H&R BLOCK: Sucks
Well, H&R Block can kiss my big white butt.
I've used them for several years now, and they actually have the audacity to expect me to PAY them to do my taxes online.
The last... 4 years? have been free. Clicky clicky, waaaait, all done.
They currently have a link on the IRS website, under the FreeFile section, the informational text for which reads:
"Free File allows taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $52,000 or less in 2006 to e-file their federal tax returns for free. That means 70 percent of all taxpayers – 95 million taxpayers – can take advantage of the Free File program."
Which means that since they have had themselves listed on the IRS FreeFile page, I should be able to file my taxes without paying anything on the H&R Block website.
Well guess what?
The informational text on the page you're taken to from the IRS website reads:
"Get simple, FREE* federal online tax preparation with TaxCut Free File from H&R Block. You qualify if you have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $52,000 or less and are 50 years of age or under. Plus, with TaxCut there are no forms to select, and e-file is included! Learn More"
And then, clicking the "learn more" link, you can find out:
"TaxCut Free File Online
Free File Tax Program Get easy, low-cost tax preparation.
TaxCut Free File Online guides you through your simple, federal return to help ensure your taxes are done right. Plus, there are no forms to select.
* Federal program
* FREE federal e-file
* State program* - additional $24.95
* Step-by-Step Interview - Our interview asks simple questions to quickly walk you through the tax preparation process.
* Seamless Imports - Quickly and easily import last year's tax and financial data from TaxCut Online, TaxCut Software, TurboTax Software and H&R Block offices.
* Error Check - Our program automatically double-checks your return for errors and omissions.
* Advice for Changing Tax Situations - Receive tax guidance in changes in your life, such as getting married, having a baby, buying a home and more.
* Get Your Refund Fast - E-file your return, and get your refund in as little to 7-10 days.
* Convenient Payment Options - Pay for your preparation fees with your refund.
* Worry-free Audit Support When You E-file - You can rest easy knowing H&R Block is there to help in the rare event of an audit. Included when you e-file your federal return with us.
* Maximum Refund Guarantee - Get the maximum refund you're entitled to, or your return is free.**
* Accurate Calculations Guaranteed - If TaxCut makes a calculation mistake, we'll pay resulting IRS penalties plus interest. See the license agreement for details.
* The following states do not support part-year/non-resident forms: WI, OR, KY, AL, LA, UT, OK, ME, AR, ID, VT, DC, MT, DE, ND, HI, TN, NH
** If you find another online tax preparation method that results in a larger refund (or smaller liability) than that calculated by the TaxCut online tax program, we will refund the fees you paid us to use our online tax program to prepare that return. To qualify, the larger refund or smaller tax liability must not be due to differences in data supplied by you, or positions taken on your return that are contrary to law.
To make a claim, mail a copy of the Federal tax return created by the TaxCut online tax program as well as the Federal return prepared by the alternative online tax preparation method (and any other relevant information reasonably requested by H&R Bock Digital Tax Solutions) to Attn: TaxCut Refund Claims, H&R Block Digital Tax Solutions, 4400 Blue Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri 64130 within the same calendar year in which your tax return was prepared and filed. Returns prepared by TaxCut desktop software, H&R Block Signature, H&R Block Online Office or an H&R Block retail office solution are not qualifying alternative tax preparation methods."
Now, I have used their service in the past, and never had to pay. This time, though, as soon as I logged on, there was a "choose your package" page, and no sign of a free option. So, I clicked the FreeFile link on the IRS site, I clicked the big red "file for free!" link on H&R Block's page, I logged on, and I was offered no free option. I assumed the cheapest one (followed by an asterisk) must be the right one, so, having no other option, I tried it.
...and guess what does not appear until you have COMPLETELY finished your federal return:
"TaxCut Premium Fed $19.95
Note: E-filing is free when you pay for tax preparation. We can't guarantee that your return will be eligible for e-filing or that the IRS or state taxing authorities will accept your e-filed return."
There is also apparently no way to go back and find the free option.
From my e-mail comment to them:
"Very, very nice. From the IRS website: "Free File allows taxpayers... to e-file their federal tax returns for free." You are listed on that page, but you charge $19.95. I have used your services in the past, but for wasting my time like that, you're getting a nice blog write-up."
In addition, I will not use their services again.
BYE BYE, bait and switch jerks. I will not reward your deception with my money.
I decided, instead, to use a little-guy company, [edit! 2/2012] I was previously promoting Liberty Tax here, but they redid their site in 2010 and it was so bad, I moved on to www.freetaxusa.com, and for the last three years they've done a great job.