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?Thanks,Ken
Has anyone ever taken any of the H&R Block tax courses?I haven't but I'll take this opportunity to point you toward another source of tax law training. And it's free!The IRS runs a program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). In exchange for your working about 4 hours a week from mid-Feb. to mid-April preparing returns for the poor and befuddled, IRS gives you good training in basic tax law. I've been doing this for years, and it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Plus, it's a great way to keep up with the law for free.If you're interested, call the IRS and ask them for your local VITA coordinator.Phil Marti
I took the H&R tax course in preps for working for them one tax season. My intent was to do this as a part time job each tax season. My experience: the training course I took was approx 6 weeks long, couple of evening sessions a week, approx 3 hours each. what I got out of the training: I have always done my own taxes, been doing them for approx 20 years at the time, considered myself pretty well versed on the tax laws for personal income taxes. As a result, I didn't get much out of the course, but what I did observe was the following: -we weren't trained on the tax laws, we were trained on how to fill in the blanks on the most likely used tax forms. -we were basically being prepared to fill in the blanks on a tax form based on the information the clients were expected to provide. IE, if the client didn't provide the information, it wasn't our job to ask for it. In other words, if the client didn't know enough to provide the information, then it was his/her loss. I did work for H&R that tax season, but did it my way. Based on my initial interview of the client, if I sensed there was something they weren't telling me that they should have, then I asked them about it. Guess I felt it was my job to give them the best tax return I could since if they knew what was going on, they wouldn't be there in the first place. But I was able to do this because of my own personal knowledge of the tax laws, not of the training course. Now I don't know why you considering taking the course, but if its for your own personal knowledge, just realize the course may not (say may not because I don't know if its been revamped since I took the course in 1998) tell you everything you need to understand for your own taxes. Afterall, think about it, the basic course that I took was intended to introduce you to the tax forms, what goes in each blank, etc so that you could work for H&R block during the tax season. If you are just thinking of taking the course for your own personal knowledge, recommend getting say a JK Lassiter tax book and reading thru it. Much cheaper and you can do it on your own time.
I've been through the H&R block class. Its alright, but the next year I took a refresher course through a smaller CPA firm. The small CPA firm was far superior to the H&R version. H&R will offer you a job as soon as you complete the course. But there commission sucks!!! I've also ran the VITA program at my school. The program is good, but its geared more towards basic returns.
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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