H&R Block tax refund advance review
Advances are available until February 29, 2020 — but you can't have it sent to your bank account.
- Best for individuals expecting a large refund and who don't want to pay interest.
- Pick something else if you want to apply online.
Tax preparation fee
February 29, 2020
|Product name||H&R Block Tax Refund Advance Loan|
|Maximum advance amount||$3,500|
|Minimum advance amount||$250|
|Turnaround||As soon as the same day|
|Tax preparation fee||Yes|
|Application deadline||February 29, 2020|
|Requirements||Sufficient tax refund, appropriate ID|
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H&R Block has one of the better tax refund advance deals out there. It offers a relatively large advance amount — up to $3,500 — with no interest. And the deadline to apply isn’t until the very end of February.
However, the process is far from transparent. H&R Block doesn’t list any tax preparation fees you may have to pay, and you’ll need to call ahead to make sure you have the information you need to apply. You also won’t be able to apply online, which means taking the time out of your day to visit an H&R Block branch.
Need to borrow more than $3,500? Compare your personal loan options instead.
H&R Block tax refund advance requirements
H&R Block only lists one basic requirement: You must have a large enough tax refund from the IRS. However, you’ll be required to meet additional eligibility criteria to be approved for the advance, which is funded by Axos Bank. Your tax preparation specialist will go over these with you when you visit an H&R Block branch.
How H&R Block’s tax refund advance works
You won’t pay interest on your refund advance, and funds are placed onto an Emerald Prepaid Mastercard. You can apply at an H&R Block branch from January 4 to February 29, 2020. There are five loan amounts available — $250, $500, $750, $1,250, $3,500 — and you’ll repay it by check, direct deposit or with your prepaid debit card when you receive your tax refund from the IRS.
How much does it cost?
You won’t pay any interest or fees on your refund advance loan — the APR is 0%. But there will be a tax preparation fee to file your taxes through H&R Block, which can be deducted from your final refund.
It also only issues funds on H&R Block’s Emerald Prepaid Mastercard, which comes with a $3 fee each time you withdraw money from an ATM. Any other fees you may owe aren’t stated on its website, so be sure to discuss them with your H&R Block tax adviser before agreeing to a loan.
Pros and cons
Getting a tax refund advance through H&R Block can be a great interest-free source of funds. But it might not be right for everyone.
- Advance up to $3,500
- No interest — and tax preparation fee is deductible
- Available for longer than most competition
- No online application
- Unclear if there are any other costs
- Only issues refund on a debit card
Will applying affect my credit?
No, Axos Bank may check credit when you apply for the advance. But it relies on a soft credit check which will not affect your credit score.
3 tax prep sites like H&R Block
|Refund advance amount||APR||Tax preparation fee||Deadline||Online application|
|Intuit TurboTax||$250 to $2,000||0%||Varies||February 7, 2020 — or until funds run out||Yes||Read review|
|Jackson Hewitt||$200 to $3,200||0%||Starts at $48||February 23, 2020||No||Read review|
|Liberty Tax Service||$500 to $6,250||35.99%||Not stated||February 28, 2020||No||Read review|
You can also find alternatives to tax refund advances if none of these services hit what you’re looking for.
H&R Block reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.1 out of 5 stars, based on 583 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot score||1.4 out of 5 stars, based on 344 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||12 October 2020|
No, H&R Block gets mostly negative online reviews. Some customers complained about staff submitting the wrong information on their taxes. Several also had complaints about being unable to get through to customer service. And a few mentioned the high H&R Block debit card fees.
How do I apply?
You can only apply by meeting with a tax adviser in person at an H&R Block location. Follow these steps to get started:
- Visit an H&R Block branch to start the loan process.
- Apply for a tax refund advance loan through Axos Bank.
- Wait for an approval notification through text or email.
You may receive an approval decision and funding on the same day you apply. If approved, your loan funds will be available on a prepaid Mastercard — the H&R Block Emerald Card.
What documents do I need to apply?
H&R Block doesn’t list any specific documents you should bring with you when you apply for a tax refund advance. However, it does state you will need to bring appropriate identification — call ahead to see what types of identification qualify.
Not what you’re looking for? Compare other personal loan options
Need to borrow more than $3,500? Check out our guide to personal loans to compare other options out there.