Tax time has long since passed and yet I seem to still be dealing with the aftermath. My April Challenge was to go to H&R Block to get them to assist me with my taxes since I would be filing as a sole proprietor and would need to file for my GST/HST number. This was new ground for me and I thought going to professionals would make it easier on me… Oh how wrong I was.
Recently I had received a letter from the CRA saying I have not paid my GST/HST. This was slightly mind boggling to me since that was one of the main reasons why I went to H&R Block. I thought it must have been a mistake as I clearly remembered them telling me I needed to pay $213 for my GST/HST and I did it literally the second I got home from their office.
When I called the CRA they told me that they just hadn’t received the form to indicate how I was able to get that number. Once again I was shocked. H&R Block told me that they would be filing it electronically even though I had brought in the hard copy (which they kept… weird right?!).
So to get things whole thing sorted out I would have to make another appointment with H&R Block. When I called to make an appointment with the original place I did my taxes they were no longer open (many close when it’s not peak tax season). I left a message with their main office, I sent several emails and even called to see if I could book an appointment to a location closer to me. No dice.
I was starting to get stressed out. No one wants the CRA breathing down their neck and I was seriously pissed that this already hadn’t been taken care of.
Finally I was able to get in contact with H&R Block’s main office. The man I spoke to was next-level rude to me. I was just asking (in a calm and professional tone) what I should be bringing to the meeting and if a filing error may have occurred. He was having none of it and started getting huffy with me. I decided to get his name for my own files and it was like pulling teeth (he said he had another person on the line and that he needed to hang up… yeah, sure bud, give me your gosh darn name).
When I went to the meeting the next day I went in with a positive attitude thinking that some minor error occurred and that it would be fixed in no time…. Oh poor, naive Karyn.
After explaining my situation to the man helping me out all he could do was look at me like I was crazy and explain that the mistake must have been on my end. We were not off to a good start.
After he looked through my file he told me that I have not yet filed my GST/HST and needed to pay it. I was absolutely dumbfounded. How is this possible when they told me what to pay and that they filed it? He then told me I had to pay the CRA almost THREE FREAKING GRAND! That is when my brain shut-down and I started getting pissed.
A lot has happened in the five months since I filed my taxes. I have quit a job, visited Kenya, started another job that didn’t work out and then finally found one that I seriously enjoy. Back then I had saved my moolah specifically for tax time because I knew I was going to be a hot mess in the following months. If I had heard this number the first time I was in H&R Block I would’ve still been shocked, but I would’ve been able to pay, no probs. Now, not so much.
I was visibly upset and what did my H&R Block monster of a rep say to me? “You need to suck it up. It’s your fault, not ours.” It took everything I had to not staple my fist to his face, but instead I kept as cool as I could and just told him to just finish up so I could leave.
When I went home shaken and angry I called the CRA once more to see if they could help me figure out where this number came from, but of course with my luck I was met with someone who decided that my questions were too stupid for them to answer, so I just hung up.
In the end I have paid my GST/HST, decided to NEVER EVER go back to H&R Block and to cancel my GST/HST number. I have left out a few other details, but this post is already incredibly long.
So in short, challenge completed, though it feels like I failed. I guess this is why we do these monthly financial challenges, to show you what could happen (though I sincerely hope this never happens to any of you).
To any of you who do work at H&R Block I hope that you treat people with more care who come to you for help. We come to see you because we need professional advice and assistance. No one wants to be berated and talked down to, especially when it comes to their finances. Do me a favour and start treating your clients like people and not just bags of money that you can dip your greedy fingers into. This is one moneybag you will never get to see again, and that genuinely brings a smile to my face.