One of the biggest frustrations this tax filing season was the processing delay of around 600,000 returns because of improperly completed education tax credit claims on Form 8863.
Although the Internal Revenue Service didn't provide any details on where the returns in question came from, many of the problematic forms were prepared by H&R Block.
The Kansas City-based tax preparer didn't get specific either, but it acknowledged the error in its blog. Bill Cobb, the company's CEO and president, soon thereafter issued an online apology to customers.
Last week, Block sent affected customers facing delayed tax refunds a $25 prepaid debit card. According to the company's statement:
"H&R Block appreciates that the issue involving the filing of Form 8863 this past tax season may have frustrated and inconvenienced impacted clients.
H&R Block recently sent those clients who had their tax returns prepared and filed in company-owned locations its sincerest apologies and a $25 Emerald Card gift card to account for any processing delay and express thanks for their patience in this matter."
The statement reiterated the company's position that the refund problems are from processing the forms, not from any actions by Block personnel.In addition to being a financial mea culpa, the gift card amount is also this week's By the Numbers figure.
Some still unhappy: Based on comments posted at the Facebook page started by frustrated H&R Block customers, as well as at Block's page, some customers have received the gift cards.
But not all are mollified: "H&R Block is giving a $25 gift card for people that are affected by the screw up. Wow $25. I paid $350 for them to file my taxes."
The company also is still facing lawsuits in connection with the filing snafu. In addition to seeking refunded filing fees, the plaintiffs also want compensation for their losses incurred because they had to wait for their federal tax refunds.
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