Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

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edvest
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Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by edvest »

I'm sure this must have been asked before, but couldn't find with search.

I used H&R Block for first time for our 2018 taxes. Needless to say, they made simple mistakes that required revisions.
They also doubled their estimated cost to $260 dollars.

Anyway, according to my son, our taxes should be simple enough for Turbo tax.

Costco has a "Deluxe" version for $40 but it doesn't include NJ tax. (Additional $40 bucks for that?)

Is Turbo tax the way to go, or can you suggest a better program?

Thank you
ChicagoWolverine
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by ChicagoWolverine »

I use turbo tax and don't have issues (so far). Been using it for close to 10 years. The cost largely depends on complexity of taxes -- sold an asset (stock or house) and know that there is an associated state filling fee (presumably not part of the $40). In conclusion your cost could end up being more like $60-$80 all in.
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fizxman
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by fizxman »

If you haven't yet, sign up for Credit Karma and do it for free with them. There are things Credit Karma can't do, I don't remember what they are because they didn't affect me, but if your taxes are simple Credit Karma should be okay. I used them for the first time this year and while it's not quite as user friendly as TurboTax, it's still pretty easy.

https://www.creditkarma.com/tax
dcabler
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by dcabler »

edvest wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 5:57 am I'm sure this must have been asked before, but couldn't find with search.

I used H&R Block for first time for our 2018 taxes. Needless to say, they made simple mistakes that required revisions.
They also doubled their estimated cost to $260 dollars.

Anyway, according to my son, our taxes should be simple enough for Turbo tax.

Costco has a "Deluxe" version for $40 but it doesn't include NJ tax. (Additional $40 bucks for that?)

Is Turbo tax the way to go, or can you suggest a better program?

Thank you
To be clear, are you talking about the H&R Block software or in-person H&R Block?
I've been using the H&R block software since 2012 and couldn't be happier.

cheers.
Topic Author
edvest
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by edvest »

We used the local store, not software.

We itemize, own house, only wife and I, as hobby, buy and sell a small amount of stocks each year, and also sold a small FL condo in 2019 for $100k
runner3081
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by runner3081 »

Have used TaxAct for many years. Make sure to look for deals, ended up at $10 for state and fed this year.
Topic Author
edvest
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by edvest »

Maybe you're single? ^^

I went to their site and answered just three questions: job, home owner, and I have investments... buttons and went right up to $80 dollars.
livesoft
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by livesoft »

I used to use TurboTax, but switched to HRBlock Deluxe download desk top version (Federal and one State) because it was free after rebate. This version is different than the HRBlock Deluxe online or web-based version.

For any and all tax-prep software that you use, I think you should also read and understand the IRS instructions for each of the forms that the tax-prep software is filling in for you. I realize that many people don't do that.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by michaeljc70 »

Over the last 15-20 years I have gone between all the consumer tax prep programs. As to background, I have also used professional tax software from my public accounting days. I have found the consumer tax software are all similar. They have differences in the interface but I didn't find one better than the other and it probably comes down to personal preference. They all had some small annoying things too. All were able to do my taxes (which have involved self-employment, K1s, rental property) but I imagine there may be some differences in forms supported. I have used H&R Block for the past few years and don't really have a reason to change.
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tfb
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by tfb »

edvest wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 5:57 am Costco has a "Deluxe" version for $40 but it doesn't include NJ tax. (Additional $40 bucks for that?)
The $50 Deluxe Federal & State version include state tax preparation but not state e-file. You can always print and mail the state return.

https://www.costco.com/turbotax-deluxe- ... 21834.html
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DWNY
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by DWNY »

I've used H&R block download software for several years but in 2019 I switched things up and I went with TurboTax Basic Download. TurboTax seems to be a little better in their interface and in their support of foreign tax form 1116. As is often pointed out the TurboTax Basic CD/Download version handles most returns. I didn't want to pay for the state return so I used the fillable PDF forms on my state's web site, printed them out and mailed them in. The state took about 15 minutes to copy numbers from my 1040, check it over, stick in an enevlope with a couple of stamps. You should check and see what your state provides. Illinois has a online filling option. Too bad all states don't provide that.

Any of the mainstream programs should handle your tax situation. I like the download/CD versions to do what-if scenarios in planning for the future.
pshonore
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by pshonore »

edvest wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 12:37 pm Maybe you're single? ^^

I went to their site and answered just three questions: job, home owner, and I have investments... buttons and went right up to $80 dollars.
They're trying to upsell you to the Premier version. The CD/download version of Deluxe will handle everything that Premier does. Don't fall for it. And check to see if your State has online tax prep software that lets you efile.
wfrobinette
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by wfrobinette »

edvest wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 12:37 pm Maybe you're single? ^^

I went to their site and answered just three questions: job, home owner, and I have investments... buttons and went right up to $80 dollars.
Why not do it online through turbotax.com. I had 1099R, 1099-div, w2, refinance x2 and paid less than $80 all in. State is the "rip off" on these software packages but I'm too lazy to get the forms and send them in.
mega317
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by mega317 »

I used TurboTax for years and it is very good. Starting 2018 I moved to freetaxusa which is at least as good and free.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
livesoft
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by livesoft »

wfrobinette wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:27 pmWhy not do it online through turbotax.com. I had 1099R, 1099-div, w2, refinance x2 and paid less than $80 all in. State is the "rip off" on these software packages but I'm too lazy to get the forms and send them in.
Does online let one do mutliple "What if?" scenarios at any time during the year? Does online let one do tax returns for many people (family members such as children or siblings or parents) for no additional cost?
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alfaspider
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by alfaspider »

H&R Block and Turbotax software are both fine. Waste of time to go into an office as the vast majority of the work is just gathering the information and entering it.
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greg24
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by greg24 »

I use H&R Block software and I guess I trust it.

I trust it to be correct more than the humans they have.
wfrobinette
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by wfrobinette »

livesoft wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:58 pm
wfrobinette wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:27 pmWhy not do it online through turbotax.com. I had 1099R, 1099-div, w2, refinance x2 and paid less than $80 all in. State is the "rip off" on these software packages but I'm too lazy to get the forms and send them in.
Does online let one do mutliple "What if?" scenarios at any time during the year? Does online let one do tax returns for many people (family members such as children or siblings or parents) for no additional cost?
I'm not sure, never tried it. But I am guessing the answer is no. That wasn't in the OP's requirements so that's why I said online.

What ifs can be done through the IRS or other calcs pretty easily but I don't have complicated taxes. Only typical investments and income.

Now that the deduction is at 24k for married, I'm not even itemizing anymore.
wfrobinette
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by wfrobinette »

mega317 wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:50 pm I used TurboTax for years and it is very good. Starting 2018 I moved to freetaxusa which is at least as good and free.
I may look at that next year. Do they save prior year filings so they can prefill everything?
zie
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by zie »

I use http://opentaxsolver.sourceforge.net/ It's open-sourced 1040 filings. It won't handle outside of a 1040(with schedules), so if you need more than that, it can't help you. It also only does a few states (California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts). But if it will work for you, it's 100% free!
RudyS
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by RudyS »

wfrobinette wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 4:14 pm
mega317 wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:50 pm I used TurboTax for years and it is very good. Starting 2018 I moved to freetaxusa which is at least as good and free.
I may look at that next year. Do they save prior year filings so they can prefill everything?
It does save prior year filings. But I always use the interview mode just to be sure I'm not missing something, and while it "prefills" your personal data, and all the info about each investment, etc., of course the actual numbers vary each year!
wfrobinette
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by wfrobinette »

RudyS wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 4:33 pm
wfrobinette wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 4:14 pm
mega317 wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 3:50 pm I used TurboTax for years and it is very good. Starting 2018 I moved to freetaxusa which is at least as good and free.
I may look at that next year. Do they save prior year filings so they can prefill everything?
It does save prior year filings. But I always use the interview mode just to be sure I'm not missing something, and while it "prefills" your personal data, and all the info about each investment, etc., of course the actual numbers vary each year!
Fantastic.
Topic Author
edvest
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by edvest »

Thank you for all your great replies!
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nisiprius
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by nisiprius »

I flip between H&R Block and TurboTax. They're both perfectly rotten companies, and it seems as if about once per decade whichever one I'm using will do something so completely unforgivable that I flip to the other. I regard them both as necessary evils. I'm currently using H&R Block.

(The unforgivable thing TurboTax last did to me was to refuse to include and print a necessary form. In the phone conversation, the rep confirmed that there was no way to make it print the form. I said "that's a bug in the program, do you know when there will be a fix?" And he said, verbatim, wish I'd recorded it, "Sir, there are no bugs in the program." And I said "but it won't print a form that I need." And he said "You don't need it, because it doesn't change any totals on the main form." And I said "But I am looking right now in your own 'state instructions' screen in TurboTax, and it says 'include and file form XYZ-31415 even if all totals are zero,' so I do need to do it, what should I do?" And he said "Sir, that is tax advice and I cannot give you tax advice." So I switched to Block, which did include and print the form).
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mega317
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by mega317 »

Nisiprius, giving you a hard time about a form is very far from the most rotten thing TurboTax does.
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AAA
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by AAA »

If you had your taxes done in person at an H&R Block office, and they're not particularly complicated, you should consider trying software. I used Turbo Tax for several years but left them a few years ago over a printing issue on Mac computers. I switched to H&R Block and it's been okay. I'm sure either one is as good as the other and which might be "better" varies from one year to the next. I think they both try to upsell to more expensive versions.
Last edited by AAA on Fri May 15, 2020 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Momus
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by Momus »

Many ways to reduce cost of turbo tax. I haven't paid for one for 7-8 yrs or at 1/4-1/5 of the cost of retail. Most people love to pay full price though.
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by OAG »

FreeTaxUSA. Free Federal Return, State $14.99.
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edvest
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by edvest »

Okay, I'm going to download H&R Block, Deluxe + State Tax Software, $54.95 from their site.
As I previously mentioned we sold a Florida condo for a loss in May 2019.

We purchased the condo in 2005 for $112k, rented/treated it as a business until 2015.

Would I need to file a second state return with Florida?
If so, would I need a second state allowance from H&R Block?

Thank you,
Ed
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by ubermax »

I've had good success with Turbo Tax online for several years now, it's important I think to stick with one vendor for awhile so that you know how their software is set up - then in my opinion it's easier to get up and running each year after setting it aside until the next tax season .
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by dratkinson »

I've used OLT (OnLine Tax, an IRS freefile option) for several years and like it---fed, state, efile. It's free if income <$69K (2019), and ~$16 if you're over.

It does not hold your hand so you must know how each form should be populated. But for a simple return, it's fast and I can generally create draft tax returns in ~2hrs---pension, SS, interest, dividends, a few sales. Print it, let it sit to clear your mind, and review it against the instructions with fresh eyes a few days later. Then enter any corrections and efile.
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by Katietsu »

edvest wrote: Mon Jun 22, 2020 3:44 pm Okay, I'm going to download H&R Block, Deluxe + State Tax Software, $54.95 from their site.
As I previously mentioned we sold a Florida condo for a loss in May 2019.

We purchased the condo in 2005 for $112k, rented/treated it as a business until 2015.

Would I need to file a second state return with Florida?
If so, would I need a second state allowance from H&R Block?

Thank you,
Ed
Florida does not have state income tax returns.


The tax reporting for selling a property that was a rental and then was personal use and has a net loss is something that I would not include in the beginner category. I would read the IRS materials on this before attempting to use the software.
marcwd
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Re: Leave H&R Block for Turbo Tax or what other software

Post by marcwd »

OAG wrote: Fri May 15, 2020 2:55 pm FreeTaxUSA. Free Federal Return, State $14.99.
Yes, I’ve used FreeTaxUSA several years now after Massachusetts stopped offering its own webfile option. No complaints.
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