Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Homey Don’t Play Dat, H&R Block

It is, in the end, as with most things that go wrong, my fault. 

It states clearly on the Internal Revenue Service website that to free file, your adjusted gross income must be less than $57,000. Our adjusted gross income exceeds that, and for that I am glad. 

But I glossed over that fact as I sped onward through the IRS website to one of the many free-filing services offered out there by companies ranging from TaxAct to TurboTax to H&R Block, the latter which I chose not because of its tax-filing reputation but because they graciously allow spaces in their name. 

But, foolish mortal that I am, I did not heed the IRS’ advice on the free-filing adjusted gross income limit. So the hours I spent putting data into H&R Block’s system were for naught, because as I went to print my returns for my own records, I was told, oopsie, you earned too much money last year, zitbrain, to qualify for free filing. 

They didn’t use words like “zitbrain;” they’re far too couth for that.

But still. That is the only point at which H&R Block told me, oopsie, you can’t file for free. Even though it knew what my adjusted gross income was many, many moons ago. Even though it knew I came to its site from the “Free e-file” page of the IRS website.

It wants me to pay. Not quite 500 pounds and not to someone called Harry the Bastard, but in the neighborhood of $60 which is far, far too much to pay. On top of what I already owe the state of Idaho (thanks for that, Idaho). 

I will file my own taxes, on my own, thank you very much. 

That H&R Block deserves some compensation, I understand. Why it demands compensation at that arbitrary $57,000 limit I can’t fathom, but, you know, it’s a business. They should be paid. They’re offering me audit protection. A real live human to help me do battle with the IRS if their software – or my fat fingering – screwed something up. 

But please. Tell me when the AGI exceeds the free filing limit up front, as soon as it’s calculated, so I can decide then and there if I want to go through the onerous chore of entering all those numbers into your system and then pay to file, or bail right then and there. I know they’re counting on me to capitulate and pay – you’re so close to filing, just give us the freakin’ money!

How do I feel about myself? 

Totally dissed, Homey. 

But Homey don’t play dat. 

Not at all. Homey will use the free fillable forms from the IRS. He doesn’t need to pay.

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