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124 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything worked well. A solution to registration glitch included
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 15, 2011 by Ali Julia

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Live Tax Advice NOT Included
I have used H&R block for years and had been generally satisfied. This my tax situation became slightly more complicated so I opted to go with the premium version based on the supposedly included live tax advice session. After some difficultly trying to activate this live session I was told by customer support that this was no longer available and only one email question...
Published on March 19, 2012 by Shawn Ryan


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124 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything worked well. A solution to registration glitch included, December 15, 2011
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + 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.

REGISTRATION ISSUE

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.

DISPLAY ISSUE

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.

TAX PREPARATION

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Some forms (such as foreign tax credit over the limit to be directly on 1040) in the past required to be filled out without much assistance. This year the foreign tax credit form is more automated, when you hit next button it takes you to the next place on the form you need to fill out with explanations for each field (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.

4. 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!

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. ** 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.

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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download], December 29, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I had no problems downloading this program. It loaded fast and works as well as the c.d. versions I have used in the past. A previous review stated that some of the graphics are not right, but I have Windows 7 and have no problems. My wife's computer is Windows Vista, and it works just fine on hers too.

If you download messes up, you need to re-download it, or you lose the key code, try the following....

A. After you login to Amazon, click on "Your Account" (located in upper right corner of web page).
B. Scroll down to the "Digital Management" section.
C. Under the "Digital Management" section, click on "Your Games And Software Library".
D. Then you'll see your H&R Block program that you purchased along with your key code.
E. Next, just click on the yellow "DOWNLOAD" button to the right of the description, and follow the instructions from there.

I installed this program on 2 different computers, both with different operating systems, and it works just fine on both. I hope this information helps.

Thankyou !!

(Follow Up on 1-1-2012) - One review stated that the pixel resolution might need to be raised to 1024 x 768 to correct display problems. Just for kicks, I lowered my pixel resolution and then ran the H&R Block software to see what would happen, and the other review was right. First problem was the "display error" boxes that popped up. After I got through that, the whole program graphics were messed up and I had no selection boxes to click on. I re-set my pixel resolution back to where it used to be, restarted my computer, and then everything worked great again. I'd say that if you can't raise your pixel resolution on your computer, then you should not do the "download version". Maybe the c.d. version will work, but you should check into that before purchasing.

Thank You
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Live Tax Advice NOT Included, March 19, 2012
By 
Shawn Ryan (Dayton, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I have used H&R block for years and had been generally satisfied. This my tax situation became slightly more complicated so I opted to go with the premium version based on the supposedly included live tax advice session. After some difficultly trying to activate this live session I was told by customer support that this was no longer available and only one email question was included. I didn't get what I paid for.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No place to enter your 1099-K Form, January 31, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
So far it has worked great with one problem.

How to deal with the income reported to the IRS under the 1099-K form

To make sure we pay all of our taxes the Feds have added a new 1099 form. If you receive more than 20K a year from your Merchant Account provider (The one who processes your customers credit card purchases and deposits the money in your bank account) or E-bay, Amazon, etc and or had more than 200 transactions then you will have received one in the mail. Those companies are required to send the IRS and you a 1099-K form. If you file your taxes and don't acknowledge the 1099-K form information you will be sent a nasty note from the IRS letting you know you underpaid, penalties, threat of jail time etc.

The bad news is H&R block has NOT included how to deal with this form in their software. I called Customer Service and they told me to download the form from the IRS website and fill it out by hand and that I will not be able to e-file. That kind of defeats the purpose of buying software plus it will totally screw up my return.

So I did more research.

What a NIGHTMARE!!

In the Schedule C instructions on the IRS website it says the following about how to report your 1099K form. [...]

"New merchant card reporting requirements. We added new lines 1a and 1b to implement reporting of gross receipts received via merchant card (credit and debit cards) and third party network payments. However, for 2011, the IRS has deferred the requirement to report these amounts. Therefore, enter zero on line 1a and report all gross receipts on line 1b,

INCLUDING any income reported to you on Form 1099-K

, Merchant Card and Third Party Network Payments (but excluding any W-2 income reportable on line 1c)"

Your 1099K form is the gross amount you charged the credit cards for. It does NOT deduct tips, sales tax, etc that you had to pay out!!!!!!

Of course you should have been keeping track of all those payouts and have reported them to the IRS so you can deduct them on your schedule C.

What would simply things is if a law was passed that forced all federally elected officials to fill out their own taxes by hand in front of C-span cameras. And for the IRS to audit all of their returns. C-span would then capture their reaction when the IRS handed them a tax penalty in the amount of 10 times the amount they over or underpaid.

I bet in less than a year we would have a simple tax system again.

So bottom line is just make sure you include the amount in line 1b and take all your deductions in the rest of schedule C.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Apparent Bug Displaying Selection Boxes, December 4, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I can't review this product since I have been unable to use it. Well.....almost unable.
The selection boxes which should be displayed at the bottom of each screen to allow the user to choose what action to take next (e.g. back, continue, next, go to, etc) are not displayed. The only way to use the program is to mouse around at the bottom of the screen and wait to see the cursor change and the text associated with a selection box to display and keep looking until you find the selection you want (e.g. Continue) and then click. That works but it's v-e-r-y slow. So, it's not exactly unusable.
I suggest you wait a bit before you purchase this product. I'm going to contact H&R Block on Monday 12/5 to see what I have to do to correct the problem. It may be something simply and, possibly, be something related to my pc.
I'll update this review once I have a solution (even if it makes me look stupid!)

12/5 Update: During the course of an hour chat with an HR Block support person I was told to uninstall the software,disable my antivirus and firewall and then rerun the installation download .exe program. I did this and there was no change in the problem which makes the software unusable for me. I was also disturbed when the chat support person asked:
Thank you, may I have your date of birth and social security please?
Huh? My answer was NO.
I'm now waiting for a response to an email I sent to HR Block asking for assistance. A refund may not be an option since Amazon does not offer refunds on download software.
All for now.

12/6 Update
A very quick response to my email, a refund of my purchase price. Here's the text from Amazon:

I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you've had installing and running "H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011."

I'm not sure what would cause this to happen and because you have already tried trouble shooting with H&R Block, I've made an exception to our return policy and issued a refund in the amount of $64.99.

I'm not sure why the email came from Amazon and not HR Block.
I've used the HR Block software for the past 3 years and would like to continue using it and may try the cd version.
In summary, my experience may have been related to my pc setup but I've never had this experience before and I've been using pc's since 1988.
If this problem is not reported by others it probably would be safe to use the download. Perhaps others who have no problem with the download could comment on this review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is most likely the last year I use this product, April 11, 2012
By 
dlmarch (philadelphia, pa USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I've used this software in it's various incarnations for more than 15 years and been generally very satisfied with it despite H & R Block's continual repackaging to create multiple versions so they can gouge us for more and more money each year. This year's tax preparation proceeded normally until I tried to e-file. My Federal return went through normally and was quickly accepted by IRS. My state return was rejected with two "errors" and rejection codes. I have been trying, in vain, to determine the nature of these "errors" but, apparently, no one @ H & R Block knows what these rejection codes mean (or, at least, they aren't telling me)!

I'm trying to understand why my return was rejected and no one seems capable of telling me. Instead, I'm getting a finger-pointing exercise. After about 30 minutes online chatting w/ customer support, their suggested "fix" was to paper file and they suggested I contact my state Dept. of Revenue, which I did. The DOR's response was that the rejection code was H & R Block's not theirs. On a subsequent telephone call, I was informed that one code indicated a "processing error" (more finger-pointing as H & Block says it's the state's problem and the state says it's H & R Block's) and the other indicated I had changed my federal return after it had been accepted, which I had not done!

If I wanted to paper file, I wouldn't have spent the money for the state program, since I'm perfectly capable of copying my federal data onto the state forms which, after all, is basically what the state program does, isn't it?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Part of a long, steady slide, February 16, 2012
By 
Steve H. (Seattle, WA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I have used Taxcut and H & R Block software since the mid 90's. What a long slide it's been from its formerly lofty position atop the tax heap. I've only used this year after year and kept hearing how Turbotax was getting better every year. A few years back and I heard, convincingly, that Turbotax was now better. I kept on and found that I was using more and more help on HR Block. Then it migrated to having to go to the IRS website to check the publications. This year, I couldn't even figure out what it was doing. I started all over with Turbotax and can't look back. It is so much smoother, simpler, and tells me what it's doing so much better than this useless piece of software. Really...the step by step in Turbotax makes HR Block feel like the pit of despair (cough).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed, February 2, 2012
By 
CB (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I purchased this program at a great price via Amazon promotion (I thought). However, I got lost in the area of Passive Activity Loss Limitations. The program required I print out reading material and complete worksheets before I continue. Typically, the program works you through this and doesn't have you do this kind of stuff outside the program. Besides the program was very confusing. I tried to return the program and found out you can't. I then purchased Turbo Tax (twice as expensive) via Amazon and worked through and finished my return. As a non tax pro, I understand that the Passive Activity Loss Limitation doesn't apply to me because I didn't have enough of a loss or make too much in income for a reduction in loss to apply in my situation for 2011. Sorry I can't explain details... I only hope there is an update that fixes this?

I have one rental property. I believe if I didn't have the loss in 2010 for the rental property this program would have worked fine. Hope this helps?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wasted money - unable to correctly process first time rental, April 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
I am a long-time user of HR Block At Home (previously TaxCut) software. Bottom line, I was unable to complete my taxes with it this year and had to switch to TurboTax.

The problem came about because I had converted a former residence to a rental. At Home's instructions left much to be desired and even after I figured out a key entry where I had been led astray (Thanks TurboTax and IRS publication 936), I could NEVER get the repair expenses to allocate correctly. Mortgage and Tax expenses were okay, but not repair. TurboTax correctly instructed me how to enter the days of use and how to assign expenses to the period as a home and to the period as a rental.

Also, while both programs were able to import information about ESPP transactions, TurboTax was better about establishing the correct basis.

Turbotax did have at least one bug, where I had to delete an entry and start over, but at least I finished and feel confident that my taxes were prepared correctly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not ready for prime time!, April 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: H&R Block At Home Premium + State 2011 Win [Download] (Software Download)
This is a very poor excuse for software. I am a computer network administrator, so I know my way around computers and software. The tax Help and advise screens DO NOT WORK, just stay blank. Hyperlinks take you to empty pages. Customer service suggested that it was because my "hard drive was not communicating with the internet" (This is after deleting and reinstalling the program over the internet). When I questioned his knowledge and asked to speak with a higher level support, he said they would get back to me in a day or two (this is a week before tax filing deadline as I write this review). He admitted it was a known bug, and perhaps I should just Google for answers.
Totally unacceptable software!
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