TurboTax vs. H&R Block: 2023 Full Comparison


Amid a crowded field, H&R Block and TurboTax are two popular and respected e-filing tax options. Both deliver a cost-effective way to get your taxes done quickly and correctly, maximizing your return.

There are, however, core differences between TurboTax vs. H&R Block. There isn’t one program that’s better than the other so much as each one is suited to different needs and different tax situations.

This review article will compare both providers side by side, comparing features, prices, customer service, and other information you need to determine which option is best for you.

About H&R Block

Founded by the Bloch brothers in Kansas City, Missouri in 1955, H&R Block has been a hugely familiar name in tax preparation services for decades. Traditionally a brick-and-mortar operation, with locations in strip malls and pop-up locations throughout the country, H&R Block has evolved over the years and now offers many e-filing products.

H&R Block offers digital tax filers a range of options to complete their taxes online in a simple, straightforward process. This includes a free federal return and state return for simple tax returns with no itemized deductions.

And for tax returns that are a bit more complicated, H&R Block offers more deluxe DIY tax filing options as well as full-service support. H&R Block users can provide professional, in-person assistance across over 60,000 locations.

Keep Reading: H&R Block Review

About TurboTax

The tax software company, TurboTax, is a leader in its industry. With its intuitive and conversational design, TurboTax is popular with novice and seasoned taxpayers alike.

For basic, standard returns TurboTax offers filers a free federal return and one free state return. For more complicated returns and users who want a more white-glove experience, TurboTax has premium (paid) option for full-service assistance — including the option to have a tax expert do your taxes for you.

Founded in 1984, TurboTax has decades of industry expertise and enjoys popularity with business and consumer users of Intuit-brand products like Mint, QuickBooks, and Credit Karma.

Keep Reading: TurboTax Review

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Pricing

In terms of pricing, both H&R Block and TurboTax offer free editions for federal tax returns and one state return which works for most simple tax situations.

However, as tax situations become more complex — with small business earnings, cryptocurrency, and child tax credits — the pricing structure diverges.

  • H&R Block: Pricing is designed to be competitive and accommodate filers of different income levels and with different tax needs. They provide four (4) core DIY e-filing options, including a free version for filers with straightforward tax situations. Paid plans for investors, self-employed individuals, and those with more detailed tax profiles range from $55 to $115 for federal returns and state returns are $49 across the board.
  • TurboTax: TurboTax ties its pricing to the level of service filers are seeking. It offers three-tiered pricing for individuals who want to completely do it themselves for free, those who want some expert advice, and those who want TurboTax to do all of the tax prep for them. Filers with straightforward returns can file for free with a “Do Your Own” plan. Paid support ranges from $99 to $409, with state filings $54 or $64.

Pricing also reflects the level of support offered, including audit defense, customer service, or any return guarantees.

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Packages

  TurboTax H&R Block
Tier One Do Your Own

Free edition for a simple tax return.
A simple tax return is filed using IRS Form 1040 only, without needing any added forms or schedules. Covers W-2 income, interest, or dividends that don’t require a Schedule B, child tax credit, earned income tax credit (EIC), or student loan interest deduction.

$0 to $129 Federal
$0 to $59 per State

Free Online

Simple returns. Suitable for W-2 employees. Allows for unemployment and Child Tax Credit (CTC)

$0 Federal
$0 per State

Tier Two Assisted

Connect with live tax professionals on demand.
Tax experts can fix any mistakes and explain the process. They also offer an expert final review before filing, guaranteed done right.

$99 to $219 Federal
$54 or $64 per State

Deluxe

Everything in the Free Online version, plus child and dependent care expenses and itemized deductions  

$55 Federal
$49 per State

Tier Three Full Service

TurboTax experts do your taxes for you. Securely share tax docs to get matched to an expert Work with your pro in real time.

$219 to $409 Federal
$54 or $64 per State

Premium

Everything in the Deluxe Online version, plus rental income, investments, and cryptocurrency sales.

$75 Federal
$49 per State

    Self-Employed

Everything in the Premium Online version, plus 1099-C and other income from freelancers, marketplace sellers, and self-employed workers. Allows for itemized business deductions.

$115 Federal
$49 per State

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Features

Both TurboTax and H&R Block offer a line-up of features to make the tax filing process as simple and stress-free as possible.

H&R Block Features

TurboTax Features

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Customer Support

Both tax preparation software programs offer excellent customer support. Customer service is available all year round, although support hours are more limited outside of tax season.

H&R Block Customer Support

H&R Block offers the convenience of desktop software and digital technology with personalized in-person support.

TurboTax Customer Support

TurboTax is known for providing excellent support to its users through both customer service and access to qualified tax professionals.

  • Email: Send email to ttappfeedback@intuit.com or security@intuit.com.
  • Phone: Call the Inuit (parent company) toll-free customer support number at 1-800-4INTUIT (1-800-446-8848).
  • Video-Conferencing: Users completing a Full Service or Assisted online tax filing are eligible for live video conferencing with their assigned tax professional. The video call is not obligatory (you can chat or email online instead).
  • Chat: Live chat support is offered during the tax filing season.
  • TurboTax Support: Free resource hub helps users who complete their own taxes or who want more information about the filing process. Find articles, guides, videos, tips, and other resources that cover topics like filing fees for small-business owners, investment income, or student loan interest deduction.
  • Community Forum: There’s a helpful online forum for Intuit TurboTax customers. Here, users can ask and find answers to questions about tax year guidelines, business expenses, declaring unemployment income, and other common scenarios.

Pros and Cons

H&R Block Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Physical offices for in-person assistance: Huge network of branch locations making it relatively easy to stop by a center and ask questions about your taxes, including your online tax preparation.
  • Free version is more comprehensive than TurboTax: H&R Block’s free filing version allows for a wider range of tax situations, which enables consumers with moderately complex taxes to e-file online for free.
  • Cheaper premium services: H&R Block’s premium or paid filing services are cheaper than TurboTax deluxe (paid) plans. It offers similar tax filing features at a cheaper price tag, although the one-on-one expert support that TurboTax offers is not included.
  • Extensive free audit support: H&R Block guarantees free in-person audit support in the event the IRS flags your return for an audit. Note that “audit support” does not mean representation or that H&R Block will handle the audit on your behalf. Rather, H&R Block will brief you as to what to expect for the audit and how to prepare.

Cons

  • Software interface is less user-friendly: While the ease of use overall is pretty good, it’s not as sleek or as intuitive as TurboTax. There’s a steeper learning curve. The online tax software supports fewer forms for state or federal filing and will require more manual entry.
  • Fewer high-end features in free and lower-tier versions: While it’s cheaper than TurboTax, it’s not apples to apples. H&R Block’s free and paid-tier tax prep software lacks helpful features that come standard with TurboTax plans.
  • In-person support can vary in quality: Experience and expertise of tax professionals can vary wildly from office to office, or even with one office location, which can lead to inconsistency in the quality of service you receive through online or in-person tax pro support.

TurboTax Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Highly intuitive and user-friendly platform: TurboTax is designed to streamline and simplify tax filing, making it appealing to regular tax filers and novices who are doing their first digital tax return.
  • Access to tax professionals via TurboTax Live: Connect to a qualified tax expert for personalized advice, especially helpful for TurboTax self-employed or business-owner tax filers.
  • Excellent educational content and customer support: TurboTax has an extensive online hub of tax information and resource articles, as well as responsive and knowledgeable customer support agents.
  • Audit support: Filers using TurboTax LiveFull Service have assistance from a professional tax professional in case of an audit.

Cons

  • More expensive: Although TurboTax has free filing options, its paid-tier options are more expensive than H&R Block and many similar other tax software programs like TaxSlayer and TaxAct.
  • Limited free version: TurboTax’s free version is limited in the tax situations that can qualify. Users who might fully qualify for the H&R Block free filing are then compelled to upgrade to a paid version to finish their return.
  • Upselling can be aggressive: Some users complain that TurboTax is too aggressive in how it prompts users to upgrade from the assisted or free option to a more expensive plan or other add-on services.

TurboTax vs. H&R Block: Which Is Best for You?

The choice between TurboTax and H&R Block boils down to your tax situation and personal preferences.

If budget is your top consideration and you absolutely want to file for free, or as cheaply as possible, then H&R Block may be the best route. Additionally, H&R Block provides in-person assistance at retail storefronts across the country.

For those with a more complicated tax situation, that goes beyond just basic W-2 income, then TurboTax may be the better choice. It’s the best tax software for users in terms of being intuitive, well laid out, conversational, and very easy to understand. And TurboTax can connect you with qualified professionals who can do your taxes for you and eliminate all the hassle or guesswork.

But with either software program, American taxpayers can’t really go wrong. They can do the job accurately, efficiently, and quickly — and for a fraction of what you would pay a tax firm accountant.



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