H&R Block

Category Tax
Reviewed by Rashi
Updated Apr 28th, ’22

Tekpon Score

9.1

Users Score

7.5

H&R Block Review

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H&R Block is a tax preparation platform that assists consumers who wish to file their taxes themselves or employ tax specialists. H&R Block provides a solution for you if you’re filing your taxes yourself this year and, like me, are willing to pay for convenience. In addition, anyone who has never filed taxes on their own before or has recently suffered substantial life changes would benefit from H&R Block’s advice. The possibility to import and upload tax forms makes life easier, but there are cheaper (or free) alternatives if you’re experienced manually inputting figures and want to save money. So, without further ado, let’s get started on this tool’s review.

UI/UX

9.4

Ease of use

9.0

Value for Money

9.0

Features

9.0

Customer Support

9.0
Pricing Details

Starting from: $38.49

Pricing Model: one time payment

Yes, has free trial

Yes, has free version

PROs
  • Well Explained
  • Expert Help Options
  • Excellent Mobile App
  • Easy to use Interface
  • Context-sensitive help
CONs
  • Excessive Clicks
  • No comprehensive navigation tool
Best for
  • Small business
  • Personal
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Mobile - Android
  • Mobile - iPhone

FurtheyouH&R Block: Easy Way to File Taxes

Even with the best tax software, taxes are difficult to complete, so the more options you have for completing them, the better. H&R Block provides more tax preparation options than its competitors, including in-office services, DIY software, internet apps, and various virtual professional assistance options.

We’ll focus on H&R Block Deluxe, which focuses on W-2 income, interest/dividends, and supporting Schedule A. First, you can see if itemizing is preferable to taking the standard deduction. Also, H&R Block Deluxe received an Editors’ Choice award for online tax preparation services three years ago for combining a great balance of tax issue coverage, usability, and taxpayer counseling.

The company’s 2022 software (which you’ll use to file your 2021 taxes) has seen numerous enhancements to improve the user experience and eliminate errors, confusion, and annoyance. The earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit (CTC), and Schedule C, for example, has all been updated. Also, individual bitcoin sales will be able to be reported, and state residency rules will be simple to understand.

Is H&R Block a safe and dependable company?

H&R Block uses data encryption to keep your information safe. Every time you log in, it also needs multi-factor authentication to validate your identity.

If you follow the instructions and accurately input the figures on your income forms, you should have accurate taxes, just as if you paid a more costly professional tax preparation.

According to a ProPublica study from 2019, H&R Block (together with TurboTax) used deceptive tactics in the past to persuade gullible taxpayers to pay for enhancements they didn’t need. The free file alternatives offered by H&R Block are prominently advertised, but it’s a good reminder to keep an eye out.

What is H&R Block?

My financial situation was basic last year. For example, I had W-2 income, a health savings account, and interest from a high-yield savings account. I don’t own a home, don’t have any children, and only save for retirement. The Deluxe Online package is used to prepare and file my federal and state taxes (more on the specs of this option below).

Customers who use H&R Block’s professional filing services can pick from three distinct packages:

  • Consultation with a professional tax one-on-one at an H&R Block office near you
  • Dropping off your paperwork at an H&R Block location
  • Using H&R Block’s website to upload your docs

If you use document uploading, you don’t have to go to an H&R Block facility to work with a tax expert. Customers who opt to use their tax filing system to file taxes can do so via its website or tax software.

There are a variety of service alternatives available for online filing, both with and without help, including:

  • Free
  • Deluxe
  • Premium
  • Self-employed

This tax software comes in four flavors:

  • Basic
  • Deluxe + State
  • Premium
  • Premium & Business

Free online

+ $0 per state filed

Free
  • Simple returns
  • Students
  • Unemployment income
  • W-2 employees
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Deluxe

+ $44.99 per state filed

$38.49
  • HSA contributors
  • Child and dependent care expenses
  • Itemize deductions

Premium

+ $44.99 per state filed

$52.49
  • Rental income
  • Investments
  • Sold cryptocurrency

Self-Employed

+ $44.99 per state filed

$80.49
  • Contractors, gig workers, and other self-employed work
  • Asset depreciation
  • Vehicle and home office expenses

See all Features

Who should utilize H&R Block’s services?

H&R Block simplifies tax preparation for do-it-yourselfers by asking interview-style questions, providing straightforward instructions, and explaining various income categories, deductions, and tax credits.

Customers may complete their tax returns online, have their self-prepared returns examined by an expert, or have their taxes prepared and filed by a virtual tax pro from start to finish.

H&R Block is a great tax software solution for people who want to do their filing but still want the option of dialing in professional help if they have questions or run into complications.

Who Should Utilize H&R Block’s Services?

What is H&R Block, and how does it work?

H&R Block is well known for its locations around the United States, but it now provides online filing and downloadable computer applications. If you pick an online package, you may work on your taxes with the mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

H&R Block caters to most tax filers with a contemporary and easy-to-navigate design. Like other tax-preparation services, the website asks users questions about their homes, income, tax deductions, and credits.

You’ll also need to include information from your job and other sources of income, including 1099, 1098, W-2, and other tax papers that may arrive in your mailbox or email, and complete these questions. For a charge, H&R Block may link you with a professional in its network if you’re worried about making mistakes, losing deductions, or getting confused among the tax paperwork.

What are the various products offered by H&R Block?

Free Online, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed are the four main online products offered by H&R Block, with prices ranging from $0 to $85. The ideal for you is largely determined by the deductions and tax credits you wish to claim.

All H&R Block tax plans include free in-person audit help and improved “Worry-Free Audit Support,” which includes IRS correspondence and in-person audit representation, may be added to any plan for $20. For an extra $40 for Basic or Deluxe or $60 for Premium or Self-Employed, H&R Block’s Online Assist function — additional virtual support with live assistance and screen-sharing — may be added to any plans. In addition, tax Identity Shield, a proactive approach to preventing tax identity theft, can help.

features

H&R Block Features

The list of features that makes H&R Block stand out among its competitors is discussed below:

  • User Experience

The navigation is easy and uncomplicated. The Back and Next buttons go from one screen to the next. You may also see the subsections of a tab in the horizontal toolbar at the top (Overview, Federal, and so on) (like Income, Deductions, and Credits). A list of the forms you’ve completed appears below, and picking one returns you to it. Finally, links in the left vertical pane connect you to housekeeping sites like Previous Taxes and Account Settings and your real-time, ever-updating tax due or refund.

On each page, H&R Block Deluxe makes it plain what action you should take and where you should go next. However, it lacks the extensive navigation feature that FreeTaxUSA provides. It also has a rougher feel than TurboTax Deluxe. For example, even if you’re merely picking Yes or No answers on certain screens, you’ll need to click the Next button to go forward. This adds up to a significant number of additional clicks.

  • Helping Options

If there’s always the option to have complicated or unfamiliar things explained in further depth—without having to open a vast help database and search for a phrase (though that’s fine, too), the Q&A structure utilized by online tax preparation software works well. As a result, tax software must provide simple access to context-sensitive help.

H&R Block Deluxe performs admirably in this area. It formerly relied on pop-ups to explain hyperlinked words and phrases (TurboTax still does in many cases). It now saves the right vertical pane for assistance. In addition, you can turn on and off the pane, and it no longer obscures the screen’s working area as it did previously.

helping options

  • Examine and Submit Your Tax Return

After completing all of the federal tax stages, H&R Block Deluxe handles a few more activities, such as producing anticipated tax payment vouchers, before giving you a summary of your return. It also highlights forms you might have forgotten. It allows you to search for and navigate to other documents by form name or tax topic, which is especially useful if you’re towards the finish of your return and still have paper forms or unsolved concerns to deal with.

The site’s Federal Accuracy Review, which looks through your return for anything that could be incorrect or missing, comes next. If it discovers something, it describes the issue and offers a Fix Issue button that directs you to the solution.

Examine and Submit Your Tax Return

  • Options for Refunds and Payment

You may have your tax refund loaded onto an H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® when you file with H&R Block. This card functions similarly to a debit card and you may use it anyplace that accepts Mastercard. You can also get your return by cheque or direct transfer, the more traditional means.

You may also use your tax refund when paying for H&R Block’s tax preparation services. The payments are withdrawn straight from the federal return when the services are completed. You can also pay with cash, cheque, debit card, or credit card.

Refunds

  • Tax Preparation in the Office

H&R Block also offers in-office tax preparation and a variety of online filing choices. In addition, you may work with a qualified professional in one of our 9,000 locations worldwide to help you get the most money back.

It’s as easy as bringing in your tax paperwork and allowing the specialists to handle the rest. Second Search® is a free service that allows you to bring in previous returns and have a qualified expert look for money you may have overlooked. H&R Block can also help with bookkeeping and payroll.

Tax Preparation in the Office

  • Plentiful online assistance and tools

H&R Block provides various online services to help you get through tax season. To help you calculate your taxes, this app includes a tax calculator, a W-4 calculator, and an ACA calculator. It also has professional communities to help you with your questions and issues. 

The company’s blog, Block Talk, features tax advice, hacks, and information. In addition, the Tax Institute is a non-profit organization that disseminates tax knowledge and expertise directly from tax experts. H&R Block is committed to transparency and assistance whether you’re a first-time taxpayer or a seasoned pro.

  • Services for Tax Audits

If you’re being audited for a return you filed with H&R Block, you’ll get a free consultation to assist you in comprehending the audit’s specifics. In addition, you may be entitled to additional audit help after the consultation.

If you used H&R Block’s desktop software to file your return, you’d get Free In-Person Audit Support. However, if you filed at a real H&R Block location, you could pay an extra cost for audit help if and when you need it.

  • Depreciation and Expense Calculators That Work

Simple mileage, depreciation, and other expense calculators are included in H&R Block. These simplify filing for those who don’t want to complete their depreciation estimates.

  • Free Tech Support via Live Chat

H&R Block offers free live chat tech support on the Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed levels. It also makes “tax recommendations,” which aren’t the same as tax advice. Instead, the free support helps users find credits, deductions, and other program parts they may have ignored.

Free Tech Support via Live Chat

  • Short Questionnaires To Expedite Filing

At the start of each major part, H&R Block asks users a quick question (Income, Deductions, Credits, and so on). The survey allows each user to concentrate on the aspects of the application that are most important to them. This keeps customers from becoming overburdened with paperwork.

  • Option To Upgrade To Tax Assistance

The H&R Block Online Assist service gives filers unrestricted access to tax-filing specialists. The add-on is costly, ensuring that consumers receive the answers they want from a qualified individual.

How to get in touch with them?

One of the reasons we like H&R Block is the variety of services. You may obtain assistance online, over the phone, or even have a tax preparer prepare your tax return remotely. Furthermore, you can also go to one of their numerous locations.

H&R Block Alternatives

Thus, here are some alternatives available in the market to H&R Block:

  • Taxact
  • TurboTax
  • Taxslayer
  • Vertex
  • Neo.tax
  • Taxcomp
  • Drake Tax
  • Tax1099.com

How Does H&R Block Compare to the Competition?

H&R Block offers a user-friendly environment akin to meeting with a tax preparer. H&R Block, like TurboTax, leads you through an interview process, although it’s a touch less expensive. For its top “do-it-yourself tax” package, TurboTax charges up to $119 for federal tax filing ($49 each state), while H&R Block charges up to $109.99 for federal tax filing ($36.99 per state).

If you need help along the way, you’ll have to switch to a higher price tier or pay extra, much like with other online tax software applications like TurboTax and TaxSlayer. But what sets H&R Block apart is that their alternatives for professional tax assistance extend beyond your computer screen.

You may work with a tax expert remotely, at an H&R Block office, or by dropping off your tax paperwork at an office starting at $80 for federal tax returns (starting at $65 per state). While H&R Block will try to upsell you while filing your taxes, it’s not as aggressive as TurboTax, which will try to upsell you many times while using the program.

Are there any drawbacks to working with H&R Block?

The UI and customer service features work well in my experience. However, this tool is not a low-cost alternative for filing taxes. Unless you qualify for the free package, you’ll pay at least $49.99 (not including any discounts) plus an extra $36.99 per state return.

H&R Block Review Conclusions

H&R Block is a major competitor to TurboTax, with many filing options. This tool is your sole option if you want to file your taxes online and want the confidence that you can chat with a real person at a desk in a physical place if you get stuck.

Individuals who qualify for free filing should consider H&R Block Online. Even though it is a subscription service, the free version is quite comprehensive. Furthermore, the software’s Premium version can be good for investors and gig workers.

Users contemplating the Deluxe Tier, on the other hand, should think twice before paying the amount. TaxSlayer Classic or FreeTaxUSA may be a better (and as usable) value for Deluxe users. These instruments might also be a viable option for self-employed folks who don’t have any depreciating assets. Landlords and others who have depreciating assets should consider whether H&R Block is the best tool for the task.

Competitors

TaxSlayer

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TaxAct

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