H&R Block Review
H&R Block is one of the elite online tax software products on the market. With logical workflows and a clean design, H&R Block simplifies the tax filing process and allows you to complete your taxes with confidence. Get Started
Each section begins with an overview and a checklist page. The overview page contains important information for the section that you are about to work through. The checklist page allows you to select individual items that may be applicable to your tax circumstances. After a specific item is selected, a series of follow-up questions is generally asked. This workflow is applied to the major sections and helps communicate expectations, better prepare you for the section, and tailor the tax filing experience specifically to your needs.
As you work through different sections, several of the pages have embedded links that allow you to access more in-depth information. For example, the Income Checklist page contains several "Learn more" links that take you to content that further explains the forms. Similarly, the Adjustments Checklist contains "What qualifies" links to help better understand the different deductions. Other comparable links are found throughout the system and can help you move forward with more confidence and eliminate time spent searching for clarifying information elsewhere.
Throughout the entire tax filing process, you can add bookmarks to areas of confusion or uncertainty and return to them later. Each bookmark you create consists of a title and any notes you wish to add. You can access all of your bookmarks through an icon that appears in the upper-right side of the screen. After clicking on the icon, all of your bookmarks are presented as a list of live links. These links will take you directly back to the page where the bookmark was created allowing you to easily track back to the sections that needed additional attention.
For those who prefer to interact with a customer service representative, H&R Block is an excellent option. They move away from email support, choosing to focus more on phone and chat. H&R Block also provides support through live video conferencing. For those interested in face-to-face interactions, H&R Block is one of few online tax software companies that also has retail locations. Knowing retail locations exist can provide additional peace of mind for those who lack confidence in the online experience.
In the main menu, H&R Block provides a helpful form finding tool. The tool allows you to search forms by name or number. Even if you only know part of the form name, a list will be generated that shows you forms that match based upon your partial search criteria. The results tell you where to find the form, and the tool also allows you to add the form to your tax process to be completed when you come to that section.
Print returns is a new H&R Block feature that allows you to quickly access, download, and print your returns. A "Print Returns" icon is located in the upper-right menu, making it difficult to miss. You can print the current year return, as well as returns from the three previous years. Having easy access to this feature is great if you prefer to keep paper copies of tax records.
H&R Block allows you to import taxes from the previous year's return, not only from H&R sources, but also from competitors like TurboTax and TaxACT. However, you are only given one chance to import following your first login. The software provides a warning message informing you that it will be your only chance to import. If you're interested in importing, be aware of this feature and be prepared with your import. If you don't need to import, this is something that can easily be skipped, but having the option to import later would be much more convenient.
H&R Block does allow you to view a clear hierarchy of all the tasks you may need to complete, but they do not allow you to skip forward and work on later tasks. Once you start a section, the ability to work on the individual subtasks is granted. Working ahead has its risks, as deduction topics can potentially be missed. For those who consistently file similar taxes and know what types of deductions to look for, having the ability to work through sections according to your own preferences would be ideal.
H&R Block is one of the more expensive products on the market. Although they do offer a Federal Free Edition, the State Edition is expensive relative to other products. The quality and reliability of H&R Block may be worth the price, but those primarily interested in a low-cost solution will definitely be able to find an alternative product.
Free Federal Edition
Federal Fee: $0
Federal Fee: $19.99
Federal Fee: $29.99
Federal Fee: $49.99
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