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4.2 out of 5 stars
H&R Block At Home Basic 2012 [Download]
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: PC Download
I've used H&R Block's tax software (formerly called TaxCut) every year since 1995. Several times when I saw a promotional deal I purchased both TaxCut and TurboTax to compare. I found that TurboTax did not do anything better than TaxCut while costing consistently more. In addition, I like the option of being able to file 5 free Federal e-files as I do taxes for other relatives who are less computer savvy.

If you encounter issues with display, such as not seeing selection boxes, check your screen resolution. Both Windows and Mac minimum requirement for the screen resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels or higher. At a lower resolution H&R Block software will have problem with display such as not properly displaying selection boxes. Screen resolution can be changed on your control panel by change PC's display settings.

I just finished a preliminary tax return and below are my observations. Note: the forms are not final until January 10, 2013.

1. H&R Block software comes in three packages Basic, Deluxe and Premium. The software consists of three module the Basic module is shared by all three packages, the Basic and Deluxe package unlocks a new module which is shared by Deluxe and Premium, and finally Premium unlocks another module unique to it.

What is the difference between Basic and Deluxe? Deluxe provides guidance with taxes on investments (interest, capital gains, stock options, and dividends), home sales, and retirement income which Basic does not. Deluxe helps with mortgage interest deductions and real estate taxes. It has a DeductionsPro module which helps valuating non-cash charitable deductions.

I am a including a photo (under customer photos) of a table which shows what is included in each package of H&R At Home (Basic vs Deluxe vs Premium).

2. As of 11/19/2012 videos for tax law changes were not available yet (the prompt said coming soon).

3. Minor pet peeve: Help is not context sensitive. For example, when you click on "learn more" about a particular topic the general help window opens but it does not show help topics for the specific topic that you were working on. Instead you need to search and know which words to use locate the relevant topics.

5. Copy and Paste from Interview screens is not possible. Sometimes I wish to do it for some issue as a reminder to myself. My solution is to do PrintScreen (holding ctl key, shift key, and PrintScreen key at the same time). This generates an image of the screen, which I paste into paint or photo editing software which I can print or save for later.

6. I don't use the default location for the tax returns due to how I set up my backup software. The H&R Block software does not initially remember this new location on the second start of the application, it told me I have no returns. I needed to pick the return manually from the File menu, as it did remember recently used files. The third time I started the software, it finally knew the location of the tax return file.

7. I use large font option on my monitor display and in the past had display issues (some things were displayed on top of each other). This year all forms displayed properly with this option. Nice!

10. H&R Block Deluxe entitles you to 5 free federal state e-files.

11. The price on this package changes day to day. I found a nice tools that shows history of Amazon prices. If you enter "price history alert" in Google it will come up at the top, it has the word camel in the name. I find this tool very helpful. You can set up an alert tool to email you when your desired price has been reached.

A note about registration glitch for the digital download
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Last year I run into a glitch a solution to which I want to include again for those who might run into the same issue this year.

After I installed the software and started it for the first time it prompted me to enter a key-code. The prompt said that I should have received in the email after purchasing the software, however the email I received from Amazon did not contained a key-code. I had to call Amazon support and they told me that this information can be found following these steps
1) Log into Amazon
2) Select Your Account at the top right of the page
3) Select Games and Software downloads which is towards the bottom of the long page you see when you log in
4) Then under H&R software entry you will see the key-code that you need to enter to unlock the software

I have been a H&R Block/TaxCut user for many years. The interview process is helpful in reminding you things you might have forgotten. So I am quite pleased with it and recommend it!

Ali Julia review
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
I use the home basic version. Until last year I always used Turbotax. Tried H & R Block in 2011. It imported my old Turbotax file, did the tax job, and let me efile. For much less than the cost of using TT.
I am using HR for the 2012 return.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
You can't do your own taxes by hand anymore unless your situation is very very simple. I used Turbo Tax many many years ago, and it was just as easy to use as H&R Block's software. But every year, this title is always a few dollars cheaper. I don't need all of the extra bells and whistles in the Delux or other versions, since all of the versions have the same forms. I buy this every year, and every year, I am satisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
I had a lot of trouble with this program, finally had to get help and start all over. Ended up having to amend it after it was sent and won't try it this year..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
Good Tax program- used it before, just was not able to download from H & R website due to their tech problems; while, Amazon downloaded & installed instantly. Also like Amazon's no tax status , whereas H & R has physical outlets in every State. Will use Amazon again next year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
You can download state programs ... for 40 bucks each. Unless you live in a state with no income tax you're better off buying any of the bundles that include a state return.

I didn't need anything complicated, so I figured I'd save a few bucks by not going with the Deluxe version. Instead I'm paying $40 more.

Pretty decent software all around, but a terrible value. They pretty much have me (and anyone else doing last-minute filing) over a barrel, since I didn't find out how much the state programs cost until I was done with my federal return. I looked around a bit, but didn't see a price for the state programs before buying the program. Try to be smarter than me...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
Platform for Display: PC Download
I downloaded the software and did my taxes in less than an hour. Our taxes are pretty simple: pensions, social security, IRA withdrawals, two residences, no big medical bills. Since the app imported last year's return, there was virtually no data entry other than the numbers from our 1099s and tax bills. Well worth the $9.99 I paid for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
Have used Home Basic & its predecessor Tax Cut for better than 15 years and have never had a problem with the software. I depend on it to make the calculations/deductions/credits I know are available, but do not wish to take the time do figure out myself. It's a great time saver. I do not need to fill out a state return (TN), so I cannot comment on that aspect of the software.

I'd recommend this tax software for anyone who has basic tax return needs, including income, investment income from capital gains and other moderately complicated situations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
I use these programs every year. The download was easy and quick. No problems at all. I recommend it to anyone who prefers not to pay someone for something you can do yourself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2013
Platform for Display: PC DownloadVerified Purchase
I am always satisfied with this product. I tried Turbo Tax in the past and was unhappy with it. I seemed to complicated. This seemed to be very good in seeking out every deduction.
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