Switching tax preparers: Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be

March 12, 2020 : Heather Watts

Infographic on the obstacles keeping us from making positive change.

I begin each year like most people, determined that I will absolutely follow through on my New Year’s Resolutions. Most years, those include changes I know are good for me: eating healthier, exercising more, getting better sleep. This year I also added declutter to my list.

That said, less than half of us will have followed through on our resolutions after six months, according to a recent CNN Health article. So, what’s holding us back? H&R Block commissioned a nationwide study to uncover why people behave the way they do so we can help them get better at making the positive changes they desire. Especially when it comes to personal finances.

Respondents told us change is intimidating (64%). Not because the changes themselves are inherently difficult, but because we allow internal and financial barriers to hold us back. Our research showed four main factors impede our ability to change: lack of self-confidence (88%), fear of failure (86%), setting unrealistic goals (84%) and finances (88%).

Let’s explore ‘unrealistic goals’ for a bit. We’re hard-wired to set lofty goals for ourselves vs. focusing on other changes that could have a big impact over time. For instance, we’re more likely to change our job (a big change) than our exercise routine, diet, or even our phone carrier. We also claim money holds us back, even though 64% of us want to make changes to our personal finances.

One financial change many people don’t consider is switching tax preparers. In fact, only 12% of Americans who are not satisfied with their tax preparer have considered changing it in the past year. This fascinates me. When I’m not happy with a product or service, I’m not shy about seeking a better alternative.

If you’re not satisfied with your tax preparer, what’s keeping you from switching? Our research suggests you’re likely worried about the costs and potential risks. Additionally, three quarters of Americans believe they don’t have access to the resources and experts necessary for them to feel confident about financial transactions like filing their taxes. That’s where H&R Block comes in – to provide the resources and the expert help people need to make positive change toward achieving financial confidence.

We encourage dissatisfied tax filers to make a change this year. It’s never been easier to change tax preparers. In fact, it’s easy to switch to H&R Block Online from TurboTax or another preparer. Just use our ‘drag and drop’ feature to import last year’s tax return. And to alleviate that ‘fear of failure,’ we guarantee your maximum refund and 100% accuracy. If money is still a concern, rest assured that our Deluxe and higher online products are between $15 to $25 less than TurboTax when you file federal and state.

Another way we help instill financial confidence in our clients: we offer a free, mid-year tax check-in no matter what H&R Block product you use. You can improve your tax outcome by planning ahead and making some simple changes, like updating your W-4 with your employer. Even outside of tax season, we’re always here to help if you have any tax-related questions.

Yes, change is hard. But now that we know why, maybe we can all take steps toward positive changes that can have a big impact over time.

As for my New Year’s resolutions, I’m taking baby steps in the right direction. I keep bowls of candy on my desk at work (for my co-workers) and I haven’t had a single piece since Jan. 1! Also, I’m making progress toward decluttering my house. I decided to take it slow instead of trying to do my entire house in one fell swoop. This is a case of not setting unrealistic goals for myself.

Visit hrblock.com to check out our 2020 online tax filing options and learn how you can switch to H&R Block Online in as little as two clicks to make an easy change that will have a lasting impact on your financial confidence.

 

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Heather Watts

Heather Watts

Heather Watts is Senior Vice President and General Manager of H&R Block’s DIY Tax business. She is directly responsible for all product and business strategy for the company’s growing do-it-yourself tax business. Heather oversees all the development, design, marketing and end-to-end client experience of all H&R Block online, software and mobile tax products and solutions.

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