PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s the paperwork no one wants to get in the mail. A criminal complaint for a crime you had no clue you committed.
The charges shocked Valerie Reha, of Wexford. She had never broken the law.
“Enclosed is a copy of the criminal complaint filed against you by the Pine-Richland Schools… alleging that you failed to file earned income tax.”
As it turns out, there was a problem with her family’s 2011 taxes prepared by H&R Block. They made a mistake and even admitted it.
KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “So when you got this letter, how did you react?”
Reha: “That’s when I got scared, called my husband and I called the 1-800 number for H&R Block and said I need someone now.”
Reha felt confident there wouldn’t be a problem. She paid a little extra for what H&R Block calls “peace of mind coverage.”
“You pay extra,” she said. “That covers you with audit protection if they make a mistake they’ll pay whatever the additional costs are.”
But these were her 2011 taxes. A few years have passed and she didn’t get a letter about the mistake until late last year.
That’s when the problems started. She called one H&R Block office, got voicemails, sent to another office and more voicemails.
“We sort of played phone tag back and forth,” said Reha.
Months passed and then came the letter about criminal charges. Then, a notice came from H&R Block that she violated the “peace of mind policy.”
“In a ‘peace of mind’ claim, you have 60 days to notify H&R Block,” Reha said. “What H&R Block was telling me, they found my email, it was on day 61, which is ridiculous.”
Reha says part of the problem is the way H&R Block is set up. Some offices are temporary, some aren’t. They wanted her to prove she called them, prove she left voicemails.
“Of course I didn’t have proof; of course I didn’t record myself,” she said.
That’s when she called KDKA.
Griffin: “When did things start happening? When did they first start addressing your concerns?”
Reha: “Not until after I got you involved really.”
A local H&R Block supervisor opened up Reha’s case, and then we got a call from H&R Block.
Reha received a check, taking care of the money she had to pay for the tax mistake. H&R Block stepped up.
“I think it was because you got involved… made them look further,” said Reha. “They came through on their end of the bargain and they paid their claim.”
If you’d like Marty to help you solve your problem, email him at GetMarty@kdka.com.