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H & R Blcok Pricing


mrichman333
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So far this year I picked up 5 of HRB customers. The prices I see on some of them boggle my mind. $207 for a 1040 with two W2”s, unemployment and $129 in interest.

So for fun I called to see what they would charge for a 1041 (I’m doing one now)

Called three offices and they all refered me to another office because the didn't do 1041

Then I called one office to find out about a return with a Sch.E rental property, 1009DIV and 1099B

I was told they don’t price that way; they enter all the information into the computer and the computer generates the price based on the information they had to enter. Then I was told I could come in have them do the return and if I didn’t like the price I didn’t have to have it done by them I could leave. Lol So I spend who knows how much of my time then if I don’t like the price I go someplace else and spend who knows how much of my time again.

Yet the make millions every year. The power of advertising.

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Guest Taxed

HRB does not quote a price until they have actually entered the return into their system and figure the price by # of forms and # of lines etc.

There is a reason why they do it this way. After waiting may be an hour and then spending another hour with the tax preparer if the bill is say $50 to $100 higher than you had expected (or may be yu don't even know what the charge should be) you are reluctant to start all over again and just throw in the towel and pay!! That is what they count on every day!

Every year I get a few former HRB clients who complain the outrageous fees they paid the previous year. For a new client i review all the tax documents and figure out what i need to do and then give them a quote. If they like it they stay if they don't like it they are free to leave with their documents. No obligations, and no hard feelings! I actually have had people leave my office after I quoted and then a week later they are calling me back to come in.

I actually do a 1041 for a client who was paying HRB $527 each year and it is a simple trust. I charge him less than half of that and I got his sister and GF as clients the next year.

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---> HRB does not quote a price until they have actually entered the return into their system and figure the price by # of forms and # of lines etc.

There is a reason why they do it this way. After waiting may be an hour and then spending another hour with the tax preparer if the bill is say $50 to $100 higher than you had expected (or may be yu don't even know what the charge should be) you are reluctant to start all over again and just throw in the towel and pay!! That is what they count on every day! <-0-

Hey, it works for every car dealer in the country.

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---> HRB does not quote a price until they have actually entered the return into their system and figure the price by # of forms and # of lines etc.

There is a reason why they do it this way. After waiting may be an hour and then spending another hour with the tax preparer if the bill is say $50 to $100 higher than you had expected (or may be yu don't even know what the charge should be) you are reluctant to start all over again and just throw in the towel and pay!! That is what they count on every day! <-0-

Hey, it works for every car dealer in the country.

lol comparing H&R Block to a car dealer, more like Used car dealer

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HRB does not quote a price until they have actually entered the return into their system and figure the price by # of forms and # of lines etc.

There is a reason why they do it this way. After waiting may be an hour and then spending another hour with the tax preparer if the bill is say $50 to $100 higher than you had expected (or may be yu don't even know what the charge should be) you are reluctant to start all over again and just throw in the towel and pay!! That is what they count on every day!

Every year I get a few former HRB clients who complain the outrageous fees they paid the previous year. For a new client i review all the tax documents and figure out what i need to do and then give them a quote. If they like it they stay if they don't like it they are free to leave with their documents. No obligations, and no hard feelings! I actually have had people leave my office after I quoted and then a week later they are calling me back to come in.

I actually do a 1041 for a client who was paying HRB $527 each year and it is a simple trust. I charge him less than half of that and I got his sister and GF as clients the next year.

Yep. $527 and I bet it took no longer the 1/2 - 1 hour to do. The $207 return took maybe 25 minutes. Don't get why people go back year after year

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lol comparing H&R Block to a car dealer, more like Used car dealer

Hey, easy on the used car dealers. My husband has owned a small used car dealership for 35 years and he still believes in the handshake. Our boys are moving into it now and last year they got the local Small Business of the Year Award and didn't even know they were in the running. Some of them are honest.

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Within a few blocks of each other is an amazing family-run Italian restaurant and an Olive Garden. You can walk right in to the family-run restaurant for an amazing meal, or wait at least an hour for an OK meal at Olive Garden. Our society is so easily influenced by advertising. And so it goes with HRB.... (Although I confess the HRB advertising campaign this year has been very good - best I ever remember.)

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Within a few blocks of each other is an amazing family-run Italian restaurant and an Olive Garden. You can walk right in to the family-run restaurant for an amazing meal, or wait at least an hour for an OK meal at Olive Garden. Our society is so easily influenced by advertising. And so it goes with HRB.... (Although I confess the HRB advertising campaign this year has been very good - best I ever remember.)

I know what you mean, there is this great Itailn place the food is AWSOME and it's byo. Never need to call for a reservation

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Yeah, I got some more HRB former clients this year. Came in first for a consult to see what selling one of their Hawaiian rentals would mean to the bottom line. I found errors in the previous returns (like no Hawaiian return filed)'. Even with the sale and two states it came to less than what they were charged last year. And I bumped my fees up this year. .

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Today I had a TP that didn't agree on my fees this year, without hesitation I told them I don't mind if you go somewhere else, here are your papers back, and I proud of myself I didn't back out of the price :).

I've had a few times over the years when someone questioned my price. Not so much any more since I usually bring it up at the outset with a new client even if they don't. But in those situations when they did question it, I always told them to just send me a check for whatever they think it's worth. Most of the time they paid the full bill, and I didn't have to deal with the cheapskates any longer.

I especially rememeber one guy who did press me a bit, because he was determined to get me to agree to a lower amount. I kept telling him this wasn't a negtiation. I didn't have a different figure in mind, but if he knew more about the value of my services than I did, then he should be able to determine what's fair. He got very frustrated because I wouldn't play his negotiation game. He kept telling me I was being unreasonable. I just assumed he had just finished his "assertiveness training" seminar and was trying to practice it on me. Maybe he should have been negotiating for a refund of the money he wasted with them.

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I understand how you feel, Marco, but it is really better that you did not say that. You are a professional, only YOU can decide what your time and knowledge is worth. If you said anything, that is all you should say. Never try to put yourself into a comparison with some product or service, or even other tax preparers.

If you feel you just have to say something, limit it to "I am a professional, I spend a lot of my time and money on continuing education every year to make sure I am up to date on all the changes in the tax laws, revenue ruling, court cases, etc. My fees are based on the time involved and the complexity of the return. If you are just shopping for the cheapest return, you are in the wrong place."

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I had a woman stop by to drop off her sister and BIL's return. When I asked if she'd be bringing her own return she told me that her husband thought I was too expensive last year. They are PA residents, both she and husband work in DE, and she needed local returns also having the out-of-state credit, and a tax projection. So the return had 2 w-2s, 7 1099's, a brokerage account with activity, state tax refunds, a canadian pension that had to be converted into US dollars, social security, foreign tax credit, itemized deductions, all activity had to be split for the nonresident DE returns. The total was 1 federal, 3 state returns, 2 local returns and the projection. I charged her $260. What do you think HRB would have charged for all of this work? I guess she'll find out!

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We all have a few cheapskates as clients. I have a fellow who will ask for a 5 to 10 bucks discount every year because many local tax preparers publish 10 dollar coupons in local newspapers. So the moment he sits down and i pullout my interview sheet the first question i ask is do you have any competitor coupons, he says yes, I say show me. I add $10 and then knock off the coupon. He says wait a minute i thought i was getting a dscount, I show him the invoice with the price and then coupon discount of $10 and he shuts up. It is a waste of time but the guy leaves my ofice thinking he got a discount????

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Yeah, I got some more HRB former clients this year. Came in first for a consult to see what selling one of their Hawaiian rentals would mean to the bottom line. I found errors in the previous returns (like no Hawaiian return filed)'. Even with the sale and two states it came to less than what they were charged last year. And I bumped my fees up this year. .

Hawaii has a BIG income tax. I found that one guy was adding back a property tax rebate check to taxable income even though they didn't itemize the year before.

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I deal with lots of non-Americans...who culturally "never accept the first price".

Once this guy starting "bargaining" and I reduced the price. He persisted...lower...lower...lower. I finally said "Hey, I'm a professional. This is not a bazaar! Would you ask you physician to lower his fee."

In middle eastern and most asian cultures bargaining at the market is a ritual and those who do not indulge in it are considered "fools". Where do you think the term an arab horse trader came from?

So if you are dealing with these people start high! Let them get the satisfaction that they beat you down to a low price. It is all a game!

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I had a woman stop by to drop off her sister and BIL's return. When I asked if she'd be bringing her own return she told me that her husband thought I was too expensive last year. They are PA residents, both she and husband work in DE, and she needed local returns also having the out-of-state credit, and a tax projection. So the return had 2 w-2s, 7 1099's, a brokerage account with activity, state tax refunds, a canadian pension that had to be converted into US dollars, social security, foreign tax credit, itemized deductions, all activity had to be split for the nonresident DE returns. The total was 1 federal, 3 state returns, 2 local returns and the projection. I charged her $260. What do you think HRB would have charged for all of this work? I guess she'll find out!

$260 H&R Block probably would have charged $900

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Just as bad as cheapskates, are the clients that drop off/Pickup their stuff and then take up an hour or so of your time asking questions that have nothing to do with their current tax return.

Again....I do 99% of my work by e-mail.

At the end I always say "If you have any questions, please let me know."

How many times have I wished I never said that.

For things like..."where is my student loan interest deduction" it's simple....I attach a worksheet showing the phaseout.

But...there are other times when I feel like I'm writing a thesis. Once (recently) I go so annoyed I said "I'm not a tax teacher. If you need such "in depth explanations I think you should go to HRB and sit with the preparer and ask all your questions as he/she inputs your data". I'm sure she went, saw what she owed based on a 1st year tax preparer doing the return at probably more than twice my price....and came crawling back.

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