January 22, 2017

Best Tax Software for the Money: H&R Block

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It's the time of the year when you start receiving tax stubs from any and all employers from the previous year. Whether it's only one you get from your full-time job or a small stack starts to accumulate from a series of part-time jobs, there's one thing that's shared by everyone: you want to get the greatest refund possible on your taxes with the lowest cost and headache.

Forgetting to file your income taxes isn't just against the law; it can leave hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars on the table. That's because if you have taxes taken out of your paycheck, then there's a good chance you are owed a refund. If you don't file your taxes for the best possible return, chances are you're leaving money on the table.

How Payroll Taxes Work

Whether you're paid weekly, biweekly, twice per month or whenever, if you have a traditional, nine-to-five (but usually longer) day job with a company, and even if you work part-time then you'll see a whole bunch of deductions taken out of your paycheck. Some of those taxes include:

  • Federal income taxes
  • State income taxes
  • Local taxes
  • Social Security
  • Medicare

That's right, every single time you receive a paycheck, some of that money goes toward your federal, state and local taxes. That's because when you get the job, you fill out a form that asks how many dependents you will have on your taxes, among other things.

More often than not, the amount you pay in throughout the year turns out to be larger than what you actually owe. The amount withheld all year is based on what you make and the number of dependents you have. It doesn't take all of your deductions into account and serves as a conservative estimate that usually ends up being higher than you owe.

This is what puts almost every salaried and hourly worker in the same boat. When the new year rolls around and it's time to file your taxes, you want to get the highest refund possible on your taxes. You want to make sure that you get a check from the government for the amount you overpaid throughout the year. One of the most surefire - and free - ways to do that is by going over to a nearby H&R Block or utilizing their new, revamped and amazing features online and through their app. Yep, that's right, taxes through an app.

Using H&R Block for Your Taxes

With over 12,000 locations worldwide, H&R Block is a global tax services provider that has helped prepare over 725 million returns since it was founded in 1955. In addition to that, they have completely revamped their site and online features. They are dedicated to giving you the greatest possible return for free.

  • An H&R Block office is located within five - yes, five - miles of most Americans.
  • Six in 10 taxpayers will be able to file free federal and state income taxes online with H&R Block.
  • H&R Block "drag and drop" feature lets you import a previous year's tax return no matter how it was prepared so you can easily transfer over your data and get a huge jumpstart on this year's return.
  • Chat for free online or in person with a tax professional in an H&R Block office.
  • Have the option to have your work checked by a tax expert to guarantee the greatest return.

You can either use their website, HRblock.com or the app. Or you can make an appointment or walk into any of the thousands of retail offices near you. Their goal is to make filing easy while maximizing your return.

Who Should Use H&R Block

Anyone can use H&R Block online or in person to file their taxes. But it's especially attractive if you are looking to take advantage of H&R Block More Zero. Six in 10 taxpayers can file free federal and state income tax returns with it. That includes:

  • 1040EZ filers who usually file single or married filing jointly and have no dependents (kids or seniors under their care)
  • 1040A filers, especially those with student loan interest, educator expenses or tuition and fees deductions you want to maximize.
  • 1040 Schedule A filers who need to itemize their deductions because of mortgage payments, charitable donations or medical expenses

H&R Block might not be the best option for you if you own your own business, have to file a tax return for an LLC, S-Corporation or C-Corporation. If you have to file for self-employment in addition to a stack of W2's, then you might want to work with a specialist who knows all the ins and outs and potential deductions in your given field. Though keep in mind H&R Block also has TaxEdge, a new mobile app for freelancers, self-employed, and others in the shared economy.

However, most tax filers will find that H&R Block is their best choice to maximize their refund. Those include:

  • Filers who have a full-time job
  • Filers who own their own home and want to maximize their mortgage interest deductions on a Schedule A
  • People who are repaying student loans and want to get the most for their interest reduction
  • Filers who want to take full advantage of the Earned Income Credit
  • People who want filing taxes to be quick, easy and painless

How Is H&R Block Different

People who have been filing their taxes either on their own, through a professional or even with H&R Block are going to find a slate of new features this year. They have embraced technology in a way that no other company can match, and they've done that by combining a clean and easy, tech-loving interface with decades of tax filing experience. Some of those new features include:

  • You can take a picture of your W2 with your smartphone and import it into this year's return
  • You can import last year's return - regardless of where it was prepared - and work off it for this year
  • You can enter and update any new information for this year
  • Live chat with a tax professional at any time
  • Guaranteed 100 percent accuracy and satisfaction that you will get the highest tax refund
  • Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit for no additional cost

You can use your phone to take pictures of your W2 and import all of the data into your tax return for this year. It doesn't matter who filed your tax return last year; if you just want to give H&R Block a try then you can upload last year's tax return and use that as a template to make this year's return a breeze. And if you have any questions, there are tax experts waiting for your call or chat to help walk you through any stumbling blocks. Or you can go to one of their thousands of locations and get your taxes done without a headache.

Is H&R Block Right for You

Well over half of all people who have to file a tax return will be able to do so for free with H&R Block. It is one of the best and easiest options available that will get the greatest possible return at no cost for most filers.

We would highly recommend the service if you receive your primary income from a job where taxes are deducted throughout the year. It is great for students and young professionals. It's an excellent choice for married couples filing jointly and for people who just want to get their taxes done in a quick, simple and tech-friendly way with a clean interface, helpful customer service and plenty of locations nearby if you want to get your taxes completed with someone face-to-face.

It might not be the best possible choice if you are filing a Schedule C, have employees or own a business. But if you're like most of us and want to get the largest possible check from the government in the least amount of time, then H&R Block is one of the best tax software companies for the money.

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