It can sometimes be challenging to get a tax filing software that suits your needs and budget.
You want a tax software that offers not only valuable tools, but also has different plans to suit unique needs, has reliable customer support, and is compatible with various devices like PC, smartphones, and tablets.
All these should come at a competitive price. H&B Block is one such software. Let’s see what it has to offer and see how it stacks up against its top competitors so you can decide if it suits your needs.
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About H&R Block
H&R Block’s software is a frontrunner in the crowded market for tax filing software, topping our list of the best tax software.
H&R Block has been in the tax filing business since 1955. Its popularity can be attributed to the fact that it combines simple tools and valuable guidance when delivering its services. Whether it’s your first time filing taxes or you’ve been filing for years, you’ll find H&R Block useful. The software interface is straightforward and user-friendly.
There are four versions of H&R Block software to choose from, depending on your tax situation. The free version is one of the best on the market. It allows you to file the new Form 1040, and also lets you claim the following:
- Credit for the Disabled or Elderly
- The Earned Income Tax Credit
The free version also allows you to file Schedules 1-6. However, if you want to itemize your deductions, are a freelancer, a landlord, or run a small business, then H&R Block’s paid version would work better for you.
The paid versions offer awesome choices. They may not be as sophisticated as some of their competitors like TurboTax, but they get the job done without any issues.
Freelancers, contractors, and landlords can save considerable amounts of money when filing with H&R Block. This company also has a network of physical locations spread across the country to ensure they offer top-notch customer service.
Despite its numerous valuable features, H&R Block may not always suit your specific needs. We’ve compiled a list of some H&R Block alternatives, based on features, customer support, pricing plans, and other factors to help you choose a better software for your needs than H&R Block.
H&R Block vs TurboTax
TurboTax has been offering tax services since the mid-1980s and is a serious rival to H&R Block when it comes to popularity, attributed partly to the fact that it offers a user-friendly interface and straightforward, step-by-step guidance during the tax filing process.
TurboTax also offers a free filing option, which lets you file your federal tax return and one state return free of charge. The free version, however, only allows for simple tax returns with Form 1040.
If you would like to itemize your deductions, you’ll have to sign up for a paid plan. There are three paid versions, ranging from $39.99 to $89.99 for federal tax filing. You’ll need to pay $39.99 for every state filing.
Both TurboTax and H&R Block offer excellent, easy-to-use software.
They’re intuitive and straightforward, and like H&R Block, TurboTax’s free version supports Form 1040 filing with some tax credits. Most filers will find the Deluxe plan sufficient for their tax situation. However, it’s about 25% more expensive than H&R Block’s Deluxe plan.
Fortunately, you get a few more features for the extra cost. When it comes to customer support, both H&R Block and TurboTax offer the best options on the market. However, H&R Block could work better for you if you want person-to-person guidance whenever you encounter serious issues with your tax return.
This is because they have several physical locations spread across the country. It’s worth noting that TurboTax has an excellent offering for filers who prefer getting assistance online.
TurboTax may not have any physical locations, but it gives its customers access to tax experts. However, you will have to pay additional fees for that access, with four expert packages that correspond to its four plans.
H&R Block vs TaxAct
TaxAct is another awesome tax filing software that you can use in place of H&R Block. Here’s a rundown with a few points worth considering:
Both applications allow you to file your state taxes, in addition to federal taxes, but you’ll have to pay extra. However, TaxAct charges a few dollars less for state filing. E-filing, which lets you send your return to the IRS, is free for both providers.
When it comes to features and ease of use, H&R Block could be a better choice for you. Nonetheless, both TaxAct and H&R Block offer intuitive interfaces that can make sense of things, provide guidance where necessary, and ensure the process runs smoothly and logically so you can finish quickly.
When it comes to customer support, H&R Block can be a great choice if you feel nervous about filing your tax returns online. It’s also a much better choice if you prefer face-to-face support when you face serious challenges related to your tax returns.
This is because H&R Block has over 12,000 physical locations across the country. It would help if you realized, however, that the software doesn’t automatically provide access to free in-person advice. TaxAct, on the other hand, doesn’t have any physical locations, but it has much to offer filers who have no problem with getting advice online.
If you are eligible for a refund, both TaxAct and H&R Block can have the IRS deposit the funds directly into your bank account or send a paper check via mail. However, if things get complicated with the IRS, H&R Block would be a better option because its audit defense add-on is more powerful and less expensive.
H&R Block vs TaxSlayer
If you find that both H&R Block and TurboTax are expensive for you, then you might want to check what TaxSlayer has to offer.
TaxSlayer is a more cost-friendly tax filing software compared to the other two options. With its affordability, though, come some limitations.
If your tax needs are simpler though, and you aren’t too particular about It allows you to file both your federal and state return for free. It also has paid versions, which are way cheaper than H&R Block.
In fact, it offers greatly affordable pricing for taxpayers with simple and more complicated tax situations.
Its pricing starts at $17 while that of H&R Block starts at $29.99. At the opposite end of the spectrum, H&R Block’s most high-end plan costs $119.99 while TaxSlayer’s cost $57.
Tax Software Comparison: H&R Block vs TurboTax vs TaxAct vs TaxSlayer
|Ease of Use||Excellent||User-Friendly||Intuitive Interface||Intuitive Interface|
|Pricing||Competitive||Paid Plans ($39.99 – $89.99)||Competitive, Savings||Affordable ($17+)|
|State Filing||Yes||Paid, Variable Cost||Paid, Slightly Cheaper||Free Federal & State|
|Audit Defense||Strong Defense||Available (Extra Cost)||Better With H&R Block||Not Specified|
|In-Person Support||Extensive (12,000+ Locations)||Limited Physical Locations||Limited, Online Support||Limited Physical Locations|
|Tax Form Support||Form 1040, Schedule A||Form 1040, Limited Credits||Form 1040, Schedule A||Supports Schedule C|
The best tax filing software for you depends on your tax situation and what you’re looking for in terms of tax support.
H&R Block is a solid competitor against TurboTax when it comes to pricing and features.
If you prefer filing your taxes online but would feel more confident knowing you can find help from a human at a physical office if you get into trouble, H&R Block is a great option.
However, if you are new to filing tax returns and need guidance to navigate through tax forms, you would be better off with TurboTax.
If you need cost-friendly software at the expense of sophisticated features, you can choose TaxSlayer.
It’s all about your goals and needs. Keep those in mind, and pick the best software for you.