H&R Block Review
H&R Block can help with the more-complicated returns with a combination of the software and network of tax professionals. Features include:
- Over 11,000 branches available nationwide for you to make an appointment with a tax professional
- Refund advance loans to give you access to your tax refund the same day you file
- Self-directed tax software with in-person or phone-based support
H&R Block Review
H&R Block is a good tax software to consider if you feel you can handle preparing your return on your own but also want the safety of knowing you can ask a question if you can’t find an answer. H&R Block’s tax software comes equipped with an attractive and interactive user interface, access to a tax professional and the ability to receive a refund advance loan product at no cost to you. Read our full H&R Block review to see if this is the tax software option that is best for your needs.
H&R Block Overview
Our H&R Block tax software review will go over the most important things you need to know if you’re considering this product.
H&R Block is a global consumer tax services provider. It has prepared more than 720 million tax returns in its offices and with its programs since 1955. H&R Block has approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail location in the U.S. In fact, there is an H&R Block-branded retail office located within five miles of 95% of Americans, providing access to more than 70,000 tax professionals.
H&R Block offers a free version that is more robust than the other free tax software options we reviewed. Additionally, the software allows you to upload PDFs of your tax forms to make the data input part of the tax return quick and simple.
Our H&R Block review found a lot of advantages of using this software. Here are some of the best pros:
- Flexibility with refund options: H&R Block offers refund advance loans to tax filers who will receive a return but may need money sooner. This is a valuable product offering for filers who might otherwise wait until mid-February to receive their refunds.
- Free version has high functionality: In the tax software options we reviewed, H&R Block was the only one that included Schedules 1-6. This puts free federal tax return preparation in the hands of more tax filers.
- Self-guided tax preparation: This software offers the chance to do your own return, but it has in-person professional help available as needed for a fee. This is great if you want to try preparing your own return but prefer a safety net to catch you if you need it.
Unfortunately, our H&R Block review also has to point out some cons. Disadvantages include:
- More expensive than competitors: Much like TurboTax, the enhanced functionality and service offerings come with a price. However, the powerful software offers valuable services for tax filers.
- Tax professionals aren’t cheap: For basic tax preparation assistance available in-office, services start at $59. This can be a steep price to pay if you have a simple question.
Consultations With a Tax Professional
H&R Block gives you the ability to sit down with a tax professional who will help you better understand your taxes. You can do this by phone or in person.
The tax professionals will provide advice on how to maximize your return. They can help you find deductions and credits you may have overlooked or not known about. Professionals also take into account how taxes will impact your retirement in various ways, such as by reviewing Traditional and Roth IRAs.
Refund Options and Guarantee
H&R Block offers a lot of flexibility and options for your refund, something we can’t emphasize the value of enough in our H&R Block review.
Refund Advance Loans
Refund advance loans are no-interest loans that are repaid with your tax refund. The product is available from January 4, 2019, to February 28, 2019, to H&R Block clients by Axos Bank. These loans are available in four amounts ($500, $750, $1,250 and $3,000).
The refund advance is a loan; it is not your tax refund. You don’t have to pay any charges or loan fees for the advance, but it is subject to prequalification. This is a process where you are evaluated on multiple criteria. This includes things like your credit score and your tax information from last year.
Applying for the loan will not impact your credit score. The bank may review your credit report as part of your application, but it will not impact your credit. If you are approved for the loan, you will receive money the same day you apply. You’ll receive the money on the H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard.
Flexible Options for Your Refund
H&R Block offers refund transfer, an offering provided by Axos Bank. The services are a convenient and secure way to receive your tax refund. This service can transfer your refund via direct deposit to your existing checking account, savings account or an FDIC-insured Refund Account”. You can get the refund disbursed by check or loaded onto an H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard.
Be sure to read the fine print on these offerings, however. Federal refund transfers cost $39.95, and paper checks cost $25 for disbursement.
Maximum Refund Guarantee
If you discover an error in the H&R Block tax preparation software that entitles you to a larger refund or smaller liability, H&R Block will refund the software fees you paid. You will also be able to amend your return at no additional charge.
As a note, other tax software providers also offer to refund the difference found between the programs. However, this guarantee can still help you make sure you don’t lose money.
H&R Block Review Conclusion
After our H&R Block review, we put this software as one of our top choices. It offers good filing options at reasonable prices and most importantly, convenient access to tax professionals.
This tax software is best-suited to those who need high-touch tax preparation services or who want to do it themselves while knowing tax professionals are available in they’re needed. All in all, we highly recommend H&R Block.
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