H&R Block offered a online application called Tango for performing federal/state income taxes (e.g. TurboTax). It was a hot commodity in the tech. realm last year (ComputerWorld, PCWorld, etc.). I used it. Unfortunately, they decided near the end of last year to disable access to the site but promised access would soon return. Now they have quietly decided not to renew Tango for this year. Okay, no big deal. But they:
- Won’t allow you to login to your account to view old data.
- Export your data in a form that is importable to any other application (e.g. TurboTax or TaxCut).
In my opinion this is a huge breach of trust on the part of H&R Block. In my mind, while this action may not be illegal it is most certainly unethical especially considering the ease with which access to this data could be provided. I planned to do my taxes at H&R Block…but I’m having second thoughts now.
Here is the <sarcasm>helpful</sarcasm> tips H&R Block offers to its former customers:
- “How can I compare what I entered through Tango last year?
At the end of each tax season we remove the prior year interview from the Web site so that we can load the updated current year interview. Even if Tango had been released for the 2008 tax season, you would not have been able to compare line by line what had been entered in the prior year.” (why? its not like tax data consumes that much storage space)
- “How can I access my prior year(s) Tango return?
Unfortunately since Tango will not be released for tax year 2008 this will no longer be option. To obtain a copy of your prior year(s) return you will need to contact the IRS.” (snikes! that stinks, well thanks for the form…ohh wait, “Form 4506 can be used to request a full copy of a return; however, there is a fee…”)
- “Will I be able to print my prior year(s) Tango return that I saved locally?
Unfortunately, if you did not save a copy of your return in PDF format and you chose to save your data locally to your hard drive (versus our servers) we will not have a copy of your return.” (yes, we did let you save your data, we just won’t let you access it!)