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Maximizing Your Refund and Minimizing Your Stress: Exploring the Features of H&R Block

H&R Block is a well-known tax preparation company that offers a range of tax-related services and products. Some of the key features of H&R Block include:

  • Tax Preparation: H&R Block offers tax preparation services for individuals, small businesses, and corporations. Customers can choose to prepare their taxes online using H&R Block’s software or have their taxes prepared by a tax professional at one of the company’s physical locations.
  • Tax Advice: H&R Block provides tax advice and guidance to help customers maximize their tax refund and minimize their tax liability. The company offers a range of resources, including tax calculators, tax tips, and tax planning tools.
  • Audit Support: H&R Block offers audit support to customers who are audited by the IRS. The company provides assistance with communication and documentation to help customers navigate the audit process.
  • Refund Advance: H&R Block offers a refund advance program that allows customers to get a portion of their tax refund early. The advance is provided as a loan and is available to eligible customers.
  • Online Filing: H&R Block’s online tax preparation software allows customers to file their taxes from the comfort of their own home. The software is easy to use and offers step-by-step guidance to help customers complete their tax return.
  • Mobile App: H&R Block has a mobile app that allows customers to prepare and file their taxes from their smartphone or tablet. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

H&R Block’s prices

One of H&R Block’s biggest pluses is its free version, which is better than most.

What you get from H&R Block’s free version
Like the free tax software from most of its competitors, H&R Block Free lets you file Form 1040, take the earned income tax credit, and claim your additional child tax credit. It can also handle unemployment income.

H&R Block’s free version also lets you file schedules 1, 2 and 3 of Form 1040, which is a big bonus, because many taxpayers need to file those forms to report things such as deductible student loan interest, certain retirement contributions, alimony, and the lifetime learning credit. The caveat here is that you may need to upgrade if the specific form you need to finish your schedule isn’t included.

While H&R Block’s free version has expanded capabilities, if you plan to itemize deductions, were a landlord, freelanced, sold cryptocurrency, contributed to an HSA, ran a small business or had any other situations going on, you’ll probably need to upgrade to one of H&R Block’s paid packages.

H&R Block’s ease of use
How it works
H&R Block’s online filing software follows the popular model of a friendly chat with a tax pro. If you’re a new user, you’ll be asked to select a series of prompts that applied to your tax situation in the last year, such as if you have kids, own a home, had a health savings account, or donated to charity. Based on the information provided, H&R Block will match you with one of its many available packages. You can either agree with its suggestion, or choose a different product. If you’re a returning user, your information is autopopulated from last year, making modifying or adding new details easier.

As with most other providers, your actual tax return — the form that gets submitted to the IRS — is filled out piecemeal and behind the scenes. The program runs you through a series of questions to determine eligibility for certain tax breaks or assess reporting requirements. Questions are posed simply, with helpful contextual information and links made available as needed. The program also allows you to automatically import or upload photos of select tax forms, such as your W-2, to save you time when adding your income and wages.

H&R Block’s human tax help

Two notable human help support offerings from H&R Block are Online Assist and Tax Pro Review.

Online Assist is an add-on service that you can tack onto any of H&R Block’s packages. It gets you unlimited, on-demand chat or video screen-sharing sessions with a certified public accountant, enrolled agent or other tax expert at any point while preparing your return. (You can see them; they see only your screen.) The tax pro will not review, sign or e-file your return for you, though.


H&R Block’s Tax Pro Review is another add-on service that offers a one-on-one review of your completed return with a human tax pro who will go over your documents and check for accuracy and possible missed deductions or credits. If you want, the tax pro will also sign and e-file your return for you. The review usually happens within three days. H&R Block says the add-on generally runs from $25 to $50, but the cost will vary depending on the package type (i.e., the more expensive the package, the pricier the add-on). H&R Block also offers full-service virtual help, where a pro completes your entire return. That service starts at a list price of $80.

What sets H&R Block’s human help support features apart from other providers we review is its enormous band of human tax preparers at the company’s 10,000 or so offices around the world. Help at brick-and-mortar stores isn’t free, of course (in-office appointments start at $80), but it helps to know you can go there if you get confused or stuck.

Not all of H&R Block’s tax pros are CPAs or enrolled agents, but the company says they undergo over 60 hours of training and complete an additional 30-plus hours of annual training to get ready for tax season.

H&R Block Tax Review 2023

H&R Block’s e-filing products are intuitive and easy to use, and the free version offers filers a robust selection of forms.
H&R Block’s e-filing products are intuitive and easy to use, and the free version offers filers a robust selection of forms. Although it’s not the most expensive of the tax software providers we reviewed, H&R Block’s online tax software isn’t the cheapest either.

Still, its free version is one of the best on the market, the interface is straightforward and easy to use, and on-screen help from a human is available for an extra cost.

Overall, H&R Block offers a wide range of tax-related services and products to help customers navigate the complex world of taxes. Whether you need help preparing your taxes, want to maximize your refund, or need support during an audit, H&R Block has the expertise and resources to help.