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BritHistorianbrithistorian on August 27th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
Repulsive, made even more repulsive when combined with another fact I learned from an IRS employee: Hiring H&R Block makes you more likely to get audited. As in if the IRS sees that H&R Block was your tax preparer, that fact in and of itself increases your chance of an audit. (Because of course all the tax preparers H&R Block hires around Christmas-time have mastered the tax code by the time people start getting their W2's in mid-January.)
Christine Quinonesbugsybanana on August 27th, 2015 07:03 pm (UTC)
That makes me sad, but doesn't particularly surprise me. I prepare taxes freelance, and I briefly worked for one of Block's rival companies. The people I worked with were nice, but they weren't trained accountants like I am, and frankly the hourly rate the company (or its franchisee) paid was insulting for professional work. And while they offered a season-end bonus, naturally there were a slew of infractions that could reduce or eliminate the bonus (including dress code infractions). And don't get me started on the poor security at the storefront I worked at. Never again!

I applied to work with them for their free continuing professional education, at a time when the IRS was trying to implement stringent requirements for preparers (an attempt a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registered_Tax_Return_Preparer">suspended after a lawsuit</a>). There are other voluntary education criteria in place now, which I happily work to meet.
Christine Quinonesbugsybanana on August 27th, 2015 07:11 pm (UTC)
I'll also note that while I am an accountant, I am not a CPA. CPAs and tax attorneys aren't subject to the educational strictures other preparers are - they have different ones.

Additionally, on the topic at hand: there are already some serious hoops to jump through for the EITC, not only for taxpayers for preparers as well. I have due diligence I need to attest to when I prepare a return that has an EITC claim, and if the IRS were to find fraud, I would be penalized along with the taxpayer (it's a $500 fine to me for anything fishy vis-a-vis the EITC).

Incidentally, I wouldn't mind the IRS putting me out of business. Then again, tax prep isn't my main source of income, nor do I want it to be.

Edited at 2015-08-27 07:11 pm (UTC)
BritHistorianbrithistorian on August 27th, 2015 07:33 pm (UTC)
I would hate being responsible for the accuracy of someone else's taxes - I get nervous enough about my own, and I know I'm not trying anything fraudulent.

I get EITC every year, so I'm not at all pleased about the prospect of additional paperwork. I'd be just as happy if the government went ahead and computed everything, given that they already have my information.
BritHistorianbrithistorian on August 27th, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC)
What? They don't treat their employees well and pay them what they're worth? Nah, I'm just kidding - I can't even pretend to be surprised about that. :D
don_fitch on August 27th, 2015 04:34 pm (UTC)
I can believe the original article, though I might take exception to the wording of the heading. "H. R. Block pays legislator [name] to include..." would probably more accurate and more useful. I expect to need to hire someone to do my taxes this year (for the first time ever), but it won't be Block.

Personally, I'd prefer to be able to inform the IRS "I'm single, deaf, 86 years old, with no other/real Exemptions; please bill me". And if the bill seemed reasonable I'd pay it. Mind you, meanwhile reserving the right to rant about the wealthy people & corporations that manage to pay a much smaller percentage (& sometimes smaller total amount) than I do,