H&R Block Tax Refund Advance Review: Updated for 2021 | finder.com
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

H&R Block tax refund advance review

Last updated:  

Advances are available until February 28, 2021 — but you can't have it sent to your bank account.

Bottom line: H&R Block is great if you’re expecting a large refund and don’t want to pay interest. You’ll have to have your taxes prepared at H&R Block, but basic services can be as little as $69. But funds are only issued on a prepaid debit card — and one with an ATM withdrawal fee, at that.

Starting at $69

Tax preparation fee

0%

APR

February 28, 2021

Application deadline

Details

Product nameH&R Block Tax Refund Advance Loan
Maximum advance amount$3,500
Minimum advance amount$250
APR0%
TurnaroundAs soon as the same day
Tax preparation feeStarting at $69
Application deadlineFebruary 28, 2021
RequirementsSufficient tax refund, appropriate ID

Pros

  • 0% APR
  • Maximum refund guarantee
  • Online application available

Cons

  • Only issues refund on prepaid debit card
  • Low maximum advance of $3,500
  • Poor customer reviews

Expert review

Kellye Guinan

Review by


Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with Finder and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

Expert review

H&R Block has one of the better tax refund advance deals out there. It comes with a 0% APR and the deadline to apply isn’t until the very end of February. And you can now set up a virtual appointment with a tax pro, instead of visiting an office.

But look for another provider if you want your advance in cash. It only issues funds on a prepaid debit card, which comes with a fee every time you withdraw money from an ATM.

And while many competitors have also increased their tax advance refund amounts in light of COVID-19, H&R Block did not. You should find another tax refund advance if you need to borrow more than $3,500.

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 28, 2021.

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.

H&R Block's maximum refund guarantee

H&R Block also has a maximum refund guarantee. If you get an offer from another tax refund provider for a larger amount, H&R Block will do your tax preparation for free.

But this offer might not be as helpful as it seems. You typically need to use tax preparation services that a company offers to qualify for a refund advance. If you need over $3,500, consider applying for another tax refund advance instead.

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 with an H&R Block tax pro. This starts at $69 for federal income taxes, plus an additional fee for state taxes.

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.

How to qualify

You must meet the following requirements to get a tax refund through H&R Block:

  • File your tax return through an H&R block office
  • Expect a $250 advance or more
  • State-issued ID

H&R Block partners with MetaBank to offer its tax refund advance, so you have to meet the bank's underwriting requirements as well. It doesn't disclose what these requirements are, but it runs a soft credit check when you apply.

Will applying affect my credit?

No, MetaBank may check credit when you apply for the advance. But it relies on a soft credit check, which will not affect your credit score.

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 accredited No
BBB rating A+
BBB customer reviews 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on 332 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 1.4 out of 5 stars, based on 446 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of 08 February 2021

H&R Block gets mostly negative online reviews. Some customers complain about staff submitting the wrong information on their taxes. Several also report being unable to get through to customer service. And a few mention the high debit card fees.

Compare tax refund advances like H&R Block’s

See how H&R Block stacks up against the competition.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Refund advance amount APR Tax preparation fee Application deadline Online application
H&R Block tax refund advances
$250 – $3,500
0%
Starting at $69
February 28, 2021
Yes
Intuit TurboTax tax refund advances
$250 – $4,000
0%
$0 to $120 (DIY); $50 to $290+ (tax expert files)
February 15, 2021
Yes, by selecting "Refund Advance" as the refund option
Jackson Hewitt No Fee Refund Advance
$500 – $4,000
0%
Not disclosed
February 21, 2021
No
Liberty Tax Service tax refund advances
$500 – $6,250
35.99%
Varies
February 28, 2021
No
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

Before, you could only apply by meeting with a tax adviser in person at an H&R Block location. But to accommodate for the coronavirus outbreak, you can now apply online. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Set up an appointment with a tax pro on H&R Block's website.
  2. File your taxes by meeting in person, online or dropping off your documents in person.
  3. Apply for a tax refund advance loan through MetaBank.
  4. 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 advance 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.

Expecting more than $3,500? Read our guide to tax refund advances to compare other options out there.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to common questions about H&R Block's tax refund advance.

Will there be any finance charges or loan fees?

No. H&R Block won’t charge you any fees for borrowing a refund advance loan. However, you may have to pay a tax preparation fee to file your taxes through H&R Block.

Can I get a refund before I file my taxes?

No. To submit an application, you must be prepared to file your tax return with H&R Block — and pay for the tax preparation fee.

Ask an expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our finder.com Terms of Use and Privacy and Cookies Policy.
Go to site