What’s it Like To Be a Tax Specialist at H&R Block?
All Americans must file their taxes before the deadline in just a few days (Wednesday, April 15 for those who have forgotten). Many of you may have already completed your 2008 taxes well ahead of the deadline and are either enjoying your return, or struggling to save after having to pay. For the rest of you, however, you may be scrambling to pull all of your documents together, planning on heading to an accounting firm like H&R Block and squeaking in just before the cut off. As a result of tax preparation procrastination, it’s a commonly known that tax season is one of those hair-pulling times for accountants or is it? We took a peek inside H&R Block to see what employees really think come tax time.
In 2008, H&R Block worked with 23.5 million individuals on their taxes-many of these going into the more than 13,000 retail offices currently available across the U.S. But for all the effort put into these tax returns, we found that the payout for the individuals working in these offices is between $5 – $11 per hour which is just above minimum wage. (This is less than what Mac Geniuses and Geek Squad employees make to fix your electronics.) So is the rush of tax season and minimal pay worth it? Here’s what some of their employees have to say:
“It’s a great part-time job. The hours are flexible and, if you put effort into it, the training is fantastic.” – Tax Pro, (Location n/a)
“The best reason to work for H&R Block is for the tax preparation experience and meeting people in the community.” – Tax Associate (Tyler, TX)
“If you are looking for an opportunity to earn supplemental income, whether at a second job for already employed professionals or just for a season, H&R Block is a great place to work.” – Office Manager (Odenton, MD)
“I was afraid that we were going to take advantage of clients (i.e. push Refund Anticipation Loans) but they were not pushed at the store level (they were pushed by upper management. I felt like I was helping tax clients.” Tax Specialist (Cincinnati, OH)
“Some clients can be hard to deal with.” – Tax Associate (Kansas City, MO)
“Some of the senior preparers are quite good and others are minimally qualified to prepare returns that their skill level indicates they are qualified for.” – Tax Associate (Redondo, CA)
“Also, the concept of doing personal returns at a retail shop like H&R Block has been dying a slow death for years now with the releases of powerful and intuitive personal tax software and e-filing. So every year, the company suffers more and more customer loss, leading to a lot of stress on management and office leaders since they can’t meet their number goals.” – Tax Associate (Arlington, TX)
“Most office managers have zero training in preparing tax returns; are of no help with client tax issues.” – Tax Preparer (Brentwood, CA)
The comments from employees at H&R Block seem pretty balanced – some good and some not so good -which probably leads to the neutral (3.1) company rating. Are you working at H&R Block or another tax preparation service? When you come up for air, tell us how things are going.