H&R block wants to charge gay couples in Connecticut an additional $150 to file their tax returns. Jason Smith and his partner of six years, Settimo Piso, were told by H&R Block—which strives to "[provide] the best experience for ALL customers."—"We don't support Connecticut civil union returns." The tax preparer is willing to help the couple fill out the form, but only if they pay an extra $150 and visit one of H&R's offices. The slight led our partner group, the ACLU, to fire off an angry letter to H&R Block demanding equal treatment for the couple.
"According to the letter the ACLU sent to H&R Block, failing to provide gay couples with civil unions the option of filing their taxes online as it does for married couples is in violation of a state law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation and civil union status. The letter demands that the company adapt its website to accommodate couples with civil unions and to reimburse all couples who were forced to pay the additional charges due to H&R Block's discriminatory practices. Although the tax requirements for couples with civil unions in Connecticut are very similar to the requirements for married gay couples in Massachusetts, H&R Block's online tax preparation service seems to accommodate married gay couples there."Gay couples wishing to file a civil union return can avail themselves of the free market and instead use rival TurboTax.
Same-Sex Couple Blocked By H & R [Hartford Courant]
Advocacy Encourages H&R Block to Accommodate Gay Couples in Civil Unions [ACLU]