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H&R Block Tax Software Free and Paid Options Review

·5 min read
GaudiLab  / Shutterstock.com
GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

Tax season is approaching quickly, triggering the annual stress of managing taxes correctly.

As a filer, you can take advantage of H&R Block’s downloadable tax filing software options. Before you take on the task of filing this year’s taxes yourself, here’s what you need to know about H&R Block’s tax software.

H&R Block Downloadable Software Options

H&R Block has four downloadable software selections. Each tier offers additional features suited for increasingly complex tax filings. All software allows the option of adding Online Assist, which offers unlimited on-demand expert tax advice for an additional fee starting at $39.99.

H&R Block Basic Version

Price: $19.95

Uses: The Basic version is a good choice for filers who have simple returns and take the standard deduction. The catch: You don’t get a free state filing option, only federal is included. To include state filing, you’ll pay an additional $39.95 for software or $19.95 for an e-file.

Features: With the capability to effortlessly import W-2s and last year’s return, the Basic software is a solid option for those who file basic returns and don’t itemize deductions. Other features include the capability to import from TurboTax and Quicken software. You can also check your audit risk, as well as use up to five free federal e-files, plus unlimited federal preparation and printing. Because you’ll have to pay extra for state software and e-filing, H&R Block recommends the Basic software for those who don’t need to file a state return.

H&R Block Deluxe + State Version

Price: $44.95 for federal and state; additional $19.95 to e-file state return

Uses: The Deluxe edition is ideal for homeowners, investors and others with more complex tax needs.

Features: It has all of the Basic software’s functions, plus help with reporting income from investments, stock options, home sales and retirement. In addition, it works to maximize deductions like mortgage interest and real estate tax and has a personal state download included. H&R Block charges $19.95 for e-filing a state return.

H&R Block Premium Version

Price: $64.95 for federal and state; additional $19.95 to e-file state return

Uses: H&R Block’s Premium version is best for self-employed individuals like freelancers and independent contractors and for those own rental property.

Features: The Premium edition has the capabilities of Deluxe software with additional tools for rental-property and self-employment income and expenses, including Schedule C assistance to make the most of self-employment deductions.

H&R Block Premium & Business

Price: $79.95 for federal and state; additional $19.95 to e-file state return

Uses: Premium & Business is best for small-business owners looking for professional tax software.

Features: It contains all of Premium’s features along with assistance with preparing and filing returns for corporations, S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, estates, trusts and nonprofit endeavors. It also offers the ability to create payroll and employer forms, maximizing your benefits for vehicle deductions, depreciation and expenses. Additionally, it provides access to one state program. State e-filing is available for an additional $19.95.

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H&R Block Online Options

H&R Block has options you can access online, right away, allowing self-filers to file taxes anywhere with the same features of the downloadable software.

H&R Block Free Online

Price: Free

H&R Block free file is great for simple tax solutions. This version is intended for students and W-2 employees who file simple returns and take the standard deduction, and it also handles unemployment income. You can also file your state return for free using this version.

H&R Block Deluxe

Price: $29.99, plus $36.99 additional fee for state return

The Deluxe option holds all the features of the free version but is made to optimize your deductions and credits, including health savings account contributions. It also stores your tax documents and returns for six years. Deluxe can also handle self-employment and retirement income. Access to live phone or chat support is included.

H&R Block Premium

Price: $49.99, plus $36.99 additional fee for state return

The Premium program is an ideal fit if you have investment income or own or rental properties. In addition to providing everything Premium offers, it guides you through the nuances associated with unique assets.

H&R Block Self-Employed

Price: $84.99, plus 36.99 additional fee for state return

H&R Block’s Self-Employed option is designed for those looking to file as self-employed, as you might expect. But unlike the Deluxe and Premium versions, Self-Employed has features to help small business maximize their business expenses and report business deductions and depreciation.

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H&R Block Free File

When your tax situation is simple, and you require only a 1040, filing online with H&R Free is a good option because it’s easy — no unnecessary bells and whistles. For business owners, farm owners or those who own rental property, the Deluxe, Premium or Self-Employed version of the online software is a better option.

With the downloadable or desktop versions of H&R Block software, every tax situation is covered, but no free options exist.

Estimate Your Tax Refund With H&R Block Tax Calculator

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of tax filing, you can estimate your refund with the H&R Block tax calculator. It’s simple to use — and completely free. You’ll be asked questions about yourself, your income and expenses. There’s also a tax cheat sheet below the calculator to help you better understand the different components of your return.

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Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Last updated: Feb. 26, 2021

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: H&R Block Tax Software Free and Paid Options Review