U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan is focusing on millions of clients who bought H&R Block's Peace of Mind "Insurance" product as he decides whether to certify a 13-year old class action for 11 states.
Hundreds of thousands of H&R Block's clients, the suit claims, were tricked into buying "Peace of Mind" guarantees they didn't need.
"Peace of Mind," the product Bernie Madoff called "The scam I wish I thought of" guarantees that Block will defend a customer if the Internal Revenue Service detects an error.
Plaintiff's Attorney Michael Brown states that, "the overwhelming majority of Block's clients never have a Peace of Mind claim because their returns are so simple, the likelihood of error by Block and the chance of additional taxes being owed are remote."
Plaintiffs' suit also mentions teeny-tiny little legal disclosures that Block should have discussed with clients, such as ts extremely low error rate, the extremely low IRS audit rate, that 99.7 to 99.9 percent of Peace of Mind purchasers never had a claim, that Block pays a 15 percent commission on Peace of Mind, and that Peace Of Mind is considered insurance, which Block lacked authority to sell in Arizona, California, Illinois and New Jersey.
(Please read the companion piece, "H&R Block Says 'Peace of Mind' Defends Against Tax Errors, Keeps Hands Soft, Will Cook an Entire Turkey In One Hour, Will Guard Against Rust and Will Make Your Laundry April Fresh.")
Block's attorney Darth Kindsley addressed the Plaintiff's Claims, stating, "At the end of the day, et cetera, et cetera, where the rubber meets the road, going forward, we need to focus on areas where, at the end of the day, this is where the rubber meets the road. Going Forward."