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H&R Block, Inc. Message Board

doontoothers2000 13 posts  |  Last Activity: Jul 21, 2014 10:13 PM Member since: Jul 2, 2003
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  • Reply to

    What's wrong at HRB company offices?

    by arnoldtaxinator May 6, 2014 2:14 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Jul 21, 2014 10:13 PM Flag

    Newbies were being paid $10 an hour when I left 10 years ago! Is it only $9 now? That's horrible! 10 years ago, gas was under $2 a gallon!
    We only got min. wage during off season, and for any paid classes, but otherwise starting pay was $10, and I remember one newbie got a $1,500+ bonus.

  • Reply to

    P/E 40 and All time high

    by macaries1st Jun 16, 2014 4:08 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Jun 19, 2014 10:17 AM Flag

    is June 30th still the day stock option prices are set for employees?

  • Reply to

    HRB Upgraded over weekend

    by jrlane_99 Jun 7, 2014 7:41 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Jun 11, 2014 10:51 AM Flag

    Not always stupid, wishful. Had client that owed the big bucks every single year, could NOT talk him into estimated payments. According to him, he said he invested the money that would have gone to IRS, and made more on his investments than the cost of penalty and interest. Since he got richer every year, it apparently worked for him.
    Plus to owe or get a refund should be a very personal choice. People that are savers like to break even, people that don't save will never put that extra few bucks in the bank, and enjoy the "forced" savings that
    allows them a good size refund once a year that can pay off a credit card, or take a vacation.
    I usually ask, when I do a W4, will you put $20 a week in savings, or will you buy an extra pizza or t-shirt with it? It's like a "light bulb" goes off, and they opt for extra withholdings. With the average savings accounts paying less than 1% interest, it's not like they're losing anything with letting Uncle Sam hold it. NOT only that, but trying to open a new savings account for high school age grandchild, who has her first job, bank said there will be a $7 a month charge till account is over $300. Made sense to go Single Zero, and let IRS hold her savings, where hopefully she'll have a $300 refund to open the account next year.

  • Reply to

    HRB Upgraded over weekend

    by jrlane_99 Jun 7, 2014 7:41 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Jun 9, 2014 11:43 AM Flag

    Amazing what a yo-yo this stock is. I think it was 1983 when I bought my first shares taking advantage of their option plan, and every year thereafter when it was too good to pass up. I don't actively watch it, as it was a "someday" tucked away for my old age kind of "nest egg". Now due to splits and 4 times a year dividend reinvestment, I can't imagine what my basis would be. Instead of being a treasure for my old age, it's become a treasure for my next of kin, or handing IRS 20% of it, plus paying the state. Kind of weird how its tax free for next to kin, but me who took the risk, IRS demands a basis. Nice of them to be so generous after I'm dead.

  • Reply to

    Block business plan

    by formerhrb May 15, 2014 9:13 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 May 24, 2014 9:31 AM Flag

    Reading buy verse lease, took me back to 20 years ago when I had my sights on the car of my dreams. After picking it out I was escorted to the upstairs office, where the manager, the salesman, and bookkeeper surrounded me giving me a sales pitch of why I should lease it. This meeting lasted for over an hour, and my polite NO thank you was falling on deaf ears. Explaining I had a check in my purse to purchase this car, didn't shut them up. I left in a huff, went across the street to another dealership and bought the first car that had all the bells and whistles I wanted. I still feel cheated to this day about not getting my dream car, and have never gone back to that brand of car.
    It brings back many memories of our RAL clients. The guy that kicked the wall down when his check wasn't there, the guy that threatened a preparer for "flagging him" when his refund was kept for child support, the guy that banged his fist on my desk screaming at the top of his lungs, the gal that made a huge scene,crying and screaming saying she'll sue us, as she had already mailed out checks to pay her bills believing she
    could deposit her refund loan that day. I'm sure all offices had these type incidents being done in front of a room full of clients. Many were refused the next day check, and had temper tantrums hearing they had to wait 2 weeks, and were sure it was OUR fault! Many believed getting the next day loan would stop IRS from keeping their refund due to child support, student loan, etc., as they lied about owing it on the loan app.
    Did years of RAL, followed by a lawsuit Block was overcharging the poor with 3 digit interest rates, do damage, when non-RAL clients were witness to it? Did it run them off, making us look bad? Didn't Block have Holiday loans just a couple years ago? Did RALs taint the brand's reputation to the higher end clients who witnessed these incidents? Probably yes.

  • Reply to

    Tax Education

    by cf2050200002 May 18, 2014 4:34 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 May 21, 2014 10:52 AM Flag

    Yes, wishful, instructor pay has always been low. One year we got a "bonus" which added an increase for the number of students in a class over a certain number. It near doubled my pay for a basic class. They only did it for one year. The more advanced classes got paid more, to encourage us, and there were many years I would teach up to 10 different courses over a 6 month period, plus having to take classes to be rehired.
    Being an instructor only gave us XXX # of points towards rehire.
    We were told we were privileged to be chosen, and the majority of us did work off-season, or in the quality control department of checking returns. (before it was closed down)
    For a couple years new instructors were chosen for the highest number of POM's sold, which wasn't Block's best idea, as many did not have enough tax knowledge, and the failure rate on the final exam hurt the count of newbies that could be hired. One instructor cheated on the final exam, giving answers and NO ONE could be hired from his class, and none of the hours spent in his class counted towards rehire.
    Pay for off season work has always been min. wage and it was also considered a privilege to be chosen. ONE year I actually earned vacation pay by going over 1,000 hours with working off season and teaching many classes, and it shocked me. It also allowed me to join their 401K plan, that I think Block gave a 25 cent match for a couple years. For a few years I was on profit sharing, and used to get yearly statements that I had XXX # of dollars and was XXX # of years vested. Before I became fully vested it disappeared and I got NOTHING but a letter saying the money would be divided up to be given to full time staff. SO, yes, Block has been playing the "less for the preparer" game for over 30 years that I'm aware of. They counted on our loyalty, and our love of the job and kept asking us to do more work for less money till they broke us.

  • Reply to

    Favorite Block Quotes

    by cf2050200002 May 1, 2014 3:30 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 May 7, 2014 12:09 PM Flag

    IMHO Block does keep shooting itself in the foot with pay modification. I think any one with a skill in any trade who can find a higher paying job has and will move on. Turn-over in stores and restaurant's has always been high, as its not a one on one service that builds a relationship. Block does NOT follow up or interview those who quit, in fact shows no interest in keeping them, and has an attitude that they'll save money by replacing them with a newbie. ANY ONE that does taxes, knows how a newbie struggles, having never been introduced to many forms and schedules. Many of them don't know how to fill out their own W4! There is a TON of money to be made in tax prep, some years better than others, but it takes a lot of experience getting to the $400-900 returns, and once a preparer is capable of doing them why any company would "modify" their pay or not bend over backwards to keep them is stupidity at its finest.

  • Reply to

    Favorite Block Quotes

    by cf2050200002 May 1, 2014 3:30 PM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 May 2, 2014 10:33 AM Flag

    Arnold, its easy.... prices keep going up, while labor cost and overhead go down.

  • doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Apr 30, 2014 3:33 PM Flag

    CF Ditto! You have great insight into the tax prep business and are always a pleasure to read.

  • doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Apr 30, 2014 8:58 AM Flag

    CF, sad to say, yes, too many good preparers do throw hands up in the air and walk away, and most of the time it's due to management micro-managing. I always told my staff (when I was office supervisor) that Block needed them, more than they needed Block, because the company could NOT hire just anyone. Then we would go to a mandatory meeting, and they would hear the DM tell them to sell POM or they would have their hours cut, or be replaced. One gal who did miss the mandatory meeting due to being at her husband's side in the hospital, was NOT allowed any hours till she went to a make-up class. She was our only Spanish speaking preparer, and we lost clients, having to turn them away, because we did NOT know when she would be allowed to return, as she waited for a date to when the make up class would be. She finished the season, but would not return, after losing 2 1/2 weeks of work over a SELL POM class. The amazing part is she was a top seller of POM for our office! BUT, K.C. made the decision: NO Class, No work, No exceptions because they did NOT take the time to know their employees. Today she has her own tax business for Spanish speaking clients, and we keep in touch by email, when she has tax questions. These were clients Block could have had if they hadn't run her off.
    I love your PIP! Well said! YES, that's what it's all about. Our personal reputation, integrity and pride in doing the best job we can is what tax prep is all about.

  • Reply to


    by simpleman83313 Mar 28, 2014 11:23 AM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Apr 28, 2014 10:40 AM Flag

    Currentea, you're almost right about preparers who consider pay last on the list of what's important. The majority of people that can accept seasonal work are retired, homemakers, or moon-lighters who love the work. Why else would they spend hours and hours of their own time in classes and hours at the kitchen table doing homework? Few preparers work 40 hour weeks (except for peak) and hours are cut in March, unless they've built up their own clients to ask for them. The newbies I have taught are always shocked to hear how low the starting pay is. They can't believe they've sat thru 66 hours of class, and 66-100 hours of homework and won't make as much as a hamburger flipper. I told them to look at their first 3 years as an apprenticeship (did I spell that right?) That the basic tax course is only an inch in the foot long need of knowledge, and a tax season will make them aware of how much more they need to learn. Most who HAVE to work to put bread on the table, don't stay for 3 years. Those with a working spouse, a pension, or other means of support do.

    Many Block preparers make 40-50 an hour after building their own cliental. Experience and knowledge has them doing more expensive forms, better interviews, while being totally comfortable with the software, memorizing every line on every form. (it's why I hate computer practice problems that do NOT allow seeing the entire form, and reading every line).
    The problem with Block pay, is it keeps changing. Creating "buckets" that are complex, and can lower the hourly rate even if the same hours and same # of returns were done. SO, yes, then pay matters. NO one wants to work for less even if they're not working for bread and butter. Averaging $24 an hour one year, going back with MORE tax courses and knowledge, and end up with $18-19 an hour makes one less loyal to the company. Seeing prices rise, and pay go down has made a lot of my EX-Block coworkers quit.

  • Reply to

    numbers up

    by doontoothers2000 Apr 25, 2014 9:41 AM
    doontoothers2000 doontoothers2000 Apr 26, 2014 10:37 AM Flag

    That is so true wishful. Yesterday, all 3 of us had clients at the same time and the phone never stopped ringing. I had gone in to do payroll, and it was near noon before I could start it. One lady said she drove office to office, stopping at both Block and Liberty, and couldn't find anyone open till she drove pass our office and saw the open sign.

  • doontoothers2000 by doontoothers2000 Apr 25, 2014 9:41 AM Flag

    Tax professionals up by .7, not a large number, but it does show the value of the business. We knew there would be a client loss with the ending of the overnight check, and the depth of the EIC questions, plus no complex changes in the tax codes. Some clients were really upset with the new 10% floor on medical expenses, that's the kind of change I call "back door" tax hikes.
    With the season behind us, anyone ready to predict what changes might happen in Oct., besides Obamacare fines? Looks like "hardship" exclusion will about cover most from paying. Trying to keep up how this is unfolding is difficult and depends on what website you read.

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