During the presidential campaign, bellowing fast food connoisseur Donald J. Trump said that his tax policy was to “Put H&R Block out of business.” So, how’s that going? Well, last month he said, “We’re going to simplify very greatly the tax code. It’s too complicated. H&R Block probably won’t be too happy,” adding, “Other than […]
In case you missed it because no one really cares, the eggheads over at the AICPA have been engaged in a feud with the pot-stirrers over at H&R Block, presumably because the AICPA thinks more average Joes should engage the services of a large accounting firm to process their 1040s rather than some guy named […]
The IRS estimates that in 2016 American taxpayers will spend 8.9 billion hours preparing and filing taxes. To put that in perspective, 8.9 billion hours is 1,015,286 years or the amount of time it takes to play about three games of Monopoly. The report goes on to estimate the cost of compliance at $409 billion. […]
As we told you on Wednesday, the AICPA wasn't too happy about a video from H&R Block that promoted its new service, Block Advisors. In that post, we shared with you a template of the letter the AICPA sent to Bill Cobb, H&R Block's CEO. That letter, among other things, requested that he "remove these […]
With about a month until April 15th…I mean, 18th, taxpayers who haven’t filed their returns yet are probably starting to feel the pressure. A big issue for these procrastinators is how they get their tax return prepared: Do they do it themselves? Pay a CPA? Or shop around the tax return discount shops?
In case you hadn't heard, Sunkist-epidermic galoot Donald Trump has taken some lumps in recent days in his pretend run for president. However, in order to milk this thing for all it's worth, DJT has kept up appearances and in an effort to avoid talking about how Megan Kelly handed him his ass, discussed the […]
Earlier this week, tax return assembly line H&R Block announced that it was looking for a few good accountants to join its Block Small Business service. They'll be filling six positions in the next six weeks and "an additoinal 15 to 30" in the next 12 months. This includes Accounting Operations Managers who "are […]
I'm not a music snob, but I have my preferences. Listening to Abba makes me want to punch a kitten. But I don't. Partly because I'm afraid of Adrienne, and partly because my subjective preferences don't justify violent acts towards animals that use their sandpaper tongues to clean their buttholes. [Ed. note: I will personally […]
Is this turning into the most violent tax season ever or what? First the guy in Detroit shooting people over his lady friend not getting her refund in cash and now this. A Missouri man is facing a third degree assault charge after he allegedly choked the shit out of an H&R Block employee. Guess […]
Kinda like a thoughtless relative or friend who completely forgot your birthday: “H&R Block appreciates that the issue involving the filing of Form 8863 this past tax season may have frustrated and inconvenienced impacted clients,” a statement from the Kansas City-based company said. “H&R Block recently sent those clients who had their tax returns prepared and filed […]
Three hundred fifty preparers and two hundred locations won't be included in any future tax seasons: Kansas City-based H&R Block said the company plans to eliminate 350 positions and close about 200 underperforming offices. The announcement was part of a broad strategic realignment that the company announced Wednesday. H&R Block said the plans were designed to […]
The Kansas City Business Journal reports that former McGladrey President (and former Andersen Global Managing Partner) C.E. Andrews had his employment contract terminated by H&R Block yesterday. But don't worry, his landing will be nice and soft: According to a separation agreement, Andrews will receive cash payments totaling $957,226, minus deductions. He also will receive […]
More specifically, he was told that his services were no longer needed: Here is the scoop on why I am leaving McGladrey… Given the recent $600 million transaction that McGladrey completed this fall, there have been some resulting changes – one of which is a significant restructuring. As a result, I was informed recently […]
Okay so maybe Sears isn't "desperate" but they did announce 100+ would be closed this year and maybe H&R Block isn't "desperate" but they no longer offer refund anticipation loans. Couple that with the news that Jackson Hewitt has 2,800 tax prep kiosks in Walmart stores, one might conclude that the brain trusts at Sears and […]
Back in August, we learned that 1040 factory H&R Block was putting RSM McGladrey (aka McGladrey) out to pasture. By all accounts, H&RB was pretty excited to get rid of RSM (aka McGladrey), as the business was a bit of a drag on the rest of the company.
Crain’s reports that the deal finally closed today and at least one McGladrey (aka McGladrey) partner is equally excited to have their old RSM (aka McGladrey) back:
The move means the reunited McGladery, which has 6,500 employees—600 of them in New York—should be better positioned to compete against such industry-leading firms as PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte. “We are a great alternative to the Big Four,” said Tom Ferreira, who heads McGladrey’s Northeast practice. […] “We’re happy to be independent again, all together under one roof,” he said.
Your loss, H&RB (not aka McGladrey).
Earlier this week we were reminded that Warren Buffett is tired of being coddled and paying a lower tax rate (as a percentage of his total income) than his secretary. President Obama, not one to ignore an opportunity, called attention to WB’s comments that rich people should be paying more taxes while he was on the stump in Minnesota.
On the other side, Grover Norquist, who has never met a tax he didn’t hate, offered up a Twitter rebuttal suggesting that the Oracle shut his Blizzardhole and cut the check to Tim Geithner.
Now another fairly well off dude, H&R Block co-founder Henry Bloch has come out in agreement with Buffett, telling the Kansas City Fox affiliate that “[the] current tax code gives too many breaks to the rich.” Bloch, a registered Republican also takes issue with the notion that rich people create jobs, saying that’s “baloney” and that “Rich people don’t create jobs. Companies create jobs.”
Bloch continued on his rant, wondering why the peasants are taking this so well and then reminded the reporter interviewing him that he was one of those people.
Bloch says the middle class should be furious that the rich pay so little in taxes, hiding money in trusts and with their kids. “You probably pay a higher rate than I do… and yet my income is probably many times what yours is.” Bloch said to FOX 4 Reporter Rob Low.
Unconfirmed reports have indicated Mr. Low then hung his head in shame while Bloch’s stepped away to maintain the space between them.
Suspicious person/circumstance. 3:39 p.m. Sunday. 22400 block of Antonio Parkway. A woman was seen in front of H&R Block, saying that she is Jesus and dancing around.
Hard to say. But “Blockheads” would need to be careful.
It might have been funny if there had been glass in the window and our actor hit his head on it but otherwise we’re especially glad they didn’t involve any scenes with Miggs.
Tom Bloch is so ready in fact that he wants his to go up first.
“Congress will have no choice, in my opinion, but to raise taxes sooner rather than later.
“I also believe that the rich are significantly under-taxed compared to the middle class. That’s why I suggest that raising taxes on the very wealthiest taxpayers must be the first step toward restoring equity in our income tax system and ensuring the financial security of our children’s future.”
US taxes are too low, should be raised: H&R Block heir [PhillyDeals]
Call it the discount 1040 wars (or something):
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc sued H&R Block Inc to stop a new advertising campaign that it said misleads customers about tax refund loans and disparages Jackson Hewitt’s competence.
How disparaging? How about “two-thirds of the tax returns are wrong” disparaging:
According to the complaint, H&R Block falsely claimed that its “Second Look Review” program, which reviews past tax returns prepared by rivals, found that two-thirds of prior returns prepared by Jackson Hewitt contained mistakes.
“H&R Block’s 2 out of 3 claim necessarily implies the false claim that two out of three Jackson Hewitt customers who are entitled to refunds have been short-changed due to Jackson Hewitt errors or incompetence,” the complaint said.
Allegedly! Knowing the city of Lincoln, Nebraska like we do, it’s entirely possible that these two bros were simply still not over the Husker football team’s dismal display in the last two games of the season and this shitty refund was simply the kernel that busted the storage bin.
Lincoln police said one man was arrested after he refused to leave H&R Block when he became upset with his tax refund. And the man’s brother is accused of stealing an employee’s vehicle, according to police.
Authorities were called when Joshua Brown, 26, refused to leave the H&R Block on O Street. They said he was upset with his refund and insisted on talking with all the tax professionals in the building. Officers said they removed him from the property and cited him for trespassing and fail to disperse.
A half-hour later, officers said they were called back to the same business regarding a stolen Ford Explorer. An employee found her car and keys missing, police said.
Officers said Brown was inside the business with his brother, 31-year-old Michael Medina. Police said they found the Ford Explorer in the parking lot across from the brothers’ apartment on 10th Street. Police said Medina was arrested on auto theft charges.
Summers exit lets Obama retool team and message [Reuters]
“The departure of economic adviser Larry Summers opens the way for President Barack Obama to shake up leadership of his economic team and show he is taking seriously growing public frustration over the sluggish economic recovery.
Whoever replaces Summers ions constrained by a record $1.47 trillion budget deficit and the possible Democratic loss of control of the House of Representatives in November 2 congressional elections.”
The Obama Tax Plan: Who’s in the Crosshairs? [TaxVox]
“President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the nation’s highest income households may not quite mean what you think. A closer look suggests that fewer people may get whacked than either Obama or his Republican critics suggest. And for many of the victims, the club won’t be the president’s plan to raise rates to 36 percent and 39.6 percent. Those rate hikes may be getting most of the attention, but the real cudgel would be higher taxes on capital gains and dividends going to high-earners.”
H&R Block Announces New Chief Financial Officer [MarketWatch]
“H&R Block (HRB 12.82, -0.08, -0.62%) announced today the appointment of Jeff Brown as chief financial officer. Brown has been the company’s interim CFO for the past five months. As an eight-year veteran of H&R Block, Brown has played an important role in a variety of financial functions.
‘I am very pleased with the leadership Jeff has provided me and the organization in his interim role,; said Alan Bennett, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. ‘Jeff has all the talent and personal characteristics needed to be highly successful as the permanent CFO. He has earned my full confidence, as well as that of the board of directors.’
Most recently, Brown served as H&R Block’s corporate controller. Prior to that, he was the corporate controller and vice president of finance (Americas) at Bacou-Dalloz, now Sperian Protection, and served in key positions at KPMG. Brown has a business administration degree from the University of Nebraska and is a certified public accountant.”
Sentencing of Petters’ accountant is postponed [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]
“Tuesday’s scheduled sentencing of James Wehmhoff, the accountant who helped Tom Petters file false tax returns, has been postponed until sometime in October. The postponement was ordered by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle at his own behest.
Wehmhoff faces a prison sentence of between 70 and 80 months on tax charges, but federal prosecutors have asked Kyle to consider Wehmhoff’s cooperation in the Petters investigation and his previously “unblemished” career before he hooked up with Petters Group Worldwide. The government also noted that Wehmhoff was not part of the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme that Petters and others orchestrated for more than 10 years.”
KPMG Continues to Add Restructuring Talent With Appointments of Tony Murphy, Tom Bibby [PR Newswire]
The House of Klynveld must be counting on more companies falling prey to their massive debt loads with the appointment of Tony and Tommy who both have “proven track records” as restructuring professionals.
Accounting Basics: A Guest Post From Robert B. Walker [Re:The Auditors]
“[New Zealand] follows an American model in which people who are to become accountants are ‘educated’ in Universities. There is minimal emphasis on double entry. Most of the courses are dedicated to theory, bullshit sociology, complex management accounting, auditing and so on. None of this makes any sense to a student if they first do not know the basics of accounting and that can only be gained by actually practicing the discipline.”
Comparing the Ethics Codes: AICPA and IFAC [JofA]
“Sharp increases in the number of multinational audits being performed by U.S. accounting firms means that more CPAs are performing services under the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) audit and attest standards. Although auditors must comply with the specific standards adopted in each jurisdiction, familiarity with IFAC’s International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (IESBA Code) in addition to the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct (AICPA Code) is a critical first step. When specifications differ, members should comply with the more restrictive of the applicable standards.”
Herz Leaving Marks Boon for Banks [WSJ]
“A new front has opened up in the war over mark-to-market accounting. Suddenly banks find themselves with an unexpected advantage in the fight over how they should value their vast holdings of financial instruments.
T rprise announcement Tuesday of the departure of Robert Herz as chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. This will give banks an opportunity to push for a successor who is more friendly to their views on the mark-to-market question, as well as the overall idea that accounting should be for more than just investors.”
Former Chief Accounting Officer for Beazer Homes USA, Inc. Indicted on 11 Criminal Counts [FBI]
Michael Rand didn’t have a very good day yesterday.
Block ramped up federal lobbying efforts in second quarter, report says [AP]
H&RB lobbied their asses off from April to June spending $500k talking the ears off at the IRS, Treasury and SEC.
American Apparel Works To File Late 10-Q Before Nov 15 [Dow Jones]
The NYSE has put Dov & Co. on notice that they best get their act together if they don’t want to be sent slumming with the pink sheets. The company is promising to pull things together and if it weren’t for Deloitte quitting, everything would be a-okay.
Fact Checking Minority Leader Boehner’s Claims on “Small Business” and the “Bush” Tax Cuts [Tax Foundation]
In case you didn’t hear, John Boehner suggested that the President fire his entire economic team. Boehner is of the opinion that letting the tax cuts expire will hurt small businesses, citing the Joint Tax Committee. Tax Foundation takes exception with this, saying that the Ohio Congressman and House Minority Leader is misrepresenting the findings of the JTC:
“First off, the businesses that JCT is referring to are not necessarily ‘small.’ Saying the word ‘small business’ sounds good to the electorate because it brings up an image of a mom and pop store on Main Street America. But plenty of large businesses, as defined by net income or gross receipts, file their taxes under the individual income tax as opposed to the corporate income tax. Merely because a business is paying individual income taxes as opposed to corporate taxes does not mean it is ‘small.’ ”
Statement From Chairman Schapiro on Financial Accounting Foundation Developments [SEC]
“I commend the Financial Accounting Foundation for its ongoing efforts to evaluate and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the structure and operation of the Financial Accounting Standards Board by increasing the size of the Board. The Foundation has determined that this revised structure will facilitate the continuing efforts of the FASB to work with the International Accounting Standards Board on their important convergence work plan. In addition, this should enhance the ability of the FASB to address issues facing the U.S. capital markets and the needs of investors.
“I also would like to commend FASB Chairman Robert Herz for his more than eight years of service. During his tenure, Chairman Herz has served as an effective investor advocate to improve the quality of financial reporting standards around the world. I welcome the appointment of Leslie Seidman as Acting Chairman. During this interim period, I look forward to working with Acting Chairman Leslie Seidman and the FASB as they continue their important work.”
Twenty something day-trader nailed with $172M bill in back taxes, asks ‘What’s the IRS?’ [NYDN]
How does a barely surviving Spaniard end up owing over $170 million to the IRS? For starters, he really doesn’t owe the Service the money. The problem arose because he didn’t file a tax return for one year that he spent day trading. The Service concluded that he made $500 million.
China Traffic Jam Could Last Weeks [WSJ]
Today, be thankful for your commute. No matter how bad it was, at least the drive/ride ended.
BP Completes Cementing Macondo Oil Well From Top [Bloomberg]
“BP Plc completed a cement plug at the top of its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, sealing off the source of millions of gallons of oil spewed into the sea after a drilling rig exploded in April.
The procedure completes the so-called t stage for BP is to finish a relief well to inject cement at the bottom and ensure there’s no leakage inside the 13,000-foot-long (3,962 meters) well bore beneath the seabed, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said yesterday.”
Ten Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job: The Finance Edition [FINS]
Check yourself for some of these symptoms: “You’ve been holding back from voicing your grievances.”; “You have no clue where the company is headed.”; “You start to believe you can’t do better.”
And that’s just in the first five listed.
Altus completes PricewaterhouseCoopers deal [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
PwC sells their real estate appraisal management for, what we can only assume to be, a decent chunk of change.
H&R, Jackson Hewitt shares fall on new IRS rule [Reuters]
“Shares of top two U.S. tax preparers H&R Block Inc (HRB.N) and Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc (JTX.N) fell Thursday on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to eliminate debt indicator for tax-refund loans.
On Thursday, the IRS said starting with next year’s tax filing season it will no longer provide tax preparers and associated financial institutions with ‘debt indicator,’ which is used to facilitate refund anticipation loans (RALs).”
Two UHY LLP Partners Recently Named to Prominent Standard-Setting Implementation Groups [Market Wire]
“The national CPA firm of UHY LLP announced today the recent appointment of Houston-based partner Ana Denena to the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) Small and Medium-sized Entities Implementation Group. In a separate appointment, the firm announced that Maryland-based partner Jennine Anderson was named to the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) resource group on non-profit entities.”
PCAOB Adopts New Risk Assess. Stds; Issues Release on Failure to Supervise [FEI Financial Reporting Blog]
As we mentioned yesterday, the PCAOB has been busy. Francine McKenna guest-blogged over at FEI and gives the rundown.
Fannie Quarterly Loss Is Smallest Since 2007 [WSJ]
FTW? “Fannie Mae posted a $1.2 billion net loss for the second quarter, the smallest loss in three years, amid signs that the massive wave of souring loans that brought down the mortgage-finance giant may be easing. But Fannie still asked the U.S. government for an additional $1.5 billion.”
District Court Issues Order in Snipes Case [TaxProf Blog]
Just when you thought it was over.
If you’re not getting cloud computing you’re a loser [AccMan]
That is, you’ve got almost nothing to lose by going for it.
Deloitte leadership race reduced to two hopefuls [Accountancy Age]
“he contest to replace John Connolly as leader of Deloitte in the UK will involve just two members of the firm’s board.
The contenders vieing for the top job are Martin Eadon, head of audit, and David Sproul, head of tax. Sproul joined Deloitte when the firm acquired Andersen in the UK on the back of the Enron crisis
Both candidates gave presentations at the firm’s partner conference on 6 July but no further campaigning is expected.”
Liberty Tax CEO Floats Combining With H&R Block [AP]
John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax, is hinting that maybe he’d like to merge with H&RB, “John Hewitt, founder and CEO of Liberty Tax Service, said Monday he is trying to contact departing board member Thomas Bloch to discuss the potential for combining his privately held company with Kansas City, Mo.-based H&R Block.
‘With my leadership and the name and backing of the Bloch family, we could put a great company going back in the right direction,’ said Hewitt.”
We didn’t say it was a subtle hint.