What’s more affordable than hiring a tax advisor? Check out our tax software review and find out!
About a decade ago, I realized that doing taxes on my own calls for more than a calculator, pencils, and a fistful of erasers. This time, I’m taking a look at H&R Block At Home (formerly TaxCut). Like TurboTax, H&R Block At Home offers tax services and popular tax preparation software. The desktop versions are available on Windows XP and Vista, as well as for Macs. Here’s a look at some of H&R Block’s services and products.
H&R Block At Home Review: Online Services
As its name suggests, the H&R Block At Home Free Federal + e-File version is available at no cost. It includes helpful step-by-step guidance for tax preparation, ensures correct entry of your information and allows for 1 federal e-file. If you’ve got a simple return, then this is a service you can use. For state tax preparation, you’ll have to pay extra.
Meanwhile, the H&R Block At Home Deluxe is billed as “best for investors and homeowners”. It has all the features of the Free version, but also has personalized tax guidance and support for deductions and investment management requirements. You can also receive audit assistance from a tax professional when you utilize this particular solution.
With the H&R Premium Federal + E-file (State extra) version, you can enter your information and be guided through the various steps of filling out your federal tax forms. This version offers help for business owners, the self-employed and rental property owners. Business owners and the self-employed can take advantage of tax advice and specific forms for their needs. Additional support can be found for investment income, stock options, rental income, and expenses. Self-employed tax payers can also get business expense assistance, rental income assistance, access to advanced tax calculators and as mentioned, one session of live tax advice (a $19.95 value).
This version covers forms such as the Form 1040 Individual Tax Return; Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business; Schedule E Rents, Royalties, Partnerships, and many others. Worksheets include those for Capital Gains, Charitable Contributions, Tuition Payments, and more. In addition, you can get online support for state tax preparation too, if you pay an additional fee.
What H&R Block At Home Offers
H&R Block At Home will help you avoid errors by conducting an in-depth interview with you and by double-checking your entries. This can be a big time-saver, as anyone who’s had to amend a return can agree.
Marriage, buying a home, retirement, and having college-bound dependents can all trigger tax milestones in our lives. H&R Block At Home can help you navigate the tax-related questions you may have about these events. If you want, you can also have an H&R Block tax professional actually prepare your taxes online: they’ll review, certify and file your return for $79.95. You’re also entitled to full access to a tax professional anytime you have tax questions or need tax advice. Your questions can be answered via email or phone.
For those who’ve used H&R Block At Home (or TaxCut) before, you can import your data into the new version. You can also import data from programs like TurboTax, Microsoft Money, Quicken, and DeductionPro. Import options can save you a lot of time. Please bear in mind that it costs extra to e-file for a state return.
Support & Guarantees
In the event that you’re audited on your H&R Block At Home-filed return, you can fall back on Worry-free Audit Support. This means that H&R Block will send an enrolled agent to represent you. There’s also an “Accurate Calculations Guarantee”, meaning that you’ll be reimbursed for any IRS penalties and interest charges if it’s determined that H&R Block made incorrect calculations on your return. They also have the self-explanatory “Maximum Refund Guarantee”, which promises to yield you the maximum refund that you’re entitled to, or your return is free.
You can file up to five electronic federal returns for free, and you can expect to receive your refund in as little as eight days — a big improvement over the days when you’d need to wait for weeks on end. If you don’t want to file electronically, then you can print out your forms and mail them. Either way, with these H&R Block services/software programs, you won’t have to hunt down the forms you need from the post office or library and fight the crowds for them.
Given all this, H&R Block At Home seems like a reasonably priced way to get your taxes done.