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Connect the Dots from RedGear to H&R Block

Adam Rust's picture

Posted January 24, 2012

H&R Block owns the tax preparation software company that will channel financial products to tax filers in locations through the United States this year.

RedGear Technologies, based out of Utah, is a subsidiary of H&R Block. Block acquired RedGear a few years ago. RedGear's primary product is TaxWorks, a tax software package designed to help preparers by offering

HSBC Wants Out of Its RAL Contract

Adam Rust's picture

Posted October 18, 2010

H&R Block filed a lawsuit (8-K here) in the Eastern District of Missouri this morning against HSBC that would force the US subsidiary of the British bank to honor their refund anticipation loan agreement.

H&R Block's Katie O'Neill Rauber told reporters that HSBC is citing the IRS' decision to cease to offer the debt indicator as grounds for nullifying their 2005 contract to provide funding for refund anticipation loans.

With the loss of the debt indicator, banks face more risk with RALs. Block had indicated that it has a plan for underwriting these loans. Nonetheless, the risk is much higher than in the recent past. Perhaps the risk is too much for HSBC. It is also possible that the loss of the

My Reflections on the H&R Block Shareholders' Meeting

Adam Rust's picture

Posted October 5, 2010

I had a productive trip to Kansas City on Thursday.

H&R Block's annual shareholder's meeting was held in the theater of the Kansas City Repertory Theater. There was a table set up in the lobby. I signed in. I was the third visitor. The letters "H.K" had been scrawled in the previous entry.

From the start, the leadership at H&R Block was extremely gracious. The General Counsel met to go over some basic ground rules for the meeting. He explained the agenda and directed me to a seat near a microphone. A few minutes later, Alan Bennett introduced himself.

As soon as I sat down, a man in a blue embroidered polyester vest and matching pants turned around. He raised his eyebrows. The message was: I'm with you here.

More RAL Litigation against Tax Preparers

Adam Rust's picture

Posted September 7, 2010

Jackson Hewitt and H & R Block both suffered setbacks in their efforts to defend their refund anticipation loans in New York courts last week.

In Jackson Hewitt Tax Service v. Kirkland, a judge dismissed an effort by Jackson Hewitt to prevent the New York State Division of Human Rights from continuing with its investigation of the marketing of JTX's refund anticipation loans. Kirkland, the Commissioner of the New

Tax Prep in 2011?

Adam Rust's picture

Posted August 6, 2010

The IRS left a big question hanging in the air when it announced that the debt indicator would not return for 2011. The issue is the split refund. The split refund already exists. This year, tax payers were allowed to dedicate a "split" of their refund They said that will study the idea of letting taxpayers split their refund.

RALs aren't going to disappear. Right now, Steve Trager, John Hewitt, Alan Bennett and the other titans of the refund anticipation loan are developing

Rumors about the Debt Indicator

Adam Rust's picture

Posted July 20, 2010

Hanging over the entire retail tax prep sector is the uncertainty about what the IRS will do to the debt indicator. During his comments in May to CERCA, Mark Ernst made it clear that he expects better results from the program.  Here is part of what he said back then:

The Debt Indicator as it is currently delivered is a public good – meaning the IRS provides this information so that consumers can get an advantage they wouldn’t be able to get otherwise. In as much as the DI is the primary underwriting tool, that advantage should really come in the form of lower prices. But in fact prices are higher for RALs today  than they were when the DI didn’t exist. That suggests that the entire value of the DI is going to industry participants and none is going to consumers when, arguably, all of its value should go to consumers.

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