KANSAS CITY, MO–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–February 19, 2003–According to the United States General Accounting Office, last year more than 2 million taxpayers overpaid an estimated $945 million in taxes, an average of more than $400 per tax filer, because they failed to take advantage of deductions and other tax benefits. To make sure that taxpayers avoid tax breaks from remaining unnoticed, H&R Block recommends that they take the Double Check Challenge.
With this free service offered by the nation’s leading tax services firm, a taxpayer can have one of H&R Block’s Spanish-speaking tax professionals review a tax return, filed within the last three years, in order to identify if taxes were overpaid. The company’s experience shows that 89% of those taxpayers who took the Double Check Challenge, had an amended return prepared and filed and received an average of $1,300 back from the IRS. Tax law allows a taxpayer to amend a return up to three year’s prior. For 2003, a taxpayer can amend a 1999, 2000, 2001, tax return up to April 15.
Some commonly overlooked credits and deductions include:
1. Earned Income Credit
2. Mortgage Interest
3. Charitable Contributions
4. Student Deductions
5. Job-hunting Expenses
6. Medical Expenses
7. Eligibility to itemize deductions and not take the standard deduction
“If you have any doubts about the accuracy of your prior tax returns, H&R Block’s free Double Check Challenge can help you identify if any additional tax savings might have been overlooked,” said Noemi Muñoz, a bilingual senior tax advisor. “We want taxpayers to be able to claim every eligible tax benefit the tax laws allow. It could mean more money in your pocket.”
Muñoz cites the case of Annette Lozano, a successful double check candidate from Los Angeles, as an example of how the service really helps people save money.
“I never thought that university tuition, doctor visits, and the costs of remodeling my house were tax deductible, until an H&R Block professional informed me of these deductions. She helped me re-file my taxes and told me that I would receive $1,000 in return. I was extremely satisfied,” Lozano said.
Lozano states, “There are so many things to learn and benefit from seeing an H&R Block professional. People like me, who are not up to date with the tax law changes, will never know all of the pertinent deductions and credits available to them.”
The Double Check Challenge is a free service that can help tax filers take advantage of all tax deductions, including those mentioned above. The challenge requires clients to bring in copies of their past returns, for up to three years, to an H&R Block office to have them reviewed. If an omission is discovered, H&R Block will provide advice to the taxpayer on tax savings and taxpayer may choose to have an amended tax return prepared. There is a fee for having the amended return prepared and filed.
Tax filers who are interested in learning more about the Double Check Challenge or for those who want to take the challenge can visit http://www.hrblock.com or call 1-800HRBlock.
About H&R Block:
H&R Block Inc. (http://www.hrblock.com,http://hrblock.com>) is a diversified company with subsidiaries that deliver tax services and financial advice, investment and mortgage products and services, and business accounting and consulting services. As the world’s largest tax preparation company, H&R Block served nearly 21 million clients during fiscal year 2002. Clients were served at the approximately 10,400 H&R Block retail offices worldwide and through the company’s award-winning software, TaxCutâ, and its online tax services. H&R Block is the only major tax and financial services company that focuses primarily on helping middle-income taxpayers achieve their financial goals. Investment services and securities products are offered through H&R Block Financial Advisors Inc., member NYSE, SIPC. H&R Block Inc. is not a registered broker-dealer. H&R Block Mortgage Corp. offers retail mortgage products. Option One Mortgage Corp. offers wholesale mortgage products and a wide range of mortgage services. RSM McGladrey Inc. serves mid-sized businesses with accounting, tax and consulting services.
Patricia Alvarado, 305-520-9011
Janine Smiley, 816-932-4871