Monday, November 27, 2006

H & R Black

I have never been a big fan of the large tax preparation services.

In my humble opinion, their fees are outrageous.

A pound of flesh for preparing your taxes, a pound of flesh for electronic filing your taxes and another pound of flesh for an expedited refund.

I’ve seen some people pay as much as $600-$800 for these combined services.

While that may not seem like a lot of money if you’re getting several thousand back for a refund, if you’re getting $3,000 or less back that’s a significant amount of change.

Robber barons if you ask me.

While large tax preparation services have locations nationwide, I find it especially galling that these businesses pop up like mushrooms in financially underserved communities.

Neighborhoods where there are loads of people who will do your taxes (for a fee), but not a lot of federally or state chartered banks.

Don’t even get me on a rant about Currency Exchanges that offer tax preparation services.

Shit, we’d be here all day.

I was content to let the tax preparation services be---no on is putting a gun to the head of the people who use their services.

But this latest ad that H & R Block has placed on CTA vehicles and common spaces has crossed the line.

The print ad featuring an African American goes a little something like this:

“I got $1,500 back. Without a W-2. I got people.”

You got people, huh?

Now I hope H & R Block isn’t that stupid to run a grammatically incorrect print ad with an African American face with the hopes to solely market to an African American client base.

I would hope that their ad agency has several print ads with that "copy" that run on buses featuring people of all nationalities.

‘Cause I know that they have “people” too.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Can blacks not speak or understand the King’s English? Can corporate American believes that we're so behind the reading and comprehension curve that print ads have to stoop to the lowest common denominator?

I was so offended when I saw those ghetto ass ads.

So instead of firing off a letter to H & R Block where it may fall on deaf ears, I figured I’d do something a little off beat to fix their little red wagon:

I’d let everyone know that if you make $38,000 or less the IRS will prepare your federal return and electronically file it for free.

That’s right kids, free, gratis, nothing---nada.

Hard working people who earn crap money all over this great country of ours shouldn’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars to file their taxes.

Since this is a free service, you more than likely will have to wait a long time at your local IRS office.

Taking a day off of work to get this little task done may not be a bad idea.

Weigh the cost of losing a day’s pay (if you’re paid hourly) or a vacation day (if you’re not) vs. paying a tax preparation service several hundreds of dollars and you’ll have your answer.

When I was eligible to use the service, I found that after my long initial wait, the service was good and the process went smoothly.

I went on a Tuesday and had my federal refund in my account the next Monday.

Did I mention that it was free?

You got people too.

1 comment:

kwintessential said...

I know this is two years later, but now you can do it yourself on line. Again, that is if you make less than $40k per year. The catch with these large tax firms: H&R and Jackson Heweitt, is that they know people want to get their return as quickly as possible. For what reason? To book that trip, down payment on the next car, gambling trip? I have heard so many reasons, and very few point to paying bills. They know the market, and it works for them. This is also why, so many "Check Cashing" or Check and Go places are around "certain" types of neighborhoods. To make sure the debt continues.