How to File a Claim Against H&R Block

Make your voice heard and make H&R Block pay: These are your options!

Every now and again you might have something go wrong when using a service like H&R Block. Maybe you have an issue with your account, something goes wrong with the tax filing service, or you get charged for the wrong type of taxes. This can be particularly challenging and you might wonder how to sue H&R Block. We can help.

H&R Block Customer Service

If you have an issue with your taxes, your payment, or your account, you can contact H&R Block through their help page which has a deluge of information. However, when you want to chat with someone real, there is live support on their website which is available 24/7. If you prefer, you can call them at 1-800-472-5625. Because they file taxes online and in their offices, you can use their site to find an office near you and make an appointment to speak with a real person too. 

But this doesn’t always solve the problem. So what is your next step after the company refuses to fix the problem for you?

Now you go to small claims court.

Arbitration Clause

Why small claims court? Because your contract with H&R Block probably limits your ability to exercise any other lawsuit. Like most companies, they probably have arbitration clauses worked into your user agreement which prohibit you from joining things like class action lawsuits or filing a class-action lawsuit yourself or suing them individually. However you still have options like using small claims court or consumer arbitration.

Is Small Claims Court Suitable?

Now, just because you have the option contractually to use small claims court doesn’t mean that your case qualifies.

The first thing you have to know is that a small claims court will only handle monetary compensation and not equitable compensation.

Basically this means the only thing you can get from H&R Block is money. Considering that the company does taxes and financial services, this is likely the only thing you want from them anyway so that shouldn’t rule out most situations.

The second thing you need to know is that a small claims court in any state has a limit both minimum and maximum on how much money you can ask for in compensation. The average is between $5,000 and $10,000 although a few states have minimums as low as $2,500. Now, if the issue has to do with your taxes and maybe extra fees or fines, you might qualify here.

How to Sue H&R Block in Small Claims Court

Assuming you meet both qualifications the first thing you have to do is send a demand letter. Most small claims courts require that you ask the company you are suing, the defendant, to fix the problem voluntarily before you file any claim against them. So if you want to sue H&R Block you have to first send them a demand letter.

The Demand Letter

This demand letter can be very simple, straightforward, telling them who you are with your contact information and your account number if applicable, what the problem is, and what you want from them. The letter doesn’t have to be more than a few sentences; the whole point is to make sure that you check this box and fulfill this requirement before you step up to the courthouse. Once you have the letter you have to mail a hard copy usually through certified mail (a way to confirm delivery) to their office address:

H&R Block
One H&R Block Way
Kansas City, MO 64105 USA*

*Note: The address you should use will be listed in your individual agreement.

The Court Forms

If they don’t respond to your demand letter, or the response you receive isn’t the one you want, fill out the appropriate court forms. In order to sue H&R Block in small claims court you have to check your state court website for the required set of forms. Fill out every form and verify whether your county provides additional forms. Make sure you have enough copies as well before you go to the court. Some courts require up to three or four copies and if you don’t have enough, you have to go back the next day.

The Filing

Once you get to the courthouse you have to undergo the process called “filing” which is about as bureaucratically complicated and boring as it sounds, but it’s necessary. Many courts require you to physically come to the courthouse to deliver the forms in person to the county clerk. Very few courts will allow you to send it by mail or fax. Every court requires you to pay a small claims court filing fee the amount for which should be published on your court website.

When you file your forms your county clerk will give you a stamped copy with a court date and you should bring those stamped copies to the day of your hearing.

The Serving

Now you have to officially “serve” H&R Block. This is a lengthy process and at this step you have to look at your court website for instructions on how to properly deliver your forms to H&R Block. Courts have very strange rules about how to properly serve the defendant and if you don’t follow them precisely your claim will be dropped, so be very careful about the step.

The Court Hearing

Mark the date given to you by the county clerk on your calendar and show up to the right courthouse, bigger cities and counties may have multiple courthouses, at that time. Bring with you the copy of your filed forms and any other evidence that shows what the issue is with H&R Block and what you’ve done to try and fix it so far. Sometimes H&R Block won’t show up, they won’t have anyone for the defense but you still have to convince the judge of your side.

Consumer Arbitration

If your issue does not qualify because it’s something like H&R Block over charging you for the incorrect tax filing service, only a few hundred dollars for example, you still have the option of consumer arbitration. The steps you follow are somewhat similar to a small claims court but we help you.

Steps to File a Claim Against H&R Block with Consumer Arbitration 

  1. First you submit your complaint to H&R Block. This is an official legal notice that lets them know if they don’t take action now you’re going to pursue further legal action. We make this part easy for you. Just tell us what they did, what you tried to do, and what you want them to do now using our online interface. We generate the legal notice for you and submit on your behalf. 
  2. We also create the hard-copy demand letter in which is a time frame. During that time frame, we tell H&R Block that they can try and fix the problem now but if they don’t buy a specific date, you will go to Consumer arbitration.
  3. Sometimes H&R Block will settle at this point. But if they don’t, you file your arbitration documents with the American Arbitration Association. We file on your behalf with a “documents only” arbitration process. This process means everything is done via document exchange so you don’t have to meet anyone in person or take time off work to try and settle the matter. No marching up and down the courthouse steps every few days. 
  4. The documents are filed with the American Arbitration Association on your behalf after which a case administrator is appointed. Their job is to collect information from both sides about what happened and schedule appointments. An arbitrator is assigned to the case who looks over all the details and then sets a hearing the same as a judge would do. The hearing can also be a document only, again saving you from regular trips to and from the courthouse.

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