5

I have always filed my taxes through TurboTax and it has been working fine. However, this year it got a little complicated and I was thinking to at least talk to someone on 1:1 basis before I finally file my taxes through Turbotax or may be with them.

I am not sure How/Where to find a right accounting person for reviewing/helping me with the taxes.

I came across H&R Block and the only thing that I know so far is that I can take an appointment and then stop by their offices at designated time. However, before I do that, I do have a lot of questions like

  1. How qualified/good my assigned tax expert is?
  2. Do they have to have some minumum qualification before they join H&R Block?
  3. Do I pay them when I see them OR when I decide to file taxes with them?
  4. Is there a good way to find independent attorneys to file my taxes with?
  • Why is it complicated? If it is because of business income, you may want to start building your team of advisers. Paying a few hundred to the right accountant is a great investment. – Pete B. Mar 1 '16 at 13:32
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I'm assuming you mean the H&R Block 'tax centers' they typically set up in a mall. I used their services once. My experience may not match yours and may not be typical.

Essentially, the H&R Block "tax expert" is someone trained to use the H&R Block tax software. This is similar to TurboTax and other such software. You are paying this person to follow prompts on the computer and input the answers you provide, just like TurboTax and similar software works. My "tax expert" was unable to answer basic tax questions and could not even operate her calculator properly. In every way, the experience was worse than just using TurboTax on my own computer.

Now, this service may make sense for you if, for example, you cannot operate a computer or cannot see well enough to read the information on your tax documents. You may also prefer the H&R Block tax software over all other competing products, though in this case, you may wish to just use the software online or download it, rather than paying a "tax expert" to run it on your behalf. It's also certainly the case that many "tax experts" are actually fully-fledged accountants who are just picking up some work on the side.

If your taxes are significantly more complicated, you would do well to hire an accountant who specialises in tax returns. There will almost certainly be very many in your community. This will certainly cost more than this year's tax software, but may well be a good option for you.

5

Having worked for H&R Block for one tax season I can speak to the entire process. The accepted answer at the top nails a big part of it but I'll add a bit of background knowledge.

I was looking for a temporary job one year and decided to give H&R Block a try. I was made to take a training course for the first level of returns, and after two weeks of intensive teaching and studying we had to pass an exam to actually work for them throughout the season.

All things considered, we were not 'experts' at understanding our customers taxes, but having only completed the first level we were typically tasked with completing simple returns with only a few documents. More complex returns were given to the people who had made the company a career. That said, I can almost guarantee that a lot of mistakes are made by seasonal workers. The training is not at all adequate, and for the most part the company is just trying to get bodies in seats to meet the demands of their customers.

If you have at least a meddling ability to critically think and type, and your return isn't that complex I'd recommend doing it on your own. If you do want to use H&R Block for any type of return I'd recommend requesting someone with more than a few years experience at the company.

1

H& R block personnel do not have the skill set to answer your complicated queries. Many retired personnel acting as keyboard warriors.

A tax accountant can file for you and answer your queries. Be upfront and ask for their costs as some accountants ask for a share of the returns they get you. A fixed fee works better( around 250 $ ). They know the tricks of the trade and can get you more money back. Some are strict about receipts/invoices and others are not.

Better to make calls around. You can search on craigslist or yellow pages.

For me turbo tax worked in the most complicated situations

  • I believe "a share of the return they get you" would be illegal. And all it would take is for me to under withhold and always owe. Would this scammer then charge me nothing? – JoeTaxpayer Mar 4 '16 at 1:08
-5

I am a retired Information Technology Specialist who, at one time, worked at H & R Block headquarters in downtown Kansas City. I helped them design and build a database.

I, certainly, can operate software and I used to do my own taxes when I was younger. Yet for more than five years I use a tax preparer at H & R BLOCK. Why? Because I like their guarantees and I know how dedicated the builders of their software are to getting the interpretation of the tax code correct.

When you use software that you purchase off the shelf it is almost guaranteed that it will be out of date and not included the latest changes in the tax code. So since I know, first hand, how much H & R Block strives to keep the software they use up to date I rely on their diligence and file my taxes through them.

  • 7
    All tax software I've looked at downloads updates and incorporates the latest changes in the tax code. – ChrisInEdmonton Mar 3 '16 at 13:54
  • And the major brands guarantee their results. If Bloch sold their software, I'd certainly consider looking at it as an alternative to the usual suspects ... but they'd be competing on a level playing field; I wouldn't automatically give them an advantage. Your milage will vary. – keshlam Mar 3 '16 at 15:11
  • @keshlam they do sell it. It's right next to the TurboTax display. – JoeTaxpayer Mar 4 '16 at 0:36
  • @joetaxpayer: I've never been sure if that's actually theirs, or a "label-engineered" version of another tool. If it's really the same thing they're using in-house, I may try it some year... though last timecIb switched (and gave them a few years to try to catch up) I wound up switching back. (Not citing brand names; some of this is as much a matter of taste and how you think about the task as anything else.) – keshlam Mar 4 '16 at 1:17
  • I know, first hand, that the software that the in-house preparers use is server-centric. Meaning that when you purchase H & R Block software what is running on your home computer cannot be the same as what they use in their offices. So the potential exists that you may miss out on an important change in the tax code. But the bottom line for me is their guarantees. I don't think anyone else comes close. – Jack Swayze Sr Mar 4 '16 at 19:37

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