H&R Block Review – Features, Fees, and Military Discounts
Preparing and filing your own taxes can be challenging to someone who is not a tax professional....
Preparing and filing your own taxes can be challenging to someone who is not a tax professional. Military taxes, in particular, can be quite complex.
There are additional complications to deal with when filing taxes if you are in the military, such as multiple pay types like combat pay that is tax-exempt, residency in more than one state within one tax year, and more
In recent years, tax software has seen numerous developments to the extent that many people and businesses solely rely on these products instead of needing to hire a CPA or other tax professional.
H&R Block is one of the most popular tax software platforms available, and their services have many benefits for people in the military and their spouses.
How It Works
H&R Block’s platform uses a semi-guided approach to navigate you through the process of filing your state or federal taxes. The interface will ask you questions and, as you answer these questions and upload the relevant forms, the system will prepare your tax return for you.
- Getting Started: When you open the platform, you will have to start by entering all your personal and tax information. The platform will take you step-by-step through the process of adding info about your residency, dependence, and so forth.
- Review: After completing a session, you will be given an opportunity to review the information you added to ensure that there are no mistakes and that you left nothing out.
- Filing status: Upon completion of this segment, the platform will assign you a filing status, for example, “head of household.”
- Tax info: Then, the software will guide you through the process of entering all information about your income, deductions, and credits. It will also ask you about situations that may apply to you and affect the tax return you receive.
- Documentation: After entering all the information, the software will ask you to upload any miscellaneous documents that you haven’t uploaded yet. Then the software will generate your tax return.
If you are a paying customer, you may be able to store the return for future reference before submitting it.
Most people are not clued-in when it comes to preparing and filing their taxes. With H&R Block, you don’t need any prior experience with filing taxes, and you don’t need any form of training to do your returns with this software.
If you have any problems, you can contact H&R Block for free technical support, even if you are using the Free version.
Entering all personal and tax information manually can be a frustrating and time-consuming process.
The good news is that, with the form import tool, you can upload your return from the previous year, your W-2 form, and all 1099 forms from your internal storage or competitor software to auto-populate all the information fields.
You can also take a picture of a physical document and upload it to the platform. The benefit of this feature is that it saves a lot of time and mitigates the risk of typing errors or omissions.
Help and Information
Together with a comprehensive informational blog, H&R Block also provides users with tax tips and W-4, tax, and ACA calculators to ensure that they enter their information correctly.
Tax Audit Services
If you receive notification that you will be audited as the result of a return that you file with this software, H&R Block will provide you with a free and in-depth audit consultation to help you understand the audit process so that you can prepare.
Some of the paid products also offer additional audit services.
H&R Block offers the following guarantees:
- 100% accuracy
- Customer satisfaction
- Maximum tax refund
This version is the most basic product that H&R Block has to offer, and it allows for 1040A and 1040EZ filing as well as Form 1099, 1098, and 1095.
Both federal and state tax return filing are free with this version. If you are looking for a free state return filing solution, this plan may be the most viable.
With this free version, you will also receive direction on more than 350 credits and deductions, as well as a Refund Reveal that shows how your financial information changes your refund as you input it.
The Deluxe version offers everything the free version does and allows users to file more forms to claim more deductions. This version also provides support for Schedule A filing as well as deduction itemization.
Repeat customers can store forms and use Deduction Pro, a tool that makes it possible to track charitable contributions.
If you receive an income on the side as a freelancer or contractor, or if you are an investor or rental property owner, you need the Premium version, which allows filing for:
- Schedule C-EZ for freelancers and contractors with basic income and expenses
- Schedule D for capital gains and losses, stocks, and bonds
- Schedule E for recording both rental property income and tax deductions
- Schedule K-1 to report income from S corporations, personal partnerships, trusts, or estates
This version is the most extensive and offers all the features and forms that the other versions do.
The feature that sets this plan apart from the others is that it allows for Schedule C filing, making it possible to report small business income, asset depreciation, and business tax deductions.
If you receive an income from self-employed activities, this should be the H&R Block product you choose. There are, however, more affordable tax software plans available from other companies that you can use for Schedule C filing.
H&R Block’s fee structure is subject to change, and to find out what the costs of each version are, you should visit H&R Block’s website.
Currently, there is a flat rate for state filing of $36.99 when you choose the Deluxe, Premium, or Self-Employed plan. State filing is free with the free program.
The cost of federal filing is:
- $0 with the free plan
- $29.99 with the Deluxe plan
- $49.99 with the Premium plan
- $79.99 for the Self-Employed plan
If you are a military associate, you may be eligible to receive 20% off any paid tax software product.
However, the military discounts that H&R Block offers are subject to change. Visit H&R Block’s website to find the latest discount offers for military associates and their partners and to find the promo codes that you can use.
- Simplicity: Simple, step-by-step guided navigation to help you complete your tax filing
- Usability: Intuitive interface that is easily understandable
- Guarantee: Accuracy, customer service, and maximum refunds
- Importing: Previous tax returns, W-2 forms, and 1099 forms
- Support: Readily available and effective audit, tax, and technical support
- Free Option: Comprehensive free version that offers free state filing
- Military Assistance: Suitable for use by military associates and their partners
- Complexity: One of the best tax software products for investors, traders, and rental property owners
- Cost comparison: Paid versions offer fewer features than similarly-priced competitor products
- Limited free support: Free version offers technical support only
- Self-employment limits: Not the best tax software for self-employed people
H&R Block is a name you can trust, but unless you go with the Free version, be prepared to pay a little extra for that name recognition.
However, the comprehensive features of the Free version and the accompanying ability to file a state return for free are unbeatable. It’s one of our top picks for filing your taxes for free.
H&R Block is also an excellent option for military filers due to their discounts and capacity for complex tax filing.