PRIVACY NOTICE FOR H&R BLOCK'S FREE FILE WEB-BASED AND SOFTWARE-BASED TAX PREPARATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
Protecting your privacy is important to us. The following guidelines set forth our general privacy practices and principles that apply to information we collect through our free file web-based and software-based tax preparation programs and related services, which are owned or operated by HRB Digital LLC (collectively, "we," "us," "our,"). These guidelines are based on our business practices, applicable laws and regulations, and our obligations as an industry member of Free File, Inc. (FFI). This privacy notice also details choices available to you regarding the use of, your access to, and how to update and correct your personal information.
Where we collect information on the H&R Block website for other purposes (such as when you locate an H&R Block office online or register a software product with us for warranty purposes, or when you transmit information through our servers), the information that is collected about you will be governed by the "H&R Block Digital Privacy Notice," which can be found at https://www.hrblock.com/universal/digital_online_mobile_privacy_principles.html.
If you enter into another business relationship with us, another H&R Block company, or an H&R Block independently-owned, third-party franchisee, including through our nationwide network of offices, we will make you aware of the privacy practices and principles that apply to that particular business or relationship.
Special Note to Parents: Because of the nature of the services we provide, we do not market our services to children under the age of 13, nor do we knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13.
If you have questions or complaints regarding our privacy practice or principles, please contact us at https://www.hrblock.com/universal/privacy_contact.html or calling 1-800-HRBLOCK.
What information do we collect?
As part of providing products and services to you, we may collect information, including information, about you, your spouse, your dependents, or your business so that we may prepare your tax return. Personal information is data that can be used to identify you, your spouse, or your dependents individually. The information we may collect includes, but is not limited to:
- Contact Information (e.g., name, phone number, address and email address);
- Social Security Number and other government identification numbers (e.g., EIN, Driver's License Number, and ITIN);
- Date of Birth;
- Financial Information (e.g., income, revenue, assets, credits, deductions, expenses, and bank account information);
- Payment Data (e.g., checking, debit and credit card account numbers, balances and payment history);
- Health Information (e.g., health insurance status and financial information related to payment for healthcare services);
- Geo-Location Information;
- Website Usage Data;
- Device Information (e.g., internet protocol (IP) address, device type, unique device identifier, operating system, and network data);
- Login Information; and
- Demographic Information;
- Professional or employment-related information; and
- Education information.
Where do we get this information?
You provide most of the information we collect. We also receive information through certain digital technologies when you interact with us. Finally, other companies and government entities may share information with us.
We collect information directly from you.
To deliver the services you request, to customize your experience, and to better serve you, we collect information you voluntarily provide as part of using our products and services. This information includes information you provide as part of preparing your tax return or electronically filing your tax return.
We collect information when you use our services.
We collect certain information and usage data whenever you interact with us. This data may include which websites you visit, what you click on, and when you performed those actions. These activities may be performed by us or a service provider acting on our behalf.
The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") or state taxing authorities may require we collect certain personal and system information in connection with preparing or electronically filing your tax return. This may include your name, social security number, IP address, and unique device identifiers.
What types of web and wireless technologies (including cookies) do we use?
We, and our service providers, use commonly-used technologies, such as cookies or similar technologies to remember you and to improve your experience. These technologies include cookies and web beacons. We may receive reports on an individual or aggregate basis based on these technologies. You may opt-out of some of these technologies.
- Cookies. Cookies are a commonly-used software technology that allow us to customize our websites for you by placing small files on your computer or mobile device as you visit various components of our websites.
Cookies are small alphanumeric identifiers that a web server transfers to your computer via your Internet browser. When your Internet browser visits a web page, a cookie is set with a unique number. This number is recorded in a small text file that is transmitted to your computer and stored in the cookie directory of your hard drive. Then, when you visit each webpage on which the cookie technology is enabled, the website can recognize your browser as a unique user.
You may adjust your browser settings to accept or deny all cookies, or to request your permission each time a site attempts to set a cookie. Although cookies are not required for some parts of our services, our services may not work properly if you disable cookies entirely.
- Local Storage (HTML5). We, and third parties with whom we partner to provide certain features on our website or to display advertising based upon your web browsing activity, use HTML5 to collect and store information. Various browsers may offer their own management tools for removing HTML5.
- Clear GIFs or Web Beacons. We employ a software technology called clear gifs (also known as pixel tags or 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.
- Log Files. Like most websites, we use log files. Information collected in log files may include IP addresses, unique device IDs, browser type, Internet Service Provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks. We utilize this information to analyze trends, administer the site, track user's movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. When you use certain online tax services, IP addresses and unique device IDs may be tied to personal information to enable users to file or transmit tax returns to the IRS.
How do we respond to web browser "do not track" signals?
While we do not respond to web browser "do not track" signals, we give you choices about the information you receive from us and treat your data in accordance with this privacy notice. We do not allow third-parties to collect personally-identifiable information about you through the use of the H&R Block Free File, Inc. provider website.
We collect information from other companies and government entities.
In accordance with their privacy notices, other H&R Block companies, our business partners, H&R Block franchisees, and unrelated third parties (including the IRS and credit reporting agencies) may share certain information about you with us.
To improve the security of our services, to protect your identity, and to protect your information, we may verify your personal information by matching the information you provide against other publicly available information that we obtain from identification verification companies.
How do we use your information?
We use your information to provide you the products and services you request and to enhance the services we are providing you and other clients. You may be able to revoke our collection of certain information (e.g., geo-location) through your browser or device.
We may assign you a unique identifier when you use our services. This unique identifier allows us to match information collected through our other various products and services. Generally, we use this information to help us better understand your use of our products and services and to customize your experience and better serve you.
We may use publicly available information to verify your personal information in order to improve the security of our services, protect your identity, and protect your information.
Who do we share your information with?
The privacy and security of your information is important to us. We do not sell or rent your information (including your social security number). We may share your information to support the products and services you request. We may also share your information as permitted by law or with your additional consent. For example:
- Service Providers.We may disclose your personal information to service providers who perform business functions on our behalf, such as data processing and analysis, contest supervision, and direct mail or e-mail production. Pursuant to our vendor management program, we require all service providers to have written contracts with us that require them to safeguard your information and prohibit them from selling, retaining, using or disclosing your information for any purpose other than for the specific purpose of performing the contract.
- Communications with the IRS and State Taxing Authorities. The IRS and state taxing authorities may require or request we disclose certain personal and system information in order to process or electronically file your tax return. This information may include, but is not limited to, your name, social security number, IP addresses, unique device identifiers, bank account numbers, and tax return preparation user activity metrics (e.g., time to complete the tax return).
- Responses to Legal Requests. We may disclose your information when we have a good faith belief that such disclosure is required or permitted by law pursuant to a legal request. 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 us. In certain situations, we may be required to disclose your information in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.
- Protection of H&R Block and Others. We may disclose your information when we believe that disclosure is necessary to protect your rights and safety, the rights and safety of others or our rights and safety. We may disclose your information to proper federal, state, or local officials in order to, and only to the extent necessary, 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. As permitted by law, we may disclose your information to the IRS and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) for the prevention of stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) and as related to potential cyber security threats.
- Aggregated Data. We may disclose aggregate information compiled using information that does not identify you individually or personally. This may include but is not limited to, for example, the total number of visitors from a particular state or the average user age.
How do we secure your information?
The security of your personal information is important to us. We utilize administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to protect your information.
We protect information submitted to us, both during transmission and once we receive it. Nevertheless, no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure. Therefore, we cannot guarantee your information’s absolute security.
We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable law and federal standards and that are designed to restrict access to your information. These safeguards 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.
If we collect sensitive information (such as your social security number), we will encrypt that information using secure socket layer (SSL) technology. If you have any questions about the security of our services, you can contact us by clicking here.
How long do we keep your information?
In accordance with applicable laws, we keep your information for as long as needed to serve you, maintain your account, as needed to operate our business, or to improve our offerings or develop new ones.
We retain your information (including geo-location data) for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you services. We may retain or use your information as necessary to comply with our policies, legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.
The IRS requires us to retain filed tax returns for a period of at least three years.
It is our 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 that tax season, after which it will be deleted from our system.
For more information, please see the "Updating or deleting your information" section of this Privacy Notice.
Updating or deleting your information
If you are a user of our free file web-based or software-based tax preparation programs and related services and certain personal account information (e.g., your e-mail address) changes, you may update the information by signing into your account. HRB Digital cannot change information in your filed tax return. You must file an amended tax return to make changes to a filed tax return. If you have questions, you may contact us by calling 1 800-HRBLOCK. We will respond to requests within a reasonable timeframe. After proper identity verification, we will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your personal information.
When you update or delete your information (including documents you upload to your account), we may maintain a copy of the information in our records. Additionally, if you request we permanently delete your account or information, we may still retain and use your information as necessary to meet our internal policies or comply with our legal obligations.
If an unauthorized profile has been created about you, please contact us at https://www.hrblock.com/universal/privacy-contact.html or by calling 1- 800-HRBLOCK to request to have it deleted. We will respond to requests within a reasonable timeframe.
You may choose to limit our use or our ability to share your information in certain circumstances. To opt out of electronic communications, go here https://www.hrblock.com/privacy/optout.html. To opt-out of all other communications, call us at 1-800-HRBLOCK. You may, however, continue to receive e-mail communications related directly to the services and products you purchase, such as payment receipts and e-file status notifications.
Where permitted by law, we may use your information (subject to your consent, where required) to communicate with you about tax related products and services available through HRB Digital or business partners. If at any time you wish to limit your receipt of such communications, you may opt-out here: https://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. We will respond to requests within a reasonable timeframe.
You may not opt-out of the sharing of information that does not identify you personally.
The above paragraphs only apply to personal information we obtain through your use of our services covered by this Privacy Notice. You may still receive offers from us, other H&R Block companies, H&R Block independently owned and operated, franchisees where they obtain your contact information through other sources. In order to opt-out from communications from our franchisees, you must contact each franchisee in accordance with their policies.
Accessing Our Services from Outside the United States
We process your information to provide the products and services you request and for our legitimate business interests, including marketing and tax preparation fraud prevention.
Our services are hosted on servers located in the United States. We also use service providers located in the United States to bring you our services. The transfer of your information to the United States is necessary to deliver our services. Please be aware that the laws in the United States may not provide the same level of protection to your personal information as your home country.
If you are accessing our products or services from the European Union, you have certain rights regarding the processing of your personal data. For instance, if the information you provide contains special categories of personal data, we will only process it with your explicit consent, which can be withdrawn at any time. You have the following additional rights:
- You have the right to access and correct your information.
- You have the right to obtain erasure of your information, object to or restrict processing activities related to your information, or withdraw your consent to the processing of your information after you have provided it.
- You have the right to obtain a copy of your information in a structured, commonly used, machine readable format.
- You have the right to lodge a complaint with your local supervisory authority regarding our processing of your information.
To exercise your rights, or if you otherwise have questions about the processing of your personal data, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or a US-based representative at 1-800-HRBLOCK.
If you are a California resident, you may have the following rights with respect to your information:
- You may request that we disclose to you the categories of information collected about you, the categories of sources from which we collected that information, and the purposes for which your information was collected for the 12 month period preceding your request.
- You may also request that we delete information we collected from you.
- You have the right not to be discriminated against for exercising your rights over your information.
To exercise your rights, or if you have questions, you may submit a request online at hrblock.com/dsar or call a US-based representative at 1-800-HRBLOCK.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this Privacy Notice, contact us at http://www.hrblock.com/universal/privacy_contact.html, by calling 1-800-HRBLOCK, or by mail through the mailing address below. If you have an unresolved privacy or data use concern that we have not addressed satisfactorily, please contact our U.S.-based third party dispute resolution provider (free of charge) at https://feedback-form.truste.com/watchdog/request.
Privacy Notice Updates
We may update this Privacy Notice to reflect changes to our information practices. 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 the H&R Block Free File, Inc. provider website describing the change; or (2) we will send you an email notifying you of the change.
This Privacy Notice is effective January 1, 2020
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HRB Digital LLC
One H&R Block Way
Kansas City, MO 64105