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H&R Block tax refund advance review

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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.

Yes

Tax preparation fee

0%

APR

February 29, 2020

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 feeYes
Application deadlineFebruary 29, 2020
RequirementsSufficient tax refund, appropriate ID

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 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.

Pros

  • Advance up to $3,500
  • No interest — and tax preparation fee is deductible
  • Available for longer than most competition

Cons

  • 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 amountAPRTax preparation feeDeadlineOnline application
Intuit TurboTax$250 to $2,0000%VariesFebruary 7, 2020 — or until funds run outYesRead review
Jackson Hewitt$200 to $3,2000%Starts at $48February 23, 2020NoRead review
Liberty Tax Service$500 to $6,25035.99%Not statedFebruary 28, 2020NoRead review

You can also find alternatives to tax refund advances if none of these services hit what you’re looking for.

Does H&R Block get good customer reviews?

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1.1 out of 5 stars, based on 277 customer reviews
Trustpilot score1.4 out of 5 stars, based on 264 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of28 May 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:

  1. Visit an H&R Block branch to start the loan process.
  2. Apply for a tax refund advance loan through Axos Bank.
  3. 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.

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