This past weekend, I caught an interesting commercial from H&R Block*. Since we're already 3 months past tax time, I was a little surprised but then I paid closer attention. Instead of touting their tax services, they touted your tax services…

F'ing Taxes, by Beatrice MurchUnless you're one of the millions of people who don't pay income tax, almost everyone who attempts to do their taxes feels like a hopeless incompetent after the first hour. It's even worse if you are working to run your own business, own a home, have investments, etc. Each of those generates another set of forms, with another set of documentation which increase the complexity and stress as you go along. It's even more fun if you call the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) for clarification or more information… they actually have disclaimers that the information they give may not be correct.

Alternatively, you can take all your documentation to a tax preparer/accountant and let then deal with it. They deal with the stress, the information, and basically take some of the legal risk themselves. Unfortunately, depending on your situation and its complexity, this can be quite expensive. Now H&R Block offers a third option…

They'll teach you to do your own taxes.

Sure, you'll have to deal with the details yourself, but part of their focus is in working through and reviewing your past submissions. So immediately, although you're working with a complex and stressful topic, you're working with a set of information you're already intimately familiar with. That should make the work a bit easier to do, but that's not their compelling selling point.

Their selling point is much simpler: Save your money. You can help yourself save money. You can see where you could have saved money in the past – or potentially file amendments to get some money back. And you can make money by using these same new skills for other people. These sorts of classes and work aren't going to be for everyone – personally, I detest the entire process so much, I could never sit through them – but thousands are likely to take the classes and a few hundred of those will try to sell their services and H&R Block will attempt to recruit a few of them…

H&R Block isn't just selling a class… they're selling empowerment.

CaseySoftware, LLC and/or Keith Casey have no interest in H&R Block or any particular tax preparation service.

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