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Doing taxes by hand takes a lot of time and effort. Filing taxes without some help also increases the risk that you will make a mistake. No one wants the headache of getting audited by the IRS or state revenue department. Then again, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money hiring a CPA, either.
Online tax filing software has become a popular choice for many people because it offers affordable guidance. H&R Block and TaxSlayer stand out as two of the top options for taxpayers. Does one fit your needs better than the other?
H&R Block offers online and in-person tax filing services. The online option has a straightforward user interface that walks you through the tax situations that likely affect you. H&R Block does this by asking you questions. As long as you answer accurately, the software can complete forms and file them with the IRS and state agency.
If taxes give you anxiety – or you don’t have time to fill out forms – you can use H&R Block’s in-person service. Just hand the relevant documents to a tax professional. You can return later to pick up the completed forms.
TaxSlayer also has a user-friendly interface that guides you through the tax-filing process. Your experience will vary according to the version you choose, though. The free version won’t do much except help you complete a federal 1040 form. Paid options go into greater detail while keeping prices low.
Although TaxSlayer doesn’t provide in-person services, it has robust customer services to fill that void.
TaxSlayer is one of the most affordable tax-preparation options. How much you spend depends on the option you choose. With that said, H&R Block has competitive pricing that makes it attractive.
H&R Block makes it easy to decide which product you should choose. It’s best to select the product that fits your needs instead of basing your decision on price. Still, pricing might influence which tax assistance company you choose.
Completely free for filing federal and state taxes. It’s a good option for students, W-2 employees, and others with straightforward financial situations.
Deluxe costs $49.99 for federal and $36.99 per state. Consider it if you contribute to an HSA, want to itemize deductions, and have expenses from childcare or dependent care.
Premium charges $69.99 for federal and $36.99 per state. People who choose this option usually made money from rental properties, investments, and cryptocurrency.
Self-employed costs $109.99 for federal and $36.99 per state. Look into this option if you made more than $600 as a contractor, freelancer, or gig worker. Small business owners can also use it for business-related deductions, including asset depreciation and home office expenses.
In-person taxes start at $80. The price will vary depending on how complicated your taxes are. A tax professional will walk you through your options and give you a price before beginning. If you find the price too high, you can always walk away.
The in-person option includes drop-off and in-office preparation that includes your involvement. If you choose the drop-off method, you can track the professional’s progress from your computer or smartphone.
True to its name, Simply Free doesn’t cost anything to use. It has limited functionality, though. It will only meet the needs of people with very simple financial situations. Consider choosing this if you don’t earn money from investments and don’t want to itemize deductions. Filing your state taxes is also free at this level.
Classic costs just $18 for filing federal taxes. State returns cost an additional $37 each. With Classic, you can import W-2 forms and use most major tax deductions and credits. It’s a strong option for the average taxpayer.
Filing federal taxes with Premium costs $38. State returns cost an extra $37 each. Premium will help you fill out all popular income and expense forms used by employed taxpayers. It also gives you access to priority support from a tax professional.
Self-Employed costs $48 for filing federal taxes. Your state returns will cost $37 per state. This is probably the best option for anyone with multiple revenue streams. If you own a small business or earned more than $600 as a freelancer, you will want this level of assistance.
Since H&R Block has physical locations all over the country, it makes sense for some taxpayers to choose it. Not everyone feels comfortable using software to complete tax documents. Even if you use online filing, though, you can get guidance from one of H&R Block’s experts via phone and chat.
TaxSlayer doesn’t have offices where you can drop in for help. It does, however, have a large library of useful articles, videos, and guides. All pricing tiers give you access to guidance via online chat and phone. If you run into any challenges along the way, you can always get assistance.
H&R Block and TaxSlayer provide services outside of filing taxes for households.
H&R Block has several business-oriented services, including tax prep, bookkeeping, and payroll. These are great options for small businesses looking to save money on accounting services.
TaxSlayer makes software that helps tax professionals do their jobs more accurately and efficiently. The all-inclusive cloud-based software comes with 24-hour support and plenty of integrations. You can even rely on TaxSlayer to help you become a tax preparer.
H&R Block and TaxSlayer get positive reviews from most users. For many people, it comes down to two things: price and service. If you want to save money and don’t mind doing most of the work yourself, consider choosing TaxSlayer. Anyone who doesn’t mind spending more money on additional services will probably appreciate H&R Block.