Tuesday, January 27, 2009


It seems to me that comments to blog posts, which on occasion contain some excellent points or additional information on a subject, often get “lost in the shuffle”.

Below are some comments to recent posts at THE WANDERING TAX PRO that I feel deserve a wide audience -

Here is what “Indie Tax Pro” had to say about my comments on Henry and Richard (the highlight is mine) -

Ha I love the reference to ‘fast food’ tax chains! I got my career started at H & R Block, and some of my co-workers were like me - Accounting majors just looking for that first job to put on their resume, but hoping to work at real accounting firms after graduation. But so many of the others were just very unprofessional; they did sloppy jobs on the returns and really had no idea what they were doing. And their prices WERE ridiculous considering half of the people on my shift couldn't do basic math.

Although Block takes advantage of poor people, they're still nothing compared to Jackson Hewitt and Liberty - loan sharks preying on the uneducated. And you're absolutely right about the tax software, it's extremely faulty and although honest mistakes can be made such as the slip of just one digit, the TaxCut excuse unfortunately doesn't hold up in court

On the subject of Henry and Richard, Trish (actually fellow tax blogger Trish McIntire of OUR TAXING TIMES) provides more information on their recent tv ads that tell you to bring your last pay stub in to get an advance of $1,000 –

Actually the pre-season money Block is offering is even worse than you explained. That type of program was ended in 2007 when the banks involved realized how much money they lost with the pay stub loans.
What Block is offering now is a credit card that is loaded with up to $1000 (less the annual fee.) While a paystub and prior year returns are needed, much of the decision is based on their credit rating. I have not seen the fine print this year, but last year it was a pre-paid type card with a 9% interest. If it was paid back by the date in the paperwork, the rate stayed the same but if it wasn't the rate went to 26%. Since this was a pre-paid card, you had to not only pay back the advance but also bring the card back to a fully prepaid level. If you had received $1000 advance and used all of that, you would pay back $2000 to keep the lower interest rate. Then you could be subject to a bunch of little fees for just using the card

The sneaky bastards!

And here “Anonymous” (a most prolific commenter – I see his responses on blogs everywhere!) discusses another problem with the Earned Income Credit -

Any other problems with the EITC aside, my complaint about it is that it is unfairly age-discriminatory -- single people must be at least age 25 to qualify, even if they met the income requirements at an earlier age.

If a person no longer qualifies to be claimed as a dependent by someone else (which would still keep parent-supported college students from getting it), they should be equally EITC-eligible, regardless of whether they are age 19, 24, 25, 45, whatever.

An independent single 24-year-old who earns $10,000 this year is not any less poor than an independent single 25-year-old who earns $10,000 this year.

As long as the EITC continues to exist, this ought to be fixed

To respond – While Anon does make a good point, I expect that the Congress did not want to provide the benefit to college students whose earned income is low because they are full-time students or to those just starting out in the workforce and therefore not earning much.

If you have read a post at TWTP, or elsewhere, that you found interesting or helpful why not return every so often to see if there are any comments. I sometimes get comments to posts many, many months after they have been published.

And please, if you have something to say about or add to one of my posts please comment away!

A word of warning – comments are not to be used for the sole purpose of “tooting your own horn”, although you may do so in the context of a genuine comment, or selling a product. I suggest you check out my post “Comments on Comments”.

So – any comments?


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