H&R Block Review: Is H&R Block Your Best Bet For Taxes?

Joseph Meyer
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How H&R Block Works

H&R Block has almost all the bases covered in tax software. Let’s dive right in.

IRS Approved Tax Filing Software

H&R Block is highly regarded and approved by the IRS for use by customers. They’ve been in the tax preparation game for quite a while and their extensive experience shows. Their super-comprehensive software has almost all of the features you’re looking for in any good tax preparation software.

Free Live Audits

Does you brain have a hard time keeping up with all the sometimes complicated rules of the IRS?

H&R Block comes into play on this front. They make the audit process easy and worry-free by guiding customers through the filing process and then providing assistance should the IRS come after your return.

Free 1040EZ Filing

Filing taxes can be a daunting task for a lot of people, but this year, H&R Block has made filing returns even easier by providing free 1040EZ filing for people who don’t need to file additional forms such as Schedules A,C,E, or F. If you’re filing a simple 1040 to get the refund you’re owed, H&R Block will help you along the way to make the process as simple as possible.

What Happens Next

To start, H&R Block analyzes your previous year’s tax return to match current income and deductions with your prior year’s filings. Where you made a purchase or acquired an asset you’ll have to enter information manually to provide a complete picture. Reviewing the tax returns from previous years helps prevent mistakes that can lead to expensive fines and fees.

Once everything is entered, you receive a tax return analysis and free consultation with a tax pro via phone or in-person. If needed, the tax expert can guide you through the process of getting your return filed.

From there, you can file your taxes with suite of products including TurboTax Online, TurboTax CD/Download, TurboTax Tax Advice and TurboTax Business.

With H&R Block, you get to choose a filing preference. If you already use TurboTax, you may want to stick with that for quicker results. Or if you have a more complex return due to home business deductions, you may prefer to consult with a tax pro.

What’s New for H&R Block in 2021

The reviews for H&R Block are mixed. Some users are very happy, and some users are very disappointed. How can these polar opposite views be true? The reason for this is because of the wide range of services that H&R Block offers. You can select from one of their online tax preparation services, a CPA with an H&R Block office, or from a brick and mortar H&R Block office with their tax preparers. Each one of these services is significantly different in terms of what you can (and can’t) do with the service, and the quality of the tax preparation service.

H&R Block Features and Benefits

H&R Block is the second largest tax services provider in the U.S. with more than 13,000 offices in all 50 states. More than 90% of the H&R Block offices are within 10 miles of the customer’s home.

The tax software offered by H&R Block is available for both Windows and Mac users and can be downloaded directly from the website.

H&R Block Plans and Prices

  • Free federal e-file and free state e-file
  • Translated into Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, and 10 other languages
  • All-around tax experts with over 85 tax professionals
  • Check the status of your refund anytime online or through the app
  • Help with rental property and other investments
  • Store unlimited W-2s and other tax documents securely online
  • Access to a tax pro anytime through online chat, phone or secure messages
  • Get peace of mind with the 100% Accuracy Guarantee
  • 100% guarantee of privacy and security with Enhanced Security Online

Free Online — Free

Do-it-yourself tax software.

Deluxe Online — $29.99 plus $36.99 per state filed

H&R Block’s Deluxe Online is an easy and inexpensive way to prepare your taxes online. Depending on your FED tax filing status, you can choose from either the Free version of the Deluxe Online or the Deluxe version. Free is pretty basic, but Deluxe Online (the version I tested) is a significant upgrade with all the trimmings.

I tried Deluxe Online the first year I prepared my own taxes and found the process easy, though it felt longer than it was. The Deluxe Online software is usable, but not the sleekest or most user-friendly. Fortunately, I found it easy to figure out where all the pieces went and how everything worked.

My returns produced no complaints and were accepted by the IRS without complications. Still, I found that I much preferred using a paper tax form to prepare my taxes, finding it easier than the Deluxe Online software.

Premium Online — $49.99 plus $36.99 per state filed

This service offers the convenience of filing both federal and state returns with one all-encompassing fee. This premium service, however, is more expensive than the competitive online service.

Tuesday, March 29, 2017.

Self-Employed Online — $79.99 plus $36.99 per state filed

Should You Pay More for an “Assist” Plan?

Should You Sign Up with H&R Block?

For many years, Americans spent their hard-earned money hiring professional tax preparers and sifting through mountains of receipts and paperwork. After all, most of us dread the thought of knowing we “forgot” a tax form or excluded an important deduction.

But now, the process has changed. Many Americans can now prepare and file their own taxes at least partially online.

Since its creation in 1955 by two university professors, the H&R Block brand has become the leading online tax preparation company for amateurs. Tax preparation is now accessible to everyone thanks to online tax company sites like TurboTax, H&R Block and Jackson-Hewitt.

The Bottom Line

If you need help filing your taxes but you want convenience, then the online version of H&R Block lets you file with or without an accountant, so it’s the best bet for you.

If you do choose to do your own taxes with H&R Block you have a decent chance of saving more money than you would if you opted for some other tax filing service. But if you went to an accountant instead and paid them to file your taxes that way, you’d be paying far less than you would on H&R Block’s service.

So the real decision here is whether or not you want to put in the work yourself. If you do, then H&R Block is the way to go. But if you want to put in the work somewhere else and have someone else handle your taxes, then something like The Simple Dollar’s guide could be a better bet for you. Just be prepared to pay an accountant a good chunk of change to get your taxes done.