Founded in 1955, H&R Block is currently one of the largest tax preparation companies in the world, filing 1 in every 7 tax returns in the country, utilizing more than 100,000 highly trained tax professionals. H&R Block has the experience and know-how to file your taxes in the most efficient means available today, providing you with some peace of mind through its 100% Accuracy Guarantee. Additionally, the company guarantees that its calculations will result in the maximum tax refund you’re entitled to and provides an in-person audit assistance safeguard, should the need arise.
H&R Block’s website features an interactive video, in which you will be asked a series of questions in order to help you select which online product could best fit your situation. If you choose the online preparation service, a series of step-by-step questions will guide you through your return while also providing guidance along the way. If you're not entirely prepared to start filing your taxes online, but want the convenience of being able to prepare your taxes when you want in the convenience of your own home, H&R Block has developed a hybrid approach that combines online tax preparation with live expert help. To help make the process as easy as possible, the company offers “Block Live,” which allows you to prepare and file taxes online with real-time help from H&R Block’s tax professionals via secure video conference or chat, with pricing dependent upon the complexity and time of assistance needed.
H&R Block employs an abundance of resources to field any questions you may have, providing answers to pressing tax questions through one of its knowledgeable tax professionals. All H&R Block efiling editions provide access to free unlimited advice from a tax expert via real-time chat. If you're concerned about receiving an audit notice from the IRS, “Worry-Free Audit Support” is offered to users of any of the online preparation services. This service provides assistance with IRS correspondence management, audit preparation and audit representation from an H&R Block Enrolled Agent who will accompany you on your audit.
Additionally, H&R Block is a resource for Affordable Care Act information helping health care consumers, as well as assisting small business owners with the impending employer mandate starting in 2015. H&R Block includes step-by-step guides, health care facts 101 and telephone numbers for live assistance with any Affordable Care Act questions you may have.
In addition to online chat, users of the Basic, Deluxe or Premium programs also have access to unlimited phone support. If phone or chat support isn't enough for you, the H&R Block care team invites you to tweet your questions anytime from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT. Before you call, a look through H&R Block's tax tips can give you access to expert information from any of the six listed categories: Tax Tips, Health Care, Your Money, Life & Style, Behind the Block (additional information on H&R Block services) and In the News (topical information on current events). At the heart of the customer support center is the Tax Institute, which is H&R Block’s independent research and analysis division. While other online tax preparation companies allow input from a variety of tax users, the information on H&R Block is disseminated from the institute itself.
H&R Block has adroitly bridged the gap between traditional preparation at its retail outlets and its online self-preparation services by using what the company refers to as "Integrated Tax Solutions." In addition to the Block Live edition that connects you with a live tax expert, H&R Block offers the “Best of Both” online preparation service to start the process of completing your tax return. Once you've completed your return, it is then passed off to an H&R Block tax expert to be reviewed for potential errors. Best of all, your return will be signed by your tax expert (as a paid preparer), who will then transmit your returns for you electronically. The cost of “Best of Both” is $99.95 for federal filing and $39.95 for each state filing. So for an additional $25.00, you receive the benefit of an actual tax expert who both reviews and signs your tax returns. Considering the potential value/cost of missed deductions, taxpayers will probably be hard pressed to get more value for their money than the extra $25.00 spent on this version. For taxpayers not yet ready to prepare their own returns, H&R Block's “integrated solutions” (Block Live and Best of Both) go a long way toward bridging the gap between professionally and self-prepared returns.
All of the online services other than H&R Block Free let you import all of your tax return information from last year's return, even if you used services like TurboTax or TaxACT the previous year.
H&R Block online filing allows you to quickly and easily import your W-2 and 1099 information into your current return, even if you utilized competitors TurboTax or TaxACT in previous years. Your return will also be double checked automatically for any possible errors.
H&R Block Free is free for federal filing and $27.99 for each state filing. This version is recommended for taxpayers with simple, straightforward returns.
H&R Block Basic is $19.99 for federal filing and $36.99 for each state filing. Designed for “simple tax solutions,” the primary advantage over the free version is access to free unlimited phone support and automatic transfer of your prior year’s information. You can also store and access your tax return for 3 years, which may save you some time should you need to furnish additional copies for that impending home loan refinance.
H&R Block Deluxe is $29.99 for federal filing and $36.99 for each state filing. This version provides additional guidance regarding your home mortgage interest deduction, valuation of charitable deductions and extra guidance for your investments.
H&R Block Premium is $49.99 for federal filing and $36.99 for each state filing. Designed for the self-employed or rental property owners, the Premium provides additional guidance on maximizing business deductions (Schedule C) and rental property income (Schedule E). Another advantage of the Premium version is Priority Support that takes you to the head of the line for any free tax advice or technical support you may need.
Gone are the days of painstakingly preparing a tax return. This once meticulous process has been simplified through H&R Block’s efiling solutions, which offer tax filers of all experience levels a time-saving and cost-effective way to submit their tax information to the IRS.