Frequently Asked Questions

DIY Research | Ask a Tax Expert | Technical Support

DIY Research

How do I log into the Tax Research Center?

H&R Block associates may log using their single sign-on (SSO) credentials.

      1. Sign into DNA

      2. Select the “Tax Research Center” link under “Websites” in the bottom left.

If you have difficulty logging in you may submit a Support question without logging in by clicking on the “Support” link on the main landing page. A valid email address associated with your account must be provided. Tax law questions submitted through the Support link will be refused and provided instructions on how to submit a case through the Tax Research Center.

How is the information in my profile used?

When you submit a question for tax research through Ask a Tax Expert, the contact information in your profile may be used if your researcher has additional questions before providing your response.

You must provide a valid email address to use the Tax Research Center. In addition, you may provide a secondary email address for correspondence. 

How do I update my profile?

You may update your profile at any time by selecting the My Profile link in the upper right corner of the Tax Research Center.  The updates will not apply to previously submitted cases.

Is there a glossary of acronyms frequently used on the site?

Yes, a list of acronyms can be found in article What are some common tax acronyms used by the Tax Research Center?

How often are the articles in the Tax Research Center reviewed/updated?

Tax Research Center articles are reviewed and updated regularly. New articles are also being created throughout the year. Factors that affect the frequency of updating include (but are not limited to) new tax laws, court decisions (e.g., DOMA and the Windsor case), natural disasters (as they relate to casualty losses and other tax effects), as well as from readers’ comments and suggestions.

How can I bookmark a Tax Research Center article?

Use the Save Bookmark button within the article to bookmark the article. To access your saved bookmarks, select the My Tax Research tab, then select My Bookmarked Articles. To remove a bookmark, click the Remove Bookmark button on the right side of the screen.

How do I leave feedback about a Tax Research Center article?

Use the Provide Feedback button on the right hand side of any article to provide feedback about that particular article.

Ask a Tax Expert

How do I submit a new tax-related question?

Select the Ask a Tax Expert button and complete the question template.  In the “Background” box, explain the specific facts of your taxpayer’s situation.  Ask your specific tax question(s) in the “Question” box.  When you are finished select the Add to Order button to add the case to your cart. On the next screen, you may use the “Download fax cover sheet” or “Add/Remove Attachments” button to provide additional information. 

When your cart is complete, select the Submit button to send the case(s) to the Tax Institute research agents.  If required, you will be prompted to enter payment information for your case(s). You will receive a confirmation email when your question(s) has been submitted.  The confirmation email is sent to the primary email address on file, as well as the secondary email address if selected for notification. 

You can view the status of a case at any time in the “Status” column of your Questions and Answers list.

How do I write/structure a good question?

In order to ensure you receive the most clear and accurate response, we ask that you state your question as precisely as possible and provide as much relevant information as you believe we’ll need to answer that question. Try not to add information that is not relevant to your tax question, as this can confuse the issue. If you’re not sure, include the information.

Questions must relate to the preparation of H&R Block client returns.

When submitting questions online the following general rules apply:

Provide facts: General questions without facts typically receive more generic tax law responses. Provide clear and concise facts about relevant parties, timelines, and events. Consider the information a tax professional would need to know before responding. For example, when asking a question regarding whether a child can be claimed as a dependent under the qualifying child rules, it would be relevant to include facts related to the relationship, age, residency, and support of the child.

Ask specific questions: The more specific your question is, the more direct the response can be.

Include documents: If you are referencing an information document, IRS letter, or other specific taxpayer information it is best if you fax or attach those documents when submitting your case so your researcher can view them.  Always redact (black-out) sensitive taxpayer information, such as SSN, before sending the documents to us. SSNs should never be included in the question submitted or accompanying documentation.

Indicate state: If your question involves state tax law implications you must indicate the state(s) to which you are referring. 

Entities: Make sure to provide relevant information about the entity itself. For example if the question relates to an LLC it would be helpful to know it’ is taxed (S or C corporation, partnership, or disregarded entity), if this information is available.

How do I save a question?

If you have started to compose a question, but need to come back to it later or aren’t ready to add it to your order for submission, click the Save button at the bottom of the Ask a Tax Expert screen. Your question will be saved in the My Tax Research section of the website.

How can I view my answer?

Responses are available on the Tax Research Center in the My Tax Research tab; they are not emailed to you directly. Select the case from your Questions and Answers list. Your response will then be viewable within the case itself. 

If you have further questions regarding the same issue you may use the Request Follow Up button on the right hand side of the screen to submit a follow up question.  If you have questions regarding a different issue please submit a new case using the Ask a Tax Expert button. You may also submit feedback regarding the response you received by selecting the Provide Feedback button on the right.

What if I have additional questions after reviewing my response?  How do I submit a follow-up question?

The Request Follow-Up button is located on the right hand side of all closed cases, except cases which were cancelled (expired due to lack of response). 

Select the My Tax Research tab.  Then select the case for which you have additional tax questions from your Questions and Answers list.  Use the Request Follow-Up button on the right to submit the follow-up case.

What if I have feedback about the response I received?

Feedback is provided using the Provide Feedback button. This button is located on each case response, as well as each Tax Research Center article.

Important: Submitting feedback does not generate a follow-up case.  If you have additional tax law questions which need to be addressed after a question is answered you will need to submit a follow-up question.  You may do this in addition to submitting feedback.

What types of questions will be refused as out of the scope of the service?

The Ask a Tax Expert service on the Tax Research Center will provide responses to tax law questions related to the preparation of H&R Block client returns. 

Some questions which will be refused include (but are not limited to) legal (non-tax) advice, social security benefit eligibility or amount inquiries, investment planning, debt counseling, college financial aid planning/applications, estate planning, Medicare/Medicaid planning, financial/SEC issues, foreign tax law.

The Tax Institute reserves the right to refuse a question for any reason.

Can I cancel a question?

Yes, you may cancel or withdraw a question at any time before the response is provided. Canceling a question when you no longer need a response is much appreciated, and allows our researchers to continue focusing their time on responses needed to prepare H&R Block client returns.

To cancel your question, select the case from your Questions and Answers list, in the My Tax Research tab. Use the Send Comment button on the right to submit a comment to your researcher indicating you wish to withdraw or cancel the case. The researcher will then reject the case without a response, and you will receive an email indicating your case has been refused.

What if I have submitted my question and have additional information to provide?

You may add additional information to a case at any time while it is open. Select the case from your Questions and Answers list, in the My Tax Research tab. Use the Fax, Attachment, or Send Comment buttons to provide the additional information. 

Caution: Make sure to remove all personal identity items, especially SSNs, before uploading or faxing documents. SSNs should never be included in the question submitted or accompanying documentation.

What happens if I don’t supply enough information?

If we determine that we need more information to answer your question, we will send a Request for More Information (RMI) to you with the additional information needed. You will receive an email notification asking you to log in to your account to review the information requested.  Select the case from your Questions and Answers list in the My Tax Research tab. The information requested will be displayed under the Status box in the upper right.

Research will not resume on your case until you provide the additional information.

Important: When we send a request for information, you will have 8 days to respond with either (a) the additional information requested, or (b) with the expected date when you will be able to provide the information. If we do not hear from you within 8 days of our request, your case will automatically close. Tax Institute researchers reserve the right to request you resubmit the case at a later date if the additional information cannot be obtained within a timely manner.

How do I upload an attachment to an existing case?      

Caution: Always redact (black-out) sensitive taxpayer information, such as SSN, before sending the documents to us. SSNs should never be included in the question submitted or accompanying documentation.

Select the My Tax Research tab. Then select the case to which you want to attach information from your Questions and Answers list. Select the Attachment button on the right.

Use the dropdown to select the number of files you want to upload to the case. Use the Choose File button to browse to the file(s) you wish to attach. Once you have selected the proper file(s), select the Upload Files button.  You will see the uploaded files appear near the top of the screen.

If your document(s) fails to upload it is most likely not in an acceptable file format.  Check to verify the file is in an acceptable format.

Acceptable file formats are: DOC (Word, not DOCX), XLS (Excel, not XLSX), PPT (PowerPoint), PDF, GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, TIF, TIFF, TXT

How do I fax a document to an existing case?

Caution: Always redact (black-out) sensitive taxpayer information, such as SSN, before sending the documents to us. SSNs should never be included in the question submitted or accompanying documentation.

The fax button will only be available on open cases, including follow up cases. All faxes must have a unique cover sheet (specific to each case) or they will not attach to your case properly.

To generate a fax cover sheet for an open case, select the My Tax Research tab, then select the case from your Questions and Answers list.  Use the Fax button on the right side of the case to generate a cover sheet. The cover sheet will contain the fax number for the case. NEVER fax documents using the cover sheet for a previous case, as the fax will not be received.

If you do not see the fax button then your case is closed. You will need to submit a follow up, or new case, in order to generate a cover sheet to fax documents.

Why do I need to use the fax cover sheet when faxing a document?

The fax cover sheet contains a barcode which is specific to each case.  The barcode is used to automatically attach the fax to your case so your researcher can view it.  If this barcode is incorrect or does not exist, your researcher may not be able to view the document when preparing your response.

The fax phone number is located on the fax cover sheet.

Why does my case status say “cancelled”?

When your tax researcher requests additional information to proceed with your response, you have 8 days to respond.  If you do not respond within 8 days the case will automatically be cancelled.

If you still wish to have your question answered, please resubmit your question and the additional information required.

How long are answers and related communications stored and available in My Tax Research?

Answers provided by Tax Research Center are currently available for 18 months. However The Tax Institute reserves the right to reduce the length of storage time or remove cases at any time.

Be sure and save/print your cases for future reference and records retention purposes.

Technical Support

How do I submit a technical support question?

Select the Get Site Support tab. Select the Go button in the Customer Support & Site Feedback box. Select the support topic and enter the details of your support question in the template. When finished, select Submit to finalize the support case.

You should receive a response within 2 business days.

Any tax questions submitted as customer support questions will be refused and provided with instructions on how to submit a tax law question through Ask a Tax Expert.

Are you having technical problems using the website?

If you are receiving an error message or difficulty on the website, click on the Get Site Support tab, then select Go under Customer Support & Site Feedback. Please provide as much description of your issue as you can. If possible, take a screen print of the issue.

The Tax Institute can only provide technical support for the Tax Research Center. We cannot provide technical support for a user’s internet browser settings, or for personal computer systems.

Site Demo

See detailed information and tips about using the Tax Research Center.

Customer Support
& Site Feedback

Need site help or want to make a comment about the site?


 

Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Copyright © 2015 The Tax Institute, One H&R Block Way, Kansas City, MO 64105




Processing