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on December 26, 2012
Switched to H and R last year. I find it extremely simple to use. The very best feature is the ease at which numbers can be overridden so its possible to test numerous tax scenarios to find the which choice results in the lowest tax liability. The one complaint is that when I print the draft forms, there are huge black letters all over the form stating that it IS a draft form and cannot be submitted.Those warnings obscure the numbers on the forms. I KNOW this is a draft and I KNOW the final forms are not yet available and would appreciate a gentler reminder of this fact.
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VINE VOICEon January 15, 2013
I am posting this review in mid January 2013 to help people who may be trying to decide what tax software and which versions to get. Because of pending tax law interpretations and such, the software recommends that you don't file taxes as of mid-January 2013.

I have been using H&R Block software for at least a decade. Last year I used the boxed software version and the installation was rather frustrating. So this year I got the Windows digital download version. Installation was trouble free with the PC download, but still a bit cumbersome.

If you are not familiar with the Amazon digital download software, here is a rough outline of what happened.

Immediately after you buy, you can begin the download process. First you have to save to your computer an executable that is the downloadable Amazon installer (under 1MB). At this point, it may be a good idea to save open files and close programs.

After you download the downloable Amazon installer, and you run it, it starts downloading the H&R Block installation software (around 50MB). This makes the user interface jumpy, thus the save open files sentence above. This on a quad core Windows 7 desktop. This completed without problems.

After the H&R Block installation software downloaded, it was time to install the actual software. I clicked on Install in the Amazon downloader program. Then clicked on View Keys to see the software key (opens in browser window). You have to accept license. You can view the privacy policy (opens in browser window, readable size but small fonts - maybe the fear of Professor Elizabeth Warren is encouraging financial companies to be more honest and upfront these days?).

Installation takes a few minutes. then you click Finish. Reboot is not needed. Then start the software for the first time. Enter the "key code" (the Amazon Downloader is still open (unless you closed it) and you can get the Keys there. Once this is successful, you can now close the Amazon Downloader. Then you register the software (optional). Then you are prompted to check for updates and surely it finds updates and installs them. This needs to close the H&R Block software, install the updates and restart the H&R Block software.

Then you can start a tax return. If you previously used H&R Block software, you browse the Windows file system to find last year's return and import it. You can also select where to save the current year return. It puts it at a default location by default. Make sure you change it if you have a different file organizing scheme from what Windows thinks you should have. Next you can import data from financial software (if applicable to your case). From here on, you can start entering data, using their interview-format or going directly to the forms if you are a tax guru.

Just like previous years, you get five free federal e-files but zero state e-files. It would be more fair to consumers if you got five free e-files and it would be up to you to select between federal or state! Fix it H&R Block! I took one star away for this.

This version includes a free State program. As of Dec 13 2012, the State software was not ready, but you could enter your state of preference and email address and an email was sent when the state software was ready. State software became available at some point in January 2013. Installation of the State software was smooth after following all the prompts.

Overall, installation was trouble free but still cumbersome. H&R Block uses Install Shield. Installing a program on Windows versus installing one on Android or iOS perhaps is a perhaps good snapshot of why Windows is falling out of favor with consumers.

Usability wise, it is more or less the same good old user interface and work flow of previous years.
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on January 13, 2013
This is my 4th year after switching to/trying this product line. It downloads fine, installs fine, updates fine, imports last year fine..and so far (and historically) does just what I need it to with little or no complaint.

The only issue I've always had is the interface feels a bit cumbersome sometimes, but then I consider myself an advanced user and don't want to be so totally handheld. I think the tax side of the software has allowed us to get every benefit we could. I think the user side needs polish but then I also write software for a living and can see features that just should be added, even if only available for an advanced user mode.

I see no reason to switch again unless it started fouling me up getting through a return or was missing desired tax info somewhere.
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on March 3, 2013
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It was not easy to even find where to contact H&R Block concerning a problem with their software. Waiting right now to Chat with Customer Support over 1/2 hour. My time is obviously not valuable to H&R Block, and neither is customer retention apparently.

If you are an active investment trader, you may want to look elsewhere depending on who your broker is. Although they claim to be able to import from TD Ameritrade, I got an unhelpful error message directing me to contact TD concerning my 2012 stock transaction download. No interface at all to Interactive Brokers. And if you think you can import stock transactions from Quicken 2013, think again. H&R Block only supports .TXF files for import. Quicken 2013 only exports Tax Schedules in Tab Delimited, PDF or to the clipboard. So that is a complete dead-end. I guess I'll be typing in all the transactions, but you can bet I won't be buying H&R Block At Home next year.
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on November 20, 2013
Have been using H&R for 3 years. It allowed me to take energy credit in two years and exceed the federal cap. Well I just got hit with a $500.00 bill and then interest bill from the IRS for exceeding the energy cap. H&R phone rep was NO help. Went to local office and they said sorry but I had to pay it (IRS only gives you three months). The H&R office personnel knew about the cap so the software should have also.
Now I have to hire an accountant to do my taxes and review the H&R taxes to see what else H&R overlooked.
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on April 14, 2013
I have been using this for years. But after this year I am switching to Turbo Tax and I will never look back. There was an obvious issue with the amended return software. I spent 4.5 hours on the phone with different so called customer support people. They kept sending me up to what they call escalations to try and fix it and no one could. I could not convince them that there was a glitch in the software, even when they tried to get it to work in excess of 10 times. Finally it is fixed, but not before I wasted over 12 hours of my life to do something that should have taken 10 minutes total. Once of the suggestions that I got from customer support was to just do it manually. Why should I pay for software if I have to go ahead an do it manually cause your software people don't test it before sending it out. If you did an amended return prior to the end of March, don't expect it to be correct
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on March 12, 2013
I've used this software 2 years in a row.

It seems to work nicely. It will import the data from the previous year, which is nice.

I paid for the version with a state included.

It is SAD that they try to charge you an extra 20 bucks to e-file the state return. I had assumed it was the state charging the fee... I looked into it and the state does not charge any fees. The fee is just from H&R Block. (read the fine print on the product information and you will see a disclaimer that they charge more for state e-file)

Maybe next year I will be finding a new tax software provider.

Screw 'em... I'll just print the state return and mail it in...
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on March 18, 2013
I have used this product (H&R Block) for a few years. Last year my taxes were a little more complicated so I was questioning if I should use a CPA to prepare them. I had already prepared my return using this software, so the CPA I talked to asked me to share my return with him and he would let me know if there was anything missing that would justify hiring him. He didn't find any ommissions with my return, so he adviced me to continue preparing them myself. We are very pleased with this product and wil use it again next year.
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on March 14, 2013
I filed 3 tax returns using this software and all 3 were delayed due to to the Form 8863 not being filled out properly. Over 600,000 people were affected by this, which was ENTIRELY the fault of H&R BLOCK, but they refuse to give a refund for the software because I purchased it slightly more than 60 days ago (again, due to THEIR error it has been delayed this long)! I have purchased their software for the past 5 years because Amazon has a great price that allows you to submit up to 5 returns but I will never use this awful software again! I am extremely disappointed with the situation!
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on April 14, 2013
I purchased this software thinking it was a great price for H&R Block Home Premium. I was disappointed. After inputting all my tax information and attempting to file my return, it stated that the interview was not complete until I updated the software on the update site. After downloading the update I attempted to run/update the software. Every attempt at update failed. H&R Block had no record of my purchase when I contacted them. Therefore, I had to uninstall this program and purchase a copy directly from H&R Blocks website (at a higher price).
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