Honoring our Veterans and Members of our Armed Forces

November 11, 2016 : Tom Schad

[wingman or wing man] – A pilot in a plane that flies just outside and behind the right wing of the leading aircraft in a flight formation, to provide protective support.

For over 60 years, active military personnel and veterans have had a wingman and partner in H&R Block to help them with their complicated tax situation. It’s a relationship that goes back to the founding of the tax company. In fact, if it weren’t for the military and post-war climate there may never have been an H&R Block.

The idea to form a company to help clients with their financial needs first came about during the throes of World War II. First Lieutenant Henry W. Bloch began writing his brothers from his dorm room discussing what kind of business they could start once the country switched from a war economy to a “catch up” economy. It wasn’t long after the war had ended that Henry returned home and, along with his brother Richard, formed H&R Block. The company prospered and an industry was created.

Today H&R Block serves nearly one in every four active military personnel and has 108 offices located on military bases worldwide. In addition, roughly 10 percent of its retail workforce is comprised of former military personnel or spouses of military personnel.

As members of the Armed Forces know intimately, military life can be complicated. Multiple moves, managing finances, balancing spouses’ careers and raising children add to the complexities of living the military life…not to mention their tax situation.

H&R Block provides access, convenience and tax expertise to help members of the military navigate through their unique tax situation, including combat zone issues, Military Leave Earning Statements (LES) reporting, moving expenses, establishing and keeping a home state and more.

H&R Block also offers veterans and members of the Armed Forces:

  • free DIY tax preparation online through Military One Source, a DIY partnership that 130,000 military members used in 2016, at a savings of more than $10.6 million,
  • scholarships for military spouses and wounded warriors to learn how to prepare taxes like a professional in the Income Tax Course. Last year, the company awarded more than 2,700 scholarships totaling $521,000 to military spouses. Over the last four years, $1.7 million in ITC scholarships has helped thousands of military spouses learn to prepare their own taxes.

“There is no group more important to H&R Block than veterans and members of the Armed Forces,” said Thomas Collins, head of corporate communications at H&R Block and a retired Army colonel. “Supporting our military goes to the core of who we are as a company and as a member of our communities. As veterans and service members put their lives on the line for our country every day it is our honor to help take away the anxiety and burden surrounding their military tax situation.”

More than 60 years after that simple correspondence between brothers started a global company, H&R Block continues to stands behind veterans and active members of the Armed Forces and their families. For more information on H&R Block services, including the military, visit www.hrblock.com.

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Tom Schad

Guest Contributor

Vivian Greene once said “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.” This is Tom Schad’s philosophy when it comes to understanding the role of taxes in American life. Tax laws may change but they are not going away, so one might as well learn to ‘dance’ with them through greater understanding of the laws and of the many products and serves available to the average taxpayer to help protect them. Schad graduated from the University of Kansas’ William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications where he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with majors in public relations and magazine. He came to H&R Block in 2003 and has served in many communications roles throughout his career at the company.

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