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Updated: August 01, 2023

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H&R Block retail tax office in Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada

H&R Block review 2023

JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

🗓️

Updated: August 01, 2023

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

4.7

Wise Reviews™

Cost - 4.7

Customer service - 4.5

Ease of use - 4.5

Tools and resources - 4.8

Previous year importing - 5

Mobile app usability - 5

H&R Block is a great option for tax filers who need a bit of hand-holding. Although its price tag is on the steep side (unless you qualify for free filing), you can have one-on-one access to a tax professional.

4.7

Wise Reviews™

What is H&R Block?

H&R Block is well-known for its in-person tax preparation services. You can go in and sit with a human and have someone help you with your taxes. It costs money to make an appointment, but for some consumers, it’s comforting to sit down with someone.

If you want to do your taxes on your own, with some guidance from software, H&R Block offers that option as well. H&R Block’s online tax software options provide you with a way to file your taxes from the comfort of your own home. Plus, if you decide you want to talk to someone, you can make that happen, since the company offers extensive customer support.

Who is H&R Block good for?

H&R Block online is a solid offering, competing well with TurboTax. For those with a little more confidence, something with fewer features, such as TaxSlayer or TaxAct, might be a good choice.

Additionally, if you have relatively straightforward taxes, Cash App Taxes offers a free product that includes some business aspects.

If you think you’ll need someone available to answer questions, H&R Block is a good choice. It’s a full-service option for those who think they’ll need some hand-holding. Plus, it’s ideal for those who worry that they may have to visit with someone in person at some point.

H&R Block features

Features
Details
Free version (for simple tax returns only)
Import function
Small business features
Investor features
Audit assistance included
Refund tracking
Accuracy guarantee
Penalty and interest reimbursement
Filing support
Live chat and phone

H&R Block plans and pricing

H&R Block supports DIY filing with online plans or downloads, filing with professional support, and full preparation services. Prices vary depending on your service tier and add-ons.

But it’s important to understand that pricing changes frequently for tax prep software, including H&R Block. However, H&R Block offers upfront price transparency so you know what you’ll pay when filing.

Online services

Here are some basic features you can expect when you use H&R Block online:

  • PDF uploading for past returns (including from TurboTax)
  • W-2 photo capture from your phone
  • Real-time refund tracking
  • Extensive resource center including checklists, calculators, and more
  • Access to paid live tax support (can add at any time when filing)
  • Access to audit support (for a fee)

Different products come with different levels of complexity, so what you choose depends on your tax situation. The four online filing plans are Free Online, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed.

Free online

Federal return: $0

State return: $0

Those with uncomplicated tax situations who meet certain requirements can file a tax return free using the H&R Block Free Online plan. This plan is for W-2, retirement, or unemployment income and lets you take both the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. And unlike other platforms, H&R Block also lets you take deductions for tuition and student loans in the free plan. You can file your state return at no cost with this plan.

If you can qualify for it, go with this option.

Deluxe

Federal return: starting at $35

State return: $37 per state filed

If you plan to itemize your deductions, you’ll need to start with at least the H&R Block Deluxe plan. This version can support real estate taxes, mortgage interest, HSA advantages, and much more. This plan and all those above it come with DeductionPro, a dedicated program for totaling up and deducting your charitable donations. It automatically enters this information into your return. Also included with Deluxe and better is live tech support via phone and chat.

The Deluxe plan is ideal for those who own a home or have children and itemizing.

Premium online

Federal return: starting at $55

State return: $37 per state filed

In addition to the features that come with the Deluxe version, the Premium H&R Block online tax plan comes with support and forms for investors. This includes Schedule E for rental property income and Schedule D for investment income and capital gains/losses. You can also report crypto transactions with this plan if you bought or sold any digital currency last year.

For investors, the Premium Online plan is the way to go.

Find out more: Paying taxes on investments 2023 guide

Self-employed

Federal return: starting at $85

State return: $37 per state filed

Finally, if you own a business or make any of your income from freelance or contract work, the H&R Block Self-Employed plan could be a good fit for you. You can import earnings from rideshares like Uber and easily report your business income. With this plan, you’ll be able to calculate self-employed deductions you might qualify for like the home office deduction, vehicle depreciation and expenses, and more. You can also use this plan to track business expenses. If you’re self-employed or just have tricky taxes, choose this plan.

Software downloads

For those who prefer downloading the programs they need to do their taxes and filing themselves, here’s the information you need about software downloads from H&R Block. With all software options, you can file up to five federal returns. Note for all options that State e-file is not available in NH and e-File fees do not apply to NY state returns.

Basic

Federal return: $19.95

State return: $39.95 each per program, $19.95 each for state State e-file

This software is best for W-2 earners with very simple filing statuses. 

Deluxe + state

Federal return: $44.95

State return: $0 for first program return ($39.95 each after), $19.95 each for state e-file

The Deluxe + State software includes one state return in the price. This option is ideal for itemizing and reporting investment income.

Premium

Federal return: $64.95

State return: $0 for first program return ($39.95 each after), $19.95 each for state State e-file

For reporting rental property and/or self-employed income, choose this download.

Premium and Business

Federal return: $79.95

State return: $0 for first program return ($39.95 each after), $19.95 each for state State e-file

If you own a business and need expense reporting features and support, the Premium & Business software is ideal.

How to choose a product

If you want to file yourself, choose the online plan or software download that will be able to support the type of income you earn, deductions you plan to take if itemizing, and the forms you need to file. For H&R Block, we recommend filing online since the platform is so simple to navigate.

Full preparation services are also an option with H&R Block, and they’re much more flexible than the average provider. You can either make an appointment to work with a tax pro at an H&R Block office or stay completely hands-off and drop off your documents at an office or upload them online. Pricing starts at $85 for all of these prep choices.

Guarantees

H&R Block backs its online plans with four different guarantees:

  • Maximum refund guarantee: ensures you are made whole if an error in software or online tax preparation services made an impact with the option to amend at no charge
  • Audit support guarantee: ensures free basic assistance with understanding audits
  • Accuracy guarantee: ensures 100% accuracy and reimbursement up to $10,000 for resulting penalties and interest charged as a result of online or software errors
  • No surprise guarantee: ensures transparency about pricing and features

Tax refund options

H&R Block tax software offers some interesting options for receiving your refund. As expected, you can choose to receive direct deposit by providing your bank information. You can also opt for a paper check. But H&R Block also offers other interesting choices.

  • Direct deposit
  • Paper check
  • Spruce – This is a mobile banking platform created by H&R Block that lets you receive your refund up to five days early
  • Refund transfer – Have your filing fees deducted from your refund automatically

How to sign up

To get started, H&R Block asks a few questions to get to know your tax situation then recommends a product for you. Once you figure out which product to use, you can set up your account and start filing.

There’s a disclosure form you can choose to sign. You don’t have to in order to proceed, but it makes it harder for H&R Block to personalize your taxes if you don’t allow the disclosure.

Once you get through those steps, you can start working on your tax return. It’s fairly straightforward and you can start your taxes without providing credit card information.

Sign up to H&R Block

Synchronization

One of the nice things about H&R Block is that you can start your return by uploading a PDF of your previous year’s Form 1040 to auto-import this into your return. This will speed up the process by reducing the time spent filling out basic info.

Mobile accessibility

MyBlock is H&R Block’s mobile app. It lets you get expert help, upload and organize your tax documents, check your refund status, and more. You can even snap pictures of your tax forms like your W-2 for even easier importing. If you want, you can go back and forth between filing from the online platform and filing from your phone or choose one and stick with it to the end.

From our experience, H&R Block’s mobile app is one of the best out there.

Customer service

H&R Block offers extensive customer support. You can get access to unlimited live chat support free (if you pay for at least the Deluxe online plan) or call and talk to a person with any plan or product. H&R Block also has an extensive online help center that answers basic questions and resources built into the filing platform to support you as you go.

Additionally, if you pay extra for professional help, you can share your screen to show an expert what you’re working on and ask specific questions about your taxes. 

Finally, if all else fails, you can visit an H&R Block office near you to get help.

H&R Block pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Robust free filing: H&R Block's free file tier covers more forms and deductions than many of its top competitors including TurboTax.
  • Pricing transparency: Even if you start filing one way and switch to another or add on more support, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to pay before paying it.
  • Easy to navigate: H&R Block offers intuitive navigation that walks you through the process. Also, the ability to snap your information or upload previous returns can help reduce the time you spend dealing with your return.
  • Professional support: You can pay for expert help or have a pro file completely for you.
  • Audit support and assistance: Get help understanding your next steps if you’re audited by the IRS at no cost. You can also pay for Worry Free Audit Support.
Cons

Cons

  • Higher prices: If you don’t qualify for free filing, H&R Block can get pricey, especially if you need more than just a few itemized deductions.
  • Add-ons can increase the price: While audit support is a nice touch, you’ll pay for it. Plus, other add-ons can increase the price dramatically.
  • Not the best for multi-state filers: With H&R Block, each state return increases the price you pay. This is typical but still costly.
Sign up to H&R Block

About our author

Lauren Graves
Lauren Graves, Freelance Contributor

Lauren Graves is a midwest-based freelance writer specializing in personal finance and education. After work, Lauren is probably either reading or cooking with her Westie at her feet.

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