As April 15th Looms, H&R Block Offers 24 Hours of Free Tax Advice

Tax Talk Line Open April 7; Call 877-HRBLOCK for Free "Taxpertise"

Kansas City, MO, (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- With a recession in session, taxpayers are counting on every dollar to make ends meet. Job layoffs, sunken stock prices and home foreclosures are forcing many to tap into pension plans, walk away from mortgages and hit the pavement looking for work.

And all of it affects their taxes -- with a deadline just around the corner.

Not to worry. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) has the answers -- fast and free.

Tax Talk Line -- Taxpayers' life line

On Tuesday, April 7, tax experts from H&R Block will offer 24 hours of "taxpertise" -- tax advice for free. Anytime that day, taxpayers can phone or email in their tough tax questions and get free, expert advice. Just call 1-877-HRBLOCK (1-877-472-5625) or e-mail taxtalk@hrblock.com to connect with a tax expert.

These H&R Block tax specialists can help taxpayers wade through issues like cancelled debt, first-time homebuyer credit, penalties for early withdrawals from pension plans and other pressing issues. Common questions include:

  • My home was repossessed. Do I still have to pay taxes?
  • I bought a home for the first time -- but it has wheels -- do I still qualify for that first-time homebuyer credit?
  • I'm traveling to job interviews far from home. What expenses can I deduct?

The Tax Talk Line will be open all day signaling the final-week countdown for taxpayers to either file their taxes, an extension or even an amendment.

The only constant, is change

"There were more than 500 tax code changes last year," said Amy McAnarney, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block. "No wonder taxpayers have questions. With time running out this tax season, now is the time for answers -- especially in today's sluggish economy, with record-high unemployment rates and all the tax law changes."

In fact, a recent survey by The Tax Institute showed that more than 70 percent of taxpayers were unaware of recent legislative changes that could impact their bottom line at tax time.

The survey also showed:

  • Credit confusion. More than 60 percent of those surveyed weren't sure if they could claim a credit or deduction they overlooked on a previous return. (They can -- and that can spell big bucks for taxpayers.)
  • Unemployment confusion. Despite soaring jobless rates, 80 percent of those surveyed are confused about whether unemployment benefits are taxable.

While H&R Block is open year-round to answer taxpayers' questions, the Tax Talk Line offers advice in a hurry with last-minute tax tips kicking off the final week of tax season.

"With the passing of the recent Recovery Act and so many tax law changes last year, it's even more vital now to understand what it takes to get every deduction and credit you are entitled," McAnarney said.

"The Recovery Rebate Credit, Making Work Pay Credit, first-time homebuyer credit and tax implications of unemployment compensation are just a few of the hottest topics on taxpayers' minds," McAnarney said.

The Tax Institute, a division of H&R Block, is a national leader in providing unbiased research, analysis and interpretation of federal and state tax laws. Staffed by Enrolled Agents, CPAs, and Attorneys, The Tax Institute provides industry expertise for matters related to taxes and the professional tax preparation industry.

About H&R Block

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's preeminent tax services provider, having served more than 400 million clients since 1955 and generating annual revenues of $4.1 billion in fiscal year 2008. H&R Block provides income tax return preparation and related services and products via a nationwide network of approximately 13,000 company-owned and franchised offices and through TaxCut(R) online and software solutions. The company also provides business services through RSM McGladrey.

SOURCE: H & R Block

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