US - H&R Block Alerts 3,080 to Software Error : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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April 14, 2000, 9:05PM

HEADLINE: H&R Block Alerts 3,080 to Tax Return Filing Error


H&R Block sent overnight letters to 3,080 customers on Friday, warning them that income tax payments that they authorized the Internal Revenue Service to take from their bank accounts would not be made because of a software error.

The affected taxpayers must mail their payments to the IRS, which is reviewing its records to determine whether to waive late fees or penalties.

Those affected filed their federal income-tax returns electronically, using the company's Tax Cut software or its online version.

They owe the Treasury $1,000 or more, which was to be debited from their bank accounts, said Gene Goldenberg, senior vice president for software and e-commerce at Block, which is based in Kansas City, Mo. About 18 million taxpayers use Block software or tax preparers, he said.

"The software read the comma in amounts of $1,000 or more as the end of the line," Goldenberg said, "so if you owed one thousand in taxes, only $1 was taken from your bank account."

He said the company would pay any penalties or interest that the Internal Revenue Service assessed these customers.

The IRS asked Block for the Social Security numbers of the affected taxpayers so it could flag the accounts to review whether late fees and penalties should be waived, Goldenberg said.


-- (, April 15, 2000

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