H&R Block Continues to Fight Back Against TurboTax


Since TurboTax attacked its employees, H&R Block hasn't stopped its defense. Last week, the company's CEO posted an email to employees, building them up after TurboTax commercials criticized them of being part-time, unprofessional tax advisors.

H&R Block has increased its communication, using its website, advertisements, social media, and more email. On the company website, CEO Bill Cobb posted this "open letter":


January 30, 2013

Dear Clients and Future Clients,

Today is the first day of tax season, and you might think I am writing an open letter in this forum to tell you that we are ready for you-and we are! But the real reason I am writing is because I am offended that TurboTax® is targeting our 90,000 H&R Block tax professionals in a series of commercials that we believe to be false and misleading.

TurboTax is trying to promote itself on the backs of our tax professionals, misusing our nearly 60-year-old brand and taking cheap shots at hardworking plumbers and retail sales clerks, not to mention millions of Americans holding down two jobs. We say no way-not on our watch.

I am incredibly proud of our tax professionals, who for nearly six decades have built the H&R Block brand, anchored by trust, and I will not let them be tarnished by some overzealous marketing campaign.

I would never disparage their people, but let me set the record straight about ours:

  • We are the largest tax preparer in the industry.1
  • We sign and stand behind every return we prepare for our clients in our offices.
  • Since 1955, we have prepared and signed more than 500 million tax returns in our offices – TurboTax has prepared and signed 0.2
  • We have over 7,000 Enrolled Agents (the highest credential awarded by the IRS) – more than any other tax preparation company.
  • At our tax offices, the average client is served by a tax professional with over a decade of experience and hundreds of hours of training. 3
  • We guarantee the accuracy of returns prepared by H&R Block tax professionals.
  • And, if you're one of the millions of H&R Block At Home® software or online clients, our tax professionals will back you up, if needed, with audit support and in-person audit representation, which only H&R Block At Home® offers at no additional charge.
  • Our first-in-industry independent research and analysis advisory group, The Tax Institute, is staffed primarily by CPAs, tax attorneys, enrolled agents and former IRS agents.

At H&R Block, we believe in our people. And you can meet some of these exceptional people at #IAMHRBLOCK on Twitter.

On behalf of our tax professionals and all the people of H&R Block, thank you for your respect, your consideration and your business.  If we haven't seen you already this year, we look forward to seeing you soon.  Call 1-800-HRBLOCK to make an appointment, or go to www.hrblock.com to get started.



Bill Cobb

P.S. And to all the plumbers, retail sales clerks and other hardworking Americans, please know we would be honored to serve you.

A new commercial shows H&R Block tax professionals touting their credentials.

In a second email to employees, Cobb continued to show his support:

"You know I am proud of our tax pros, but I am also proud of the entire H&R Block organization that has risen up to defend our brand and tax pros. From the lawyers to our CSC support teams, field leaders and marketing teams, and of course our franchisees, there is a lot of energy behind this effort to set the record straight."

Discussion Starters:

  • How effective is H&R Block's response? In what ways do the messages address concerns raised by the TurboTax ad?
  • What are the strongest and weakest arguments in H&R Block's commercial and in the CEO's message?