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Old 07-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #41
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So I assume that you are doing tax work... is this correct
yes, I passed my enrolled agent exam this year. Block paid for that, and it increased my pay considerably.

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If so, then what can one expect to be paid in future years I know that subbing there is no higher pay... it is what it is.... but if you can get more doing taxes in future years than maybe it can be an option..

Right now my base pay for next tax season is around $22 an hour. It is draw against commision so at the end of tax season they pay you a bonus of what they still owe you on your commisons. I think earning $15. an hour is realistic after a few years. You do have to study and take certification classes which increases your commisions.

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What about work hours Can you choose to work one day, not the next, then 3 days in a row... then skip a week? I do know you can do this subbing without any problem as you choose the days you want to work...
You fill in a calendar with your availability. For the most part they honor what is called " your commitment" As things come up you edit your availablity. For last minute changes we would work it out amongst ourselfs.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #42
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Thanks everyone for the feedback, comments and suggestions. Working Jan - April is ideal for me. Weather here in PNW is dreary and wet and I usually just snowshoe and XC ski. DH will still be working til 6/16, so we won't have any real travel plans interrupted. No real heartburn if it doesn't work out.
My only concern at this time is the time commitment for the course 3x week from 6-9pm starting 8/11. I don't want to commit that time if I don't have a good chance of being hired. My last day at megacorp is 8/1, so at least my mind will still be sharp for the course.




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Old 07-20-2014, 11:39 AM   #43
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Isn't a comparison between seasonal tax prep work and substitute teaching an apples to oranges comparison? Tax prep, for folks with an aptitude for it, requires a class that takes a few months to complete and which you do well in. You can decide tax prep is what you want to do and be prepared in a few months following a path outlined by the employer. Sub teaching in our area requires full teacher certification, frequently experience (retired teachers seem to be preferred) and glowing recommendations. There seems to be a glut of teachers here and substitute teaching, day care jobs, tutoring, etc., is most commonly done by certified, experienced teachers with solid resumes and good references. Not too easy to qualify for unless you're already in the field.
Exactly right. They both seem to attract retirees looking for meaningful work. For me the subbing required too many hoops for too little pay. Thou, taxes requires plenty of hoops too.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #44
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Thanks everyone for the feedback, comments and suggestions. Working Jan - April is ideal for me. Weather here in PNW is dreary and wet and I usually just snowshoe and XC ski. DH will still be working til 6/16, so we won't have any real travel plans interrupted. No real heartburn if it doesn't work out.
My only concern at this time is the time commitment for the course 3x week from 6-9pm starting 8/11. I don't want to commit that time if I don't have a good chance of being hired. My last day at megacorp is 8/1, so at least my mind will still be sharp for the course.




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If you consider it like any other class, stimulating your brain and learning new things you'll be happy with it. I do not think you'll have trouble being hired given your background . I had 0 background in math, customer service , technology, finance . ( went from teaching to taxes) and did fine.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:31 PM   #45
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For me the subbing required too many hoops for too little pay.
OTOH, if you were a retired teacher already having certification, experience, references, there would have been fewer hoops than getting a job with H and R Block doing taxes.

It depends. It's apples to oranges.

For me, working for someone else, especially at relatively low rates of pay, doesn't compare favorably with not working.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:08 PM   #46
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OTOH, if you were a retired teacher already having certification, experience, references, there would have been fewer hoops than getting a job with H and R Block doing taxes.

It depends. It's apples to oranges.

For me, working for someone else, especially at relatively low rates of pay, doesn't compare favorably with not working.

I am ( was) certified, experienced, references. Moved to Georgia and would have to meet all their certification requirements. take more college courses, pay for a new certificate, take their competency test, pay for finger printing. The list is endless. and no guarentee of work either. There may be a teacher glut here right now. DK
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:10 PM   #47
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Paint the LR and DR myself saving us $500, yes. Maintain ongoing connections with the local school district and substitute teach for 6 days to net $500 in after tax compensation, no.
I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but one major item on my To Do list for the winder is scraping the nasty "popcorn" texture off the ceilings in the 2 rooms where I haven't done it. (The master bath and the family room have cathedral ceilings so I'm not touching those.) I got a quote on that work once. It's not brain surgery, but it's slow and messy and very expensive. Since we're planning to sell the house in the spring that may be a better use of my time than doing taxes.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:04 PM   #48
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Worked for Block for five years after I first retired. Good training and experience for the first couple of years and then I got fed up with some of the Dilbert like management silliness. Never liked pushing the Peace of Mind guarantees and always thought their Emerald Advance loans bordered on predatory lending. For the last two years I've been a volunteer VITA Site coordinator which is much more fun.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:35 PM   #49
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OTOH, if you were a retired teacher already having certification, experience, references, there would have been fewer hoops than getting a job with H and R Block doing taxes.

It depends. It's apples to oranges.

For me, working for someone else, especially at relatively low rates of pay, doesn't compare favorably with not working.

That is where I am at. And I admit I wouldn't be averse to doing some part time work, but I just get killed in taxes so it isn't worth my time... For me, If I made 10k all I would receive from it would be less than $3900 not including transportation costs. 28% tax for almost all the income... 6% state... 6.5 % approx for SS that I get no benefit from... 1.5% approx. for Medicare I'm already invested in.. Loss of 2k tax credit for exceeding income limit for the credit.. It just isn't worth my time....unless somebody wants to pay me cash!


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Old 07-20-2014, 03:38 PM   #50
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Isn't a comparison between seasonal tax prep work and substitute teaching an apples to oranges comparison? Tax prep, for folks with an aptitude for it, requires a class that takes a few months to complete and which you do well in. You can decide tax prep is what you want to do and be prepared in a few months following a path outlined by the employer. Sub teaching in our area requires full teacher certification, frequently experience (retired teachers seem to be preferred) and glowing recommendations. There seems to be a glut of teachers here and substitute teaching, day care jobs, tutoring, etc., is most commonly done by certified, experienced teachers with solid resumes and good references. Not too easy to qualify for unless you're already in the field.

I did say in my first post that it makes a difference in where you live... our local district is similar to yours... if you do not have a teaching certificate you are not going to get a job.... but I know someone who does not even have a college degree that subs for Houston... and one of my sisters who had a degree but was not a teacher subbed in Austin to get extra years on her retirement...

So yes, it does make a difference in your ability to get work...


But, it also sounds like you have to get a good score to do taxes.... I have done taxes on and off for many years, so I know what is needed... but someone coming from a completely different career path might not 'get it'... there is no guarantee you will get a job doing taxes even after you pay money and take the class...
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:28 PM   #51
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To those who have worked for Block, are the "commissions" just a share of the total fees paid by the client in lieu of hourly pay?
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #52
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Maybe I'm crazy, but my plan when I ER is to actually take the EA exams just "for the heck of it." Right now I find taxes interesting. As an engineer who loves playing with rules and numbers, it seems to make sense -- although it is also very different.

What scares me most about Block is the refund loans and the peace of mind insurance pushing. Not sure I have the proper customer-facing constitution to handle that.

So would I be crazy to spend my own money on getting the EA just to stimulate my mind? It sounds like it.

A job in somebody's tax office would be a plus of course. But I kind of want to just start with a hard challenge first.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:04 PM   #53
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Maybe I'm crazy, but my plan when I ER is to actually take the EA exams just "for the heck of it." Right now I find taxes interesting. As an engineer who loves playing with rules and numbers, it seems to make sense -- although it is also very different.

What scares me most about Block is the refund loans and the peace of mind insurance pushing. Not sure I have the proper customer-facing constitution to handle that.

So would I be crazy to spend my own money on getting the EA just to stimulate my mind? It sounds like it.

A job in somebody's tax office would be a plus of course. But I kind of want to just start with a hard challenge first.

I would think you'd want some experience doing taxes before you sit for the EA exam.

There are no more refund loans , the IRS put a stop to that. Peace of Mind is something you offer your clients , there is a sales component to it, but I do not do a hard sale. I explain it and move on.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:10 PM   #54
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I would think you'd want some experience doing taxes before you sit for the EA exam.

There are no more refund loans , the IRS put a stop to that. Peace of Mind is something you offer your clients , there is a sales component to it, but I do not do a hard sale. I explain it and move on.
Thanks rothley. I told you I was crazy.

You're right, it might make sense for me to do something like Block's class and see if I can pass their muster first. It would be cheaper for starters, and that would also give me mental stimulation I fear I may miss, and if motivated enough, a possible job path. EA could come next year if discovered it was something I wanted to do during retirement.

Glad to hear the IRS stopped the refund loan madness. That always disturbed me.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:23 PM   #55
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To those who have worked for Block, are the "commissions" just a share of the total fees paid by the client in lieu of hourly pay?
I've worked at Block for 6 years since retiring from Megacorp (CPA). I don't need the income, but enjoy doing taxes.

Blocks commission is based on several factors including client fees, certification level, years worked for the company, etc. If your commission is more than your hourly draw at the end of tax season, you will receive a final commission check. If your hourly draw is more than your calculated commission, you don't have to pay back your overdraw.

Some of the "pros" to working at Block include: 1) Very good training 2) Flexible hours (basically work when you want 3) Decent wages after a few years once you build up your client base.

"Cons" include: 1)Low starting pay 2)having to "sell" some products such as Peace of Mind and Emerald Debit Cards 3)Potentially dealing with office politics.

Honestly, if you don't think you'd like preparing taxes, it's not worth it. The money won't be worth the headaches. If you're weird like me and read tax/finance books and magazines "for fun", then you'd probably like making a few extra bucks working 3 1/2 months a year at a place like Block.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #56
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To those who have worked for Block, are the "commissions" just a share of the total fees paid by the client in lieu of hourly pay?

When I worked for Block you received an hourly pay based on your classification as TP1, TP2, Tax Advisor 1, etc., etc. At the end of the season you got your bonus which was based on a number of different metrics; cost of the tax return, POM sold, client retention, etc., etc., etc. Every year they seemed to change it just enough to keep many people confused.

When all was said and done I made about $15-$17 an hour. One thing I found rather strange was most if not all of the PT tax preparers would go down and sign up for unemployment on April 16th. I asked why they did this and they rationalized it by Block's low pay.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:36 PM   #57
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Honestly, if you don't think you'd like preparing taxes, it's not worth it. The money won't be worth the headaches. If you're weird like me and read tax/finance books and magazines "for fun", then you'd probably like making a few extra bucks working 3 1/2 months a year at a place like Block.
I haven't got into the books and magazines yet, but I do like reading about the tax situations. I also enjoy doing my own taxes. When I mention this to people, they say I am crazy. So, I do know I'm special.

I've also gotten a reputation at Megacorp for wanting to discuss taxes. To me it is all simple stuff like standard IRA, ESPP, HSA and NQSO issues. No big deal, but people just freak out over the rules. I enjoy discussing it.

As an aside... It is unbelievable how many people won't participate in our ESPP program because they "may have to pay taxes." We're talking 15% return for money set aside a maximum of 6 months (actually, more of an average of 3 months). No where can you get that kind of easy guaranteed return. Yet people let it go away because they "may have to pay that return as regular income." Arghhh!
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:41 PM   #58
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I do tax returns as a volunteer with TaxAide. Prepare or review approximately 500 returns a year. I don't know what the pay is at Block or others. I have some volunteers who used to work at Block who got pretty disgusted with how they treated clients - especially taking advantage of lower income clients.
I was trained by Block (did their full class twice) and worked for them a couple of winters in OH. I would never work for them again (yes, very disgusted with their fee structure) but I've put my skills and experience to work volunteering to do free taxes at the local library. Mostly, an elderly population and the disgust now comes from seeing how their brokers are ripping them off by churning their accounts.

After retiring, I went back to college for a year to get my FL teaching certificate and I now substitute teach in our local school district (middle school). I choose how many days to work and where. When the day is over, I'm done! The rules changed during the year so a certificate is no longer required for daily jobs, but long term jobs can only be filled by certified subs. I now make in a day what I used to make in an hour but I've found it to be interesting and rewarding and relatively low stress.
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Old 07-20-2014, 08:48 PM   #59
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I haven't got into the books and magazines yet, but I do like reading about the tax situations. I also enjoy doing my own taxes. When I mention this to people, they say I am crazy. So, I do know I'm special.

I've also gotten a reputation at Megacorp for wanting to discuss taxes. To me it is all simple stuff like standard IRA, ESPP, HSA and NQSO issues. No big deal, but people just freak out over the rules. I enjoy discussing it.

As an aside... It is unbelievable how many people won't participate in our ESPP program because they "may have to pay taxes." We're talking 15% return for money set aside a maximum of 6 months (actually, more of an average of 3 months). No where can you get that kind of easy guaranteed return. Yet people let it go away because they "may have to pay that return as regular income." Arghhh!
Sounds like you're a good candidate for tax prep work!

I always participated in the ESPP plan at work. It could be a headache at tax time (keeping track of basis), but like you said, it's easy money. Same thing with FSA's - most of my co-workers never used them. I saved thousands over the years with daycare and kids in braces!
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:57 PM   #60
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Just a curiosity question on people who work for Block... do you have to sign the return as preparer or do they put down Block
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