Block Partners With NetZero for Online Tax Filing

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As the April 17 tax deadline looms, H&R Block Inc. has partnered with free Internet access provider to offer speedy online tax preparation and filing.

Starting Saturday, more than 3 million registered users of NetZero have had access to H&R Block's online tax resources and services. Users who enter the co-branded ClubZero area are offered one-click registration and access to H&R Block tools and services.

The key offerings include free tax preparation and filing of the federal 1040EZ form. For the other 1040 forms, a nominal fee of $9.95 will be charged to NetZero users. This is regardless of the complexity of the individual's returns.

Based in Kansas City, MO, H&R Block is now pursuing this co-branded online tax preparation and filing program with a host of Internet companies to boost its bottom line. The nation's largest tax preparation and filing service, H&R Block has 9,000 stores in the United States.

For Westlake Village, CA-based NetZero, the deal with H&R Block is a value-add to its access service. The company is the nation's largest free Internet service provider, though others are snapping at its heels.

NetZero's competition includes AltaVista, as well as retailer Kmart Corp.'s service, which reached 1 million subscribers only 14 weeks after founding.

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