H&R Block Supports Uniform Requirements in Tax Preparation Industry
Average H&R Block Client Served by a Tax Professional With Eight
Years Experience and 450 Hours of Education and Training
KANSAS CITY, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/24/13 -- H&R Block (NYSE: HRB)
announced today it continues to support establishing uniform industry
requirements despite a recent court ruling negating basic testing and
competency requirements in the tax preparation industry.
"The court's ruling essentially eliminates key protections for
millions of taxpayers," said Kathy Pickering, vice president of
government affairs and executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R
Block. "H&R Block continues to believe the IRS standards and
additional oversight strengthen the industry's credibility,
reliability and integrity ultimately protecting U.S. taxpayers."
H&R Block operates one of the largest professional tax education
programs in the nation, providing approximately 10 million total
hours of tax education covering annual tax updates, industry
regulations and more. In fact, the average H&R Block client is served
by a tax professional with eight years of experience and 450 hours of
tax education and training.
"The tax education H&R Block provides represents a significant time
and financial investment for H&R Block," Pickering said. "But it's an
investment we feel is the right thing to do for our industry but more
importantly, for our clients."
Reducing errors, protecting refunds
One goal of the new IRS
standards was to help reduce errors by increasing oversight and
training of the tax preparer community. The regulations thus ensure
taxpayers receive the maximum credits and deductions they're entitled
to by law. In 2012, H&R Block helped clients claim more than $50
billion in tax refunds, credits and other government benefits.
Sixty percent of taxpayers seek assistance with filing a tax return
annually. It's important to note that digital do-it-yourself (DIY)
solution providers are not regulated by any taxing authority.
"It's easy for software providers like TurboTax to say they support
these regulations when they, themselves, are not directly impacted,"
said Amy McAnarney, president of retail client services at H&R Block,
which served more than 14.9 million U.S. clients la
st year in 11,000
retail locations and 7.4 million DIYers.
"While H&R Block does produce a DIY product, H&R Block At Home, it is
backed by the same tax experts at The Tax Institute who stand behind
all of H&R Block's 90,000 tax professionals, and therefore provides
similar guarantees and assurances of quality," she said.
"Tax code complexity is not going away, which is why we've held H&R
Block tax professionals to the highest hiring, continuing education,
and performance standards in the industry for the last 57 years,"
McAnarney said. "And we call on all providers -- both assisted and
DIY -- to do the same."
H&R Block tax professionals secure their electronic signature to
every tax return they file and stand with their clients, providing
individual, customized tax advice. In addition, unlike other online
solutions, H&R Block's DIY clients have the option of either general
tax advice or selecting to work directly with a tax professional, who
will then finalize the return, ensure its accuracy, sign it, and
e-file it on behalf of the client.
"It's the difference between general tax advice and personal tax
preparation services," McAnarney said.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest
tax services provider, having prepared more than 600 million tax
returns worldwide since 1955. In fiscal 2012, H&R Block had revenues
of $2.9 billion and prepared 25.6 million tax returns worldwide. Tax
return preparation services are provided in company-owned and
franchise retail tax offices by nearly 90,000 professional tax
preparers, and through H&R Block At Home(TM) digital products. H&R
Block Bank provides affordable banking products and services. For
more information, visit the H&R Block Online Press Center.
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