H&R Block offers tax preparation courses to students looking to increase knowledge

Whether you are a top executive at a Fortune 500 company or a college student with a part-time job, it is important to have a good basic knowledge of taxes.

H&R Block, one of America’s leading tax preparation and personal finance management companies, is offering anyone with an interest in income tax the opportunity to enroll in tax preparation courses and ultimately become a certified tax professional.

People who are incapable of doing their own taxes are forced to rely upon others to get them done.

“I’m a musician so I have to do my own taxes. My uncle is an accountant so if it weren’t for him, I would’ve been stuck,” said Michael Williams, 20, a senior jazz studies student from Orlando.

H&R Block offers a unique curriculum that is offered in traditional classroom settings at various locations throughout the nation, including multiple locations in Tallahassee.

They also offer flexible class times that can fit within your work or school schedule.

Attracting college students is a main focus for H&R Block course recruiters.

“This course would be great for students because it’s something they can use for the rest of their lives. They will learn a great deal about dealing with people. It’s a lifetime education really,” said Laverne Horton, a district manager for H&R Block in Tallahassee.

Prospective income tax students begin the curriculum in the basic income tax course.

Determining filing status, education credits and deductions, income adjustments and tax planning are just a few of the topics covered in this intense tax course.

Students are required to attend class twice a week for 12 weeks. Classes are offered days, nights and weekends.

Upon completion of this course, students who receive an overall minimum course grade of 70 percent will receive a certificate of completion, which denotes them as a certified tax professional.

In order to be considered for employment by H&R Block, students have to receive an overall course grade of at least 80 percent, work for one tax season, which is roughly between the last weeks of January to mid-February, and complete at least 24 hours of advanced continuing education courses offered through H&R Block.

Students who do not receive a grade of 70 are not eligible for employment as a tax professional by H&R Block, but they are welcome to seek employment as a client service coordinator.

H&R Block encourages students in a financial major to speak with their professors about receiving college credit for completing any of the courses.

However, not all university professors are in favor of giving credit to students who take the course.

“Students should not receive credit because it affects accreditation for SBI. H&R Block isn’t an accredited institution. It’s more like vocational training for someone who wants to do taxes, but it will help them for their personal taxes,” said Buagu Musazi, a School of Business and Industry accounting professor.

Tuition for the basic income tax course ranges from $99 to $150. Students returning for the advanced courses pay a one-time fee of $20 that covers all 24 hours of advanced courses. The tuition includes textbooks, workbooks and IRS Publication 17.

A number of students said the course would bring added value to their educational resume.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of taxation because I’ve already taken individual and corporate tax,” said Andrea Moore, a graduate business administration student from Philadelphia.

“Last year I worked with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offered through the IRS, so I already have experience preparing returns,” Moore said.

Additionally, some professors said the course would benefit students of all majors, enabling them to make plans to avoid paying unnecessary taxes.

“Understanding income taxes will help just about anyone in their future adult lives so that they can complete and file their own tax returns without having to pay someone to do it for them,” said Craig Reeder, SBI accounting professor.

Interested students can enroll in the upcoming basic course tentatively scheduled for Sept. 26.

For more details, visit www.hrblock.com or contact a local office.