In 2020, H&R Block is once again coming out as a strong contender for the company with the biggest value in tax software.
It’s free version covers a variety of “normal” tax filing situations, and the prices for all tiers are lower than TurboTax equivalents.
Does the value play make H&R Block a worthwhile software for your taxes? Here's what we think in our H&R Block review below. Check out our list of the best tax software to see how H&R Block compares, and see this list of H&R Block alternatives if you want something different.
Bonus: Amazon is offering a great deal on H&R Block, as well as a 4% refund bonus if you get an Amazon giftcard. Check out the H&R Block deal on Amazon here.
- Best option for free filing due to inclusion of EITC and more!
- Easy navigation, great import and connections
- One of the lowest priced top-tier options
H&R Block Online Details
H&R Block Online
Starts at $0
$36.99 per State
Self-Prepared & Assistance
H&R Block Review Video
H&R Block Online - Is It Really Free?
H&R Block offers free Federal and State tax filing for people in the following situations: W-2 income, Social Security Income, People with Student Loan Interest, People with Childcare Expenses. If you’re likely to qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, or the Child Tax Credit, H&R Block offers an amazing free service for you.
In terms of truly free filing, H&R Block online offers one of the broadest programs available, and it’s an easy to use software.
H&R Block 2020 Prices And Plans
H&R Block’s pricing tiers closely match TurboTax’s, although H&R Block prices itself about $15-$20 lower for each tier. However, H&R Block’s Premium pricing tier is $35 less expensive than TurboTax’s, and it offers more options (especially filing options for self-employed people with less than $5,000 in expenses).
The real value tiers here are the Free and Premium editions.
If you want on-demand help from a CPA or an Enrolled Agent, you’ll have to pay for the “online assist upgrade”. The cost of the online help is quite a bit less expensive than a similar offering from TurboTax.
Bonus: Right now, you can get 25% off H&R Block online if you sign up and start through this link >>
Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Social Security Income, Student Loan Interest Deduction
Itemizers, HSA Accounts
Landlords, investors, Self-employed or side-hustlers (less than $5,000 in business expenses)
Landlords, people who sold a home, investors
Note: Prices are subject to change, especially as it get's closer to the tax deadline. The earlier you start, the higher likelihood you have of locking in better prices.
H&R Block Navigation
H&R Block prices itself as a premium tax software, but the Navigation doesn’t quite match the pricing. The software also has short “questionnaires” at the beginning of each section. These “questionnaires” help the software cut out irrelevant sections of the software, and guide you to the important parts of the software.
The questionnaire worked well, but the guided navigation felt a bit clunky after that. The software moved me through W-2 forms, then asked more information about where I earned money, followed by prompting me to enter 1099-INT information. It seemed to jump around too much in my opinion.
Where H&R Block’s navigation makes a lot of sense is in form entry. The software guides users on how to enter information quickly and accurately. When necessary, the software breaks up forms into a few screens (to prevent entry mistakes), but you don’t need to do unnecessary clicking.
The software also allows users to navigate through the software themselves (once they’ve gone through the guided option). This can be helpful if you missed something or didn’t have all the forms you needed. It also includes helpful summaries at the end of each section.
H&R Block Ease Of Use
H&R Block is one of the easiest online filing software packages. It allows users to upload tons of forms including 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, W-2 forms and much more. If the form is standard, you can upload it in H&R Block.
The other thing that makes H&R Block an easy to use software package is the language used throughout the software. The software does not assume users have robust tax knowledge. They use language that makes sense to normal people, and they link to helpful articles throughout the software.
Additionally, all users can get free LiveChat support if they struggle with the software.
H&R Block Knowledge Articles
In addition to the articles sprinkled throughout the software, H&R Block has a forum for users to ask questions, and a library of more in depth articles. A simple search will bring up a curated assortment of relevant articles for most users.
It’s also important to note that H&R Block’s paying customers do not have to rely on the articles alone. Paying customers can get access to the following help:
- Ask a tax pro (inside the product) is available during tax season weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT, and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT.
- Technical support chat (inside the product) is available 24/7.
- Technical support via phone is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to midnight CT, and on weekends from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT.
Finally, for an additional fee you can get a Tax Pro Review, where an H&R Block employee reviews your return once you’re done with it (remotely—you don’t have to go to an office! Win!)
Note: Tax Pro Review isn't live until January, so stay tuned.
H&R Block Online Extras
If you file your taxes through H&R Block online, you can opt to put some or all of your return on an Amazon gift card. When you do that, H&R Block will add 4% to your refund.
Check out the H&R Block deal on Amazon here.
H&R Block also offers free Tax Identity Theft monitoring and restoration help if someone steals your identity.
Can H&R Block Help Me With My Crypto Investments?
H&R Block Online has instructions that carefully explain how users can file taxes on their cryptocurrency trades. H&R Block also does ask the question "Have you ever bought, sold, or transacted in cryptocurrency?" as required by the IRS.
However, the software treats it like other capital gains activities.
H&R Block Tax Pro Go Virtual Tax Service
H&R Block also has a virtual tax prep service called Tax Pro Go. If you want pro to do your taxes, but still want to do them online or at home, this is a great hybrid.
With this service, you can book at tax pro online, see the price, upload your documents, and have your return filed all from the comfort of your own home.
As of writing this, they expect to have your taxes prepared and filed within 5 days of submitting all your information online. However, as it gets busier and closer to tax season, that could change.
This service is a premium service, with prices from $49 to $329 for the service. However, that still is better than many CPAs will charge.
H&R Block In-Store And Tax Refund Advance
H&R Block is most well-known for their large network of stores that have tax preparers and tax professionals able to assist. Plus, H&R Block is also known for having some of the best tax refund advance products available.
In store, customers can expect to have an expert tax professional prepare and file their taxes. This does cost much more than the online products offered here.
The Tax Refund Advance is available up to $3,500, and is available starting January 4, 2020 in stores.
If you want to go in-store, or you want a tax refund advance, new clients can save $25 on in-store tax preparation by showing this coupon special to College Investor readers. Download here >>
Terms and Conditions: Void if sold purchased or transferred, and where prohibited. Valid only at participating U.S. offices. Coupon must be presented prior to completion of initial tax office interview and may not be combined with any other offer, or special promotion or pricing program. Discount valid only for tax prep fees for an original 2019 personal income tax return. Expires 7/10/20. ** A new client is an individual who did not prepare or file their prior-year tax return with H&R Block.
Who Should Use H&R Block 2020?
In 2020, H&R Block Online deserves to be on your short list for tax filing software. The free offering is particularly impressive (including student loan interest and HSA forms). Additionally, the Premium edition of the software could offer a good value for self-employed people, landlords, and side-hustlers who want to simplify their tax life.However, H&R Block is a premium tax software with a premium price. If you’re looking for a bargain consider either TaxSlayer Classic or TaxHawk for lower costs with acceptable performance.
H&R Block 2020 Online Review
- Navigation - 100
- Ease of Use - 100
- Features and Options - 90
- Customer Service - 80
- Plans And Pricing - 85
H&R Block is the best tax software for people who qualify for free file.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.