FTC files complaint against H&R Block

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against tax preparation company H&R Block.

In the complaint filed on Friday, Feb. 23, the FTC accused the company of "unfairly deleting consumers’ tax data and requiring them to contact customer service when they downgrade to more affordable online products, and deceptively marketing their products as ‘free’ when they were not free for many customers."

H&R Block also faces allegations of failing to clearly explain which tax forms, schedules or situations each of its products covers. By doing this, many consumers began their tax returns with pricier products than needed.

The FTC states that H&R Block has been offering and pressuring customers to pay for more expensive online products, even when the extra forms were unnecessary. 

H&R Block. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

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The complaint points out that while consumers can upgrade without contacting H&R Block's customer service, the opposite is true for downgrading. Since 2014, consumers wishing to downgrade have had to reach out to the company and the process is often frustrating and time-consuming.

Overall, the FTC claims that H&R Block has been using deceptive marketing tactics for years.

As of Monday morning, there has been no response from H&R Block regarding the report.