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Author: albin1 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121223  
Subject: Re: H&R Block Tax course Date: 1/1/2002 6:46 PM
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Has anyone ever taken any of the H&R Block tax courses? I am considering taking them next year and I was wondering if they are worth it? Also does anyone have info on the costs, what they cover, and how long the courses are?

I've read the previous two replies with a rather "thumb's down" rating.
Here are my 2cents.... and two thumb's up.
I have taken this course last year (2001). It took about 11 weeks, with 3hours, twice a week - for a total of 66hours of classroom instructions. You need about another 44 to 66 hours of homework time (depending if you want to do just the bare bones homework or dig a little deeper and cross reference some of the things you've learned with Pub.17, etc.).
I would rate the class material "very excellent". Enough real world examples to guide you along the learning curve. I was also lucky enough to have had an excellent instructor. She not only knew "taxes", but was able to present everything in a very organized and palatable way.

If you expect to become a tax expert after 100 hours of reading tax material - save yourself the cost, trouble and disappointment.
The course walks you through a 1040, finding the correct filing status, dependencies, itemized deductions, exemptions, credits, brief schedule D, small business information, schedule C, deprecations, 401k's and IRA's, pension income, schedule E, and some more .

In a nutshell, the knowledge gained through the course will enable you to do about 70% of most peoples tax returns. But most of all, you will have a good basic understanding on filing status (that's 50% of a good return right there) and where to get started on a 1040, etc. and what to do if a more complex return comes about.

Since you are here on the "fools", I assume that you do have Schedule D interest. You won't learn the intricacies of wash sales or complex day traders Sch. D's. But you will learn enough to manage a few simple trades and how to put them on a Sch. D.
You won't walk away as a business tax expert - but know enough to do a tax return for many small business people or an employee with unreimbursed business expenses and/or mileage charges.

COST:
In my part of the country (WA state), it usually costs $ 149.- ($99.- if you prepay in full before start of classes). However, I think the cost might vary from region to region.

I do have to agree with the previous posters, you can learn everything yourself just by reading Publication 17, and related material or one of the BIG yearly tax volumes out there (like J.K. Lasser's).

Even though I knew taxes before I went to the course, I still walked away with lot's more learned and info I didn't even know existed.

Regards ...

albin.e
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