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on December 21, 2009
I have both the Windows and the Mac platform. H&R has been producing an excellent Tax product that work smoothly on both platforms. I use my H&R on my Windows at my business and then bring it home and load on my Mac and continue without a problem. Mac users know that Intuit, the producer of Turbo Tax, has brought us many years of the disfunctional Quicken products and false promises of new products for years. And Window users know Intuit (producers of Turbo Tax) users are forced to pay and update to products that don't perform as well because Intiut discontinues the ability of the programs to fully function after a few years. This company has a lot of cash but prefers to spend its time figuring how to ring an extra buck out of the user rather than fulfilling the users needs.
I use my H&R Tax product to assist family and friends in the preparing their taxes. If you want to use Turbo Tax on more than a couple of computers. The Turbo Tax program won't by design load on another computer without purchasing another copy. Too bad for you if you have a computer crash. You still have to pay them when you file based on how many files you pay for in the package. Turbo Tax costs more than the H&R.
H&R is user friendly. You can load your last year tax information from other tax preparations programs without a problem. If you a first time user just take your last years file and fill in the information using your new data. It's not that hard. If you have a question give them a call. There is a lot of support on line as well.
The H&R program is performing smoothly again this year. I file personally a tax return of at least 27 pages. I had a high end tax accountant do my taxes years ago. It was expensive. They made mistakes. That meant not only was my federal return messed up but then the state started sending me letters for years. The last straw was when they called me up on Easter and said they said they couldn't finish my taxes on time to file tomorrow even though they had my well organized data 8 weeks ago.
My sister was blind and a tax service prepared her taxes with a written guarantee that they would pay if they made a mistake. When I went over her return they had given the IRS an extra $100 (in case they made a mistake) in such a way that the IRS would not be returning the $100 as an error. H&R tax program picked it up and we filed again.
When you fill out your Taxes with the H&R you have an audit program which can pick up errors and as you go through the questions so you might see ideas on how you can qualify for deduction for this or next years. It sure has helped me.
I don't work or am not related to anyone that works for or own company stock. I have never gone to a H&R Block preparer.
H&R block tax programs are reasonable priced and well written with the customer needs their first concern.
88 comments|80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 26, 2009
I have used H&R Blocks tax program for many years and have always been happy with it. This year is no exception. It works great on my mac. My taxes are complicated because I have rental properties (and in the past my own business as well)--but it makes preparing my taxes a breeze---and way cheaper than hiring someone.

You can choose to import data or enter all data manually. I actually enter mine in manually as that is my preference. (actually, to clarify, i import previous years taxes but manually enter w-2s, charitable contribution, rental income and expenses, etc)

This includes 5 free federal efiles (which isn't as good, in my opinion, as when it included 1 state and 1 federal). The state program is included with this but if you want to efile you have to pay for that.

For anyone that has to pay state taxes in addition to federal, it is great to have the two programs. Essentially, the state taxes are filled out by the time you get done with the federal--with the exception of a few questions that you have to answer. You can always purchase the state later rather than getting them together, however, i have found that it is more expensive to do it that way.

If you haven't used tax software before or are new to this brand---it is super duper easy to use. They have questions and you fill in the blanks. You can get more information and help with any topic you need. You can also get the actual publication information from the IRS. Tax preparation may sound intimidating, but with a program like this it is very simple.

With H&R block you also get access to a tax advisor for free (for 1 issue)--which can be helpful and is an advantage of this vs. other brands.

In addition you get audit assistance with this if you efile--although hopefully you will never need it.

Even if you have difficult taxes, don't be scared to try this product before going to a professional. You will most likely find that it is much easier than you think. And H&R block offers a money back guarantee so you really have nothing to lose.

Updates are free and essentially automatic--it does ask you permission to update--but that is pretty much the extent of it.

For safety purposes I always back up my taxes to a CD AND load the tax software and my taxes on a second computer--perhaps a bit neurotic but i'd rather be safe. It is extremely easy to do back ups. Also, I have several years of taxes loaded onto my computer and when i switched from primarily PC's to primarily MACs i was able to transfer all of my taxes over without a problem or hassle.

Because you get 5 free efiles, you can do your friends taxes if you want to be nice. I always register the product in my name but usually do 4 different returns. You can also choose to print and file returns if you would like also.

Another feature I like is that i can do "what if" scenarios--i will go in and change numbers to see how it effects my taxes so i can better estimate for future years.

H&R Block also will give you tips/warnings/suggestions if there are any red flags or errors on your return.

UPDATE: as of 2/22 I have successfully efiled 3 federal and state returns. i did not have any issues with efiling at all. although, i realized i made an error earlier in this review because when i went to file, i realized you get audit support if you efile or paper file--as long as you used the program to help you on your taxes.
44 comments|46 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 18, 2010
I used Turbotax for Home and Business for years. This year after reading some negative reviews decided to give H&R Block Premium a go (we need Schedule C). It was cheaper and frankly I thought it a bit easier to use (in comparison with prior years of TT). The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is, much like prior versions of Turbo Tax, the information for the State Form wasn't as helpful/detailed. I can understand why that might be, but for the non-accountant a little more guidance there would be nice, especially because I find our state's form to be a little less clear than federal forms so if anything more help is needed there. I move through everything fairly quickly which is nice. And unlike previous versions of TT I don't have to pay extra for audit support.

I think going forward I'll likely stick with H&R software.
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on February 7, 2010
I have used Tax Cut for years, but will soon be looking for a new tax program. This year's version of H&R Block At Home appears to have been rushed to market, as I have experienced a number of bugs, including an inability to eFile. What is worse, my attempts to solve these issues with the customer service arm of H&R Block have been both time consuming and profoundly frustrating. My suggestion: give this product a wide berth, find another program, and save yourself the money and the grief. Taxes are stressful enough without having to deal with a shoddy product and a company that does not seem to care about its clientele.
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on January 31, 2010
I have used H&R Block's TaxCut for years, so I purchased this program again this year, but needed the Premium version since I started a daycare in early 2009. This was the first time I purchased it from Amazon, but I couldn't pass up the free shipping, plus it was $5 less than in stores! I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do my own taxes because of the daycare, but it was so easy to use and asked me all the right questions. I highly recommend this product. It was easy, fun, a lot cheaper than going to an accountant, and I am confident that I am getting the best return I can get.
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on January 19, 2010
After two hours on the telephone with customer support this software could not be successfully installed. The customer service rep was GREAT! Clear English, located in Kansas City, technically VERY knowledgeable and extremely patient and understanding. It's a shame he did not have a better product to support. I have returned this software to Amazon for a refund.
33 comments|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This year I switched to this software and liked some things better than TurboTax, but also had some issues with it. I've used TurboTax for years and like other users, was not happy when I started having to buy the much more expensive version in order to include my home business information, but would have used it again anyway until I read early TT reviews complaining of the software causing PC crashes. I wasn't up for that so I decided to go with H&R Block software for the first time.

Pros:
- The product loaded smoothly on my older XP PC and downloaded the updates without incident. It operated cleanly throughout as well.
- It imported my info from last year's TurboTax file with no problem.
- The interface seemed more clear, direct and easy to understand.
At first I struggled a little because it was unfamiliar and seemed too easy, as though something was being left out, but I gained confidence as I continued and ultimately liked this interface much better.
- This product (that includes Home Business) is much cheaper than the comparable TT.
- The Home Business portion was much better than TurboTax where I've had to search for it in the past and didn't find I had enough direction about what to enter where.
- I found it much easier to return to areas I questioned to recheck or change things.
- The `Guide Me' areas and Help screens were clear and easy to navigate and return from.

Cons:
- I remember the software saying I could pay by AmEx after my e-file return was accepted, but when I went to the 3rd party website, that wasn't available.
- I made a huge error on one of my deductions, which was not flagged by the software. Luckily when I compared my return to others in the same income range at the end, it looked odd to me so I went back to re-read the instructions, and sure enough where I thought I was supposed to enter sales taxable amount (expecting the software to calculate the tax considering it knew my state), I should have entered just the tax. Made a big difference, sadly. I would have expected the software to question it, given the information available, and alert me. I'm glad I caught it before filing.
- I entered donations made on two different dates into Deduction Pro, but only one imported. I tried again, but ultimately had to enter the amount of the second manually.
- One of the work sheets I would like to have seen wasn't part of the full print package.

Even if the software had been perfect, I could never get 5-star excited about doing taxes. In the end, using this software was somewhat less painful than using TurboTax in the past, and certainly less painful than doing the taxes manually. I'll probably use it again next year.
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on December 7, 2014
I live in a state without state income tax so this program is overkill and overpriced for me. Today there are too many other options for self tax preparation that offer better pricing, same results, and more flexibility. I won't use it again.
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on March 23, 2010
I am writing this review to express my frustration with H&R Block software. I bought and installed HR Block Premium with State and e-file. The installation, update, state software download - all worked without a problem. The program downloaded correctly the information from previous years, W2, schedules B,D, GainsKeeper (brokerage information with G/L), etc. For that reason I give it two stars.

The problems begun when I started to introduce the schedule K-1's from MLP's and LLP's Publicly Traded Partnerships. Not only does the software state at every position that it is not supporting the calculations, which you should do yourself, but it places the results at very wrong positions; In fact, it stacks gains and passive losses in entirely forbidden ways, thus generating havoc on my return.

I have a problem with HR Block - because they advertise on their website their Premium software as competent and supporting Schedule K-1. This is obviously a false statement.
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on December 29, 2012
Until that time comes I'm resigned to using tax software from one of the big two makers. I honestly can't tell you which is better...it seems to be a tie, although H&R Block do have several advantages. The biggest? Local offices, I've had a question before and I called the local office, the phone was picked up promptly by a real person, and my question was answered (for free too). I also give these guys the edge for the audit defense. So yeah, I guess they do have a slight edge over the other guys. I'm just waiting for the software to get better...seeing as it's three years now since this version I'm not going to hold my breath.
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