The bottom line is that the student cannot take the AOC more than four times. Also, they must be undergraduates (no bachelor's degree). The student in this example has not "completed" four years of undergraduate study. Either he or she went part time or flunked most of the courses (thus not completing them). The only exception I can think of is that the person went full time but changed majors so many times that the degree requirements were not met. If your student never claimed the AOC before, I'd take it.
Thank you for your input.
I am currently taking the Block course. The instructors interpretation is that if a student has completed 4 years then the student is inelgible.
Since the above example has gone to college for 6 years, albeit 2 schools and only an AS degree, then the student is not elgible. That is why I looked up what is considered 4 completed years of college.
The rules mean the taxpayer must be an undergraduate. Also he or she must not have claimed the Hope or AOC four times. In other words, a student who keeps changing majors and still hasn't graduated after four years, but took the AOC for all four, isn't eligible even though no degree. I don't see where the number of credit hours comes into play except that the student must be attending at least half time to claim the credit.
How do Block preparers interpret the AOC restriction of not being eligible for the AOC if the student has not completed 4 years of post secondary education?
I am interpreting it as not having more than 120 credit hours of previous college.
Example: Taxpayer has been to college for 3 different occasions in lifetime, accumulated 111 hours in 6 full years of college. Only an Associates degree out of it. Does not have an upper level credit on the transcript. Never claimed Hope or AOC. Would like to claim AOC this year.
I looked at the old Hope rules and have based my opinion on that.
I know it is a checkmark on the 8863.
I say taxpayer has not completed 4 years of post secondary education in above example.
HRB sent me an email trying to sell software "discounted" for next year. I responded to the email by asking me if they could offer pre-seasons discounts on state software also. I received the following response. What is "reception only?" A Black Hole? Why dun me with emails if you can't answer mine? Additionally, doesn't one always use a ";" instead of "," before "however" mid-sentence?
Thank you for contacting H&R Block. We have received your email, however, this email address is a reception only inbox. For a response to your message or to speak with a customer service representative, please contact H&R Block at 1-800-HRBlock (1-800-472-5625).
*** This is an automatically generated email, please do not reply ***
H&R Block Customer Service
Ok, yes that is the same. As I said in 15 years I never wanted to work then. All the stress and unpleasant tasks for minimum wage.
No commission for off-season hours back then. Just straight minimum wage, which was our pay. For all that work.
the draw is not our 'pay' just an advance. Not to say we make more than an outside CPA firm. But you can have a draw of $15 and at the end earn $30. Not for the summer of course. For the reasons you mentioned, plus also want to call non paid returns and go out marketing, I too choose not to work then for little more than minimum wage.
I worked one off season. Like with the new pros who just passed the basic exam, not a word was said about pay rates until you were hired. I found out the pay when I went to the training session and decided it was too late to back out. I did get to do a lot of fancy returns that increased my knowledge that summer. But I had to deal with lots of clients in the waiting room, phones ringing off the hook (of course they all came in or called at the same time because the office hours were so limited), doing fancy returns, preparing IRS responses or requests for POM payments (preparer error), closing the register out, making the bank deposit, I'd go home exhausted. For all that work and knowledge I had to tap, I made something like $32 gross for the night. After taxes, it was much less. I never signed up again. Where I work now I make way more than that for a single hour, all year long.
I think Block gets away with this because it has so many experienced pros who love doing taxes. They're sad when tax season ends and eager to keep doing what they do. It looks like now that all the offices are open by appointment (someone correct me if I'm wrong). What do they pay those who come in to meet the clients?
Not only did Block stop paying preparers for returns paid for after April 15th, but they pay min. wage to the off season help who did finish them. Talk about a company win-win, this is it. When I think of how many years I worked in the off season, my mindset was on the learning experience and gaining new clients, and getting in my 1,000 hours a year to keep my 401K active. Only once did off season min. wage pay bother me. It was when I lost my paycheck stub and thought: "what if a $400-500 client finds it?" Would they still have confident in me, when I was worth so little to the company?
The "incentive to do the more complicated work" went out the door years ago when the company stopped paying people for returns that weren't completed by April 15. Time was when a return wasn't completed because a client didn't have all their info or just didn't pick it up by April 15, commission was paid if the client finished up and paid by Dec. It was nice to get a surprise check late in the year for these stragglers. When the rules changed to no payment unless completed and paid by April 15, tax pros stopped tackling late-comers with complex (and expensive) returns. One office I know of did a lot of partnerships. These will rarely be completed by April 15, so the pros just refused them. Couldn't blame them--who wants to do all that work for free? That's when I started to realize that Block didn't really want to be "America's tax preparer" anymore. They just wanted EZ returns with EITC (and now refundable education and medical insurance credits). Shot themselves in the foot.
At least it makes sense that they now want to pay EAs $15 an hour. BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT THEM. They don't want complex returns or employees capable of doing them. Hey Block, now that RALs are gone, your bread and butter is going to be people who have more than a couple of W2s. Shouldn't you have the staff capable of handling them?.
There's no incentive to do the more complicated work and certainly no incentive to stay with Block. Even if they go back to the old pay system this disrespect of the most credentialed employees makes them an untrustworthy and unstable employer. It's disheartening to be forced into change but everyone on this board seems to love their work after H&R Block.
EAs and CPAs will get a MAX of $15 an hour???? I'm an EA and make at least 3 times that at the CPA firm where I work. The CPAs get much more I'm sure. HRB management has either extricated themselves so far from the tax business (the business they're in) they don't understand what they just did, or they really are trying to drive credentialed professionals out of their workforce.
Maybe not just credentialed pros. Before I earned my EA I made way more than $15 an hour, and that was years ago. For a time they were encouraging all pros to go for the EA, wanted at least one in every office. There were three in my office, but we all moved on when they started playing with buckets and such complex pay schemes that you had to work harder and more just to keep up with last year's earnings.
I think the entire management team should be fired and replaced by those who know the business, know what experienced pros are really worth to them (the clients come back for them, after all) and know what credentialed pros are worth. Who on earth is going to do representation work for clients who come in with IRS notices? Who is going to be able to handle an estate, gift, trade-in of a business vehicle, or whatever else walks in the door? Who is going to be able to access IRS transcripts? I think management has just proved they don't have a clue.
The basics are the same but our district is part of a trial pay plan that gets rid of the 80% draw replacing it with a maximum $15 an hour for EA's and CPA's. Overall cut of commission too.
There is one thing that MIGHt make a major difference make a major difference imho: if senior management were to be replaced or at least supplemented by iBM Kenexa C. Too often the powers that be in KC seem to know too little about the tax business for what fthey are paid. This issue was raised by farms in berkerly.
I never thought to do that when I was at Block. I think "theft" is too strong a word, but it's not exactly honest. Many, many tax pros thought HRB fees were way too high, so maybe this was their way of reducing them just a bit. I don't remember if tax pros were rated by the number of Send A Friends they collected, but if so I can see why they did it. And it's no different than what the clients themselves did. They'd finish at the tax desk and on their way out ask people in the waiting area if they were new and hand them the coupon. To curb that behavior, after a while Block said the coupons couldn't be redeemed for 24 hours. That hurt people who brought a friend with them, thinking they could get their returns done at the same time. The program wasn't managed that well either. A lot of clients complained that they never got paid and they sent several people. Maybe the program was more trouble than it was worth..
I would like to know what others think of the ethics of sharing Send A Friend referral fees with needly clients. Is it theft, as cjadegree accuses?
" Maybe that is why the company discontinued the program" Ya think? With people like you stealing from the company, I would think so.
Hi Wish 27
My colleagues are all highly professional in their work and demeanor. I guess those that are not do not last long. Many companies and corporations employ an impersonal hiring process, and continue the impersonality through the employment relationship. Businesses may be exposed to lawsuits for discharge, discrimination, and even for incidents between employees, and as a result are reluctant to take on these risks. It is sad, but perhaps understandable, that United States companies prefer to outsource jobs to Bangalore.
Send-A-Friend was a great program. My clients loved it. Often when I would get a new client who was not referred I entered a referral source of a prior client who was struggling, and the struggling client received a check for $15. Maybe that is why the company discontinued the program.
Sentiment: Strong Sell