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H&R Block has long been a trusted name in affordable tax preparation. In addition to having over 11,000 offices scattered throughout the United States, they have a DIY tax filing option as well.
What level of H&R Block’s online software might work best for your needs?
H&R Block Pros and Cons
Various levels of customer support: Whether you want to do your taxes all on your own or you want to delegate everything to a tax pro, H&R Block can give you the exact amount of support you need.
Valuable free edition: Their free online filing offers types of income than their competitors and you an file multiple states for free.
Helpful technology: The ability to import your W-2 by snapping a picture or import your expenses from the Uber driver’s app are just two examples of the various ways that H&R Block leverages technology to simplify the tax filing experience.
Cost: H&R Block is one of the more expensive services around.
Complexity of services: While more options are typically a positive, H&R Block’s expansive product suite could be a bit overwhelming for a brand new customer.
H&R Block Prices and Plans
H&R Block has four editions of their online software: Free, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed. Let’s take a closer look at the key features and pricing of each version.
$0 federal and $0 for each state return
H&R Blocks free DIY version includes e-file for your federal and state taxes. To qualify for the free version you must have a very simple tax return. If you have investments, want to itemize, or even have an HSA you won’t qualify.
Even the free level will let you import your W-2s from certain employers. And even if you can’t import your W-2 directly, their snap-a-pic import feature will get you up-and-running in no time.
H&R Block can also import last year’s tax return.
Plus, the free version will automatically import your federal filing information to your state taxes. It asks you a few additional questions and files your state taxes for free. You can even file multiple state taxes for free. This is a big benefit if you’ve earned income in more than one state. Most free plans only allow you to file in one state for free.
You do not get phone or chat tech support with the free plan. You can live on demand chat tax help for $70.
$55 for federal and $37 for each state return
Deluxe offers all the same benefits as Free and a few more features. The main difference (besides price) between the versions is that Deluxe includes more deduction forms. If you have an HSA, paid real estate taxes or mortgage interest in 2022, or have 1099 income (but no expenses) then you’ll need to bump up to the Deluxe edition.
In addition to the extra forms, Deluxe includes a few more benefits. For instance, the DeductionPro tool will help you optimize your deductions from charitable donations. And you’ll also get access to up to six years of tax returns.
With the Deluxe edition, you also get Audit Support which gives you Q and A style assistance if you are audited. They will answer questions and help you respond to the IRS but they will not contact the IRS on your behalf.
Finally, you’ll get more support with Deluxe. While the free version comes with email support, Deluxe customers are also able to chat or talk to support representatives over the phone.
$75 for federal and $37 for each state return
Premium includes everything in Deluxe, as well as more support for rental property income and expenses, cost basis for home sales, gifts, inheritance assets, and more.
It’s a better fit for those who need to use Schedule C-EZ to report simple business income and deductions. Plus, you’ll have the option to import expenses from several of the most popular tracking apps.
Side hustlers that don’t have expenses can use Premium, but if you want to claim business deductions you’ll need the Self-Employed version.
Premium also includes Schedule D for reporting investment income from stocks, bonds, and other investments. And it lets you determine the cost basis of home sales, dividends, gifts, and inheritance assets, as well as import expenses from some popular apps.
$110 for federal and $37 for each state return
This option is perfect for self-employed individuals whose income and expenses are too complicated for Schedule C-EZ or for rental property owners. It comes with all the forms from the other options, but also includes the full Schedule C form.
After you provide H&R Block with your income and expense numbers, they’ll help you correctly report your business profits or losses. And they’ll search high and low to help you take advantage of every single business credit or deduction you deserve, Plus, they’ll help you handle other complicated situations like asset depreciation.
Do you have an Uber side hustler? If so, you’ll love H&R Block Self-Employed. When you pay for this version, you can directly import your Uber income (1099-K, 1099-MISC) from your driver account.
For an additional $85, you can also add unlimited, on demand, live chat help from tax experts.
Filing with a Tax Expert
Starting at $85 for federal returns with state being an additional fee
Instead of DIYing your taxes you can file them with the help of a tax expert. What’s interesting about H&R Block is that you can get help over the phone, virtually, or even in person.
You can also just drop your taxes off at an H&R Block and have them done for you.
You will get an estimate of your costs before you begin so you can make an informed choice.
H&R Block for Expats
- DIY federal returns start at $99 plus $49 per FBAR, $99 per state return
- Filing with a tax advisor federal returns start at $199 plus $99 per FBAR, $125 per state return
H&R Block has a service specifically for expats. If you are a US citizen and need to file a US tax return and it’s specifically designed for those living overseas.
There are a few versions of the expats depending on what kind of income you have and if you choose to DIY it or use an advisor.
- Employee: federal returns start $99
- Investor & self employed: federal returns start at $149
All DIY versions include Foreign Tax Credit, interest and dividend income, child-related credits, the standard deduction, tech support, and year-round access to documents.
For additional fees you can include 1040NR ($99), PFIC ($99), FBAR ($49) and state filing ($99 per state).
If you’ve gotten behind, you can also process past-due tax returns starting at $699 plus $99 per state return.
Filing with a tax advisor
- Employee: federal returns start at $199
- Investor & self-employed: federal returns start at $399
All tax advisor assisted returns include an advisor prepared tax return, Foreign Tax Credit, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, interest and dividend income, child related credits, the standard and itemized deductions, tech support, and year-round access to documents.
For additional fees you can include a variety of forms including, non-US retirement accounts, crypto, and self-employment or rental property income.
Past due tax returns start at $999 for federal and $125 for each state return.
Don’t worry, you can get an estimate of what your costs will be before you begin.
H&R Block Audit Assistance
All returns come with Audit Support. This is assistance if you receive a letter from the IRS, H&R Block tax experts will answer general questions you have but will not contact the IRS on your behalf.
For a fee, you can add on Worry-Free Audit Support which will give you access to an enrolled agent who will guide you through the entire audit process including the ability to represent you before the IRS.
Is H&R Block Safe and Reliable?
As with most reliable tax software services, this one uses bank-level encryption technology to ensure that your information is safe while it’s being stored and sent to the IRS. It also encrypts data from your web browser to H&R Blocks servers, and uses multi-layer authentication to ensure that it’s actually you logging into your account.
H&R Block also uses external security firms to do audits and assess their software for potential risks as needed. And they have a security protection team that monitors for potential security issues around the clock.
H&R Block Competitors
TurboTax offers three levels, DIY, Live, and Full Service
With DIY you will receive no tax support and with Live you will get on demand tax support from a real human over the phone. With Full Service, TurboTax will do your taxes for you.
Once you’ve chosen your service level you have four plans to choose from. The four plans are Free, Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed. The DIY version of these plans have the following costs:
- Free (simple returns only, not all taxpayers qualify)
- Deluxe: $69 for federal and $59 for each state return
- Premier: $99 for federal and $59 for each state return
- Self-Employed: $129 for federal and $59 for each state return
Prices go up from there depending on how much personalized service you desire.
TurboTax also offers free informational audit support with all plans where you can get questions answered. Full Audit Defense is an additional fee but allows your representative to contact the IRS on your behalf.
Check out our full TurboTax review for more information.
TaxAct offers four plans and all of them include access to a tax expert, including the free version.
- Free (simple returns only)
- Deluxe: $24.95 for federal and $44.95 for each state return
- Premier: $34.95 for federal and $44.95 for each state return
- Self-Employed: $64.95 for federal and $44.95 for each state return
Access to a tax expert automatically is nice feature. The way it works is you email your question and then an expert calls you when they are available.
For an additional fee, TaxAct offers full audit support for three years after you file.
Check out our full TaxAct review for more information.
TaxSlayer has the simplest structure to their plans. They have four plans and the two least expensive plans are DIY while the two more expensive ones add on the ability to talk to a tax pro.
For DIY, their Simply Free plan is for simple tax situations and the Classic is for all others who want to DIY. The Classic version will cover all tax situations.
For those who want tax assistance, their Premium plan is offers everything in Classic but adds on priority support and the ability to talk to a tax pro.
Their Self-Employed plan gives you everything in Premium and also several features beneficial to someone who is self-employed, such as quarterly estimated tax payment reminders.
Their plans are:
- Simply Free: free federal and one state return for simple tax situations
- Classic: $19.95 for federal and $39.95 for each state
- Premium: $39.95 for federal and $39.95 for each state
- Self-Employed: $49.95 for federal and $39.95 for each state
Tax Slayer also has a plan for the military which allows for a free federal return but each state is $39.95.
One item of note is that TaxSlayer only offers audit support on the Premium version which includes information only. They will not speak to the IRS on your behalf.
Check out our full review of TaxSlayer for more information.
Is it really free to get your taxes done at H&R Block?
Yes, at H&R Block you can do simple tax returns for free. You can even file multiple state returns which is a feature you don’t normally see with free tax software.
Will H&R Block Import my W-2 or 1099?
Yes, depending on your employer, you can import your W-2 or 1099. If it’s not available for import you can take a picture of it and upload it that way.
If neither of those solutions work for you, you can always import manually. The software will guide you so you enter the correct information in the right spots.
Does H&R Block offer a Mobile App?
Yes, H&R Block does have a mobile app and doing your taxes on the app gives you access to all the same benefits as doing it on the computer.
H&R Block is a trusted name in tax prep and has been around since 1955, well before doing your taxes online was even thought of. If you’re looking to do your taxes with a stalwart in the tax prep industry look no further.
They are pretty comparable to their competitors in prices and services offered. But what’s cool about H&R Block is that you actually have the option to meet in person with a tax advisor. That’s an interesting feature you don’t normally get with online tax software. The expat services are also unique to H&R Block which makes it perfect if you are overseas and needing to do your US taxes.