Personal Finance

H&R Block - Debit Card Fees

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 15th, 2009 12:04 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 28, 2008
590 posts
110 upvotes
Rural Ontario

H&R Block - Debit Card Fees

In case anyone is deciding to use H&R Block this year for your income tax filing, you may want to make sure you read the fine print before opting for the "Cash Back" service option:

Link Here.

$1.50 for each debit transaction. $1.99 for each ATM withdrawal. These fees will surely eat up any balance quickly.

On the other side, if you decide to go the direct deposit route, they charge an extra $40 for this "service" claiming it costs them more to provide this to you. Talk about bending you over a barrel. My opinion is stay away from H&R for taxes and find another company or accountant that doesn't gouge you for your hard earned money.
8 replies
Sr. Member
Sep 14, 2003
977 posts
2 upvotes
H&R is a business.

From your link, the daily withdraw limit is $5k so just goto your bank and withdraw your entire refund for $1.50, which IMHO is pretty cheap.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 27, 2007
5053 posts
923 upvotes
Peterborough
H&R Block is terrible - the convenience store of tax preparers - one on every corner.

Anyone that uses H&R deserves to pay through the nose - they are not smart.
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 28, 2008
590 posts
110 upvotes
Rural Ontario
bembem wrote: H&R is a business.

From your link, the daily withdraw limit is $5k so just goto your bank and withdraw your entire refund for $1.50, which IMHO is pretty cheap.
You can only withdraw through an ATM and only to the nearest $20. Plus, here is a note from the link: "each Interac ATM will have its own daily withdrawal limit, however, multiple merchant ATM
Deal Addict
Nov 26, 2005
3097 posts
260 upvotes
Vancouver
how hard is it for CRA to direct deposit refund? if file electronically, refund should be in 2 weeks.
Sr. Member
Apr 9, 2008
534 posts
292 upvotes
Toronto
I saw people use its debit card to buy a whopper combon at BK. What a waste...
[OP]
Sr. Member
User avatar
Dec 28, 2008
590 posts
110 upvotes
Rural Ontario
ccyk wrote: how hard is it for CRA to direct deposit refund? if file electronically, refund should be in 2 weeks.
Exactly. That's the way to go. But I guess there are some people who want "cash in hand".

The whole H&R Block Debit Card idea sounds predatory to me. Lower income people who don't want to spend extra to wait the two weeks (or can't financially wait two weeks) and then are hit with extra fees which knocks down the money they need (either knowingly or unknowingly).

It would be interesting to hear the H&R pitch at the time to see if they actually disclose the fee schedule or try and muddle it so people don't pick up on it or it doesn't sound so bad.
Jr. Member
Dec 10, 2007
138 posts
Calgary
can you not just get a cheque from them? i read the link, who has trouble cashing cheques? they say something about not having to goto a cheque cashing place... why would that be neccesary, just deposit it into your bank.

what a dumb idea, why would anyone choose this debit card BS.
Sr. Member
Jul 25, 2006
917 posts
44 upvotes
Hamilton
I'm working there this year for tax season to add some experience to my resume. I'm not sure who is charging $40 for direct deposit, I think someone misunderstood the options. There are a few choices. If you qualify for cash back you are charge 15% of the first $300 and 5% of the rest of your refund - these rates are called a discounting fee and our set by the government. This is the fee for the tax preparation instead of paying a flat fee. You have to have a refund of at least $75 plus meet some other criteria eg. no have certain warnings come up such as overdue student loans, married but filing without your spouse (because we can't verify their income which has a place on your return, other various circumstances) If were a full time student during the year it is $30 or the above % whichever is less. If you choose cash back you have the option to take a western union money order or a debit card. Some people may not choose the money order because some banks (not all) are holding them for a period like a check, some people don't have bank accounts and would have to pay a fee at a cheque cashing place. In some of these cases the debits card is cheaper if you can take most of it out at an ATM, or you have a big purchase to make and you will use it all in one interac transaction. I've had people who were just laid off and have rent due an therefore need the money right away.

If you want to wait for the CRA to send you your refund than you have to pay a fee for your tax preparation based on what was entered on the return. Students pay a flat rate of $30, seniors are $40, if all you have are government slips eg. Social Assistance, CPP, OAS than it is $40. A basic return costs $70 I believe & will increase as you add extras like investment expenses or medical expenses and other "more complex" items. In most cases it is actually cheaper to get cash back if you are eligible because you would have to have an $800 refund (15% of $300 = $45 + 5% of $500 = $25, $45+$25 = $70) before the flat fee became cheaper and that's only if it's a basic return. If you owe money you obviously have to pay the flat fee. Hopefully that clears up the fees.

As for whether you should pay H&R block to do your taxes, that's a decision that's different for everyone based on your own tax knowledge and complexity of your situation. Some clients I do returns for could easily do them on their own for cheaper, but others would definitely miss items that affect their refund. I had one client who had their return prepared elsewhere and then decided to go to H&R block instead - Their refund went from $100 to $1100 because of a carry forward from a previous year that was forgotten about. Also many clients are unaware of things like the child fitness tax credit, or the number of things that qualify as medical expenses.

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