H&R Block Tax Software & Various Benefits of H&R Block

If you are looking to get your taxes done faster and at the best price, H&R Block Tax Software is the best option for you. In this article, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about H&R Block’s tax software.

H&R Block Tax Software 2020 Updates: Benefits of H&R Block

H&R Block is a tax preparation business that offers professional tax services as well as self-service options. If you opt for professional services, H&R Block’s tax experts file your tax returns to get you the best possible refund.

H&R Block offers its services both in stores and online, and the company offers free online filing software.

About H&R Block

H&R Block was founded in 1955 by brothers Henry and Richard Bloch. Today, with more than 12,000 retail tax offices worldwide, H&R Block is probably the best-known name in tax preparation.

Expanding on their retail offerings, H&R Block now offers tax preparation software that you can install on your desktop or laptop computer as well as an online tax preparation application that has grown in popularity in recent years.

H&R Block: Pros and Cons

Every tax filing service has its drawbacks and benefits. Here’s what stands out about H&R Block.

Pros

  • H&R Block’s commitment to transparency means you get straightforward pricing information ahead of time. With other products, like TurboTax, you often don’t get the full picture of what you’ll be paying until you’re most of the way through the filing process. (Which they pass off as a good thing—“don’t pay until you file!”—but it’s nice to know what you’re getting into.)
  • H&R Block strikes a good balance of affordability and versatility, offering a wider variety of filing options than TaxAct while still feeling less overwhelming than TurboTax.
  • If you really need to talk to someone in person, H&R Block has you covered where other digital tax preparers don’t.

Cons

  • Although H&R Block offers a tax advance that can help you access your money early, the advance isn’t free like the TurboTax advance — and, in fact, carries a very steep interest rate.

Things to consider

There are two online filing options to choose between. The less expensive one does not include on-demand help from a CPA or tax professional.

If your business is considered larger than a small business, H&R Block will most likely not be able to help you prepare your returns. Standards for what constitutes a small business are different across industries and fields.

To see if you qualify as a small business, use the Size Standards Table for each industry from the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Additionally, if you have a less cumbersome tax return, there are cheaper options. Competitors, such as TaxSlayer or TaxAct, may not offer as many functions or support options, but they will likely save you money on your filing fees.

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H&R Block 2021 Prices and Plans

H&R Block’s pricing tiers closely match TurboTax’s, although H&R Block prices itself about $15-$20 lower for each tier.

However, H&R Block’s Premium pricing tier is $35 less expensive than TurboTax’s, and it offers more options (especially filing options for self-employed people with less than $5,000 in expenses).

The real value tiers here are the Free and Premium editions. If you want on-demand help from a CPA or an Enrolled Agent, you’ll have to pay for the “online assist upgrade”. The cost of the online help is quite a bit less expensive than a similar offering from TurboTax.

Plan

Free Online

Deluxe

Premium

Self-Employed

Best For

Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Social Security Income, Student Loan Interest Deduction

Itemizers, HSA Accounts

Landlords, investors, Self-employed or side-hustlers (less than $5,000 in business expenses)

Landlords, people who sold a home, investors

Federal Pricing

$0

$29.99

$49.99

$79.99

State Pricing

$0

36.99

$36.99

36.99

Total Cost

$0

$66.98

$86.98

$116.98

Federal Assist

$39.99

$69.99

$109.99

$139.99

State Assist

US36.99

$36.99

US36.99

$36.99

 Free
Deluxe
 Premium

H&R Block Navigation

H&R Block prices itself as a premium tax software, but the Navigation doesn’t quite match the pricing. The software also has short “questionnaires” at the beginning of each section. These  “questionnaires” help the software cut out irrelevant sections of the software, and guide you to the important parts of the software.

The questionnaire worked well, but the guided navigation felt a bit clunky after that. The software moved me through W-2 forms, then asked more information about where I earned money, followed by prompting me to enter 1099-INT information. It seemed to jump around too much in my opinion.

H&R block navigation

Where H&R Block’s navigation makes a lot of sense is in form entry. The software guides users on how to enter information quickly and accurately. When necessary, the software breaks up forms into a few screens (to prevent entry mistakes), but you don’t need to do unnecessary clicking.

The software also allows users to navigate through the software themselves (once they’ve gone through the guided option). This can be helpful if you missed something or didn’t have all the forms you needed. It also includes helpful summaries at the end of each section.

H&R Block Ease of Use

H&R Block is one of the easiest online filing software packages. It allows users to upload tons of forms including 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, W-2 forms and much more. If the form is standard, you can upload it in H&R Block.

The other thing that makes H&R Block an easy to use software package is the language used throughout the software. The software does not assume users have robust tax knowledge. They use language that makes sense to normal people, and they link to helpful articles throughout the software.

Additionally, all users can get free LiveChat support if they struggle with the software.

H&R Block Help and Support

Support is offered in many different capacities. Even if you don’t pay for the unlimited help, you still have access to on-demand chat services, community Q&A forums, video and software support. H&R Block also has a feature directly on its site to check the status of your refund.

And with the premium add-on of unlimited help, users receive live chat and phone support to help finish up their 2019 taxes.

Benefits of H&R Block

H&R Block offers their customers more tax filing options than the competition, with in-person filing, online filing, and a downloadable version available.

In its second year, H&R Block also offers Tax Pro Go, which allows you to have your taxes prepared by trained professionals online.

H&R Block also offers excellent help and support options mentioned earlier, along with the Tax Pro Review option, where a tax pro will review and sign your tax return and file it on your behalf.

FAQs

1. Can I really file my tax return for free?

Not if you are a business owner. Though H&R Block does offer a free option, it is only for uncomplicated federal returns, and if you have to file a state return, it will cost you US36.99.

2. Does H&R Block offer a mobile app?

Yes, H&R Block does offer a free, full-featured mobile app for both iOS and Android smartphones, allowing you to enter information, request assistance, and file your return all from your phone.

3. Is there a live support option?

Technical support is available by telephone for all plans except the Free Online plan. For tax-related assistance, you can upgrade to the Online Assist plan, that gives you on-demand help from a tax professional such as an enrolled agent (EA) or CPA.

The Bottom Line

H&R Block is one of the most well-known brands in the category of online tax prep software. Although its competitors offer very similar packages, H&R Block has a better free and deluxe package based on the forms that are available and the price you pay for those options. To get your filing started, head over to H&R Block and pick the package that’s best for you.

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