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H&R Block review 2023

H&R Block offers a free online tax preparation option that's easy to use.  Getty Images

The April 18 tax deadline to file your 2022 tax return or request an extension has arrived. The IRS began accepting returns for the 2022 tax year on January 23 and received more than 101 46 million returns by April 7

Many taxpayers are turning to online tax preparation services like H&R Block to help them file their income taxes on time. This H&R Block review will give you the skinny on the service's filing options, costs, advantages and downsides to help you understand if the service is a good option.

You can get online expert help from H&R Block here now

H&R Block overview

H&R Block was founded in 1955 by brothers Henry and Richard Bloch. Since then, the company says it has prepared over 800 million tax returns internationally.

H&R Block may be best known for its offices across the country, but the company also provides various tax preparation services to help you file your taxes. In addition to a free online filing option, H&R Block offers four paid filing options (more on that in a moment), depending on your budget and needs.

If you're eligible for a tax refund, H&R Block offers four ways to receive it:

  • Deposit the refund electronically to your account
  • Receive a paper check
  • Get your federal refund early by transferring it to a Spruce account, H&R Block's mobile banking app
  • Deduct your filing fees from your refund

H&R Block costs

H&R Block provides four filing options for do-it-yourselfers ranging from free to $115. Here are the costs and features associated with each service.

  • Free Online: Unlike TurboTax and other tax software options, H&R Block offers a free filing option for federal and state taxes. This service is best suited to W-2 employees and others with straightforward returns. The free version is a good option for students because they can take advantage of education-related tax credits and deductions. You can also report different types of income like unemployment payments, alimony and investment earnings. Learn more about the free option here.
  • Deluxe: This do-it-yourself online offering costs $55 for federal tax filing and $45 for state filings. This option includes the same features as the free version, but it is designed for those who wish to itemize their taxes and take deductions for HSA contributions and child and dependent care costs and other expenses. You also have the option to upgrade for $70 and receive live assistance online from tax pros, either through screen share or chat and video.
  • Premium: You may need the Premium package if your taxes are more complicated and you need to claim earnings or losses from rental income, investments or cryptocurrency trades. Premiums are $75 for federal and $45 for state tax filings. Like the Deluxe version, you can upgrade to enlist the help of an H&R Block tax expert.
  • Self-Employed: This version comes with the same features as Premium and costs $115 and $45 for federal and state tax filings, respectively. This version is best suited for business owners and those participating in the gig economy.

In addition to the above DIY options, you can also let H&R Block professionals file your taxes for you, with prices starting at $85. You'll need to make an appointment at an H&R Block office near you or remotely from your home. For convenience, you can drop off your documents at your local office or upload them using your computer or device.

Get started online by clicking here now

If you prefer using software over doing taxes online, you can download H&R Block's tax software directly to your computer, with prices starting at $19.95. There's no free option, and the software comes with four options:

  • Basic ($19.95): For simple tax preparation.
  • Deluxe + State ($44.95): This is better suited for investors and those seeking to itemize deductions.
  • Premium ($64.95): This version is designed for more complex tax preparation for self-employed and rental property owners.
  • Premium and Business ($79.95): This top package supports business owners and employers.

The above pricing does not include fees for filing state taxes and state e-filing.

H&R Block pros

H&R Block tax filing options come with several valuable benefits, such as:

  • Simple question-and-answer interface: Filling out your tax forms is straightforward and intuitive. Simply answer the questions presented to you.
  • Easy document uploading process: You may need to upload W-2, 1099 or other documents, which you can do by taking a picture of them and uploading it using the H&R Block portal.
  • Assistance from tax professionals: By filing with Online Assist, which starts at $70, you can receive unlimited help from an H&R Block tax pro.

If these benefits sound advantageous to you then get started with your return online now

H&R Block cons

As with any financial product, it's wise to consider the drawbacks of H&R Block's income tax preparation options before proceeding. Note the following items: 

  • Free version not an option for those with a health savings account (HSA): Surprisingly, H&R's free version does not include HSA contributions, even if your employer provides your plan. You must upgrade to the Deluxe edition to report HSA contributions on your income taxes.
  • Free for Worry-Free Audit Support for H&R Block Online: H&R Block's Worry-Free Audit Support is free if you use the company's tax software but costs an additional $19.95 if you file your income taxes online.

Is H&R Block worth it?

H&R Block's tax filing services may be best for students and others with simple taxes who can take advantage of H&R Block's robust free version. You might also use H&R Block to get assistance in person at your local H&R Block retail office.

The company's online and tax software options are competitively priced compared to other tax services. Just be aware that extras like Worry-Free Audit Support could drive up your costs. Learn more about H&R Block and start filing your taxes today!

Unique features and drawbacks of H&R Block tax services

Perhaps the most unique feature of H&R Block's tax preparation service is the flexibility to file with H&R Block online, or using tax software, or in person at one of H&R Block's 12,000 retail offices. The online and software options are best for do-it-yourselfers.

Of course, you also have the option to make an appointment with an H&R tax professional at a local office, at home or both. You can submit your documents and let H&R Block do all the heavy lifting.

H&R Block offers a convenient way to upload your W-2 and other documents simply by taking a picture of them and instantly uploading it to your account through the online portal, MyBlock.

If you have to file multiple state taxes, however, H&R Block may not be your best choice since you must pay to file each state individually. By contrast, Jackson Hewitt offers unlimited state returns.

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