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Online tax software allows you to file federal and state tax returns from the comfort of your home. TurboTax® and H&R Block® are two of the most popular tax software options on the market. Each software offers several tax return options and price points to meet various customer needs, from free versions for simple returns to premium versions for individuals with more complex tax needs. 

Follow along as we compare TurboTax and H&R Block's online tax software offerings head to head. We'll look at products and pricing, features, guarantees, refund options and customer support to determine which is best for your tax needs.

Overview: What Is TurboTax? 

TurboTax

TurboTax shines when it comes to customers who have more complex tax returns. The Deluxe Edition helps maximize tax deductions and credits, while the Premier Edition covers investments – including cryptocurrency and and stock activity – and rental properties. Plus, you can easily import your investment income automatically with TurboTax.

Overview

Regardless of how complex your tax return is, you’ll likely be able to find a TurboTax service that meets your needs. TurboTax offers five different pricing tiers, including a Free Edition (for simple returns only, not all taxpayers qualify), as well as multiple premium tiers geared towards more complicated returns. There’s even a full-service edition for anyone who’s worried about filling out their tax return incorrectly.

Pros

  • A product for every tax situation, both simple and more complex
  • The Premier Edition includes investments and rental properties
  • A comprehensive review of your return, ensuring nothing gets missed

Cons

  • Some products are more expensive than industry average

TurboTax is an online tax software that offers a variety of tax return and refund options to fit most taxpayers' needs.  

TurboTax offers free (for simple tax returns only, not all taxpayers qualify) and paid tax return options. The online software also comes with multiple return guarantees and customer support options. 

With TurboTax, you can file your taxes from anywhere with an internet connection. The service is a product of software company Intuit®, with multiple versions available to handle simple tax returns, more complex returns, and returns for self-employed individuals. TurboTax features live support features, mobile access, and various tax return tools for customers to use as needed. 

Overview: What Is H&R Block? 

H&R Block

Straightforward and easy-to file tax prep that comes with accuracy and maximum refund guarantees, H&R Block can also handle complex tax needs. Additional support is available from brick-and-mortar locations if needed. Even those opting for the free tier can enjoy robust features, including state filings at no additional cost.

Overview

H&R Block makes tax filing simple and painless with its intuitive interface and navigation. The tax filing service comes in four tiers: Free, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed. Its Free tier is quite robust in features, and even includes state filings at no additional cost. The other paid tiers are also catered to those with complex tax needs, including business owners, self-employed, freelancers, those with investments, and more.

If you need additional support and help, H&R Block does provide 24/7 online and phone support with an agent. What sets H&R Block apart is its ability to offer in-person support through its many brick-and-mortar offices nationwide.

With its various guarantees (Maximum Refund, 100% Accuracy, Audit Support) and an array of add-ons to handle more complex needs, H&R Block is equipped to handle most taxpayer situations. Keep in mind that the prices can add up, especially if you aren’t mindful of your add-ons.

Pros

  • Multiple packages to fit most tax needs
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Option to work with a tax professional online or in person
  • Free version available (with state included)
  • Easy to switch over from another tax service provider
  • State filing
  • Simple navigation & software interface
  • Ability to upload tax documents digitally

Cons

  • More expensive than some competitors
  • Extra fee for state tax filing
  • Expensive add-ons

H&R Block is a tax preparation service known for its in-person tax services, but more recently has begun to offer online tax support.

The company offers four products, including a free version for simple tax returns. Additional features and add-ons include 24/7 customer support, audit support, tax return reviews by a tax professional, refund advances and several tax return guarantees. 

H&R Block operates more than 10,000 retail locations worldwide but also offers four online tax software services for various tax needs. 

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Products 

Winner: Tie

TurboTax offers four versions of its online tax software, including a free option that works for simple tax returns only (not all taxpayers qualify). You can also add TurboTax Live® to any package for an additional cost to receive live support or have a tax professional do your taxes for you. 

TurboTax Breakdown

TIER SUMMARY FEDERAL RETURN (EARLY SEASON DISCOUNT) STATE RETURN (EARLY SEASON DISCOUNT) FEDERAL RETURN (FULL PRICE) STATE RETURN (FULL PRICE)

Free Edition

For simple tax returns only, not all taxpayers qualify. Covers W-2 income, Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC), and child tax credits.

$0

$0

$0

$0

Deluxe

Includes everything in the free plan plus a search for 350+ tax deductions and credits.

$39

$39

$59

$59

Premier

In addition to features from basic plans, includes investments, rental property income, and deductions.

$69

$39

$89

$59

Self-Employed

Specifically geared toward freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners.

$89

$39

$119

$59

H&R Block offers four tax software packages for individuals filing their own taxes. You can also file taxes with a tax professional for an additional fee. 

H&R Block Breakdown

TIER SUMMARY FEDERAL RETURN (DISCOUNT PRICE) STATE RETURN FEDERAL RETURN (REGULAR PRICE)

Free Online

For simple returns, students, unemployment income, W-2 employees and Child Tax Credit.

$0

$0

$0

Deluxe Online

Includes features seen in free version plus itemized deductions.

$35

$37

$55

Premium Online

Includes features from lower tiers, as well as rental income, investments and cryptocurrency.

$55

$37

$75

Self-Employed Online

Specifically designed for independent contractors, business owners, and freelancers.

$85

$37

$110

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Features

H&R Block app

H&R Block

Winner: H&R Block

TurboTax users have access to several features, including: 

  • Mobile App: The TurboTax mobile app is available for iOS and Android. 
  • Audit Support: All TurboTax returns come with audit support from trained tax professionals. 
  • Self Employment Tax Center: TurboTax features a special library of articles for self-employed individuals.
  • MAX Benefits: Available as an optional add-on for all paid versions of TurboTax Online, MAX offers users full audit representation, full identity restoration and more.
  • Unemployment Center: There's also a special support section for unemployment tax help. 
  • Tools: TurboTax provides calculators, help videos, checklists and expense estimators to help you file your taxes. 

Overall, H&R Block offers more unique features, although some cost extra to access. Popular features include: 

  • Peace of Mind® Extended Service Plan: Receive support and audit protection for the life of your tax return (additional cost) 
  • Second Look® Review: If you filed your taxes on your own or with another company in the past three years, H&R Block will review your old returns for free and refile them if they determine you should have received more money. 
  • Tax Pro Go: Upload tax documents online and connect with an H&R Block tax pro to match your specific tax scenario. 
  • Tax Identity Shield®: H&R Block protects your tax identity from tax fraud. 
  • Audit Support: Receive audit help through H&R Block's resolution services.
  • Expat Services: H&R Block offers special tax support for U.S. citizens living overseas.
  • Mobile Apps: Complete your tax return on your mobile device with the H&R Block Tax Prep App, then access your H&R Block tax return through the MyBlock App, both available for iOS and Android. 
  • Tools: Additional tools include calculators, the latest tax reform information, tax preparation checklists, and a support knowledge database to answer questions on various tax topics and program features. 

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Guarantees

Winner: Tie

Along with a comprehensive review of your return before its filed, TurboTax backs its product offering with five guarantees: 

  • Maximum Refund Guarantee: TurboTax will find every tax deduction and credit you qualify for on your tax return.
  • 100% Accurate Calculations Guarantee: TurboTax will pay any IRS penalties for incorrect calculations on returns. 
  • Audit Support Guarantee: Free guidance from a tax professional if you are audited.
  • Expert Approved Guarantee: TurboTax will pay any IRS penalties due to advice received from a TurboTax professional. 
  • Full Service Guarantee: Full service experts will only sign off on your return after they know it's 100% accurate and you're getting the best outcome possible. 

H&R Block customers receive five guarantees from the tax software company. Some Guarantee details may vary depending on whether you filed using the tax software or through an H&R Block tax professional.  

  • No Surprise Guarantee: Receive 20% off next year's tax preparation if H&R Block fails to provide all four of the following benefits —upfront transparent pricing, transparent process, free audit assistance and free mid-year care check-In.
  • Maximum Refund Guarantee: H&R Block will refund software fees if you are eligible for a larger refund than calculated due to errors on its end. You can also use the software for free to amend your return or have H&R Block do it for you (if you filed with a tax pro).  
  • 100% Accuracy Guarantee: H&R Block will reimburse you for any IRS penalties if it makes an error on your tax return. 
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: If unsatisfied with the services received, you only have to pay H&R Block if you accept your return. 
  • Audit Support Guarantee: H&R Block provides additional support if the IRS audits you. 

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Refund Options

Winner: TurboTax 

TurboTax allows customers to receive their tax refunds in several ways. You can receive your refund via direct deposit to a linked bank account, open a Credit Karma Money™ Spend account, have it loaded onto an existing prepaid card or choose to have the IRS mail you a check. Users can log into their accounts and check the status of their e-file returns. 

H&R Block also offers several ways to receive your tax return, including direct deposit, a mailed check or use it to pay for tax preparation costs and fees. You can receive your return up to five days early by depositing it into a Spruce℠ mobile banking account. Like TurboTax, H&R Block allows customers to check the status of their refund online. 

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TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Customer Support 

Winner: TurboTax

You can pay for additional support through TurboTax's Live Assisted service, but the software company offers several ways to receive support without paying extra. Customers can receive live online support from a TurboTax specialist. You can also access a community of users to ask questions and receive answers. Other support options include articles and tax and software FAQs. Phone support is also available.  

H&R Block offers phone support and maintains an extensive knowledge database for common tax preparation and software questions. 

Bottom Line: Is TurboTax or H&R Block Better for Your Online Tax Return? 

Both TurboTax and H&R Block offer user-friendly tax preparation solutions. Both companies offer multiple options and price points, although TurboTax does a better job of combining its services into nice and neat packages, while the same support with H&R Block may require paying for add-on services. 

TurboTax is the clear choice if you are looking for live, on-demand support while working through your return. H&R Block is the better option for simple tax returns, offering more robust features with its free version than TurboTax. For in-person support, H&R Block is your best bet with thousands of retail locations across the country. 

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      Kevin Payne

      Kevin Payne is a personal finance, credit card, and travel writer. He is the family travel and budget expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. Kevin lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and four kids. His work has appeared on several websites, including FinanceBuzz, Credit Karma, Millennial Money, Club Thrifty, Student Loan Planner and Slickdeals.