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H & R Block / tax refund scam!

2-5 United States Review updated:

I am writing to inform others of the H & R block tax refund scam. 1st they tell you that you will receive a refund by direct deposit, debit card or some other way in 1 to 2 business days and charge a substantial fee for doing so the when you don't get it deposited they say the bank done it. Well its their bank. Anyway after not getting the refund they give you a number to call (a recording of course) and all it says is you will receive your refund in 8 to 15 days. Well I could have done this myself online without paying someone $300. They thrive on taking advantage of single women with children because the size of there refunds which is the category I fall into and was really depending on this money.

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  • Ch
      16th of Mar, 2007
    -5 Votes

    After H and R Block prepared your taxes, you entered into a LOAN agreement with HSBC Bank (no, it's not Block's bank; although Block recently received a bank charter, the loan products are still done through HSBC.) If you did not get your money in 1 to 2 days, it was because HSBC denied your LOAN application. You will now receive your money in 2-3 weeks, after the IRS has accepted your return(as stated in your LOAN agreement). You will then NOT pay the full amount of the LOAN fees and your refund will actually be larger. From your description, you were most likely denied the LOAN because of child credits or Earned Income Credit (the bank often denies these "fast" refunds because the refunds consist not just of the return of the easily verifiable taxes paid in, but a credit which usually greatly exceeds the amount you paid in).

    To suggest that Block "takes advantage" of single mothers with children is nonsense. From my experience, preparers not only explain the LOAN products, but try to dissuade clients from taking them. While the fees may be slightly higher for preparing forms calculating EIC, there is certainly the option to prepare the return yourself and get a payday loan (at a MUCH higher rate) from a currency exchange until the government credit arrives.

  • Ma
      2nd of Apr, 2007
    -7 Votes

    I often find it funny that people feel they are being scammed by H&R Block because THEY did not qualify with HSBC bank for an instant money or rapid refund. They claim they are lied to and taken advantage of.
    Another fact that those who complain fail to mention is that you DONT have to pay any fees up front... all your fees are taken from your refund. Tax payers should not depend so much on a tax refund... If you need your money that fast, you should pay interest.

    A lot of people find the services of H&R Block helpful, those who get mad because they cant get their money in 2 days because they don't qualify really need to consider their own circumstances before pointing any fingers.

  • Mi
      3rd of Jun, 2007
    +6 Votes

    I recently called to inquire about H & R Blocks service. I was told that H & R Blocks bank is not open on Saturdays. That is unfortunate since my bank, Bank of America, is open on Saturdays. I found the hours of service from H & R Block, their field offices, their bank, etc., poor and ineffective.

  • Pa
      4th of Jul, 2007
    +8 Votes

    This complaint is valid. The representatives if not well trained and attentive could care less about explaining the possible pitfalls of this pre-paid credit card. I too was mislead and I am not a single mother. I received the card with the knowledge that only part of my refund would be immediately available on the card, what I did not know was that this card is NOT accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. I had SEVERAL companies return the charges made to the card AND the responses of the representatives were slow and unhelpful. It required no less than 20 hours of my time to undo the mess created by using this card and I would strongly advise anyone who reads this NOT to use this card. If H&R's own associates consider this a poor idea/option you should definitely consider why. It's not only bad, it's wrong and I pray that someone has the resources and ability to sue the ever loving crap out of H&R Block over this poorly designed card.

  • Br
      31st of Jul, 2007
    Best Best Advice +8 Votes

    I had the same problem. I also had a problem with the IRA I had put in. I put in $900 and ended up needing the money to move in to a new apartment. So I filled out the forms and turned them in. I was told it would take 7-10 days to receive a check in the mail. I didn't receive a check for 2 months due to numerous errors by their bank. I kept calling every few days just to be told that I would have a check in 3-5 days, which never came. How can a bank screw up that many times? H & R Block says "you've got people", but these are people that I don't want. I will never do business with them again.

  • Sh
      14th of Dec, 2007
    +4 Votes

    Last year I had my taxes done at H and R Block. When I first went in I was told I could receive an instant loan. This was prior to recieving my W2's and at the end of the year. Well of course I was denied and was told that I would not have to pay any fees to file my taxes when my W2's did arrive. So I went back in Feb. to file my taxes and was told that my fees would be about $300.00. I explained that was not what I was told and asked to speak with a manager. The manager turned out to be the very person who told me I would pay no fees. We discussed the situation and he immediately got angry, started to yell, and said I was denied because my credit was" bad". Now take in mind I have just purchased a home in Dec., have no major credit issues, and low debt to income ratio, so credit was not an issue anyway else. There were many other clients in the office that day. I tried to calm the gentlemen down and stated I just wanted to cover the issue and see if there was a resolution. He cursed at me and told me to sue him. I called several offices attempting to get a supervisor or hire-up to report the situation. No one would give me information. I was truly hurt and embarrassed. H and R block preys on vulnerable people and I feel just lies to get business. I will never work with them again! I will get a Quick Tax Software Program and complete it myself. The beauty of that is you get it back in the same time frame with only the cost of the program. I suggest many others do the same. And once you learn how to complete the forms you may be able to help others.

    Good luck to all this tax season. Don't let anyone mislead you!!

  • Sh
      14th of Jan, 2008
    +6 Votes

    I wholly agree with the comment that H & R Blocks rapid refund is a customer scam. I was told that they would know when they filed the tax whether a person qualified for a rapid refund. Well, the same problem with a young mom with two kids and a husband that his place of work had closed . They were told they would receive a refund within 2 days and when that past they were told by the following day, and so on. After a week the H & R Bank said they did not qualify and they desparately needed the money. They receive no welfare, etc., to help. Now their refund may be here in 3 weeks?? I t was filed a week ago and the IRS does not even have a record of it yet, and H&R Block has assured them that it was electronically filed!!H & R Block can say it is just the banks fault, but the name of the bank is H & R Block Bank. For whatever reason ,looking into the matter I have heard this complaint from more than one person, I would think in any business you should not promise what cannot be delivered. And no, the tax preparer did not tell them the process of the loan. Sorry, but I cannot agree with using the rapid refund as a customer draw in unless it is true and stood behind. So if you are looking for a rapid refund I would NOT go to H & R Block.

  • Le
      15th of Jan, 2008
    -7 Votes

    Shirley writes "but the name of the bank is H & R Block Bank". This is NOT true. HSBC bank is the one who controls those loans, not H&R Block. The paperwork CLEARLY states that you may or MAY NOT be approved for this LOAN and if you are not approved, you will receive a check/deposit within 2 weeks and NOT BE CHARGED the interest fees. People sure want their money fast and are willing to SIGN ANYTHING to get it...they when the bank says NO they claim fraud. Pfffft. Grow up & watch what you are doing to begin with.

  • Ti
      18th of Jan, 2008
    +6 Votes

    They did the same thing to us my husband was in the hospital for 5 weeks & we were counting on that money. The HSBC said HR Block knew that the criteria changed & that you must have good credit to get the RAL or RAC . And HR Block never bothered to inform us that we may be denied. We have filed with them for more that 15 years & I WILL NEVER FILE WITH THEM AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fr
      27th of Jan, 2008
    +4 Votes

    I find it hard to believe they get away with it not being approved for credit is not a crime or a scam but not informing your customers or the credit check which they seem to forget 90 percent of the time is a crime they tell you there is a credit check for the instant refund once you are denied they tell you no problem for this small fee you can get your check in 1 to 2 days never mentioning a second credit check as a matter of fact they told me it was definite guess what this is deception hence theft by deception why is it theft by deception you get that fee back when not approved well that my be so but i dont get back the 275 tax prep fee i spent which i would have never done if i knew of the credit check because i can efile myself click some boxes for 10 minutes file and get my check in 8 to 15 days for free it is deception and false advertising.

  • Ki
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +5 Votes

    Everyone is misunderstanding the very first plug. I know because I'm experiencing it myself. H and R block has their own bank. Yes, they do... look it up. It is not hsbc it is h and r block bank. This is the bank that handles all your payroll direct deposits through out the year. As well as direct deposits sent directly from the IRS< excluding HSBC products, this is for us customers that use their online tax products like TAXCUT, to do our own taxes. Then after the IRS deposits the money into your account h and r block is responsible to forward that money from their account onto your emerald card. Low and behold days, and days, and days pass without even so much as a verification that they even received it. When my payroll is direct deposited I get it from h and r block the next day on my card. Yet, here it is tax season and they are processing 24,000 rapid refunds thru their bank , issued from HSBC per hour. Yet for us people that are yearly customers we are set on the back burner , after they have our money in their possession for an undetermined amount of time, the whole while collecting interest on our money. Now in the mean time if you attempt to contact this bank to just verify they received the money, They give you the call this dept. and that dept. routine. The actual number to the bank 1-888-687-4722 conveniently is out of service for days on end with no other phone number listing to contact them. Everything I am saying is the 100% true and verifiable. Believe me I'm living it... They motto should be, Yes, you can do your own taxes with our Tax cut program, ad yes, use your old yet good emerald card for Direct Deposit, But because you refused to pay our speedy fees for hsbc, you money will sit in our accounts, until we're damn good and ready to give it to you.. While "you got people" we got your money!!!

  • Fw
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +4 Votes

    I think I might be agreeing to last comment.... I am furious with H and R Block..... I DO NOT get a tax refund loan, I simply file my taxes with the Tax Cut software.... I have been using it for YEARS.... This year when my refund has not arrived in my bank on time, I contacted customer service.... I am posting the transcript from the help session.. She clearly is scurrying me off with giving the IRS number ,,, How Dumb!..... (it has been 2 business days past the date of this help session, and believe me, any more grief and I am not complaining.. I am gonna SUE).. I am blanking out my name to F because I like privacy............You have been connected to Amber C........................
    Amber C.: Hello F, welcome to H&R Block's TaxCut Online Chat Support in North America! How can we assist you today?......................
    F: Hi... I was wondering if there is a way to confirm the bank information I entered on my return. When I look at the completed return the numbers are obviously hashed into some sort of other number (this is true on the previous year's as well). The IRS says my refund was to be deposited yesterday and it has never failed to be on time or even early in the past. So, I would like to confirm the bank information. .. .Thanks......................
    Amber C.: Did you use simple pay?.................
    F: Yes, I do............................
    Amber C.: It will take 1-3 business days after the IRS releases the funds to our bank..................
    Amber C.: You can contact the IRS to verify........
    Amber C.: If you can hold I will get the number for you..............
    F: Is that something different than previous years? I have never had that to happen........
    Amber C.: We changed banks.................
    Amber C.: The number is 1-800-829-4477.................
    Amber C.: Is there anything else we can assist you with today?..........
    F: Oh.. I see. Thanks for the number, but that is really all the information I needed. Can I save this session?...................
    Amber C.: Yes you may............................................
    Amber C.: Thank you for contacting TaxCut Online Support, F, and we look forward to serving you in the future!..................................................
    F: Thank you

  • Je
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +2 Votes

    Some of these complaints are not about loans. They are about tax refunds not being direct deposited. This is what happens when the bank that H & R Block uses keeps the money in their account instead of direct depositing it into your account. At when you do your taxes online with Tax Cut, you have more than one option to pay that $14.95. You can pay with a credit or debit card. I used that feature when I did my son's taxes. His tax refund has already been deposited into his bank account. I did my taxes on the same day I did my son's, and the IRS scheduled my deposit to go in my account last Friday. However I used another feature to pay my bill. I used the feature where they take the $14.95 right out of my refund. That costs an extra $29.95 to do. Whenever a person uses this feature, the IRS deposits your refund into H & R Block's bank account and then H&R Block in turn direct deposits your refund into your account minus the 14.95 and the 29.95. So where's my refund right now? Who knows. It's not in my bank account. The IRS said they direct deposited it into H & R Block's bank already. Someone is making a heck of a lot of interest on my money and everyone else's money that is sitting in a bank account somewhere. Calling H & R Block's bank is a joke. Last week's estimated hold time was 328 minutes. This morning's estimated hold time was 998 minutes. Customer Service for Tax Cut does not handle these calls, as they have no idea how to trace a direct deposit and give you info on when the money was deposited. They just give you the phone number for the bank. I paid H & R Block for a service, and that service does not include from beginning to end like it should. I will never use H & R Block again.

  • Je
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +4 Votes

    "Everyone is misunderstanding the very first plug. I know because I'm experiencing it myself. H and R block has their own bank. Yes, they do... look it up. It is not hsbc it is h and r block bank."

    I agree with everything you said, Kienne. People are misunderstanding. You're having the same problem I'm having. H & R Block is making money off our refunds. And it is indeed H & R Block's bank. People can read about it at

  • Mo
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +2 Votes

    its not good but i guess its not bad, i have yet to recieve my money and it was deposited on the 25th from the irs... I should have just paid the 20bucks up front instead of letting the HR block goons take it out of the refund cuzz now i have to wait for hr block bank to then send it to my back, what a crock of poop, FYI I did my moms taxes via turbo tax and hell we had that money friday night at 12am....

  • Nh
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +5 Votes

    I'm living this same hellish nightmare, Irs says they deposited the money on the 25th....yet I'm still waiting!!! WTF... why are they holding our refunds hostage? How hard is it to direct deposit the funds from their bank to minds? Exactly what is their agenda? This needs to brought to the media attention.

    SIGH, I have been holding for almost 20 mins waiting to speak to someone at this so called H and R Bank. Somehow I get the sinking feeling no one will answer, I am pissed off!

  • Nh
      28th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    Ok, I finally reached someone and they said that YES the IRS deposited the funds for the people that used their online service this past friday (the 25th) and that we can expect our refunds to be direct deposited tomorrow (Jan 29th).

    So, let's hope they keep their word. Good luck everyone!

  • Nh
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +3 Votes

    I also emailed them and this is the response I just received, so who knows.

    Our Response:
    The irs deposited your money in the pay account on 1/25 and we will distribute to your account no later the Wednesday. Sorry for the inconvenience!


    Hmm, will we receive it tomorrow or Wednesday? *shrugs*

    I just hope they are not pacifying me with lies. If anyone wants to call here is the number I used : 888-687-4722

  • Fw
      28th of Jan, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I didn't misunderstand the first plug.
    I explained that mine was somewhat different. I was just griping

    I use the same pay avenue every year, "Simple Pay"..this is the first year that H and R Block held my money. I didn't change, they changed. My money was always on time or early. They are holding money 3 extra days and I should have been told.

  • Sa
      29th of Jan, 2008
    +3 Votes

    I agree H&R Block Sucks! This is the 3rd year we have done business with them and this year has been a nightmare.
    Here's what happened.

    To start with we had an appointment on January 18th, 2008 at 4pm. Our "tax professional" didn't show up, so we got stuck with a lady who knew less about taxes than I do and that is bad since I am having someone else file my taxes. It took 4 hours to file my taxes. About 3 hours into the session she has us sign papers and almost sends us out of the office until I reminded her that it is necessary to file STATE taxes. Duh! Last year we used the Emerald Card option and it worked out great. We were approved for half of our money that day and the other half arrived the very next day. So we got a new card in the mail this year. Since everything went well last year, we decided to use it again. (Our first mistake I guess)

    The lady supposedly put it in the 1-2 days for the Emerald card. We could not do it instantly because we are military and they have changed the laws on military. We aren't allowed instant money for some reason. We were not told about any credit checks or anything other than an extra $30 fee for getting it in 1-2 days. We were not given papers to sign or papers to look over and read or to take home. So before anyone says that I was in a hurry to receive fast money and signed just anything, I read everything that I sign, and we weren't given anything.

    So we filed our taxes on that Friday. I wasn't sure if the money would be affected by the weekend and then that Monday was a holiday, so I call H&R Block on Wednesday January 23 when my money wasn't there. Tuesday and Wednesday would be 1-2 days. On Wednesday I was told by the manager that it was approved by the bank Tuesday night and it would be Thursday at the latest. Thursday comes and goes. Friday I call back and tell them, that there still is no money on there. The manager doesn't know what is going on and says it should have been deposited. She gives me the number to the bank that is supplying the loans this year. (For everyone's information: I found this out after a lot of phone calls HSBC is no longer supplying the loans, H&R Block has a new bank this year called Metabank. I am guessing at the spelling.) So I call MetaBank. They have NO record or our information!!!!! WTF?

    By this point I am pissed but I am still being nice, because they have my money, lol. The bank says that the only thing they can think is either that H&R Block didn't submit the taxes as us getting a refund loan or we were declined, but if we were declined the guy said they should still have a record of us somewhere. (Remember that Wednesday the manager of the H&R Block office said we were approved by the BANK.) Now I am upset. I get other numbers to call. Luckily I call the IRS and they have our information and it is processing and everything is fine there.

    But no one still knows what is going on. I called the manager back and she was supposed to look into things for me and never called me back. She was supposed to call me Saturday January 26th. So I call her this morning Monday January 28th. By this point there is no reason to bother with the bank because this Friday will be the 8-15 days from the IRS. I told her that I am so upset and that we have had it with H&R Block. I also told her that I do not think that we should have to pay fees because of this crap. (I am not a freeloader, I am a customer who is not satisfied and I don't think that we have been treated fairly or like customers should be treated and we should be entitled to a refund if we are charged any fees.) She says that shouldn't be a problem and She will give me a call back. I doubt it though. I will probably have to call her back.

    So now I am waiting on Friday to come to see if the IRS is going to deposit my money into my account or if it is going to go into H&R Block Bank account. Hopefully this doesn't happen because as all of the other complaints have got me worried.

    I will post an update next week and let you know what happened. Good luck to all and to any people who are reading this that haven't gone to H&R Block, DON'T. They say "You got People", and you do but your people don't know what is going on or where your money is and they make no effort to find your money in a timely fashion. So if those are the people you want, you can have them, because we are done!!!


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