Software mix-up leads to tax refund delays for 666,000
Group using certain types of software will have to wait an extra two months for refund money. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
Expecting her tax return any day, Boise resident Hiedi Harrell says she told her landlord she'd be moving out and buying a home with her refund.
Instead, she received a letter from the IRS informing her, a software problem with her tax preparer would mean she'd have to wait a whole lot more time.
"I had nowhere to go after my money fell through, because I should have been living in the house that I purchased," says Harrell.
Now, she and her three kids live with her mom and dad while she waits for thousands of dollars from the IRS.
"It's $500 for the filing fees and my return was $5,908. So, I would have received $5,408 dollars."
H&R Block turned down the request to go on camera, but told me they've now fixed the software issue.
But, one local expert says complicated returns can be tough for companies like H&R Block.
"Typically, those softwares in the box are not well-equipped to handle that. And, you don't get a lot of the outside the box thinking," says Boise CPA Lance Fenton.
However, Fenton says the average tax customer who doesn't have a complicated return can often trust those companies to do their taxes correctly and on the cheap.
"It's a fairly simple situation, and the tax software should be well-equipped to do that," he says.
Still, Harrell says she'll rely on her own tax knowledge in the future.
"I've been so satisfied for so many years that I've continued to go and I regret it. My three kids are suffering. I'm suffering. My parents are suffering," Harrell says.
That's suffering Fenton says doesn't need to be repeated.
"If you're expecting a refund,” Fenton says, “I wouldn't go out and spend that check until it's actually in your checking account."