H&R Block Online Fail #2

I decided it was time to switch to TurboTax – which I was much happier with. Just to verify the numbers, I wanted to check against H&R block and found a rather significant discrepency. When researching the Sales Tax deduction allowed by the IRS – it seemed that H&R block’s amount was significantly higher than the IRS & TurboTax calculations. Congratulations, H&R Block users – you just earned yourself an audit! Hopefully they have fixed this issue. I certainly notified them as soon as I found it.

As I expected – if their software isn’t written well enough to give me a proper error message – it probably isn’t written well enough to accurately calculate my tax return either.

Never again.

Lucas S.: Hello BRIAN, welcome to H&R Block’s At Home Live Chat Support! How can we assist you today?
BRIAN SAGHY: I’d like to report a potentially serious bug
Lucas S.: I see, what is the precise error?
BRIAN SAGHY: Under the State & Local tax payments section in particular. When I choose to use the “IRS standard” amount from the IRS sales tax table, the value returned is MUCH higher than that returned by the IRS website.
BRIAN SAGHY: The IRS provides a calculator here: http://apps.irs.gov/app/stdc/
Lucas S.: I see, that does sound serious. Would you like me to put in a word to my superiors?
BRIAN SAGHY: In my particular case, H&R block says that my standard sales tax deduction is $1,619, the IRS website says $921.36
BRIAN SAGHY: Yes, I highly recommend it or you guys are going to have a lot of audits on your hands
BRIAN SAGHY: Also – I didn’t even know that I qualified for such a deduction. Once this error is resolved – you may want to suggest looking into making this more prominent. TurboTax showed it to me right away and ended up with a much better tax return by default.
Lucas S.: I see, I’ll be sure to let them know that as well
Lucas S.: Is there anything else that you would like for me to do for you this evening?
BRIAN SAGHY: Thats all.
Lucas S.: I thank you kindly for this feedback and I will be sure to send this up to the proper authorities.

One thought on “H&R Block Online Fail #2

  1. Pedro says:

    I just came across this post while researching the same issue. I think I figured it out though… HR Block asks for the local sales tax rate, which is used to compute your deduction. In my case, I was entering in the effective tax rate (9.5% in Seattle), while I really should have entered 3% (since that is the actual local rate, which is then added to WA’s 6.5% rate).

    In reality, their software shouldn’t be asking users to determine local tax rates. A zip code look up should be enough to do it automatically. So I agree that it’s crappy, but if I had filed a faulty return because of this they could claim that the error was my fault due to bad data entry…

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