Filing taxes isn’t very fun for most people. But there are tools out there to help you if you don’t know where to start. H&R Block and TurboTax are two of the most popular companies that intend to make filing taxes more convenient and less intimidating. But how do you know which is right for you? Take a look at a breakdown of the two popular tax-filing services to choose the right one for you.
Click to see which tax software is best for you.
TurboTax prides itself on its simplicity in helping customers navigate the complex tax-filing process. To get started, you answer a series of questions designed to help TurboTax accurately assess your tax situation so it can begin to fill in the necessary information required for most tax forms so you don’t have to do so manually. Once that first step is completed, TurboTax will guide you through the tax process from start to finish when you use any of the company’s different product options.
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With TurboTax, you can file taxes through one of its easy-to-use software programs, either online, by purchasing a download or using a CD. Here’s an overview of the different TurboTax versions available:
|TurboTax Filing Options At a Glance|
|Tax Software||Cost||Best For||Taxes Included|
|Free Edition||$0||Simple tax returns||Federal|
|Deluxe||$59.99||Itemizing deductions and credits||Federal|
|Premier||$79.99||Investors and rental property owners||Federal|
|Self-Employed||$119.99||Entrepreneurs and business owners||Federal|
|Basic (Download)||$49.99||Simple tax returns||Federal|
|Deluxe (Download)||$79.99||Maximizing your deductions||Federal & State|
|Premier (Download)||$109.99||Investors and rental property owners||Federal & State|
|Home & Business (Download)||$119.99||Entrepreneurs and business owners||Federal & State|
|Information accurate as of Aug. 8, 2018.|
While most of the downloadable software options cost more than filing online, each purchase includes five federal e-files and some even include filing for one state in the price.
You can also file taxes with the live assistance of a CPA with TurboTaxLive.
H&R Block Overview
Although H&R Block provides resources for you to file your taxes at home just like TurboTax, H&R Block also has offices where you can directly visit an expert and get assistance on how to file your taxes. There are 12,000 retail locations throughout the country, and it costs $55 to make an in-person appointment with a tax expert and have them file your federal taxes for you.
H&R Block has both online filing options and downloadable software to guide you through filing your taxes if you don’t need to see an expert. Here’s an overview of the different options H&R Block offers:
|H&R Block Tax Filing Options At a Glance|
|Tax Software||Cost||Best for||Taxes Included|
|Free Online Tax Filing||$0||New filers or simple tax returns||Federal|
|Deluxe Online Tax Filing||$49.99||Homeowners and maximizing deductions||Federal|
|Premium Online Tax Filing||$69.99||Self-employed, investors and rental property owners||Federal|
|Self-Employed Online Tax Filing||$94.99||Self-employed and small business owners||Federal|
|Basic (Download)||$29.95||Simple tax returns||Federal|
|Deluxe (Download)||$54.95||Homeowners and investors||Federal + State|
|Premium (Download)||$74.95||Self-employed and rental property owners||Federal + State|
|Premium and Business (Download)||$89.95||Small business owners||Federal + State|
|Information accurate as of Aug. 8, 2018.|
TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Ease of Product
TurboTax has a bit of an edge on H&R Block when it comes to simplicity. Its interview style format of processing information makes it convenient and popular among tax filers.
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TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Customer Service
Even though TurboTax might be rated the No. 1 best-selling tax preparation service, it’s not without its faults. According to an Intuit expert review, trying to find an actual person to talk to on the phone is quite difficult.
“Contacting customer service by phone is challenging; the TurboTax website requires customers to use a web form to provide contact information and view online help before releasing a phone number,” Melissa Hincha-Ownby wrote on Consumer Affairs.
Because H&R Block has multiple offices you can visit and speak to an actual person, customer service is easier to access.
The Bottom Line
The best tax support for you depends on what you’re looking for. If you want more personal assistance, then H&R Block might be better suited for you. But if you’re new to filing taxes and need an easier guide to help you navigate through tax forms, then TurboTax is a great option.
Click through to see the penalties for filing taxes late.
More on Taxes
- These Are the Receipts to Keep for Doing Your Taxes
- Everything You Need to Know About Tax Changes This Year
- Post Office Hours on Tax Day
This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by H&R Block or TurboTax.