Last Updated: January 11, 2023
Are you looking for the best tax preparation software to walk you through the filing process securely? We compare Liberty Tax vs H&R Block to give you detailed information about two of the most popular solutions on the market.
H&R Block vs Liberty Tax: Side-by-Side Comparison
Before we get to the nitty-gritty part, let’s compare the basic features of H&R Block and Liberty Tax:
|Basic, Deluxe, and Premium
|Free, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-employed
|Cost of DIY filing
+$36.95 per state filed
+$0/$44.99 per state filed
|Access to a tax expert
|Maximum refund guarantee
What Is Liberty Tax?
Liberty Tax has been in the tax preparation business since 1997. It has more than 2,700 brick-and-mortar locations across the US and Canada. On top of its in-office services, the company offers do-it-yourself tax preparation with a free consultation and an option for additional support from its tax professionals.
What Is H&R Block?
Launched in 1955, H&R Block has grown into one of the leading tax services companies. It offers several online and downloadable tax products to cater to the needs of various taxpayers. Filers can also visit one of the 10,000+ H&R Block tax office locations if they prefer a more hands-on approach.
H&R Block vs Liberty Tax Cost
The main difference between H&R Block’s and Liberty Tax’s pricing is that the former has a free edition. We’ll look into this option but also compare the two companies’ paid plans.
H&R Block Free Edition vs Liberty Tax Basic
The free version of H&R Block is for simple tax filing only. Like the free tax software from most competitors, H&R Block allows W-2 import, filing Form 1040, taking the earned income tax credit, and child tax credit. It also allows you to file Schedules 1 and 3 of Form 1040. However, if you plan to itemize deductions, access live phone or chat tech support, report cryptocurrency sales, or run a small business, you will need to upgrade to one of H&R Block’s paid packages.
Unlike H&R Block, Liberty Tax doesn’t offer a completely free option to file even the simplest of returns. Its Basic plan costs $45.95 for federal returns and $36.95 per state. It’s for single or married people with no children and dependents, with taxable income less than $100,000, taxable scholarships, earned income credit, etc. Liberty Tax Basic supports From 1040 and Form 8853 as well as Schedule A, which is for itemizing deductions and Schedule B for interest and dividend income throughout the year.
H&R Block vs Liberty Tax Deluxe Plans
If you are a homeowner and/or make charitable donations, then H&R Block Deluxe is the right option for you. It costs $54.99 for federal returns plus $44.99 per state, and it provides access to live phone or chat tech support. With the Deluxe package, you can also store six years’ worth of tax return data.
The Deluxe package of Liberty Tax costs $65.95 for federal returns plus $36.95 per state. It includes all features of the Basic plan plus Schedule C support which allows you to claim income from self-employment business, and it could be ideal for military spouses with freelance income. It also includes itemized deductions, such as real estate and property taxes, state income taxes, charitable donations, mortgage interest, and medical expenses. If you choose Liberty Tax Deluxe, you will also have access to Pro Tax Support without paying an additional fee that other clients pay.
H&R Block vs Liberty Tax Premium Service
H&R Block Premium is probably the best package if you are a freelancer, investor, contractor, or rental property owner. You have all the Deluxe features plus the ability to import expenses from expense-tracking apps and calculations with H&R Block’s advanced filing calculators. This package supports investments such as cryptocurrencies, and it will cost you $74.99 for federal returns plus $44.99 per state.
Liberty Tax Premium has all the features from the previous two packages, but it also includes real estate income, capital gains and losses. The Premium package is for people with complex tax situations. It also supports Schedule K-1, which allows you to report business income as a stockholder in an S-corporation or private partnership. The Liberty Tax Premium package price is $85.95 for federal returns and $36.95 per state.
H&R Block Self-employed
The Self-employed package of H&R Block is a great choice if you are self-employed or a small business owner. It includes all Premium features plus an improved guided Schedule C interview. The price of the H&R Block Self-employed is $114.99 for federal returns and $44.99 per state.
H&R Block Online Assist
H&R Block offers an additional service called Online Assist, which can be added to any of its online tax filing plans. The Online Assist service offers access to a tax professional on-demand through chat with share-screen abilities or by phone. The price of Online Assist varies by the package you’ve chosen:
- Basic version $69.99 for federal returns and $39.99 per state
- Deluxe version $109.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
- Premium version $159.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
- Self-employed version $194.99 for federal returns and $49.99 per state
Note: Both H&R Block and Liberty Tax offer military discounts to all active-duty and veteran service members.
Which Is Easier to Use Liberty Tax or H&R Block?
Choosing a tax software with easy to use interface is very important. H&R Block has a pretty straightforward interface, and preparing your tax returns online is similar to sitting down with a tax professional. The software guides you step-by-step through the process with interview-style questions. A banner on the left-hand side of the screen tracks where you stand in the process. But remember, you can always get expert help if you are stuck somewhere during the process.
Liberty Tax also has a step-by-step interview approach. The interface is simple, and even if you don’t have experience with taxes, you won’t have issues with the preparation process. First, you will need to answer a few questions about the property you own, your dependents, your residency, etc. The software will determine your tax situation as well as the forms and schedules you have to import. Liberty Tax will also suggest which software version is most applicable for your tax situation. If you need help choosing the right form, a “Learn more” button will provide you with extra information.
Liberty Tax has a mobile app that allows you to access your records and Liberty Tax Wallet anytime, scan documents, contact professionals 24/7 and search for offices near you. The app is available to Android and iOS users.
H&R Block offers not one but two mobile apps – H&R Block Tax Prep and File App and MyBlockApp. The first one allows you to file your return from start to finish on the app, or you can switch to a computer. MyBlockApp is useful for getting started and uploading files and is geared toward customers working with a tax professional. Both apps are available on Google Play and App Store.
Liberty Tax versus H&R Block: Refund
As most other reputable tax preparation services, Liberty Tax guarantees its clients a maximum refund. Another important thing is that if you submit the same return to the IRS with one of the competitor’s software and receive a higher refund, Liberty Tax will refund the money you paid.
There are three ways to claim your refund:
- As a direct deposit
- As a paper check
- Via Netspend Liberty Tax Prepaid Mastercard.
- Refund Transfer ( financial product offered by MetaBank or Republic Bank & Trust Company, Members FDIC, and processed by JTH Financial, LLC. )
H&R Block also guarantees a maximum refund, so if you come across an error, the company will refund the fee you paid for the software. The company also guarantees 100% accuracy, so you don’t have to worry if the software makes a mistake in your return. No matter how you file, you can choose to receive your refund in several ways:
- Direct deposit to a bank account
- Spruce (mobile banking platform built by H&R Block)
- Paper check
- Apply the refund to next year’s taxes.
Both H&R Block and Liberty Tax allow you to pay for the software out of your refund.
Support and Resources
When filing your taxes with H&R Block, you get guidance through the process, and the company offers several ways to get help, such as general guidance, tech support, and in-person tax help.
As mentioned before, you can buy Online Assist for unlimited on-demand online tax help without leaving your home. With Online Assist, you can reach a tax pro at any point in the process. If you are stuck or confused, you can also always go to one of the 10,000 offices, but that isn’t free either. In-office appointments start at $80 and vary depending on your tax situation.
Liberty Tax relies on a “360-degree” support model. You can use the “Tell me more” button to learn about tax topics, send an email to the company, or have a live chat. If you want a higher level of service, you can visit one of the 3,000 offices to get some extra help.
The most important thing when you are getting audited is to know what kind of support you have from your tax software. Liberty Tax comes with free Audit Assistance for all customers. A tax professional will help you respond to IRS inquiries if you are audited, but they won’t represent you during the process.
H&R Block also offers free audit support with all its packages. The company also has an add-on called Worry-free Audit Support. With it, you will receive guidance on handling notices initiated by the IRS, plus audit representation. The price for this service is $19.95.
H&R Block also offers Tax Identity Shield that helps protect you from tax identity theft. You will be notified if someone attempts to e-file a tax return using your personal information and help you apply for proactive IRS protection if they discover indicators of identity theft.
Final Verdict: Which Is Better, H&R Block or Liberty Tax?
Overall, H&R Block is the more affordable choice and offers a whole suite of services. Unlike Liberty Tax, it has a free edition for simple tax situations. Yet both providers guarantee a 100% maximum refund and 100% accuracy. So whichever you choose, you can file your taxes worry-free.
Liberty Tax offers three tiers: Basic, Deluxe, and Premium. The price of the Basic plan is $45.95 for federal returns and $36.95 per state. If you choose the Deluxe package, it will cost you $65.95 for federal returns plus $36.95 per state and for the Premium plan, you will be charged $85.95 for federal returns and $36.95 per state.
H&R Block offers on-demand tax expert advice with the Online Assist optional add-on. The service’s price depends on the selected tier and ranges from $69.99 to $194.99 for federal returns.
In terms of costs, the comparison leans in favor of H&R Block. H&R Block offers a free edition for simple taxes, while Liberty Tax charges $45.95 for its Basic plan. So it is clear which one is the winner in this Liberty Tax vs H&R Block contest. However, if you are looking for tax software with strong online and offline help, Liberty Tax is worth considering.