 14, 2013
I went t the '' freee'' tax service t H+R - wrong= on my return i was entitled to the eic...but h+r block man said ''because'' they did it [eic] It wa to cost me $40.00... that was part of my refund...why they chooses o charge me that is '' WRONG'', I WALKED OUT-
NOT WHAT THEY ADVERTISE.....

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