A little over 2 years ago I started this topic -
H&R Block Tax prep course advice
I would have just updated there but replies are no longer allowed.
I just emailed my District Manager to let her know that I'm not coming back this year. All in all, it's been a positive experience. I learned a lot about taxes and myself. I also learned that I have no feel for marketing and promotion. It felt good to be helping people with their taxes. I loved the number crunching and I was pretty good at the whole thing. I developed people skills that I didn't know I had.
What it comes down to at this point is that I just don't want to work a 2nd part-time job. The past 2 years I worked 3 evenings and 1 day on the weekend during the tax season and never made more than the basic hourly wage of $8/hr. The pay is a draw against commissions and I never made more than my draw. The idea is that if you do enough returns and bring in enough new business your commissions will exceed your draw and you get a "bonus" at the end of the season. In two years at my small office I worked with one tax pro who was earning the bonus and she was in her 5th year. Everyone else was just earning the hourly rate.
There are 2-3 weeks in late Jan and early Feb that are busy and the office is packed and everyone works on returns all day. Then it drops off and it can be dead quiet for the rest of Feb and most of March. I worked in a small office which they permanently closed at the end of the season and combined all the tax pros into a nearby office.
Maybe I had a typical experience, maybe not. I know there is a high turnover in the early years.
Anyway, my reason for working as a tax pro was that we were expecting my husband to lose his job and I needed something from this century
(I had been a SAHM since 1984 until I started working as a School Crossing Guard) to put on my resume if I needed to work to support us.
Well, the BIG SCARY THING (DH's job loss) did happen in Jan 2010 and he retired in June, 2010 and his retirement has worked out better than we expected. I'm still working as a Crossing Guard and enjoying it and I went ahead and took 3 H&R Block Tax Courses in preparation for working the 2011 tax season. But my heart's just not in it. It's a lot of time, work and responsibility for very little pay and I just don't feel the urge to work a 2nd part time job.
The company has some strong points and some weak points. The training and technical support are excellent. Most of the people are smart, helpful and sincere. I felt like I was part of a good team.
The weak areas are that it's becoming easier for taxpayers to do their own returns for free online or to buy software and do their own returns. Block even has it's own consumer software which cuts into it's own business of a storefront office with trained tax professionals paid a low hourly wage. The high prices kept some clients from returning.
So, I'm done. I have the two seasons and all the classes to put on a resume if needed but for now I'm content with the simplicity of the rest of my life and I don't need the complications of a low paying extra job.