Military Spouses Find Flexibility in Careers at H&R Block
On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, H&R Block highlights opportunities and aid for spouses
Department of Defense studies show military spouses face many challenges, including financial, educational and professional obstacles. For example, after a permanent change of station (PCS), military spouses are 14 percent less likely to be employed and 35 percent have difficulty making ends meet. On the other hand, financially secure military spouses are 38 percent more satisfied with the military way of life. Because of its expertise and global presence, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) can play a role helping military spouses overcome some of the financial and professional challenges the Department of Defense identified.
“From its beginnings, H&R Block has honored our nation’s military members and their families,” said Thomas Collins, director of corporate communications at H&R Block and a retired Army colonel. “Our co-founder, Henry Bloch, was a first lieutenant and navigator in the Army Air Forces during World War II. We now employ veterans – and military spouses – from all five branches of the service.”
Empowering military spouses with expertise for complicated military taxes
Military life can involve frequent moves, long commutes and the recurring cost of maintaining appearance and uniforms. All of these routine parts of military life impact the tax return – not just in terms of tax benefits they may overlook, but right down to where service members and military spouses should even file a state tax return.
Spouses of active, reserve, wounded warrior and retired military personnel can learn about taxes and filing an accurate return in H&R Block’s 60-hour Income Tax Course (ITC) for free. Last year, the company awarded more than 2,700 scholarships totaling $521,000 to military spouses. Over the last four years, $1.7 million in ITC scholarships has helped thousands of military spouses learn to prepare their own taxes.
“I made the decision to join the H&R Block ITC course and I have to admit it was the best decision I could have ever made,” said Daniela Villafuerte, an ITC alumna and spouse of a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. “I have since learned so much about my own personal finances, as well as how to help others, particularly other military families.”
Overcoming common professional obstacles military spouses face
Though enrolling in the ITC is not a guarantee of employment with H&R Block, more than 75 percent of graduates who participated in the military spouse scholarship program became tax professionals for H&R Block in tax season 2015. And with its global presence, H&R Block removes a common professional obstacle military spouses face with frequent moves.
“The stress of not having to pick up and find a new job each time your spouse has to PCS is priceless when a career is equally important to you,” said Jillian Uyehara, a 21-year military spouse and 2008 ITC alumna who passed three exams to earn the IRS' highest credential for tax preparers.
With an H&R Block office located within five miles of most Americans, H&R Block also has tax offices around the world: on nearly 100 U.S. military bases and in Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Panama, Puerto Rico and South Korea.
“I have the flexibility I need to grow with the company. No matter where in the world the Army sends my family, I know there will be an H&R Block waiting for me,” said Lacy Queen, an Army spouse of 10 years who has worked for H&R Block in multiple U.S. offices and South Korea.
To sign up for the Income Tax Course, military spouses should visit www.hrblock.com/class or call 1-800-HRBLOCK. They can obtain a waiver of course-related costs at the employment services office of their military installation, local military job fairs or a local H&R Block office.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world's largest consumer tax services provider, with revenues of $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2015. More than 680 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955, including 24.2 million tax returns in fiscal year 2015. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at http://newsroom.hrblock.com/.