H&R Block Tax Software now available

Other discussions not related to the Permanent Portfolio

Moderator: Global Moderator

User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:47 pm

Cortopassi wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:52 am
I've been using this successfully for ~4 years:

https://www.freetaxusa.com/
I just signed up and started using it.

From what I saw It'd be way too time consuming for me. It seems like all the inputting is done via an interview process and then you have to wait after you save that page and get to the next page of interview questions?

My preference is a tax return process wherein the forms all are all right in front of me and I'm either directly inputting into the forms or supporting worksheets.

It's well worth it to me to pay H&R Block $35 (or less) each year for a fairly robust tax software for both federal and state that is only on my computer, has no wait times between inputting, and allows me to input directly into the forms.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
pugchief
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2978
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 pm
Location: suburbs of Chicago, IL

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by pugchief » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:51 pm

vnatale wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:32 pm


As soon as I have the time to work on my 2019 tax planning I want to have it. Therefore, I'm perfectly content to pay the $35 (but even MORE content to pay less at the time of purchase).

The state version does not generally come available until at least January or at least later. Turbo Tax users. Is this the same for Turbo Tax?

And, Illinois has no state income tax? If so, then I assume you must have a state sales tax of at least 8%? Are professional services like yours taxed?

Vinny
Hahahaha. The sales tax in Chicago is 10.25%, that on top of the second highest property taxes in the US and an income tax of 4.95% which they are trying to raise. The reason I don't use the state version of the tax software is bc IL allows you to file electronically on the dept of revenue website for free. If HR Block charged an extra $10 for the state, I would prob just pay it, but for $30 no.
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:10 pm

pugchief wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:51 pm
vnatale wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:32 pm


As soon as I have the time to work on my 2019 tax planning I want to have it. Therefore, I'm perfectly content to pay the $35 (but even MORE content to pay less at the time of purchase).

The state version does not generally come available until at least January or at least later. Turbo Tax users. Is this the same for Turbo Tax?

And, Illinois has no state income tax? If so, then I assume you must have a state sales tax of at least 8%? Are professional services like yours taxed?

Vinny
Hahahaha. The sales tax in Chicago is 10.25%, that on top of the second highest property taxes in the US and an income tax of 4.95% which they are trying to raise. The reason I don't use the state version of the tax software is bc IL allows you to file electronically on the dept of revenue website for free. If HR Block charged an extra $10 for the state, I would prob just pay it, but for $30 no.
10.25% plus 4.95%!

Massachusetts has a state-side sales tax of 6.25%, no local tax. Income tax is about 5%. My house taxes for a house valued at about $165,000 is about $2,400 a year. Don't know what my house would be valued at if in your location.

The $35 for H&R Block is for BOTH federal and (one) state tax returns. And, once you enter your information in the federal return all the information flows to the state return so not much information remaining to be entered on the state return side. Think about the time savings on that end wherein YOU are entering in H&R Block for federal then entering in a lot of the same information online.

Also, one of my main goals in any of my work (particularly in spreadsheets) is to try to do as little inputting as possible, making sure I enter it correctly, and, then having it automatically flow to wherever else it can possibly flow. Each unnecessary time I enter information I'm running the risk of entering it incorrectly.

Vinny

Vinny

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
bedraggled
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 554
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:20 am

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by bedraggled » Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:57 am

Question, please.

I have been doing my returns by hand for 42 years. I tried Turbo Tax ten years ago and my hand-compiled returns gave me better, accurate numbers.

Vinny suggests H & R Block software is much better. I had a chat several years back with a veteran tax preparer who suggested I had an advantage as ‘hand’ preparation can give a person a real sense as to his/her tax situation. In the way that a spider knows the conditions of its web.

I startled my tax prep for 2020 in January, 2019. It is fun and I know where I am regarding my taxes always. My 1099s are always under control.

So, the question: should I bother with software if only for some identity theft/stealing of a refund protection?

Oh, and a “thank you” to Sophie who advised me that the New York State and New York City fees on my apartment sale were not tax deductible. How right Sophie was. My but those expenses added up.
User avatar
sophie
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 3150
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by sophie » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:43 am

I think I'm stuck with Turbotax and its auto import feature for one more year because of Lending Club - the complications it adds to Schedule D are beyond imagining. Fortunately now that I've gotten out I could consider something like freetaxusa or Credit Karma after next year.

Totally agree with bedraggled, the layers that Turbotax puts between you and the actual tax forms, which you are not allowed to edit directly, are truly irritating and actually make tax filing harder. Turbotax once made a mistake on a tax form for the backdoor Roth IRA contribution that resulted in an IRS tax letter two years later. I figured out what happened (after a lot of unnecessary angst) and sent in a hand corrected form which solved the problem. Turbotax of course denied that they'd made any such error - even though when I called the IRS, the agent on the line told me that Turbotax resulted in quite a lot of these letters because of that specific issue. None of this would have happened if I'd done the forms myself.
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:19 am

bedraggled wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:57 am
Question, please.

I have been doing my returns by hand for 42 years. I tried Turbo Tax ten years ago and my hand-compiled returns gave me better, accurate numbers.

Vinny suggests H & R Block software is much better. I had a chat several years back with a veteran tax preparer who suggested I had an advantage as ‘hand’ preparation can give a person a real sense as to his/her tax situation. In the way that a spider knows the conditions of its web.

I startled my tax prep for 2020 in January, 2019. It is fun and I know where I am regarding my taxes always. My 1099s are always under control.

So, the question: should I bother with software if only for some identity theft/stealing of a refund protection?

Oh, and a “thank you” to Sophie who advised me that the New York State and New York City fees on my apartment sale were not tax deductible. How right Sophie was. My but those expenses added up.
1) I was not saying that H&R Block was better than TurboTax. I was saying that for the way I want to input tax information (into the forms directly) it was better than one of the online products recommended here.

2) I also somewhat do them by hand. I have created Excel worksheets that replicate the tax returns (and their lines) relevant to me. And, I hand enter all the information into them (on a month-by-month basis for tax planning purposes). That total amounts in those worksheets in all cases agree with the amounts that are in the H&R Block forms. Doing both give me full control of what is appearing in the tax returns created by H&R Block, which are the ones I end up filing. I will research to death and fully understand any tax issue that relates to me.

3) And, I always file paper (never have e-filed) so no identity theft risk for me. Plus, I NEVER get a refund I either arrange to owe if no penalties involved or I apply a "refund" towards next year's taxes.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:25 am

sophie wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:43 am
I think I'm stuck with Turbotax and its auto import feature for one more year because of Lending Club - the complications it adds to Schedule D are beyond imagining. Fortunately now that I've gotten out I could consider something like freetaxusa or Credit Karma after next year.

Totally agree with bedraggled, the layers that Turbotax puts between you and the actual tax forms, which you are not allowed to edit directly, are truly irritating and actually make tax filing harder. Turbotax once made a mistake on a tax form for the backdoor Roth IRA contribution that resulted in an IRS tax letter two years later. I figured out what happened (after a lot of unnecessary angst) and sent in a hand corrected form which solved the problem. Turbotax of course denied that they'd made any such error - even though when I called the IRS, the agent on the line told me that Turbotax resulted in quite a lot of these letters because of that specific issue. None of this would have happened if I'd done the forms myself.
I assisted someone completing his personal tax returns for 2018. He was using TurboTax and it was the first time for me using it in about 20 years. I had been personally exclusively using H&R Block during all that time. There were many times with TurboTax wherein I knew exactly what amount I wanted to appear on a line in a specific tax form and it became quite frustrating to determine out where I was supposed to actually enter that amount.

It seemed that TurboTax has more of an orientation of getting all the information in via the cumbersome interview process as opposed to just entering the information directly into the forms? Seems like the former is oriented towards someone who does not have a good grasp on all the relevant tax issues and tax forms, which in itself is somewhat dangerous for someone self-preparing.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
pugchief
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 2978
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:41 pm
Location: suburbs of Chicago, IL

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by pugchief » Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:10 am

https://www.spoofee.com/turbotax-deluxe ... als/942196
turbotax1.png
turbotax1.png (52.69 KiB) Viewed 587 times
Don
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:21 pm

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by Don » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:05 pm

Cortopassi wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:52 am
I've been using this successfully for ~4 years:

https://www.freetaxusa.com/
I used this last year for the first time and was very happy with it.
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:22 pm

About to buy this. And, about the lowest price I've paid for it in a long time. Maybe ever.

Vinny

H&R Block.JPG
H&R Block.JPG (31.43 KiB) Viewed 551 times
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:24 pm

And, if you go here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YH24MYL/?c ... _lig_dp_it

You will be able to see this comparison between their different tax products.

Vinny

c.JPG
c.JPG (77.13 KiB) Viewed 551 times
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
User avatar
vnatale
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1021
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:56 pm
Location: Montague, MA
Contact:

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by vnatale » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:25 pm

For those of you interested in how easy it is to input information into the H&R Block program?

Earlier this afternoon I'd first updated my federal and state tax returns in my Excel worksheets based upon my information for 2019 in Quicken plus some estimates.

Using that information in the worksheets it took me less than 1/2 hour to get all the information into the H&R Block software with results almost identical to my worksheet. When I'm finalizing a return I get them to be identical but for my tax planning purposes which required the use of estimates getting close was good enough. T

The process of matching the software results to my Excel worksheets did exactly what I wanted it to do. The software reminded me of some things I'd not yet updated in my Excel worksheets.

The tax forms are not due to be updated until the 1st week of January 2020. Therefore several of them were incomplete. But because I had my completed Excel worksheets I knew what was supposed to go where: I overrode and made my entries for the forms which did not yet have their supporting worksheets available.

I entered a W-2, Schedule C information (including mileage for vehicle), several individual 1099's for both interest and dividends.

For decades I have been doing the standard deduction one year and then doing two years of deduction the next year to itemize. This year was the year to use the standard deduction, which led to less inputting.

All relevant information from last year's return imported smoothly, saving any of the repetitive type inputting.

Though it can import information from various sources, such as Quicken, I prefer to enter all my information by hand into the software. Really not that much to input.

As I said a while ago, I did use Turbo Tax 2018 in assisting someone with his return. And, though I could not tell if it was because I'd not used it for over 20 years, but the inputting experience was nowhere as easy as this was tonight. Much easier to navigate to where you actually have to do the basic inputting so it all eventually flows to the proper lines on the various forms.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
Post Reply