TurboTax vs H&R Block

The annual tax season is inescapable, so it is time to decide whether you will prepare your tax return on your own or use professional assistance.

Many online tax preparation apps and software programs will help you if you choose the DIY method. Preparing and e-filling your tax return has never been easier.

In our TurboTax vs H&R Block article, we will compare two of the most tax preparation services. What programs do they offer? Are they expensive?

We will cover everything you need to know, so you will never stress out again when it comes to filing taxes.

H&R Block versus TurboTax: Side-by-Side Comparison

TurboTax H&R Block
Cost $0 – $119
+$49 per state filed
$0 – $114.99
+$44.99 per state filed
BBB rating C F
In business since 1984 1955
Guarantee Maximum refund, 100% accurate calculations, Maximum tax savings, Audit support, 100% accurate expert advice Maximum refund, 100% accuracy, 100% satisfaction, Audit support
OS support Windows, macOS, iOS and Android Windows, macOS, iOS and Android
Free plan Yes Yes
Access to a tax exper Yes Yes

This brief TurboTax vs H&R Block comparison displays some of the companies’ differences and similarities. But to help you decide which one is a better fit for you, we’ll go into more detail.

Note: The prices listed in this article are for the 2022 tax filing season and do not include any discounts. Tax preparation companies often feature special offers for early filers. Check out the TurboTax and H&R Block websites to see the current prices. 

H&R Block vs TurboTax: Free Edition

H&R Block and TurboTax use four tiers of online preparation tax programs for the last 2021 filling season: Free, Deluxe, Premium and Self-employed.

The free plans are designed for simple returns. These options are often used if you don’t own a home, have no investment income, and don’t have rental properties.

Both companies’ freemium editions allow e-filing and cover:

  • W-2 income
  • Student loan interest deductions
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)

But the free version of H&R Block is one of the most comprehensive on the market. Unlike TurboTax, H&R Block allows you to file additional schedules 1 and 3 of Form 1040.

Deluxe Versions

Now, let’s compare TurboTax and H&R Block paid plans. They allow you to upload tax documents, so you don’t have to manually enter the data. The most popular paid program for both companies is the Deluxe plan.

TurboTax’s Deluxe plan maximizes mortgage interest and property tax deductions. The price for the program is $59, while H&R Block’s Deluxe plan costs $54.99.

The Deluxe programs are designed for homeowners, people with retirement income, and also those who have health savings accounts.

Apart from the price difference, the two companies offer comparable Deluxe services. Only that TurboTax adds some forms and schedules that H&R Block offers in its free version

Premium/Premier Tiers

TurboTax and H&R Block have a Premier/Premium online tier that costs $89 and $74.99, respectively. The plans accommodate rental property owners and stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrency investors. The noteworthy forms that the premium plans cover are Schedules D and E, and K-1s.

Note: You have to keep in mind that no matter which edition you use, you don’t pay until you file your return, so you can see the results before you enter any payment details.

Self-Employed Plans

How do TurboTax vs H&R Block work for small businesses?

The Self-employed program of TurboTax is designed for small business owners. This program costs $119 plus $49 for a state filing. The advantage of this program is that it lets users import data directly from QuickBooks.

H&R Block also offers an online business edition which is for freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed taxpayers. This product costs $114.99 plus an additional $44.99 for each state tax return.

How Easy to Use Are TurboTax and H&R Block?

Both services are known for their ease of use, but TurboTax is generally more user-friendly than H&R Block. Compared to H&R Block, TurboTax’s interview-style approach will guide you through the process with basic and straightforward questions. H&R Block often has questions that are not as clear as you hope.

Another important feature worth considering is how easy it is to upload documents. Both companies let you upload your W-2 by taking a picture of it. And, no matter which tax service you’ve used before, both companies allow you to import your previous returns.

Filling out your state return is also easy after going through your federal returns. You don’t have to waste time retyping your information because it quickly transfers.

Let’s talk about the interface of the services. TurboTax’s interface looks like a chat with a tax preparer. There is a banner that keeps track of where you stand in the process and flags the areas that you have to complete. It also has easy access to important tools such as documenting your personal and business income, entering deductions and credits, on-screen help with simple explanations, etc.

The H&R Block user interface is also easy to navigate, with clear instructions for the next steps on every page. The help menu is visible on every page, and you can also access the chat support portal. Both H&R Block and TurboTax have a searchable database of tax information and chatbots that respond as if they were a real person.

H&R Block vs TurboTax: Mobile App

H&R Block and TurboTax both have mobile apps that support Android and iOS. They are useful for preparing your returns on the g, allowing you to take a photo of your W-2 and import the data directly to your account. The apps also offer expert help from a tax pro if needed.

Can you use the software offline?

To activate the TurboTax software, you need an internet connection to verify your license code. After you complete your verification, you don’t need the internet to use the tax filing software. However, there may be software updates or tax updates that require internet access.

You can also use H&R Block software offline. First, you need to open the purchase confirmation email and then download the program. One thing you need to consider is that software download is less expensive and has more features than the online edition.

Which Gives You a Greater Return TurboTax or H&R Block?

Whether you like your refund by paper check, direct deposit, or purchase of United States savings bonds, TurboTax allows you to choose how you want to receive your return.

Both companies have a maximum refund guarantee. They also guarantee that all calculations are 100% accurate. So if you do try both H&R Block and TurboTax and find that one gives you a bigger refund, they will surely check your math and ensure the accuracy of your refund.

Support and Expert Assistance

TurboTax and H&R Block offer inline help and tech support. In terms of tax prep expert assistance, both companies offer different options depending on your needs.

TurboTax Live, applicable to all four tiers described above, provide pro assistance and final review before you file. Naturally, the service comes at a price:

  • Basic – $79
  • Deluxe – $119
  • Premier – $169
  • Self-employed – $199

And if you want a professional to prepare and file your taxes on your behalf, you can upgrade to TurboTax Live Full Service. The prices are as follows:

  • Basic – $199
  • Deluxe – $249
  • Premier – $359
  • Self-employed – $389

H&R Block also has an online assist version of the packages, which gets you unlimited live tax advice and on-demand chat or screen-sharing sessions. The service will cost you an extra, starting at $69.99. Unlike TurboTax, H&R Block also offers in-person support at its offices, where a consultation will cost you at least $80.

Audit support

If you are audited, it is important to know what kind of support you have from your tax preparation software. Audit support means guidance about what to expect and how to prepare your documentation.

H&R Block offers audit support which gets you to contact an agent to guide you through an audit. The support includes IRS correspondence management, audit preparation, and in-person audit representation. The cost of the audit support is $19.99. H&R Block has benefits such as upfront transparent pricing, free audit assistance, a transparent process, and free mid-year care check-in. In case the company fails to provide any of these benefits, you’ll get 20% off a year’s tax preparation.

Compared to H&R Block, TurboTax offers free audit support from a tax pro to help you. If TurboTax can’t connect you to a tax pro, you will get a refund. You will need TurboTax’s audit defense product called MAX in case you want someone to represent you in front of the IRS. It includes identity theft monitoring, loss insurance, and restoration help. This product costs an additional $49.

Verdict

Which one is the right one for you, H&R Block or TurboTax? Despite its dominant market share, TurboTax may not be the right choice for everyone. The free version of H&R Block has expanded capabilities, so filers with simple returns will do the job for less.

Both companies have strong human support options, but of course, the level of help varies by price and the package you choose. Although the free package of TurboTax is pricier, it offers on-demand tax support, including a final review. On the other hand, H&R Block offers two separate add-ons, Online Assist, and Tax Pro Review.

Another important thing is that both TurboTax and H&R Block have user-friendly software.  The software interface is easy to navigate, and if you need any assistance, you will receive support from a tax pro through chat or video. We need to mention that both mobile apps support Android and iOS.

In terms of prices, TurboTax is pricier compared to H&R Block. They both have free plans, but they are just for simple returns. It is important to mention that both guarantee maximum refund and 100% accurate calculations.

So, who wins? It depends on what are you looking for. The two Deluxe options are pretty much the same in terms of price, but the Deluxe edition of TurboTax supports more forms. Which tax filing service you choose may be a personal preference. People often choose H&R Block so they can go to a physical location for filing.

TurboTax and H&R Block are not the only tax filing services. There are more on a budget alternatives that are worth considering. In the end, everything is up to you and what are your needs.

FAQ

Is H&R Block more expensive than TurboTax?

No, TurboTax’s DIY products prices are slightly higher than those of H&R Block. The difference is 6% for Deluxe, 15% for Premium, and 3% for the Self-Employed plan.

Is TurboTax free?

TurboTax offers a free online edition with no income limits. If you need to file a state return, that’s free as well. Another free option is e-file.

Is TurboTax better than H&R Block?

You may prefer TurboTax if you use QuickBooks. However, the filing options of H&R Blocks are less expensive than TurboTax. Also, H&R Block provides in-person assistance at its offices. Both mobile apps have a straightforward interface and provide a user-friendly experience.

Do you get more money back with TurboTax or H&R Block?

Both H&R Block and TurboTax guarantee a maximum refund. So, if you notice any difference in your TurboTax vs H&R Block tax return calculations, you can claim your money back.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Mathematician and content writer. Even if there is no apparent connection between these two, I equally enjoy doing both. I’m dedicated to writing every piece with inspiration so you can navigate the world of finance while enjoying an engaging read. In my free time, you will find me bike riding, doing DIY projects, reading a book, or playing with my dogs.

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