Friday, February 07, 2014

H&R Block Online Software Dependent Glitch for Alabama Income Tax Filers

H&R Block Tax Software glitch for AL tax return filers

Alabama Income Tax Filers: If you use H&R Block online software to file your taxes, be aware - there is a glitch in the software when it carries your federal information over to the state tab. Your state tax return will not be accurate if this glitch is present.

I Found a 'Dependent Glitch' in the H&R Block Online Tax Software

I noticed that the information for my dependent was missing after I printed my Alabama tax return. For some reason it did not import the dependent data from the Federal tab to the state tab. I tried everything possible to add this data, but there was no ability to add a dependent on the state tab (see screenshot below).

tax software
Screenshot of AL dependent page of online tax software

After I Discovered the Glitch, I Called H&R Block Customer Support

I called H&R Block customer support. The lady on the phone couldn't figure it out either. She then had me go to the live chat support from the website. He couldn't figure it out, either. Then this guy transferred me over to technical support. He spent at least an hour researching why my dependent information did not carry over to the state return. He came up with a guess why the glitch happened, but it his guess not correct. He thought it didn't carry over because of Alabama's Tax law, but that was not the case.

In the time it took for him to research the problem, I manually did my Alabama tax return using the AL40 with calculations, available on the state website.

Resolution to H&R Block Online Tax Software 'Dependent Glitch'

What I ended up doing was getting a refund of ($36.99) for my AL state portion of the H&R Block online software, and I manually did my AL state return. The technical support guy said what you seem to hear a lot when there is a problem: "I've never seen that glitch happen before. So I am going to give you a refund on your state return."

It did happen, and is a good reason why you should always review your tax information before sending it in, even if you feel confident in the tax software. Tax software can have glitches in it.

I am glad that H&R Block was willing to give me a refund, after all, I am not going to pay for them to give me the wrong data on my individual income tax return.

This was a valuable lesson for me in using tax software, and how I am going to be extra careful in examining my returns in the future when filing my taxes.

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