H&R Block Digital Tax Preparation, Online, and Mobile Application Privacy Practices and Principles
H&R Block offers a wide range of tax and financial services, including tax preparation, tax planning, healthcare planning, banking, and business services through various affiliates and franchisees. Because we offer a variety of services both online (via the Internet, desktop installation, and mobile applications) and throughout H&R Block's nationwide network of offices, H&R Block's privacy practices will vary depending on how you interact with H&R Block. If you enter into a business relationship with H&R Block as our customer, we will make you aware of the privacy practices that apply to that particular business or relationship.
The following guidelines set forth general privacy principles that apply to information collected through H&R Block's digital tax preparation products and services, H&R Block's websites (including, but not limited to, www.hrblock.com and My H&R Block AccountSM, but not healthcare.hrblock.com), and H&R Block's mobile applications (individually, a "Digital Service" and collectively, "Digital Services").
Information We Collect
When you use a Digital Service, we may collect information about you from the following categories and sources:
- We collect certain personal information so that we may prepare your tax return. This information includes your name, address and certain other data such as your social security number, income and deductions, and other personal information about you and your dependents that we need to prepare your tax return. We may also collect system information, such as your operating system version, internet protocol (IP) address, and the number of times you electronically file using a Digital Service. The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") requires us to collect certain system information in connection with electronic filing of tax returns
- We may collect personal information in connection with non-tax return preparation services that you complete or propose to complete with us. This personal information may include, for example, your name, address and certain other "nonpublic personal information" such as checking, debit and credit account numbers, balances and payment history, income and assets. We may collect this personal information about you from you, the IRS, our franchisees, our affiliates, and certain non-affiliated third-parties such as credit reporting agencies.
- We may collect personal information in connection with providing you information about various healthcare programs and health insurance options. This information may include information about your health, health insurance status and financial information related to payment for healthcare services.
- We collect and store personally identifiable information about you as necessary to set up an online account or authenticate your identity.
- We collect usage data about you whenever you interact with our services, whether through a digital tax preparation product or service, online, through a mobile application, or via e-mail. This data may include which websites you visit, what you click on, when you performed those actions, and so on. These activities may be performed by H&R Block or a service provider acting on behalf of H&R Block.
- Information we receive when you request services or information from us or companies with whom we have business relationships, enter contests or sweepstakes, or complete surveys or polls, such as your name, address, e-mail address and payment or billing information.
- Information you provide when you apply for employment with H&R Block or any of its affiliates.
- Information about your location so that we may provide you with H&R Block offices in the area in which you are searching and to enhance the services we are providing you. You may at any time revoke our collection of this information by turning this off at the device level.
- Information about your mobile device such as the unique identifier, app version, operating system version, type of network your device is connected to, and phone state.
We may assign you a global unique identifier (GUID) when you use our Digital Services . The GUID is a unique alphanumeric combination. The GUID allows us to match your information, which may include personal information, with data collected by our other Digital Services. Generally, we use this information to help us better understand your use of our products and services.
When you use calculators and other tools on our websites that do not require registration, H&R Block may collect non-identifiable data from such tools, such as the number of people that use a certain tool. H&R Block may also set cookies or clear gifs based upon your use of tools and calculators to help us customize offers and tools to your particular interests. H&R Block will not record or track any data you enter into standalone tools and calculators in any way that identifies you personally, unless we specifically inform you that we are doing so at the time you provide such data.
When you use our office locator service, we may collect data such as address or zip code information you provide so that we can better assess the level of interest in our services in a particular area, and the effectiveness of the locator tool at helping clients actually use our services.
When you use a mobile device, we may ask your permission to dial a phone number, access your camera or photo library, access the internet, access your calendar, push notifications to you, read and write to internal and external storage, wake/lock your mobile device, and authorize in-app purchases.
The IRS requires H&R Block to retain filed tax returns for a period of at least three years. It is H&R Block's policy that if you start, but do not complete, a tax return in our online tax programs, we will generally keep the tax return information you provide until the end of the tax season.
Web and wireless technologies
In addition to the information identified above, we may collect information through the following web and wireless technologies:
We also employ a software technology called clear gifs (also known as web beacons), that help us better manage content on our websites by allowing us to understand usage patterns, fix issues, and improve the products and services offered to you on our websites. These activities may be performed by H&R Block or a service provider acting on behalf of H&R Block.
We use local shared objects, also known as Flash cookies, to better organize and present website content that may be relevant to you based on previous visits to our website. Flash cookies are not used for any online behavioral advertising purpose. Flash cookies are different from browser cookies because of the amount, type, and how data is stored. Cookie management tools provided by your browser will not remove Flash cookies. To learn how to manage privacy and storage settings for Flash cookies, please visit http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html#117118
Like most websites, H&R Block uses log files. Information collected in log files may include Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, Internet Service Provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks. We utilize this information to analyze trends, administer the site or mobile application, track user's movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. This information is not personally identifiable. When you use certain online tax services, IP addresses are tied to personally identifiable information to enable users to file or transmit tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information on these technologies and a discussion of these terms specific to your use of our websites or mobile applications, click Privacy Technology Definitions.
We allow third-party companies to serve ads and collect certain pseudonymous information when you visit our website. These companies may use this information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to our websites and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third-party web beacon to collect this information. To opt-out of this type of advertising, complete both forms at http://webmedia.hrblock.com/optout.html and http://www.networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp. We may engage different providers to provide similar services from time to time. H&R Block and its third-party companies do not respond to web browser "do not track" signals.
We may record data from your mobile device such as Apple IDFA, general characteristics of your device and other device IDs. If you would like to opt-out of tracking please visit https://ad-x.co.uk/dont_track.php.
How We May Disclose Your Information
Information that we collect from you is governed by the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999, certain other laws, and H&R Block policies. Tax return information that we collect from you is also governed by Section 7216 of the Internal Revenue Code. Any information that is collected from or about you as part of your customer relationship(s) with H&R Block will be governed by the privacy notice that is provided to you when you become a customer of the specific H&R Block business.
For information we collect (as described above), we may use and disclose such information to the following categories of persons:
- Uses and Disclosures by H&R Block. Where permitted by law, H&R Block may use or disclose the information to provide products and services to you offered by H&R Block and its affiliated companies.
- Third-Parties. We do not share your personal information with non-affiliated third-parties for marketing purposes except as permitted by applicable law or with your consent. We do not sell or rent your personal information to third-party direct marketers.
- Affiliates. H&R Block may provide information it collects to its affiliates as permitted by law. For example, we disclose information to our affiliates in order to respond to your requests for information or services, or to help limit your receipt of marketing materials you have requested not to receive.
- Service Providers. Where permitted by applicable law, we may disclose your personal information to service providers who perform business functions on our behalf, services such as data processing and analysis, contest supervision, and direct mail or e-mail production. We may also share your personal information, and a record of any transactions you conduct on our website or offline with us with third-party advertising partners and their service providers in order to deliver you advertising tailored to your interests when you visit certain other websites. Data shared in this way is made pseudonymous. We require H&R Block service providers to have written contracts that specify appropriate use of your personal information, require them to safeguard your personal information, and prohibit them from making unauthorized or unlawful use of your personal information.
- Joint Marketing Arrangements. Where permitted by law, H&R Block may provide information it collects to joint marketers with whom H&R Block has a marketing arrangement. For example, H&R Block may enter into agreements with airlines or credit card companies to provide you with "miles" or "points" for visiting the H&R Block website or purchasing certain products or services from H&R Block. In such case, H&R Block would provide identifying information about you to the company in order to credit your account with such "miles" or "points". We require all joint marketers to have written contracts with us that specify appropriate use of your personal information, require them to safeguard your personal information, and prohibit them from making unauthorized or unlawful use of your personal information. If a state law (or other law) requires us to give you the right to opt-out prior to any disclosure of your personal information for joint marketing, we will not disclose your personal information for such purposes without providing such opt-out or obtaining your consent to such disclosure.
- Franchisees. Our assisted income tax return preparation and related services are provided via a system of retail offices operated directly by us or by our franchisees. In order to serve you, and only where permitted by law, we may share your information with our franchisees.
- Persons Who Acquire Our Assets or Business. If H&R Block sells or transfers any of its business or assets, certain information about our clients may be a part of that sale or transfer. In the event such sale or transfer results in a material change to the "H&R Block Digital Tax Preparation, Online, and Mobile Application Privacy Practices and Principles," H&R Block will notify you. The notification procedure will be the same as the procedure we use to notify you of a change in our Privacy Notice as described below.
- As Required or Permitted by Law. We may disclose your information to affiliates or non-affiliated third parties when we have a good faith belief that such disclosure is required or permitted by law. This may occur in connection with a court order, legal process, or other judicial, administrative or investigative proceeding that produces a request for information from H&R Block. We may disclose your information to proper federal, state, or local officials in order, and to the extent necessary, to inform the official of activities that may constitute, or may have constituted, a violation of any criminal law or to assist the official in investigating or prosecuting a violation of criminal law.
- Aggregate Data. We may disclose aggregate information compiled using your personal information that does not identify you individually or personally. This may include, for example, the total number of visitors to our websites from a particular state, or the average age of a user of our websites.
How You May Opt-Out of Information Sharing or Otherwise Control Use of Your Information
We give you choice and control over the use of your personal information. We provide you the opportunity to opt-out of receiving electronic communications from us by clicking here and to opt-out of all other communications by calling us at 1-800-HRBLOCK.
We also provide you with the opportunity to opt-out of certain information sharing. You may not opt-out of the sharing of information that does not identify you personally. Where permitted by law, H&R Block may use information you provide (subject to your consent, where required) to communicate with you about products and services available through H&R Block or third-parties. If at any time you wish to limit your receipt of such communications, you may optout at http://www.hrblock.com/privacy/optout.html. At your request and subject to the limitations below, we will make reasonable efforts to limit all such marketing communications to you. We will also provide you the ability to stop receiving marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in each marketing communication.
The above paragraphs only apply to personal information H&R Block obtains through your use of our Digital Services, so you could still receive offers through H&R Block, its affiliates or franchisees where they obtain your contact information through other sources. In order to opt-out from communications from our affiliates or franchisees, you must contact each such affiliate or franchisee separately in accordance with their policies.
We will retain your personal information and geo-location data as needed to provide you services and will use your information as necessary to comply with our policies, legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
Links to Other Websites and Offers for Third-Party Products
H&R Block's website may contain links to third-party websites or offers for services from third-parties. For any such third-party products or services, you should carefully read the privacy policies of the third-parties providing such products or services and any terms and conditions applicable to such products or services.
H&R Block may also have business relationships with third-parties that provide products or services on the H&R Block website. These companies are clearly indicated on our websites. This Privacy Notice does not apply to products or services offered by a third-party. When you request products or services from such companies, you give H&R Block permission to provide these third-parties with personal information about you necessary to fulfill or process your request.
Security of your Information
H&R Block maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable law and federal standards and that are designed to restrict access to your personal information. These include programs and specifications for physical security and records retention and disposal; computer and communication security measures reflected in system design, password protection, and data management practices; and other measures to restrict access to the data we hold in physical and electronic forms.
The security of your personal information is important to us. If we collect sensitive information (such as your social security number or geo-location), we will encrypt the transmission of that information using secure socket layer technology (SSL).
We follow generally accepted standards to protect the personal information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. However, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on our website, you can contact us at http://www.hrblock.com/universal/privacy_contact.html.
Children Under Age 13
Because of the financial nature of the services we provide, we do not market our website to children under the age of 13, nor do we knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13.
Changes to Our Privacy Statement
If we make a material change to this Privacy Notice, including a material change in the way we use any personal information collected, we will notify you by using one of the following methods at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of such change: (1) we will post a notice on our website describing the change; or (2) we will send you electronic mail notifying you of the change.
Updating your Information:
Some of the information we collect as described in this Privacy Notice either does not identify you personally or is not stored in an online accessible format. If you are a user of H&R Block online or My H&R Block AccountSM service you may update your login and password information by logging into your account. For all other inquiries related to the correction, updating of, or deactivation of your information, please contact us via one of the methods listed below.
Contacting Us With Questions
If you have questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Notice, contact H&R Block at http://www.hrblock.com/universal/privacy_contact.html. If you do not receive acknowledgment of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed within fifteen (15) business days, you may then contact TRUSTe here https://feedback-form.truste.com/watchdog/request. TRUSTe will then serve as a liaison with the website to resolve your concerns.
H&R Block has been awarded TRUSTe's Privacy Seal signifying that this Privacy Notice and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe's program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information. TRUSTe's mission, as an independent third-party, is to accelerate online trust among consumers and organizations globally through its leading privacy trustmark and innovative trust solutions. The TRUSTe program covers only information that is collected through your use of our Digital Services, except for information collected through the use of www.hrblock.com/healthcare or any downloadable software product.
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