H&R Block versus TurboTax Online: Tax season has begun and many of you are wondering which online tax software to use. In this case, it comes down to a battle of the two heavyweights for online tax software: TurboTax vs. H&R Block; but which one is better?
We tried both in an effort to determine which is best. Each brand has several comparable versions of their software at different prices based on the complexity of your taxes.
1. Price Comparison
Although I started both H&R Block Online (learn more) and TurboTax Online (learn more) through their heavily-advertised “Free” promotions, it turns out that I had to upgrade to Deluxe in both cases.
That’s because “Free” lacks the features that I need to file my apparently “not-so-simple” taxes including some freelance income.
So, when it comes to buying the Deluxe version, H&R Block was the cheaper of the two for me. In fact, TurboTax on average seems to cost about $5-20 more based on the complexity of your tax return, and which version you ultimately need to buy.
This estimate seems to be confirmed by the price comparison of H&R Block versus TurboTax that is currently on hrblock.com:
You can see above that TurboTax is a little more expensive than H&R Block. Notice that TurboTax also raises their price earlier in the tax season than H&R Block:
You’ll also need to pay to e-filing your State return. Here’s what State e-File costs:
- TurboTax: $44.99
- H&R Block: $39.99
So, when it comes to comparing TurboTax vs. H&R Block based on price, H&R Block Online costs a little less, and wins this round.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 0
2. Which Is More User-Friendly?
Which is more user-friendly, TurboTax or H&R Block? Well, first, let’s look at a couple of quick demos that help you get a feel for their interface and how they work:
• How TurboTax Online Works:
• How H&R Block Online Works
Even so, overall I would say that in comparing H&R Block vs TurboTax for user friendliness, TurboTax is more user-friendly.
This is because their platform was definitely a lot easier to get through, and the questions were little bit more inquisitive and thorough in finding out if I qualified for certain tax deductions or tax credits.
So in comparing TurboTax versus H and R Block for user friendliness, the overall winner was TurboTax.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 1
3. Which Has a Better FREE Edition?
Unless you have simple a tax return (with no investments, dependents, or freelance income) filing your taxes is not free. If you have investments or pay a mortgage, you should plan on buying a Deluxe (or better) edition of software to file your taxes; especially with TurboTax.
Do you think you qualify for “Free?” If so, you’ll want to know whether TurboTax or H&R Block has a better free edition.
Here’s a comparison of the two:
H&R Block Free includes the following potentially important deductions that TurboTax Free does not:
- Child & Dependent Care Expenses Credit
- Student Loan Interest Deduction
- Health Care Coverage Exemption Claims
Are you itemizing? One noticeable difference for anyone using the free version: H&R Block’s Free version allows you to fill out the Schedule A for free, versus TurboTax which makes you pay to itemize your deductions.
In fact, H&R Block Free includes more than 20 additional forms than TurboTax’s Free Edition!
You should also consider that to qualify for free, H&R Block requires an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $66k, while TurboTax only allows an income of up to $34k! For these reasons, when it comes to “free,” I believe that H&R Block wins the round.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 2, TurboTax: 1
*Related: Is TurboTax Really Free?
4. H&R Block vs TurboTax: Customer Reviews & Ratings
One person’s experience trying both TurboTax and H&R Block Online is helpful to read, but merely a piece of the larger puzzle when deciding which tax software is better.
So, to better see the whole “forest through the trees,” let’s consult the wisdom of the masses and see how TurboTax and H&R Block scored based on thousands of customer ratings from verified user reviews:
• TurboTax vs H&R Block Customer Ratings:
Here’s a comparison of customer ratings taken directly from verified user reviews online at hrblock.com and turbotax.intuit.com:
- TurboTax Deluxe: 4.4/5 stars (103k+ reviews) turbotax.intuit.com
- H&R Block Deluxe 4.4/5 stars (16k+ reviews) hrblock.com
Wow, that’s a lot of customer reviews! According to this large sampling of reviews, users rate TurboTax and H&R Block almost exactly the same for customer satisfaction.
So, which tax software is more popular?
TurboTax is the #1-selling tax software in America, with H&R Block coming in a distant #2.
TurboTax is also rated #1 by Kiplinger and WSJ which are trusted sources. When it comes to judging this round, we’ll consult the wisdom of the masses” TurboTax is America’s best-selling tax software, with H&R Block coming in a distant second place.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 2, TurboTax: 2
5. Which Gives You a Bigger Refund?
So, did H&R Block or TurboTax give me the larger tax refund? After inputting all my income and tax information, my Federal refunds were close, but TurboTax gave me a slightly larger refund than H&R Block.
In looking at a few other reviews for TurboTax versus H&R Block Online I found that users got very similar refunds, but a recent experiment by Business Insider also concluded that TurboTax usually results in a slightly larger refund for Federal tax returns.
Tip: Are you self-employed or a freelancer? For those of you who are self-employed, (Uber, Lyft, too!) I found that TurboTax is a bit better than HR Block for finding potential deductions and tax credits that I was eligible for (especially the home office deduction)
*Update: I do have to add that TurboTax and H&R Block, (and now Jackson Hewitt) guarantee to get you the maximum refund. So if you do try both H&R Block and TurboTax and find that one gives you a bigger refund, they will surely check your math and ensure the accuracy of your refund.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 2, TurboTax: 3
H&R Block or TurboTax: Which Is Better Overall?
So, when it comes to online tax software, should you go with TurboTax or H&R Block?
While both H&R Block and TurboTax have established themselves as dependable, user-friendly tax software, but one of them is superior in my opinion.
In this heavyweight fight, I believe that TurboTax is the winner by unanimous decision on the scorecard!
I do have to add that both TurboTax and H&R Block should be commended, and the competition was close. So, this is no “knockout” win for TurboTax.
Why Is TurboTax Better Than H&R Block Online?
While there is certainly a “Coke versus Pepsi” debate over which is better, I prefer TurboTax over H&R Block Online.
Why? I recommend TurboTax over H&R Block Online because I believe that TurboTax is more user friendly, and ultimately resulted in the larger tax refund for my situation.
A Good H&R Block vs. TurboTax Comparison:
Business Insider also recently compared the online versions of TurboTax and H&R Block. Although the video doesn’t mention which one resulted in a bigger tax refund, it’s worth watching.
TurboTax or H&R Block – How to Get the Best Price:
Thanks for reading our review of H&R Block vs TurboTax (Online). If you do go with one of these tax-heavyweights to file your taxes, be sure to use our exclusive discount to get the best price online:
Regardless of which tax software you go with, good luck!
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