Building off its longstanding partnership in providing free online tax filing services, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) and United Way of Southwest Alabama (UWSWA) announced enhanced security features to MyFreeTaxes designed to further safeguard taxpayer information. MyFreeTaxes is a free, safe and easy way for anyone earning $64,000 or less to file state and federal taxes.
“Our partnership with the United Way gives us an opportunity to fulfill our most important company mission: help taxpayers in the communities where we live and work,” said Heather Watts, vice president and digital products general manager at H&R Block. “As H&R Block is approaching preparing 725 million tax returns, we’re proud to reach even more taxpayers to help them safely prepare and file accurate tax returns that get them the maximum refund they are entitled.”
H&R Block and United Way have been providing free tax filing services online for federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for eight years. Since that time, the partnership has helped more than 750,000 taxpayers claim every deduction and credit they deserve. These tax breaks that lead to refunds provide important opportunities for individuals and families to build their financial stability.
When it comes to security and protecting client data, H&R Block is among the industry leaders. Its online filing platform contains:
- Encryption technology that helps safeguard sensitive information
- Several layers of authentication for H&R Block account access which further protects from unauthorized access
- Secure connection established between client’s browser and H&R Block servers, encrypting any data that is passed between them to protect the privacy of that data
“We are grateful to H&R Block for their continued support of MyFreeTaxes. United Way of Southwest Alabama is proud to have helped thousands of individuals and families in our area get their maximum refund and access the tax credits they deserve,” said UWSWA President and CEO Clifford Grimes. “MyFreeTaxes is a great example of how your United Way advocates for the health, education, financial stability, and access to life’s basic needs of every person in every community we serve.”
Eligibility and features
Taxpayers earning less than $64,000 can enter their data through MyFreeTaxes.com, which links to a secure H&R Block website, making it easy to complete their taxes from home, at work or on mobile devices.
The key features of MyFreeTaxes include:
- Free, unlimited, personalized real-time chat and phone support from IRS-certified operators at 1-855-MY-TX-HELP. The helpline, with operators that speak both English and Spanish, operates from January 13 through April 18 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm EST Monday through Friday and noon to 9:00 pm EST on Saturday
- Refund RevealTM will show filers how and why their refund amount is changing
- MyFreeTaxes is promoted by United Way, and users can contact their local United Way for other local resources, or find ways to volunteer and further support their community
- Advanced functionality for those working in the gig economy or need to include information regarding real estate investments, stock options or inheritance taxes
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
Another option for free tax preparation is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). Through the VITA and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, individuals and families with a 2016 household income of $54,000 or less and tax payers 60 years or older are eligible for free tax preparation by IRS trained and certified volunteers. For more information and for a list of VITA tax preparation sites near you, please contact the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line by dialing 2-1-1 or toll free 1-888-421-1266. You can also schedule a tax appointment online by visiting http://taxes.uwswa.org.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.