H&R Block has announced that it is testing a new service in California, offering refund anticipation loans to clients at no charge.
The prospect of clients getting cash in anticipation of their refunds has been popular for a few years now. H&R Block, along with many other tax return preparation outfits has been offering this service with a charge typically of about $20 or a percentage of the loan. But for the first time, H&R Block will begin testing a free loan -- often provided within 48 hours of filing -- as a way to attract and retain clients.
Block CEO Frank Salizzoni indicates, "if this test proves successful in retaining clients and attracting new ones, we'll explore expanding the program in other markets across the country."
Block is also making electronic filing free to its clients, encouraging more and more to go "paperless" with quicker confirmations from the IRS, quicker refunds, and fewer mistakes.