H & R Block is an honorable organization. They have qualified tax preparers who go to school for a number of weeks to learn how to do a good job. There are other organizations that follow their lead. Today they have a particular client that this article is being written to. If you make little money and have young children you are probably eligible for a benefit called the Earned Income Credit (EIC). This often allows a family who made say $12,000 (it can be much less and some more) to get several thousand dollars in refunds. If those are your circumstances read on.
This situation applies to the Small Business Owner. Perhaps you had a year where you did not make a lot of money. This aspect with the existence of the Earned Income Credit is important to know about.
I have linked to the IRS’ explanation of the Earned Income Credit as reference.
The reason I’m writing this article is to offer you some matter for thinking.
Some people don’t have a checking or saving account and they don’t even have a few bucks to do their own return on line. In fact sometimes certain people need their refund like “15 minutes ago.” I know I’ve been there. For those people (and you if those are your circumstances) H & R Block is a lifesaver. They will get your refund within a couple of days if you are eligible and further they will subtract their fee from your refund as well. In other words, you pay nothing out of pocket and get your money “now.”
However we all know there is no free lunch. If you opt for this method or are forced to use it you will pay several hundred dollars in fees (combined) to the tax preparer and to the banks that cut the checks.
There is an alternative. There are companies that provide online filing for very little money. One company I have used is TaxSlayer. They charge only $9.95 for a return and while you must do your own they really lead you through it. Further if you have the money sent to your account via the internet you will get your refund typically within two-three weeks.
So if you have a savings or checking account, ten dollars and can wait a couple of weeks for your money you might consider saving a few hundred dollars for your own pocket when you do your taxes.
I would hasten to add that firms like H & R Block are providing a fair and equitable service. It is just that there are ways that are less expensive but they don’t help everyone.
Internal Revenue Service Website, “Earned Income Credit”