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Updated on Friday, February 12, 2016
H&R Block Tax Filing Software is a high-end tax filing software that offers best in class tax prep help for DIY tax preparers who need a software service that can handle their complex filings.
H&R Block software is easy to use and intuitive, and offers helpful import features, explanations, articles, and customer service that can help taxpayers navigate federal and state filing with ease, but the high quality comes at a high price point. Only the most complex filers are likely to find value from H&R Block’s Tax Filing Software.
Tax Prep Process
H&R Block efficiently guides users through the tax preparation process.
The process begins when users entering basic information about themselves, their income, where they lived, and more. Once users enter their basic information, the software moves users through a guided process to enter income, deductions and credits.
During the income entry process, the software eases the burden of data entry by allowing users to import forms like W-2s, 1099-INT forms from major banks (available after February 19th), and 1099-DIV forms from major brokerage companies (available after February 19th).
Users who bank or invest with smaller institutions may find that they will have to manually enter these forms.
One of H&R Block’s differentiating features is how intuitive the software makes the income entry process. For example, users with self-employment income may not know where to enter their income. H&R Block Tax software is smart enough to redirect users to the correct form.
Software Redirects Users as Needed
H&R Block makes every effort to clear up confusion along the way with “Help Center” knowledge articles. These articles are tailored to the specific software section, and are incredibly helpful for first time tax preparers. At the end of each knowledge article, H&R Block also offers the advice that you can speak with a tax advisor for assistance. Tax Advisors in H&R Block storefronts are not free, but all paying customers can speak on the phone or via webchat with tax specialists.
Help Center Article Clarifying Personal Use for Rental Properties
H&R block provides section summaries that allow users to ensure that they haven’t missed anything. The section summaries also give users helpful explanations where needed.
Users can choose Explain Amount to understand how something was calculated
When users complete every section, H&R Block provides an Accuracy Review. The Accuracy Review checks for incomplete sections and inconsistencies.
The only major flaw with H&R Block’s tax software is that it only allows users one opportunity to import last year’s filing information. If you have any reason to believe that you need last year’s filing (for example, if you may be subject to penalties, or if you need to understand your Roth IRA basis), you will need your return ready to go before you start the tax prep process.
H&R Block is one of the most expensive tax filing softwares on the market. The software offers unique value (including free representation from a tax professional if you undergo an audit after filing using the software), but the price is commensurately high. The table below shows H&R Block’s pricing tiers and the additional value added at each tier.
Who should use H&R Block Tax Prep Software?
H&R Block offers an easy to use interface, a robust platform, but most filers will find that the software is not worth the price. Almost all users who don’t either own a business or a rental property will find better value with lower priced software services.
On the other hand, rental property owners and self-employed indivduals will rate H&R Block software one of the top values on the market. For premium users who want high end accounting for a DIY price, H&R Block offers one of the top values in the marketplace today.