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Talkin' Taxes

How Henry Bloch's ethical approach to tax preparation helped him grow H&R Block into a billion-dollar business.

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This story appears in the June 1997 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

The name H&R Block usually doesn't conjure good images. The first thing that comes to mind is April 15, the day of reckoning, when Americans must file their tax returns. H&R Block has become synonymous with income-tax preparation. Serving more than 17.4 million taxpayers, the Kansas City, Missouri, company is the world's largest provider of tax services. In 1996, revenues exceeded $894 million.

H&R Block has been selling low-cost tax-preparation services for more than 40 years. The conservative H&R Block logo and bureaucratic-looking offices with metal desks and chairs exemplify no-frills tax advice delivered by professionals who pride themselves on speed and accuracy.

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