What’s new this tax season at H&R Block

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H&R Block has long been known for providing taxpayer opportunity to file taxes independently or sit down with a tax pro one-on-one at one of their locations. Little has changed and to this date the most important decision you make – when using H&R Block – is to determine if you want to prepare returns on your own or get help along the way.

H&R Block offers many options for individuals who feel confident about preparing their tax returns. Online options at hrblock.com include the following products:

  • H&R block More Zero – it handles the tax situations such as: Earned Income Tax Credit, retirement income planning, child care expenses, mortgage interest, and student loan interest.
  • Deluxe – handles tax scenarios included in More Zero plus Health Savings Accounts, unreported tips, and hobby income. Includes DeductionsPro to estimate and handle your charitable donations.
  • Premium – suited for contractors and freelancers. Also allows report rental property income and stock sales.
  • Self-Employed – this version handles tax situations of small business owners (Schedule C) including but not limited to mileage reporting, home office, and asset depreciation. Business Booster feature walks you through calculating and writing off startup costs. If you make money on the side driving for Uber, this version imports all pertinent data from your driver’s account (Forms 1099-K and 1099-MISC).

There are also multiple options for those who prefer to download a copy of the software. They include:

  • Basic – for simple tax situations
  • Deluxe – for homeowners and investors
  • Premium – for self-employed or property owners
  • Premium & business – for small business owners

All of them let you drag and drop last year return, provide guidance on deductions and credits, and include five free federal e-files. Most importantly, it guarantees maximum refund.

There are two options if you decide to file in the office. The most common is to make an appointment and work on your taxes with a tax pro. This solution helps you learn more about your return and tax steps. You can also get answers on the spot about any part of your tax return and what impacts your refund the most and why. H&R Block can help you choose a tax pro or set up an appointment with the one you trust and prefer. What I like about looking for a new tax pro is the fact that their profiles list their area of expertise and you can select one whose skills fit your needs the most.

Another way to get your taxes prepared is with H&R Block Tax Pro Go. It requires uploading your tax information, answering questions about yourself that help determine best filing status as well as optimal credits and deductions. The cost of the service is disclosed before any work is done so you can determine if you like to proceed with it or not. You’re then matched with a tax preparer that will work on your returns. Before they are filed, you will receive a call with all the details and explanations in order to approve the filing.

Filing in an office provides some additional opportunities. One of them is a loan of up to $3,000 with 0% interest. This Refund Advance Loan gives you instant access to money and is repaid once your refund comes through. The application process takes place while you complete you tax returns at the office, so everything can get done in one session. You have to visit one of the H&R Block locations in order to apply for the loan and the service will be available until February 28th.

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