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H&R Block Review: Price, Cost, Pros and Cons

Not sure if you can manage your tax return on your own or if you will need professional assistance during the upcoming tax season? H&R Block offers a variety of tax filing options, whether you want to file your taxes on your own or hand over your tax return to a professional online or in person.

Here is our take on the features, functionality, and pricing of H&R Block’s online tax software to help you determine whether or not to use it to file your 2022 taxes in 2023.

H&R Block Pros and Cons.

PROS CONS
●      User-friendly interface that guides you through the tax filing interview process.

●      Your W-2 or 1099 form can be imported or uploaded into the software.

●      If you require assistance from a tax expert, you must upgrade to a higher pricing tier or pay extra at your current tier.

●      H&R Block is one of the more costly tax software options in comparison to its competitors.

Who Should Use the Facilities of H&R Block?

H&R Block simplifies tax preparation for do-it-yourselfers by guiding users through the process with interview-style questions, plain instructions, and detailed explanations for various income types, deductions, and tax credits.

Customers can prepare their tax returns online, have their do-it-yourself return reviewed by an expert, or delegate return preparation and filing to a virtual tax specialist.

This variety of features makes H&R Block a good choice for individuals who want to file their taxes on their own but also want the option to contact a tax professional if they have queries or get stuck.

H&R Block Pricing and Cost:

H&R Block Review

H&R Block offers four categories of packages based on the tax forms you require. These prices reflect the list prices advertised on November 21, 2022, excluding any discounts that H&R Block may offer to individuals who submit their taxes during tax season.

Package Price Includes
Free $0

 

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●      Free federal and state tax return submission

●      Includes W-2 income, unemployment benefits, the earned income credit, the child tax credit, the standard deduction, and the deduction for student loan interest.

Deluxe $54.99 Federal and $44.99 Per State

 

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●      Allows itemised deductions, contributions and withdrawals from health savings accounts, and freelance or contract income (but not expenses)
Premium $74.99 Federal

$44.99 Per State

 

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●      Allows report of capital gains and losses

●      Permits the reporting of income and costs from rental properties and pass-through businesses.

Self-Employed $114.99 Federal

$44.99 Per State

 

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●      Allows the reporting of income from self-employment, business expenses, and depreciation.

 

If you are uncertain about which package you require, you can always begin with the free option. If you attempt to add income, deductions, or tax credits that are not permitted by the version you are using, the software will prompt you to upgrade and provide the cost of the more costly package.

If you wish to pay your filing fee with your federal refund, H&R Block charges an additional $39 convenience fee.

H&R Block is Very Ease of Use

H&R Block Review

Online tax return preparation with H&R Block is similar to sitting down with a tax preparer. Using a series of interview-style questions, the software guides users through the tax preparation and filing process.

I went through the process of preparing three sample tax returns as part of my review.

Here’s how long it took me to complete each assignment from start to finish:

  • Single taxpayer, no dependents, W-2 income and the student loan interest deduction: 23 minutes
  • Married couple filing jointly, one dependent, two W-2s, child tax credit and child and dependent care credit: 30 minutes
  • Single taxpayer, no dependents, self-employment income, federal and state estimated tax payments: 30 minutes

While preparing the sample return for a married couple filing jointly, I did encounter one obstacle. On the Alabama state return, the software doubled their income, indicating that they had $260,000 in taxable income as opposed to $130,000, and that they owed taxes and an underpayment penalty. After spending several minutes reviewing the interview forms again, I was unable to resolve the problem without erasing everything and starting over, so I gave up.

Such an issue could derail an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer and even cause them to significantly overpay their tax return if they don’t contact tech support or pay extra for on-demand assistance from an H&R Block tax expert.

Despite this issue, I found the interface of H&R Block to be relatively user-friendly. Throughout the process, a banner on the left side of the screen displays the estimated federal and state refund or amount due.

A banner on the left side of the screen displays the current federal and state tax refund or balance due.

There are also numerous Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) scattered throughout, so if you are unsure how to respond to a question or why it is important, clicking the embedded link will display a helpful hint on the right side of the screen.

If you get stuck along the way, you can click the “Get expert help” button in the upper right corner; however, keep in mind that expert assistance is not free.

The company’s Online Assist provides unlimited on-demand assistance from a tax expert via chat or video, as well as the capacity to share your screen with a tax expert. The service can increase the cost of a package by up to $85 dollars.

H&R Block’s upselling is relatively mild compared to TurboTax, which prompts users nearly constantly to upgrade to a more expensive package or purchase add-on features. If you attempt to add income or tax deductions not permitted by your version, the software will prompt you to upgrade. And after the accuracy review portion of the free online filing, H&R Block offers the option to upgrade to “Plus” for a fee, which would include the following:

  • Digitally store tax documents for up to six years on H&R Block’s servers (otherwise, they are only accessible online until November).
  • Provide live, unlimited tech support via chat or phone from a product specialist (product support specialists assist with login and technical issues that may arise while filing, but do not typically offer tax advice).
  • If necessary, allow free e-filing of an amended tax return.

Before filing, you also have the option of having a tax expert review and sign your return for an additional fee. Those were the only upgrade offers I came across while preparing sample tax returns.

FAQs About H&R Block

With H&R Block, can I file my taxes for free?

Yes, but only if you meet certain requirements. Only taxpayers with the simplest returns qualify for free federal and state filing with H&R Block. This typically includes W-2 income, unemployment benefits, the standard deduction, and possibly the earned income tax credit and child tax credit.

Is State Tax Filing Free With H&R Block?

Yes, but only for customers who are eligible to file a federal income tax return for free. If you must upgrade to the Deluxe, Premium, or Self-Employed editions, you will be charged $44.99 per state, which can be costly for individuals who must file multiple state returns.

Does H&R Block import my W-2 and 1099 data?

If your employer or financial institution participates, you can directly import a digital copy of your W-2 or 1099 form into H&R Block. H&R Block estimates that approximately 70 million W-2s are available for import.

However, if your W-2 is not importable, you can upload a PDF, take a picture with your phone and upload it online or via the mobile app, or manually enter the information.

Does H&R Block Provide a Mobile App?

Yes. H&R Block offers two mobile apps.