February 16, 2019


H&R Block agents took 'empathy training' to handle people upset by smaller tax refunds or surprise tax bills (NICOLE LYN PESCE, 2/15/19, Market Watch)
Some tax return preparers are doubling as therapists this tax season, comforting clients who are dismayed to find that they will get smaller tax refunds -- or worse, will get hit with unexpected tax bills.

H&R Block HRB, -0.41%   puts its returning tax pros through 30 hours of training ahead of each filing season to make sure they are up-to-speed -- and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in late 2017 already gave them plenty of homework to do by cutting many deductions and changing the withholding tables.

But this year, agents also underwent "empathy training," which included a "refund surprise training module" to coach their responses to clients shocked or upset by a lower tax refund or a surprise tax bill, the service told MarketWatch. For example, the new training included listening to a scenario where a client who received a $1,500 refund last year learned that she owed $575 this year because she didn't adjust her withholdings under the new tax laws.

Posted by at February 16, 2019 9:13 AM


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