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In this television advertisement H&R Block claims that:

Last year, thinking they could do their own taxes, Americans left behind more than a billion dollars.

Did American tax payers leave behind over $1 billion in tax refunds in 2012 (the last tax year)?

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    Assuming 50 million people did their own taxes, this amounts to only $20 apiece.
    – tcrosley
    Jan 28, 2014 at 7:05
  • I kind of hope the answer will include that tax practitioners may be more aggressive than their clients desire and that the cost of a tax practitioner may outweigh the increased tax return.
    – Oddthinking
    Jan 28, 2014 at 10:11
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    Note that the same commercials say that only H&R BLock only finds more money for 1 in 5 people. Unless the population of people who go to H&R Block is WAY better at that kind of thing than people who don't, I think that data means that most people doing their own taxes are doing a fine job of it, or at least that the number of people who ought to go to H&R Block, and aren't, is relatively small.
    – swbarnes2
    Feb 4, 2014 at 1:18

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