H&R Block vs TurboTax: CAT FIGHT!

by Ron Haynes

H&R Block is taking serious offense at two new TurboTax commercials saying they demean plumbers and retail clerks who may moonlight as a tax preparer.

As a matter of fact, H&R Block sent me an email this morning from their CEO, Bill Cobb. Here it is:

Dear Clients and Future Clients,

Today is the first day of tax season and you might think I am writing an open letter in this forum to tell you that we are ready for you – and we are! But the real reason I am writing is because I am offended that TurboTax is targeting our 90,000 H&R Block tax professionals in a series of commercials that we believe to be false and misleading.

TurboTax® is trying to promote itself on the backs of our tax professionals, misusing our nearly 60-year-old brand and taking cheap shots at hardworking plumbers, retail sales clerks, not to mention millions of Americans holding down two jobs – we say no way; not on our watch.

I am incredibly proud of our tax professionals who for nearly six decades have built the H&R Block brand, anchored by trust – and I will not let them be tarnished by some overzealous marketing campaign.

I would never disparage their people, but let me set the record straight about ours:

  • We are the largest tax preparer in the industry1.
  • We sign and stand behind every return we prepare for our clients in our offices.
  • Since 1955 we have prepared and signed more than 500 million tax returns in our offices – TurboTax® has prepared and signed 0.
  • We have over 7,000 Enrolled Agents (the highest credential awarded by the IRS) – more than any other tax preparation company.
  • At our tax offices, the average client is served by a tax professional with over a decade of experience and hundreds of hours training3.
  • We guarantee the accuracy of returns prepared by H&R Block tax professionals.
  • And if you’re one of the millions of H&R Block At Home® software or online clients, our tax professionals will back you up, if needed, with audit support and in-person audit representation, which only H&R Block At Home® offers at no additional charge.
  • Our first-in-the-industry independent research and analysis advisory group, The Tax Institute, is staffed primarily by CPAs, tax attorneys, enrolled agents and former IRS agents.

At H&R Block, we believe in our people. And you can meet some of these exceptional people for yourselves at #IAMHRBLOCK on Twitter.

On behalf of our tax professionals and all the people of H&R Block, thank you for your respect, your consideration and your business. If we haven’t seen you already this year, we look forward to seeing you soon. Call 1-800-HRBLOCK to make an appointment, or go to H&R Block Online to get started.


Bill Cobb

P. S. And for all the plumbers, retail sales clerks and other hardworking Americans, please know we would be honored to serve you.

Considering the fact that other tax preparation companies utilize part-timers to fill out their software, a Missouri court struck down H&R Block’s attempt to have the ads pulled because there was no evidence they were false or deceptive.

So, in true business fashion, H&R Block came out with an ad of their own!

I’ve personally used H&R Block’s software as well as TurboTax’s software. Each year they are different and since it costs nothing to get started with either of them, whichever one computes the larger refund is who I go with! Tax laws are so complicated and enormous that even PROFESSIONALS have a difficult time coming up with an accurate number.

I’ve used TurboTax for the past few years, but I have also used H&R Block Online for well over a decade. I’ve also used Block’s “tax professionals” twice. One time I had a very knowledgeable lady who was a whiz at taxes. Another time I found myself showing a gentleman (using that term loosely) how to use his own computer.

Whichever system you choose (read TurboTax vs H&R Block: Which One is Better?), just make sure you do your taxes. Don’t worry about the cat fight! Both are easy, both have great software, and while H&R Block offers people to sit down with you and go over your tax situation, not everyone needs that level of hand-holding. Just use the one you’re most comfortable using.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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