H&R Block offers easy-to-use software for tax filers who want to finish quickly. It consistently ranks as the runner-up in annual listings of the most popular online tax preparation software.
H&R Block offers a combination of premium services, ranging from:
- Self-service tax preparation online
- Full-service tax prep, where you drop your tax forms at an H&R Block office and they take care of the rest
The software was designed for regular people to do their taxes independently at a reasonable cost. You don’t need tax expertise or an advanced finance degree to use H&R Block. Users can count on a jargon-free, guided tax filing experience.
H&R Block delivers a user experience that makes tax filing simple. But H&R Block is a premium product that can come with a premium price tag. Before starting on your taxes, be sure you know what to expect in terms of cost at checkout.
Bonus: Right now, you can get 20% off H&R Block online if you sign up and start through this link >>
- Free tier includes EITC, student deductions, and retirement income
- Easy navigation and document import
- One of the lowest-priced "Premium" tier options
H&R Block Online Details
H&R Block Online
Starts at $0
Starts at $0
Self-Prepared & Assistance
H&R Block Walk-Through Review Video
H&R Block Online - Is It Really Free?
H&R Block offers free Federal and State tax filing for a limited number of filers where you only have these common tax forms or situations.
- W-2 income
- Unemployment income
- Social Security Income
- People with Student Loan Interest
- People claiming the Child Tax Credit
Anyone with more complex needs, including any kind of investment, will have to upgrade to a paid tier.
Compared to the competition, H&R Block online offers one of the broadest programs available. However, H&R Block won’t be free for all users. For example, filers with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or who have dependent care expenses must upgrade to the Deluxe tier.
You can also use the IRS Free File program, offering free H&R Block and other tax software through a partnership with the Free File Alliance. This is only available to those earning $73,000 or less per year (adjusted gross income) and meeting the provider's criteria.
See the full list of the best free tax software here >>
What's New In 2023?
Like all tax software providers, H&R Block will make updates to meet new and evolving tax needs, such as questions about student loan forgiveness for being able to participate in the program. You may also come across questions related to Covid-19 stimulus, and expanded 1099-K forms for gig workers and other small businesses.
Education credits and business meal tax deductions also saw an update thanks to new government regulations.
In 2023, H&R Block Premium Online was also named best tax software for stock market investors. See our full list of best tax software here.
Does H&R Block Make Tax Filing Easy In 2023?
H&R Block uses sensible workflows to help filers complete their tax returns with minimal pain.
The following make doing your taxes straightforward so you can understand what you’ve completed and how much more remains.
- Guided software
- Navigation bars
- Built-in calculators
- Simple language
- Robust import options
Claiming common credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit is also a streamlined process. The software also makes it easy to handle pre-refunded credits (such as the Advanced Child Tax Credit) and pre-paid taxes (such as quarterly tax estimates).
Our testing revealed only a few drawbacks. First, self-employed people must determine their maximum retirement account contributions independently. Second, limited brokerage and crypto integrations make the software more cumbersome for active traders.
Compared to all other tax software, we found H&R Block the second easiest tax software to use after TurboTax. The added benefit is that you can visit an H&R Block location if you consider in-person support important.
H&R Block Top Features
H&R Block is a premium tax software with a long list of notable features. These are some of the most important features for typical users:
H&R Block uses a question-and-answer navigation style to help tax filers through their tax forms. The questions are free from industry terminology when possible. When H&R Block uses jargon, it explains the terms through "Read More" bubbles or other hover features.
Short Questionnaires To Expedite Filing
At the start of each major section (Income, Deductions, Credits, etc.), H&R Block prompts users with a short questionnaire. The questionnaire narrows down the parts of the software relevant to each user. You can always go back and review other sections, but it’s nice to save time skipping areas you don’t need to worry about.
Upload Tax Documents To Speed Up The Process
H&R Block is one of the easiest online filing software packages. It allows users to upload many forms, including 1099-NEC, 1099-MISC, 1099-INT, W-2 forms, and much more. You can upload a copy to H&R Block if the form follows standard layouts.
Users can take a picture of supported forms and upload them using the H&R Block app. The software reads the uploaded documents and fills out forms for you where possible. (But you should still double check that it’s accurate.)
Robust Depreciation And Expense Calculators
H&R Block software contains easy-to-use calculators for mileage deductions, asset depreciation, and other expenses. These make filing easy for anyone who doesn’t want to calculate depreciation on their own.
Small business owners, side hustlers, and real estate investors should find what they need to get their taxes done without hiring an expensive accountant.
Free Live Chat Tech Support
H&R Block offers free live chat tech support on the Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed tiers. It also offers limited “tax guidance,” though this is not tax advice. The built-in free guidance helps users find credits, deductions, or other areas that they may have missed. You have to pay if you need more help from a human tax expert.
Option To Upgrade For Tax Support
H&R Block’s Online Assist program allows filers to access unlimited support from tax-filing experts. The add-on is pricey, but it guarantees that users get the answers they need from a qualified person. You can upgrade to plans where you get:
- Unlimited access for tax questions
- Ability to hand off your tax return to a professional
- Get a hybrid experience with online and in-person tax services at a local H&R Block location
H&R Block Drawbacks
H&R Block has only a few notable drawbacks. While the software is slightly less intuitive and flashy than TurboTax, it’s easy to navigate and use. The biggest drawbacks are related to cost and the few troubles we found below:
Can't Calculate Self-Employed Retirement Account Contributions
Self-employed individuals have flexibility in contributing to their retirement accounts. But H&R Block doesn’t help calculate the maximum contribution amount for these filers, which could lead to an expensive tax error.
A tax filer may unwittingly contribute more than the maximum amount, or they may under contribute, not realizing they have more room to save on taxes. This issue won’t affect more filers, but it is a surprising oversight given the quality of other sections of the online app.
Have To Pay To Report HSA Contributions
One of H&R Block’s pricing gotchas has to do with HSA contributions. If you have a health savings account (HSA), even if it is through your employer, you’ll have to upgrade to H&R Block’s Deluxe edition. This could come as a shock to some filers.
Limited Financial Institution Integrations
H&R Block does not natively integrate with brokerages or crypto exchanges to calculate capital gains from trading activity. As a result, stock and crypto investors may have information to complete Schedule D forms. Typing in all of those trades yourself can be time-consuming and cumbersome.For some financial institutions, the 1099 forms will be enough for H&R Block to do the work for you, but that won’t always be the case. TurboTax supports direct integrations so you can download tax info from a handful of popular banks and brokerages.
High-Cost Audit Support
The company’s Worry-Free Audit Support costs $19.99. This fee must be paid on top of all other software costs. Several companies offer audit support as an included feature rather than an add-on product for an extra fee.
H&R Block Online Prices And Plans
H&R Block has four major pricing tiers including a completely free (State and Federal filing cost $0) option. Users can add “Worry-Free” Audit assistance for $19.99.
The Online Assist plans from H&R Block include unlimited help from tax professionals such as CPAs or Enrolled Agents. These individuals can answer tax questions specific to your situation.Bonus: Get 20% off H&R Block online by signing up through this link >>
Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Social Security Income, Student Loan Interest Deduction
Itemizers, HSA contributions, People with child care expenses
Landlords, investors, Gig workers (less than $5,000 in expenses)
$49 per state
$49 per state
$49 per state
Federal Online Assist
State Online Assist
$39.99 per state
$49.99 per state
$49.99 per state
$49.99 per state
Note: Prices are subject to change, especially as it gets closer to the tax deadline. The earlier you start, the higher your likelihood of locking in better prices.
How Does H&R Block Stack Up To The Competition?
H&R Block offers an impressive set of functionalities through its free pricing tier. It frequently makes our list as the top choice for people seeking free filing.
The Deluxe Tier is H&R Block’s worst value. Low-cost or free software can easily help filers itemize deductions and claim straightforward credits.
Compared to H&R Block’s competition, the Premium tier is the best value for a paid tier. It supports rental properties, basic self-employment income and expenses, and all stock and crypto activity.use this link, you can get 20% off.
Student Loan Interest
Import Last Year's Taxes
Free+ (1099-MISC too)
Up to 5
$12.95 per additional state
Earned Income Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Dependent Care Deductions
Retirement Income (SS, Pension, etc.)
Free+ (but limited)
Free+ (but limited)
Small Business Owner (over $5k in expenses)
Free Tier Price
$0 Fed, $14.99 State
Deluxe Tier Price
$6.99 Fed, $14.99 State
$36.95 Fed, $39.95 State
Premium Tier Price
$54.95 Fed, $39.95 State
Self-Employed Tier Price
$64.95 Fed, $39.95 State
Is It Safe And Secure?
Tax Prep companies are valuable targets for hackers seeking personal information. H&R Block employs industry-standard encryption, multi-factor authentication, and web-browsing encryption to protect users’ financial information. However, the company is not perfect. In 2019, the company suffered a data breach in which some customer information leaked.
How Do I Contact H&R Block?
One of the reasons we love H&R Block is because of the ways you can get help. You can get help online, by phone, or have a tax preparer virtually prepare your tax return. You can also visit one of H&R Block's network of locations as well.
To contact H&R Block by phone, you can call 1-800-472-5625. If you want to visit an office in person, you can schedule an appointment here.
Where To Buy
We recommend that everyone who uses tax software use the online version rather than buying a disk and installing it on a home computer. You're more at risk of losing your data on your home computer, whereas if you use the online version, it’s always saved and accessible if your computer crashes.
With that in mind, here's where you can buy H&R Block Tax Software.
H&R Block Online: H&R Block online is typically the easiest way to buy H&R Block tax software. You can start for free online, and the guided software will help you pick the best version for you. Or you can jump right into whichever version you need. Plus, you can get 20% off if you go through this link >>
Amazon: Amazon currently has a promotion for H&R Block where you can get the Federal and State filing, plus a 3% refund bonus. Check out H&R Block on Amazon here.Retail Stores: H&R Block tax software is also available in some retail stores for a limited time. You can typically find it on store shelves in late December through April. You can find it at Target, Walmart, and office supply stores like OfficeDepot.
H&R Block Promotions
H&R Block currently offers a 20% off promotion when you buy directly from H&R Block using this link. You may pay more if you buy elsewhere.
Is It Worth It?
For those who qualify for free filing, H&R Block Online deserves to be on the shortlist. It is a premium software, but the free offering is expansive. Additionally, the Premium edition of the software offers good value for investors and gig workers.
However, users considering the Deluxe Tier should think carefully before paying the price. Deluxe users may find a better (and equally usable bargain) by considering TaxSlayer Classic or FreeTaxUSA. These tools are also a good alternative for self-employed people with depreciating business assets.
Landlords and others with depreciating assets should also consider whether H&R Block is the right tool to do the job. TurboTax has a superior user experience for rental property owners, which is important given the complexity of property depreciation and other financial needs.
H&R Block Online FAQs
Here are some common questions we get about H&R Block online:
Can H&R Block Online help me file my crypto investments?
H&R Block Online has instructions that carefully explain how users can file taxes on their cryptocurrency trades. However, the software treats it like other capital gains activities. There are no special integrations to make crypto filing easier.
I didn’t receive the full amount for Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments. Can H&R Block help me get the rest?
Yes! H&R Block will help filers who were over and underpaid with the Advanced Child Tax Credit payments. This is supported by the company’s free filing platform and all paid tiers.
Does H&R Block offer refund advance loans?
At this time, H&R Block is only advertising tax refund advance loans to people who use the office locations.
Does H&R Block offer any deals on refunds?
At this time, H&R Block is not advertising deals on refunds. Historically, the company has partnered with Amazon to offer boosted returns for people accepting refunds as gift cards. This may return later in the season.
Do I have to use the self-employed tier for my side hustle?
Most side hustlers and people with minimal business expenses can find their tax liability using the Premium level. The Premium level is less expensive than the Self-Employed tier but supports “simplified” expenses. This includes expenses of less than $5,000. Filers still get to claim the Qualified Business Income Deduction on this tier.
Is H&R Block better than TurboTax?
It depends. We found H&R Block to be better for price and very good for usability. TurboTax does offer one of the easiest-to-use interfaces, though, and it can make tax filing easier and quicker.
H&R Block Online Features
Here are the main features available by plan level.
Earned Income Credit (EITC)
Student Loan Interest Deduction
Digital Document Storage (Up to 6 Years)
Live Tech Support (Phone or Chat)
Small Biz Expense Deductions
Small Biz Asset Depreciation
H&R Block 2023 Online Review
Ease of Use
Features and Options
Plans And Pricing
H&R Block is an online and brick and mortar tax preparation service that has a robust free file program, as well as easy-to-use options for more complex tax situations.
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Multiple levels of support available
- Snap a pic to upload tax docs
- Competitively-priced for taxpayers who need to report rental property income
- HSA support not included in Free tier
- Limited integrations with third-party brokers and exchanges
- Audit support costs extra and is pricey
Eric Rosenberg is a financial writer, speaker, and consultant based in Ventura, California. He holds an undergraduate finance degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA in finance from the University of Denver. After working as a bank manager and then nearly a decade in corporate finance and accounting, Eric left the corporate world for full-time online self-employment.
His work has been featured in online publications including Business Insider, Nerdwallet, Investopedia, The Balance, Huffington Post, and other financial publications. When away from the computer, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, traveling the world, and tinkering with technology. Connect with him and learn more at EricRosenberg.com.
Editor: Robert Farrington Reviewed by: Claire Tak