Best Answer: Way too much to wind up owing when you do not. They charge between 90 - 150 depending upon the cost of living in that area for simple returns. If you have a complicated return, they look at it and give you an estimate. Don't go to block. They want you in and out in 15 minutes and they pressure you to take a refund anticipation loan
Just do Turbotax or TaxAct. eFile on the Federal only and the free Federal eFile. Then go to your State website. You can find it in any search engine. You type in your State along with "department of taxation". E.g, I typed in California Department of Taxation on altavista and "California Franchise Tax Board" came up. That's the government body that collects income tax
Do your taxes online. If your return is complex, look up an enrolled agent on the National Association of Enrolled Agents website. Click on "find an enrolled agent". Type in your city, town, State or zip. Enrolled agents are professional and have power of attorney with the IRS. Block has to change their advertising. Firstly, the firm is not to print the SS# of the client on any of the Tax software they send out.
Secondly, they are not to advertise "refund anticipation loans". Not only were they never necessary, they are not ethical, the interest rate annualized - especially when you add the fees and figure them in - is outrageous. In addition, it is unwise to do what boiler room unscrupulous preparers do. Their motivation violates IRS ethics, block should not want to be associated with such unconscionable shenanagans. In the case of refund anticipation loans, the motivation is NOT to help the client. The client is seldom informed that he/she may be turned down for the loan due to a government agency seizure or the IRS wanting to examine the return. That means you pay the ERO and bank fees in vain.
Unless you are in a complicated tax situation, you do not need expensive software. I found this out the hard way:
Wow! One thing to watch out for: refund anticipation loans
are just as unscrupulous as the whole life insurance companies. Instead of being remorseful and ceasing to attempt to bleed the
public, they came out with universal life. What a ripoff. Now, Block with their refund anticipation loans, instead of ceasing such things, have come out with the
"emerald loans", or "green emerald loans". They want to trap you in to having no choice but to return to them. That's the same as whole life insurance. I heard more prospective clients tell me "I've put too much in to it. I can't get out". Same scenario. So don't go to Block. Here is a testimonial: "If you got an emerald advance line done from them in December probably yes
have to pay the outrageous fees. So if you did have H&R Block do an advance in December you'll have to have them finish the other part of the return for 2007. If you didn't then you won't have to return there."
More on the sick joke of going to H& ripoff: "In addition, I'd try to use something like Turbo Tax. All HR Block are doing is running software and asking you the questions. When my wife and I first bought our house we were a little apprehensive about doing the taxes, so we went to HR Block. What a mistake. The guy at HR Block was asking us the questions that popped up on his computer. During this process we had a question about an item. The guy at HR Block said he didn't know and he was only putting in what we told him to put in. This cost us $150! I ended up not letting them submit the taxes electronically because I had to look up my question. What a rip off! Turbo Tax costs about $50 and does the same thing". When my ex and I went to H&dumb dumbs, we found we owed a large tax bill. They calculated penalty and interest for us. That's up to the taxpayer and the IRS. We had claimed 4 exemptions. Then the H& dumb dumb rep said "drop 'em". That's what she said. All the things you can legally do to save on your taxes; all the deductions and credits; all the ways you can save on your income taxes and you can find more ways every year. That's what she said:"drop 'em". No questions; no deductions; no asking about receipts and diaries of expenses; no list to prepare to save on taxes in future years - worse than worthless! And there's more, but I'll stop here. The fact that they are still in business show how illiterate taxpayers are about their taxes. That's what started my business. I got tired of overpaying my taxes.
Source(s): Tax professional 14 years. Took EA test and passed all 4 parts.
How to Report Abusive CPAs, Attorneys or Enrolled Agents: Report suspicious actions by tax professionals to the email address of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility.