H&R Block at Home is backed by nearly 60 years of tax preparation experience. Since their inception, they have prepared over 550 million returns and helped their clients receive over $50 billion in tax refund money last year. This tax service supports all tax forms and provides simple federal eFiling free. Our TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winning online tax software, H&R Block, can easily help you create accurate federal and state returns stress-free from your own home.
The tax preparation service can even provide one-on-one support to your house. You do not have to visit one of their offices to receive professional support. Through their Block Live service, you can work with a tax professional via video conference, telephone or instant chat. You can also access H&R Block services from your iPhone, Android device or iPad.
H&R Block offers a wide range of tax services, from free simple eFiling to online declaring of self-employment and rental income. Most taxpayers can easily use one of their online versions. However, should you need assistance they have thousands of local offices that you can visit. In fact, they tout that they have a retail office within five miles of most Americans and they employ over 100,000 tax professionals. We did a quick check and discovered five retail offices located within five miles of our corporate headquarters, including two bilingual offices.
Once again, this year H&R Block at Home helped us effortlessly prepare an accurate federal and state return using our test tax scenario. For the 2012 tax season, we created a rather typical 1040 scenario with itemized deductions and a simple 1040EZ situation. This online tax software was able to guide us easily to our earned credits and deductions, and it produced a correct return to the dollar. H&R Block is reactive to the most current tax law changes and even found our deliberate errors.
H&R Block can provide tax services for all types of filers, from 1040EZ to self-employed to investors. For the purpose of this review, we tested the Deluxe version, which can handle itemized deductions and many common personal tax scenarios and the free version. If you are a little behind, H&R Block can help you file prior tax years back to 1992.
All versions come with double error-checking, a guided interview process, free audit support for those that subscribe to their support plan and a maximum refund guarantee. We feel that H&R Block can help you prepare simple and complex 1040s with accuracy. To help reduce entry errors it can import from prior years, from other services and from W-2s and 1099 forms. It can import your tax information from TurboTax and TaxACT.
We found this software simple to use; however, we have tested numerous tax products and are familiar with the newest tax law changes, and we found this product a bit harder to use than the top-ranked product for first-time filers. However, most filers will find the H&R Block online tax preparation service and software easy to use. This service also makes it easy to receive your refund. Disbursement options include check, direct deposit or deposit to a prepaid card. Last year they discontinued releasing funds early through the controversial refund anticipation loan. However, it does appear that you can still request a state refund anticipation check early for a $13 fee.
One thing that sets H&R Block apart from most other services is that you can visit one of their local offices and talk to a professional tax preparer and have them prepare and submit your taxes for you. While preparing taxes online and eFiling is the preferred method for the do-it-yourself types, other filers are anxious about preparing their own returns or have complex filing scenarios that they want help with. So it is convenient that H&R Block has over 11,000 tax offices across the U.S. with over 100,000 tax professionals available during the tax season.
This tax service provides some good support options, including the ability to contact them by telephone for customer and technical support. Online they post installation, download and login help as well as contact information to local offices. During the tax season, you can also contact them via instant chat 24/7. During the off-season, they are available by chat and telephone Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. They also offer video conferencing. With this service, you can take advantage of one-on-one video conference assistance with preparing your return for as low as $39. H&R Block is also active on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. You can even log in to your H&R Block account through Facebook.
H&R Block provides good tax help while you are logged in preparing your return. They provide a “Get Answers” section that has questions and answers relevant to the section you are working on. They also provide a “Get More Help” option and searchable help topics. We found their tax help current, thorough and relevant. On their website, they provide tax articles, tips and a tax blog. We found their tax blog up-to-date with useful posts. They also provide a free iPhone app available through the iTunes store. This app provides a tax estimator, a help center, a tax checklist, a tax quiz and a “Find an Office” search tool.
If this time of year gives you tax anxiety, or if you have a more complicated tax situation, H&R Block is a good tax preparation choice. They provide a wide variety of tax support options and many opportunities for one-on-one support with a trained tax professional. They also provide easy-to-use online tax software if you are comfortable preparing your returns independently. H&R Block is one of the most experienced tax preparation services with over 100,000 tax professionals ready to assist you. In our experiences with them, they have always been able to help us prepare an accurate return right down to the dollar every time.
No matter your tax situation, H&R Block can help you create an accurate return with their online software, by video conference or at one of their retail locations.
eFiling your state return with H&R Block will cost a bit more than other services. State eFiling starts at $27.95 and goes up to $34.95.
H&R Block provides many filing options and extensive tax guidance, which makes them one of the best tax preparation services.