Is H& r Block Tax Software Right For You
If you want to file for free and claim the student loan interest deduction, H& R Block’s software will let you do that when most competitor programs won’t. In other situations, you’ll need to compare what features are most important to you and think about how much you’re willing to pay to find the best tax software. H& R Block is a good choice, though, and you can’t go wrong when using it to file this tax season.
- File easily from your computer or smartphone
- Get help from our experts if you need it
H& r Block Ease Of Use
Preparing your tax return online with H& R Block is similar to sitting down with a tax preparer. The software walks you through the tax preparation and filing process with a series of interview-style questions.
As part of my review, I went through the process of preparing three sample returns. Hereâs how long it took me to get from start to filing for each one:
- Single taxpayer, no dependents, W-2 income and the student loan interest deduction: 23 minutes
- Single taxpayer, no dependents, self-employment income, federal and state estimated tax payments: 30 minutes
I did run into one stumbling block while preparing the sample return for a married couple filing jointly. On the Alabama state return, the software doubled their income, showing they had $260,000 of taxable income rather than $130,000 and owed taxes and an underpayment penalty. After spending several minutes going back through the interview forms, I couldnât figure out how to fix the issue without deleting everything and starting over, so I gave up.
Such a problem could really derail an inexperienced DIYer and potentially even lead to significantly overpaying their tax return if they didnât understand what was going on and reach out to tech supportâor pay extra to get on-demand help from an H& R Block tax pro.
A banner on the left side of the screen keeps a running tally of the federal and state tax refund or balance due.
Users can click the embedded links to get tips for answering on-screen questions.
How Are H& r Block’s Software Downloads Different From Its Online Service
H& R Block also offers downloadable and CD versions of its software, broken down again into four tiers of services with similar limitations. The main differences between the downloaded software and the online service are the cost and the lack of a free state tax filing at the lowest level.
Whereas the online tax preparation software breaks down the levels into Free Online , Deluxe , Premium and Self-Employed , the downloadable versions are slightly different: Basic for $20 Deluxe + State for $45 Premium for $65 and Premium & Business for $80. H& R Block will also include a CD backup of the software for an additional $10.
For the downloads, a Basic plan at $20 is similar to the Free Online plan in terms of income and deductions, but unlike Free Online, it does not allow a free state tax filing.
The downloads for the two middle plans, Deluxe + State and Premium, are virtually equivalent to their counterparts online, Deluxe and Premium, except for the price.
It’s worth noting that alternative online sellers may offer the H& R Block downloads at cheaper prices than the tax provider itself. As of Feb. 4, Amazon was selling H& R Block Basic for $15, the H& R Block Deluxe + State edition for $30, the H& R Block Premium edition for $50, and the H& R Block Premium & Business edition for $55.
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H& r Block Pros And Cons
Some of the biggest benefits of filing your taxes with H& R Block include the following:
- The free filing option offers more forms than some competitors. For example, you can claim the student loan interest deduction while using H& R Block Free File, while TurboTax requires you to pay for your return if you want to claim this deduction.
- There’s ample technical support provided. You can chat with an expert via live chat, work with a virtual assistant during the filing process, and research tax questions through a searchable database of more than 13,000 articles.
- H& R Block stands behind its product. You’ll get in-person help if an audit happens you can get back the money you paid for the software if you aren’t satisfied with the filing process and there’s both an accuracy guarantee and a maximum tax refund guarantee. If mistakes are made, H& R Block reimburses you for IRS penalties while you’ll be able to file a free return if you don’t get the maximum refund.
Downsides of using H& R Block tax software include:
Since H& R Block has several competitors within the tax preparation software field such as TurboTax and TaxAct, a side-by-side comparison of TaxAct vs. TurboTax vs. H& R Block can be very helpful. You can weigh the benefits against the drawbacks of each and see which best fits your needs.
Extensive Online Help And Tools
H& R Block offers online tools to help you navigate through tax season. This includes a tax calculator to help you calculate your returns, a W-4 calculator and an ACA calculator. In addition, it has communities of experts ready to help with your questions and concerns. Block Talk is its blog that shares tax tips, hacks and facts. The Tax Institute shares knowledge and tax information directly from tax experts. H& R Block is committed to transparency and guidance, whether youre new or a tax professional.
Also Check: 2022 Tax Brackets Married Filing Jointly
What If Im Under 18 And Want To Take The Course
You must be at least 18 years of age at the time of enrollment of the H& R Block Income Tax Course.
Deluxe: Best For Itemizing Deductions And Hsas
The Deluxe plan costs $30 for your federal return and $37 for each state return.
H& R Block’s Deluxe plan offers all the features of the Free Online version with the addition of itemized deductions and support for health savings accounts.
H& R Block Deluxe plan includes many big deductions.
If you want to itemize any deductions, such as home mortgage interest, medical expenses and property taxes, you’ll need to file tax Form 1040 Schedule A, which is available in the Deluxe version. Likewise, if you want to deduct your HSA contributions, you’ll need to file Form 8889, which only comes with the Deluxe plan and up.
While the child tax credit, earned income credit and education credits are included in the Free Online plan, you’ll also need to use the Deluxe plan if you want to claim the child and dependent care credit or any additional tax credits and deductions.
As with the Free Online plan, adding professional tax assistance to the Deluxe plan via H& R Block’s Online Assist program increases the price by $40. Extra services like Worry-Free Audit Support and Tax Identity Shield service can both be added for $20 each.
When Are Taxes Due In 2023
You have a few months until the final deadline to file your taxes, and the IRS typically starts accepting tax returns in late January. Most states have the same deadline as federal taxes, but some states dont, so be sure to check with your state tax agency. As you prepare to file your 2022 taxes, here are some important dates to mark on your calendar:
- Fourth quarter 2022 estimated tax payment due
- Late January: First day you can file federal tax returns
- Deadline for employers to send Form W-2, Deadline for companies to send various 1099 forms
- Form W-4 exempt status expires. Last day to update form W-2 to maintain exempt status.
- Required minimum distribution due if you turned 72 in 2022
- Last day to file your 2022 tax return, request an extension, make IRA and HSA contributions, and pay taxes owed. First quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due
- Second quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due
- Third quarter 2023 estimated tax payment due
- Due date to file if you request and are granted an extension
Bottom Line: Should You Use H& r Block
H& R Block isnt the cheapest service out there, but it is straightforward, user-friendly and reputable. You get a better understanding of the filing process, while still getting the most out of tax season. With an emphasis on step-by-step guidance, it gives you all the information needed to file with confidence. Its online options make it easy to import tax documents and to look at tax returns from previous years . If you can afford it, H& R Block is a solid option for you. Its also a good choice if you want in-person help from a tax expert. H& R Block offices provide you the freedom to start online and then switch to in-person filing if necessary.
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How Much Does A Cpa Cost
Hiring an accountant to do your taxes is typically more expensive, but it could save you time and stress if you have a complicated tax situation.
The average cost for a tax pro to prepare and submit a Form 1040 and state return with no itemized deductions is $220. That number goes up to over $300 if you have an itemized Form 1040 with a Schedule A and a state tax return, according to a survey from the National Society of Accountants . If you own a business, expect to pay even more. Accounting firms charge around $900 on average for Form 1120S, a required tax form if you own a S corporation, the survey shows.
H& r Block Review 2022
H& R Block Free Online – Federal
H& R Block Free Online – State
- Extensive digital and in-person support
- Useful features like easy import, refund reveal, free storage
- More expensive than some competitors
- Upgrade necessary to get extensive help for forms
H& R Block has been making a name for itself as a consumer tax services provider since 1955. Based in Kansas City, it has more than 12,000 company-owned and retail tax offices worldwide. This includes U.S. territories, all 50 states and 100 military bases. The accessibility of H& R Block with an office located within five miles of most Americans makes it a convenient, reputable tax planning service.
Not only does H& R block have numerous brick-and-mortar stores, it also offers digital options. Using these do-it-yourself services, H& R Block has helped prepare millions of tax returns in the U.S. The service also offers extensive support options. The Tax Institute, H& R Blocks center of tax expertise, employs tax attorneys, certified public accountants , former IRS agents and others to give expert advice to H& R Block clients. You have access to thousands of tax professionals, making it a good resource for both tax professionals and clients. All tax professionals complete a certification program to earn their tax advisor status.
With a range of plans and dedication to support and guidance, H& R Block helps you navigate through tax season with ease and efficiency.
Also Check: Can I Use Bank Statements As Receipts For Taxes
How Does H& r Block Stack Up To The Competition
H& R Block offers an impressive set of functionalities through its free pricing tier. It frequently makes our list as the top choice for people seeking free filing.
The Deluxe Tier is H& R Blocks worst value. Low-cost or free software can easily help filers itemize deductions and claim straightforward credits.
Compared to H& R Blocks competition, the Premium tier is the best value for a paid tier. It supports rental properties, basic self-employment income and expenses, and all stock and crypto activity.
What Happens If I Miss A Class
Classes are held on days, evenings, and weekends. If you miss your regular time for an in-person class, you may be able to take a class at another time or another location that week. For classes in the Virtual Classroom, please reach out to your instructor for a recorded playback of any missed class time.
Read Also: Still Haven’t Received My Tax Refund 2022
Is Turbotax Better Than H& r Block
H& R Block and TurboTax both have their own pros and cons. While TurboTax’s software is slightly easier to use, H& R Block has slightly lower prices and provides more forms for free filing. You can’t go wrong with either program, so you’ll just have to decide if you want to pay a bit more to get a more intuitive tax filing program.
Upload Tax Documents To Speed Up The Process
H& R Block is one of the easiest online filing software packages. It allows users to upload many forms, including 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, W-2 forms, and much more. You can upload a copy to H& R Block if the form follows standard layouts.
Users can take a picture of supported forms and upload them using the H& R Block app. The software reads the uploaded documents and fills out forms for you where possible.
Also Check: What Percentage Should I Withhold For Taxes
About H& r Block Tax Service
Founded in 1955, H& R Block has grown to become one of the largest retail tax firms in the U.S. and has completed more than 800 million tax returns in its existence. The company employs more than 60,000 tax professionals who must take at least 60 hours of training and pass a rigorous certification program. The typical H& R Block tax pro has about 10 years of experience and can help customers either online or at one of the companys retail locations in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and on U.S. military bases around the world. For no-contact help, you can drop off your tax information at one of its offices without making an appointment.
Taxpayers can also prepare returns by logging in online or downloading tax-prep software. Each of the four online-filing programs walk you through a simple interview-style interface, where you answer questions about your tax situation. The program enters your information on the appropriate tax forms accordingly.
Is It Safe And Secure
Tax Prep companies are valuable targets for hackers seeking personal information. H& R Block employs industry-standard encryption, multi-factor authentication, and web-browsing encryption to protect users financial information. However, the company is not perfect. In 2019, the company suffered a data breach in which some customer information leaked.
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Tips For Getting Through Tax Season
- Finding a qualified financial advisor who can help with your taxes doesnt have to be hard. SmartAssets free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If youre ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- When you finish filing a federal return, theres a good chance you will need to file a state return. Each state handles income taxes a bit differently but they usually make it easy to stay up to date on the status of your state return.
- Do you find that you rely on the money from your tax refund to make ends meet? Look at the tax withholding information on your W-4. By claiming more or fewer allowances, you can change how much your employer removes from your paycheck. Less withholding could mean bigger paychecks and thus more money in your bank account throughout the year.
Free Online: Best For Students And Most W
The Free Online plan, as the name suggests, costs $0 for filing federal taxes and $0 for one state return. If you made money in multiple states, you’ll need to pay $37 for each additional state return.
H& R Block’s free tax plan works best for W-2 employees with simple tax returns, but it’s also great for students as it allows for both education tax credits and deductions for student loans, tuition and fees.
The free plan includes coverage of 1040 Schedule 1, which allows reporting many more types of income like gambling winnings, alimony and stock options. It also allows for income adjustments such as educator expenses and IRA or student-loan interest deductions.
While the free plan also covers 1040 Schedule 3 — “Additional Credits and Payments” — it doesn’t include most of the supplemental forms needed to claim the many credits, such as the increased child care credit, the retired saver’s credit and the electric vehicle credit, on that schedule.
H& R Block Free Online does include Form 8863 for education credits, including the Lifetime Learning Credit and American Opportunity Credit, which again bolsters its appeal for students.
While the paid versions of H& R Block include access to phone or web chat support, the Free Online version does not. You can buy support: Online Assist , Worry-Free Audit Support or Tax Identity Shield .
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