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(How To) Double-check Returns Filled Out Using Tax Software

Update: Good news! It's not the error I thought it was! I had a $2000 credit that wasn't showing up on the screen. I've amended the title of the post to reflect that it's not an error with the tax table, and struck the text that isn't applicable below. The rest is a lesson in double-checking your taxes if you've filled them out using software.

Original title: PSA: H&R Block online's tax tables might be very wrong (updates)

I made the unpleasant discovery tonight as I was reviewing my form, that the H&R Block online edition has miscalculated the tax I owe the IRS this year. They did correctly calculate my taxable income, but suggested I was owed a refund this year. This struck me as quite odd, seeing as my taxable income for 2014 was comparable to my taxable income for 2013, and I remembered paying the IRS what seemed like a significant portion of my bank account last spring. I checked the IRS tax tables, and found the error.


H&R Block's tax tables are off by thousands of dollars, in my case. By exactly increments of thousands of dollars. What I think happened: the IRS tax tables include commas. Everything after the comma is correct. Someone really messed up, whether it was in incorrectly reading a CSV file, or otherwise incorrectly parsing the IRS tables.

H&R Block has all sorts of fancy guarantees for errors on their part but there are an awful lot of hoops to jump through, so it's just better to get your taxes right in the first place. For an easy check, if your circumstances haven't changed much from last year, compare your taxes. And with your taxable income in hand, check the 2014 tax table.


P.S. Please share far and wide. Getting your taxes wrong is no fun.

Update 1: I called the H&R Block help line, got a robot that didn't understand my question and hung up. I then called my local H&R Block office to get the phone number of a person who could help. They were very helpful in that respect, but obviously the local office can't do anything with the online stuff, so now I've been on hold for 13 minutes and counting...


Update 2: Three phone calls later, I am waiting on the online chat. Chances are they can't do anything either and I will file elsewhere.

Update 3: After an hour waiting for the chat, the person was able to tell me that I had a credit that wasn't showing up in the summary screen.

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