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138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased overall. Solution to technical download issue included. State return error alert
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...
Published on December 9, 2011 by Ali Julia

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 2 GLARING software issues. Are there more?
Purchased this software and compared it apples-to-apples to TT (long-time user).

After completing both the amounts were not matching up!

After hours of research, I realized H&R Block software did not calculate my HSA properly which likely would have flagged an audit. If you overcontribute to an HSA, MAKE SURE YOU ADD THAT FULL AMOUNT TO 'OTHER...
Published on February 9, 2012 by Kyle


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138 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased overall. Solution to technical download issue included. State return error alert, December 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software 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.

H&R Block software also wins if compared to the free on-line options. I don't like using the on-line tax programs for two reasons (1) I don't want my financial data to be on someone's web site (2) free offers include the Federal tax only.

This year I used a digital download for the first time rather than a boxed version. I liked the security of having a physical CD in case I need to re-install on another computer several years down the road. But you are supposed to be able to download the software again to a different computer and when the boxed version was not available I went digital.

Downloading the software was easy, however during the install I got an error registering the software. When I started the software it immediately gave me a prompt to enter a key-code which (the prompt said) I should have received in the email after purchasing the software. The email I received from Amazon contained no such 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

Once this was done the rest of the software functions well. In fact it looked more polished than in prior years. I always had minor display problems because I use large fonts and they never scaled quite right. This year everything displayed perfectly.

I read one review which mentioned a problem with seeing selection boxes. The problem there most likely caused by low screen resolution. Both Windows and Mac minimum requirement for screen resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels or higher. At a lower resolution, there will be problem with display such as not seeing selection boxes. Screen resolution can be changed on your control panel by change PC's display settings.

I did a preliminary tax return and below are my observations.

1. H&R Block starts the interview process with an annoying up-sell pitch, recommending an upgrade from Deluxe to Premium even when it is not necessary.

2. 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.

3. I don't use the default location for the tax returns, as I want to my backup program to back up only the data not the software itself. The software does not initially remember this new location on startup, it tells me I have no returns. I needed to pick the return manually from the File menu, as it does remember recently used files. The third time I started the software, it finally knew the location of the tax return file.

4. Some forms (such as foreign tax credit over the limit to be directly on 1040) require entering data manually. This year the foreign tax credit form is some what automated, when you hit next button it takes you to the next place on the form you need to fill out (last your you were just presented the form to fill out on your own). This form is not that hard to do manually as this form does not change year to year.

5. 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. This is the first time in all the years I've used H&R Block software that I have no complaint about the display and did not need to change my monitor settings just to do the tax preparation. Nice!

6. H&R Block charges $19.95 to e-file each state return. Of course, this charge can be avoided by printing the forms and mailing them in.

7. In prior years the package include DeductionPro software. This year, like last year, this software is only available as an online tool. I will not use software that requires me to put my financial data on their site, and DeductionPro wants to import the data to H&R web site, so I will not be using it. Disappointing.

8. The price on this package changes day to day. I found a nice tools that shows history of Amazon prices and allows you to generate an email alert when the price reaches our desired price range. 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. I purchased this package for $31, last year I saw the prices fluctuate between $25 and the list price of $44.99.

9. For folks trying to download State Forms before January 16, 2012. The state forms are not available for download until January 16 for most states.
If you go to the Software Update Center on H&R website you will see a section called State Updates. Under there you there is a link called "Forms Available". If you click on that, it will show a table that shows availability of forms for each State. Right now (last checked on 1/6/2011) none of them are available. I called about my state (Massachusetts) and they told me that most state forms will become available for download on January 16. In the software package, select State Tab and click the button that is called "Buy" (a little scary since we already paid for it) but then "buy" will turn into "update" and when the forms will become available they will be downloaded to your computer.

10. ** ERROR ALERT ** 1/16/12 Version of Massachusetts state return contained an error that was corrected in 1/24/12 update.
If you owed taxes on your 2010 State return and paid owed tax in 2011, this payment was incorrectly included in Line 36 on the MA Form 1 as an amount withheld in 2011. This overstates the amount paid to the State for the 2011 tax year. This error has been reported to H&R and corrected in 1/24/12 update. Thank you to Tech Impaired to spotted it and reported to H&R!

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. On-line help is useful. 2011 H&R Block package appears more polished and has a number of improvements to a couple of small pet peeves I had in the past. So I am quite pleased with it and recommend it!

Ali Julia review
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No surprises here, a good product overall, November 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
If you've used tax software in the past you know what you're getting in this package. As stated in the product information the federal e-files are included even though it's not in the software title. The download from Amazon was simple and the installation was smooth. (The key code needed to install the program is easy to obtain. It's located under "Your Account" -> Digital Content "Your Games and Software Library.") I was able to easily upload last year's return (as I used H&R Block At Home 2010 Deluxe Federal + State + eFile) and start inputing my information. There is still some ambiguity in some of the interview questions but for the most part the interview is clear.
Be aware that they try to upsell the "Premium" package in this software very early. It's annoying and easily clicked away from but I can see them snagging an extra $20 fairly swiftly if someone wasn't used to using software like this. I am willing to look over this for the cheaper price tag and that I have had no troubles using it to e-file both my Federal and State taxes in recent years.
I commend H&R Block (and Intuit for that matter) for being much more visible on their pricing this year. The comparison chart clearly states that the state e-file is an additional $19.95. Compared to TurboTax pricing at $57 (11/28/11) + the state e-file $19.95, this is the clear price winner.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, Even Better Price, January 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I have been a long-time TaxCut / H&R Block user and continue to appreciate the value this software provides when compared to the cost of the alternative (TurboTax). I have used both, and honestly the user interface and usage differences between the two are negligible. The layout, organization and functionality are fairly standard when compared to previous years, so expect consistency.

The fact that H&R Block has the cheaper overall software, cheaper state e-file, and that state returns are actually included WITH the software purchase is a major plus. I am an employee owner at an S-Corp and have to file in multiple states. Doing this with TurboTax would be prohibitively expensive.

If I have to pick one con, it would be Deduction Pro 2011. We work hard to maximize our deductions, so an easier user interface for calculating sales tax and estimating the value of our donations would be nice. This is the one area where TurboTax carries the advantage. With TurboTax the donation valuation functionality is included within the software, whereas with H&R Block you have to go online to use their Deduction Pro and port over the results. It isn't a major negative (as I've rated the product 5 stars), but if there is one thing to fix, this is it.

As far as purchasing goes, I decided this year not to play the waiting game by pouncing on price fluctuations and rebates, and just to buy through Amazon. Purchased for $32 and downloaded straight to my computer. Easy, relaxing, and a price I'm happy paying. I'll buy this way from now on.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 2 GLARING software issues. Are there more?, February 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
Purchased this software and compared it apples-to-apples to TT (long-time user).

After completing both the amounts were not matching up!

After hours of research, I realized H&R Block software did not calculate my HSA properly which likely would have flagged an audit. If you overcontribute to an HSA, MAKE SURE YOU ADD THAT FULL AMOUNT TO 'OTHER INCOME' (yes, manually). Otherwise your going to get into trouble. TT did this automatically.

Is that the only thing they missed? Never again, I'll stick with TT and my instincts.

**EDIT: Dropped to 1-star after finding another error. After deleting itemized medical costs, the State refund didn't change. Ummm....? Went into state and found it DOES NOT automatically change this to $0...you have to MANUALLY update that number!?! So it automates ADDING info from Federal to state, but DOES NOT automate when you DELETE information.

This is programmatic failure -- more AUDIT material!

**3RD ISSUE!!!!!! Amazon's codes don't work for H&R Block's Tax advisors. H&R Customer support told me my key isn't valid...even after getting a 2nd key code from Amazon! The software lets me register with that key code but H&R does not recognize it in their system (customer service stated that all key codes are valid for Tax Advisor assistance).

This software shouldn't even be sold to consumers. I'm politely asking for a refund from Amazon.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect calculations causing me a HUGE tax bill., January 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
This software has a bug in MA state where if you work in another state it doubles your state income... fine there is something it has to do to deduct it... however instead it adds it! Giving me a bill of $4000 in taxes that I don't actually owe. I spent 5+ hours on the phone with H&R block and they could not correct it. STAY AWAY! TurboTax is 100% better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars aweful customer service, February 20, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I had a problem with e-filing for NY, which is mandatory now or else you pay $25. Attempted to resolve the issue with H&R and their reps are clueless. They have no idea what is going on. This is the last year I'm using this tax prep software.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!, February 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I have purchased this product the last 4 years however, this year is my last. I completed my daughters returns and got to the accuracy check which indicated an error with her child care provider. It would not let us make a correction. Called customer support and was told it was a known issue that if you imported last years info there was a flaw and would have to do manual without import. That did not work either. The flaw apparently will not be fixed until next year; Spent at least 2 hours trying to fix this and would not have wasted time if the manual process would not work either. Went to Turbo Tax free online and everything worked fine and her returns have both been accepted. Then I prepared my return and submitted. My federal was accepted but state was rejected. The message from H&R Block was it was rejected and I would have to file a paper return. No explanation given for the error although there was an error code in the message. Called customer support again and was told the code was for an SSN problem. I asked if the info was imported from the fed return why the ssn would be wrong in state. No explanation just that it was a problem. Their customer service was worthless and the program is as well. You would think since they provide software updates they could have fixed the child care issue. Of course other than the "customer service" reps there is no way to register a complaint. I am still looking for a number or email. I will be sharing this on the web as well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NY state do not use it!, February 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I am highly disappointed in the HR Block software. There is a big bug in the software. My AGI is 98,000 (married filing a joint). The software shows: "You do not qualify fo rthe credit because none of your qualifying child were at least four years of age.." My child is 13 years old now! I think the problem is that the software can not recognize the correct age or date of birth from the fedetal program.
I also tried the taxact and turbotax, these 2 software can handle it. I contact the custom service of H&B. they(Beverly) told me: "I apologize for the inconvenience. I realize this is very frustrating. You can contact your Department of Revenue and they can tell you why you do not qualify for the credit."
My god, they even do not check the software!
How can they improve their software and find the bug in it?
Never touch H&B again!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Will spend money on a CPA next year, March 18, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I bought my tax software through Amazon this year to save 10 bucks. Will never do that agin...
I paid the price to e-file and after 4 attempts at efiling and 4 REJECTIONS, I called customer support (for H&R Block software). Spent 75minutes on the phone with them trying to figure out why my efiles kept getting rejected - I was getting error codes no one had ever heard of before.The end result: I had to print and mail my taxes. The mailing (certified mail return receipt requested) cost me over $13.00 to mail my taxes - both federal & state. Because I purchased the software through Amazon, H&R Block would not give me any sort of refund. Amazon's policy is that you cannot return/refund software items because they've been installed on your hard drive. SO - not only was I not able to e-file my taxes, I had to PAY MORE to snail mail them. And now I must wait even longer to receive my refund. Next year, I'll take the money I would have spent on purchasing the software and I will avoid the hassels and the headaches and just PAY a PROFESSIONAL to do my taxes! THIS was RIDICULOUS!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy, March 12, 2012
By 
USAFA79 (Centreville VA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Deluxe + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
Before you buy, please carefully consider the consequences. I have used H&R Block tax software for almost 10 years and will no longer use it given my experience this year. The software had a programming error that prevented me from filing both my Federal and State returns electronically. I had imported my return information from last year, completed my return for this tax year, and passed all the error checking. When I attempted to file my return electronically, another error checking software routine would not let me file the return. I contacted customer service via their chat feature. I was told they had a programming error and I would have to re-do my entire return and I would have to start the process by not importing my information from last year's return. I opted to print out my returns and mail them in instead since I wasn't going to spend another couple of hours going through the software interview process and data entering protocols to redo the return with no certainty that another error would still prevent me from filing the returns electronically. I wrote H&R Block and requested a full refund since their product was faulty and prevented me from filing my returns electronically, one of the key reasons for why I purchased their product. I have not received a response nor a refund. Use this program at your own risk. I am going to use Turbo Tax or another competitor product in the future, even if it costs more money.
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