Taxes: Save Money by Using H&R Block At Home

 

Editor’s Disclosure: While the following post is an honest review about my experience with H&R Block At Home tax software, it does contain affiliate links. Should you click on those links and complete a purchase, Club Thrifty will receive compensation for the referral.

 

Hey Thrifty McTrhiftertons! You already know that we think being frugal is awesome, right? Well, that doesn’t just have to apply to reusing old tissue paper or making children’s toys out of empty plastic bottles. That can apply during tax time too!

 

According to the National Society of Accountants, the average cost of preparing a tax return is $246. That is crazy to me, especially when you can do your own taxes for a fraction of that cost. That is where H&R Blcok At Home comes in. Why spend all of that money to pay somebody else to do what you can do yourself?

 

In all honesty, I think people are intimidated by all of the complicated forms and tax language that is out there. Yet, for most people, doing your own taxes really isn’t that difficult. The old days of grabbing a paper copy of  Form 1040 and the instruction booklet are gone. H&R Block At Home makes filing even your most complicated tax returns easy.

 

H&R Block’s Guided Interview Process

With H&R Block At Home, you don’t even have to look at the forms if you don’t want to. The program provides an easy interview format that does all the work for you. Simply answer the questions, and VIOLA! Your forms are automatically populated. Furthermore, if you aren’t sure about whether or not you qualify for certain credits or deductions, the program will walk you through it step by step to determine your eligibility. The program also allows you to chat with a live professional any time you need additional help. Simply click the “Chat With a Live Representative” and you’re golden.

 

Once you are done filling out your federal return, H&R Block At Home will even help you finish your state tax return for an additional fee. Now that is some sweet tax help! They also provide “worry free audit support” just in case!

 

It Even Imports Information From Past Returns!

One of the things that I like best about the H&R Block At Home program is that it allows you to import information from tax returns past. I have been using the program for about 5 years now (formerly H&R Block Tax Cut), and I love it. By importing my past information, it saves me a ton of time by populating information for me that hasn’t changed. I don’t have to go back and check whether or not I claimed bonus depreciation on a refrigerator. The info is already there for me!

 

What is even better is that NEW THIS YEAR, H&R Block At Home will allow you to import prior information from OTHER tax programs! How sweet is that? So, if you are unhappy with another program, you can now switch to H&R Block At Home and not lose all of the convenience that the automatic population provides.

 

Complicated Returns Made Easy

Another thing that I love about H&R Block At Home is that it makes fairly complicated returns easy. I was a bit hesitant to try to do my own taxes, especially this year. We already own 2 rental properties and we added a LLC to the mix. However, I upgraded to H&R Block At Home Online Premium and added the Business program as well. This made filing my tax returns a breeze. While the business program was slightly more complicated than the regular version (mainly because I was a bit unfamiliar with some of the language being this was my first time filing a business return), I found it very easy to follow. It used the same sort of interview system as the regular H&R Block At Home. All I had to do was answer the questions, and the program did the heavy lifting for me.

 

For anybody who is looking into doing their own tax returns, I would highly recommend using H&R Block At Home. I love the program. It makes filing your taxes easy. It is convenient and won’t bust your budget. Plus, it is a HUMONGOUS time saver from filling out paper forms. Be sure to click the link and get started with H&R Block At Home today!

 

 

About Greg

Greg Johnson is a proud husband, father, and debt crusader who believes in living life now while saving for the future. He is the co-founder of the personal finance website Club Thrifty, where he brings the awesome sauce each and every day.

Comments

  1. I use TaxAct, mainly because I have for years and it seems to have worked. This year, though, things haven’t gone as seamlessly. I’ve read that the late action by Congress during the fiscal cliff (sigh!) crisis caused several forms to be delayed. Since we have a rental property, we have been affected by that and I’m still waiting for my return to get accepted. I’m all about a flat tax or the fair tax because tax preparation seems to be getting harder every year!

  2. Hmm I wonder how this compares to TurboTax. TurboTax seems to have a similar system set up where you answer questions and it asks additional questions based on your answers. I already bought TurboTax this year but I would consider using a different software next year.

    • I have not used TurboTax, but I assume it is similar. I got familiar with H&R Block and I like it. I always get a great return, and it is super simple to use.

  3. Our tax office in Australia actually provides some pretty handy software called e-tax which guides you through doing your own taxes.

  4. We have been a TurboTax household for the last few years, and I am a huge fan of doing taxes at home. I tend to file on February 1st most years :) I have heard TaxAct is just as good..

    • I am also a big fan of doing your own taxes. The programs available these days do a great job. However, depending on the difficulty of your returns, you do need to have a few hours to complete the returns.

  5. Good review Greg! I used it for a number of years and loved how it imported past years taxes.
    We actually hired a CPA last year, which kills me as I’ve always done our taxes. But, with our business growing it just got to be difficult as there are just too many moving parts for me to be able to do it with confidence. He’s done great and well worth the cost so I can focus on other things. That said, I would recommend this program to anyone as most returns can be done on their own.

    • That is the key. While doing your taxes at home does save money, it does take some time – even with an at home program. Sometimes it is worth more to pay somebody else to do them.

  6. I’d SO love to do my own taxes. If I didn’t have two businesses and a rental property, I’d be all over it. My taxes are JUST complicated enough that I have to stick with the pros.

    However, my kids have W2 income this year, so I’m gonna try this out on my guinea pigs….I mean kids.

  7. I’ve used both turbo tax and H&R block version. But I don’t really see the big difference. As long as you don’t miss anything and enter all the information, it’s good. My husband tends to just click click click without scrolling down, so I have to go back to make sure we didn’t miss any part.

    • Ha! Typical man:)

      I have never used TurboTax, but I assume that it is very similar to H&R Block. As long as you know what you got and don’t forget to enter anything, you are golden.

  8. I had to use a tax preparer this year. I would have been audited otherwise. We have a pretty crazy tax situation!

  9. It takes me about 30 minutes to do out taxes. I use the online free version, which gives you most forms, even retirement contributions, education and HSA. It makes you upgrade for business income, rental income, capital gains, farm income, etc. It also charges you to import past year info. I think I have used the online free version for almost 13 years! I have never bought tax software or used an accountant in my life. You can usually do you own taxes on your state website for free too, which I did this year to save money. It doesn’t take that much longer.

  10. I have a complex return and have used turbo tax for some many years I feel like I am married to it. I’m not opposed to changing, but I am also very much a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” kind of guy. But I am glad to hear that H&R at home can do the more complex returns, so I know I can use another option if Turbo Tax does me wrong

    • That is kind of the way I feel about H&R Block. It was the program that I started using, and now I’m married to it. I do like that you can now import info from other software (like TurboTax). So, if you need a change, H&R Block is definitely the way to go!

  11. I’ve been doing my taxes the old school way. It can be time consuming but I’m probably a glutton for punishment because I actually kind of like reading through the instructions…

    I have a rental property and rent a spare room out of my house. I might start using one of these programs since my tax situation this year will be much more complicated.

    • I started using a program after we bought our first rental. H&R Block walks you right through it. It is easy and much faster than doing it on paper.

  12. I should consider doing this. I used to do my taxes all by my lonesome, with the instruction book, but I think it was originally written in Klingon and translated by jellyfish on acid. (They make no sense to me, and calling the IRS for help made things worse.) I started going to a tax preparer because at least it would make things easier for me, mental health wise. But if the online program works, why not give it a go?

    • It really does work. If your taxes aren’t that complicate, it would probably only take you an hour or two. Give it a shot and see what you think. It gets even easier after you’ve used it once or twice.

  13. As a tax pro, I recommend hiring me ;) But for straight forwards returns, these software options are fine. Good rundown, and sounds like you’ve got it on lock!

  14. Since we use the EZ forms, I usually do my own taxes. We don’t have enough deductions for it to make sense to itemize, so we usually use the free H&R computer program to file our federal and hand write our state.
    Because of a discrepancy with my birthday I can’t e-file though, which is a pain.

    • That is a pain! I loved the days when I was able to use the EZ forms. Now, my tax returns (with all of the worksheets) are like 100 pages long.

  15. I used H&R software this year for the first time and really liked it. I’ll likely use it again next year as well. I liked the result section more than other programs I’ve used.

  16. We use Quicktax. Same concept just different company. I used to pay to get my taxes done but we have done them ourselves the last few years. I think that if your submission isn’t really complex and just has the regulars, doing them yourself is the way to go. We have saved a ton of fees this way.

  17. I have been using tax software for the past six years and this year, kept coming up with an error in the way it calculated an expense… and that’s when I decided to fire them and hand file going forward (Obviously, by “hand file,” I mean do it using spreadsheets and PDF files). It’s taken longer, of course, but it’s been pretty exhilirating

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