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 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:49 pm

pugchief wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:55 am
I use an accountant for my Fed & IL 1120S. That's just way too complicated to do myself, even with software.
I am completely capable of doing both.

I used to do them (and the owner's personal returns) for the company I was working for during the 90s. Ernst & Young (Big 4) was our outside accountants. I'd call them to ask any questions while I was preparing all the returns in Turbo Tax. I'd mail a paper copy to them. They wouldn't even bother putting it into their system and printing their own copy. Instead, they'd just put what I sent to them in a binder, sign it, and then charge us $4,000!

I don't want to sign the returns for a current business to which I am its financial consultant. The current accounting firm is charging way too much for the little work that they have to do in the way I present the information to them. Last year I gave them filled in PDF tax forms for the 1120S and they still charged a ton.

I'm trying to go the next step to completely fill out the returns in Turbo Tax and give it to them so it's only a matter of them inputting it into their system with no thought required. I'm also looking at two other options to produce, sign, file the returns. For me it's really a commodity type thing. They are not going to add much (if any value) to the corporate returns above what I already know. They do have some value in the personal return area but not all that much given the overall simplicity of the owner's returns.

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 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:31 pm

hrblock2.jpg
hrblock2.jpg (46 KiB) Viewed 214 times
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07XZVRBLY?ta ... c0INT&th=1
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 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:13 am

neweggblock.jpg
neweggblock.jpg (55.08 KiB) Viewed 154 times
https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=PPSSWFFHW ... FC-RAN-COM
User avatar
Kbg
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1488
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by Kbg » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:51 am

I ran through my initial 2019 tax return using H&R.

I like it's simplicity and GUI over TurboTax. However, I was quite surprised at the lack of internal/software tax guidance and background for various issues as compared to TT. It seems to me they would really like you to have to go see an H&R person.

I found myself on the TurboTax site quite a bit...

I have several things that carry over multiple years and I will definitely be paying attention to H&Rs internal worksheets. If they don't do a good job on this aspect of my personal situation I think 2019 will be it for me.
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 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:13 am

Kbg wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:51 am
I ran through my initial 2019 tax return using H&R.

I like it's simplicity and GUI over TurboTax. However, I was quite surprised at the lack of internal/software tax guidance and background for various issues as compared to TT. It seems to me they would really like you to have to go see an H&R person.

I found myself on the TurboTax site quite a bit...

I have several things that carry over multiple years and I will definitely be paying attention to H&Rs internal worksheets. If they don't do a good job on this aspect of my personal situation I think 2019 will be it for me.
I bought the H&R Block Business software last weekend so as to complete Sub S corporate returns for both Federal and Massachusetts. It costs less than $60 (including sales taxes) for both.

I'd last used their business product 25 years ago.

There were tons of bad reviews of the product on Amazon. But I ended being surprised how excellent the product is. I don't have a need for any guidance. I just need a product that allows me to put the numbers on the forms that I know need to be on the forms. I suspect all those bad reviews were from people who actually expected to have a product guide them how to fill out those returns.

And, in comparison to TurboTax on both the personal and business levels, H&R Block seemed far superior in being able to determine where you are actually supposed to enter information so that it properly shows on the correct line on the correct form.

Too often with TurboTax I knew exactly what amount I wanted to enter on what line of what form but I could not determine where I was supposed to enter the amount.

Finally, H&R Block is substantially less expensive for all its products than is TurboTax.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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 » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:56 am

Honestly, both of these systems create so many problems in the name of preventing you from filling out forms directly. They've essentially tried to build a language layer on top of the tax forms, so instead of learning to understand the forms you have to learn the Turbotax (or HRB) language. prime example: the backdoor Roth contribution. It involves two separate sets of interviews in two completely different sections plus going through the final review step where they figure out that your IRA contribution was nondeductible. It would be infinitely easier just to fill out the tax form by hand.

The one reason I like Turbotax is the ability to import data from W2, banks etc. My ideal system would take care of that, and then lead you through the forms themselves letting you enter numbers directly, perhaps with redirects to worksheets or calculator pages where you can enter collections of items to be added up, plus links to IRS instruction pages or other sources of info, while automating the lines that are data transfers or calculations. Is there a system out there that works like this?

If there is one but without autoimport, that's ok because I could simply use turbotax online to do the importing, then export the data and import it to that system.
User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Executive Member
Executive Member
Posts: 1901
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:28 pm

Re: H&R Block Tax Software now available

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:26 pm

sophie wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:56 am
Honestly, both of these systems create so many problems in the name of preventing you from filling out forms directly. They've essentially tried to build a language layer on top of the tax forms, so instead of learning to understand the forms you have to learn the Turbotax (or HRB) language. prime example: the backdoor Roth contribution. It involves two separate sets of interviews in two completely different sections plus going through the final review step where they figure out that your IRA contribution was nondeductible. It would be infinitely easier just to fill out the tax form by hand.
Good to know! I'm doing my first Roth IRA conversion for tax year 2019 and I was poking through TurboTax today looking for how to report it.
There are several thousand nearly complete viral genomes integrated into the human genome, most now inert or missing a crucial gene. These account for 1.3% of the entire genome. That may not sound like much, but 'proper' genes account for only 3%. If you think being descended from apes is bad for your self-esteem, then get used to the idea that you are also descended from viruses.
Ridley, Genome
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 Feb 16, 2020 3:27 pm

sophie wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:56 am
Honestly, both of these systems create so many problems in the name of preventing you from filling out forms directly. They've essentially tried to build a language layer on top of the tax forms, so instead of learning to understand the forms you have to learn the Turbotax (or HRB) language. prime example: the backdoor Roth contribution. It involves two separate sets of interviews in two completely different sections plus going through the final review step where they figure out that your IRA contribution was nondeductible. It would be infinitely easier just to fill out the tax form by hand.

The one reason I like Turbotax is the ability to import data from W2, banks etc. My ideal system would take care of that, and then lead you through the forms themselves letting you enter numbers directly, perhaps with redirects to worksheets or calculator pages where you can enter collections of items to be added up, plus links to IRS instruction pages or other sources of info, while automating the lines that are data transfers or calculations. Is there a system out there that works like this?

If there is one but without autoimport, that's ok because I could simply use turbotax online to do the importing, then export the data and import it to that system.
I just used H&R Block to complete someone else's return. I NEVER use the interview process. I clicked on where I wanted the amounts to appear on the return. And, if it was not possible to directly enter the amounts on that line I chose the "Jump to Related" option to bring me to where I was to enter the information. Many times it is like this so that there is only ONE point of entry for a piece of information which then allows that piece of information to properly flow to all other places in the return that it appears.

I've never tried an import of yearly tax information into H&R Block software. It's not that time consuming to enter all the information by hand, especially when you've imported last year's return into this year's return, thereby filling it all the basic information on you and information returns (W-2's, 1099's) that are the same as the prior year.

I think your dream process may be a dream. Filling out a tax return is not all that simple a process and it is not possible to create tax software that could fathom your particular situation so as to lead you through all the forms particular to you.

It basically comes down to three options:

1) You give all your information to a tax preparer (who presumably knows what he or she is doing)
2) You know what you are doing, don't have to use the interview process at all, and you enter as much as possible of the information directly into the forms.
3) You need to rely upon the software to fill in your gaps of tax preparation knowledge. Then you have to deal with BOTH having to determine how the forms are supposed to be filled out AND how to get those forms filed out using that software.

I'm basically category #2. I might be a #1 if I really was a #3. Or, I might take it as far as I could and then bring it to a tax preparer to finalize it.



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