Bill Cobb Responds to AICPA
Barry C. Melancon
President and CEO
American Institute of CPAs
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036-8775
I received your letter of March 11 expressing AICPA’s concern.
First, I’m heartened that CPAs acknowledge H&R Block has a place in the tax preparation category. That’s an interesting admission, considering the Bloch brothers essentially invented it 61 years ago.
Just so you have a more complete understanding of what we’re doing, we launched Block Advisors early this year with almost 300 locations nationwide. This is a new and separate brand, designed to provide services that our clients have told us they need and want – in a nutshell, an alternative to their CPAs. Block Advisors features some of our most experienced tax pros and serves clients who need tax planning throughout the year – those with more complex tax situations or small business owners.
But to the larger point of your letter, the issue AICPA has raised is really about healthy competition and giving taxpayers a choice. Our promotional video does an excellent job of explaining Block Advisors and I have no intention of pulling it down. Further, our overall marketing campaign is telling taxpayers they now have a great new alternative, one that can serve clients with the most complex tax situations, and do it at very competitive prices. That message is striking a chord and I’m confident about the future of Block Advisors.
I’m so confident that just today I have directed my marketing team to increase the media buy for Block Advisors. Soon we’ll be airing in additional markets, telling exponentially more taxpayers about Block Advisors. And we’ll be doing it with a special offer: Anyone who comes to Block Advisors by March 31st will get half off what they paid a CPA or anyone else to do their taxes last year.
Competitive services at competitive prices – that’s giving taxpayers additional choices. That’s what this is all about, and it’s the right thing to do for taxpayers.
Thank you again for your letter, Barry.
H&R Block opened its 10,000 offices nationwide to serve taxpayers during upcoming filing season. Millions can file 1040EZ for free at H&R Block tax offices.
H&R Block’s nonprofit referral program generated donations for more than 2,400 nonprofits this year, totaling more than $1 million for the second straight year.