I frequently go on record saying, “I don’t mind paying taxes—I just wish they weren’t so complicated!” And I mean every word of that. I understand the important role tax revenues play in our local, state, and national governments. But the actual process of completing our tax return gets more complicated each year. Did you know, for example, the US tax code is over 70,000 pages long, and growing each year? The TaxFoundation.org puts the US tax code and regulations at over 10,000,000 words.
This is far too complicated for the average American tax payer to keep up with. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an expert to do your taxes.
While it’s a good idea to keep abreast of the major tax code changes each year, such as retirement account contribution limits (e.g. 401k and IRA), exemptions, deductions, and other major changes, you don’t need to be a tax expert to do your tax return. Because in all likelihood, you can leverage the expertise of others—either by
- paying a tax professional to do them for you (more expensive), or
- by using tax software to handle your own taxes (more economical, and the best solution for the average tax situation).
Tax Preparation Software is Powerful & Accurate Enough for Most Tax Situations
It impresses me that tax software providers such as H&R Block have been able to interpret the millions of words in the tax code and wrap them into a software program that is easy enough to use that it can be done online with a smartphone or tablet. And each year the process is refined further.
You should be able to use tax preparation software to quickly and accurately complete your tax return. There are some exceptions, of course. You may consider hiring a tax professional if you have a very specialized or complicated tax situation that requires very specific professional advice. But don’t resign yourself to paying hundreds of dollars to have a tax pro do your return until you look into your situation more closely. You may be able to use the help section or online Q&A from an online tax software website to complete your return on your own.
Even though the tax code becomes longer and more complex each year, the tax software solutions become more powerful and advanced. Even better, many companies, like H&R Block, offer a maximum refund guarantee and audit support.
How to File Your Tax Return Online with H&R Block
Filing a tax return with H&R Block is easy. Just visit their site, sign up, and start your return. You can begin your tax return for FREE. And depending on your needs, you may be able to complete and file your tax return for free. Some forms may require a more specialized version of H&R Block, and may require payment. We’ll cover the different H&R Block versions later in the article.
Starting Your Tax Return with H&R Block
H&R Block uses an intuitive interface to walk you through the tax return process. They present you with a series of interview style questions and calculate your return as you go. You can actually see how different actions change your tax return, such as exemptions, deductions, retirement contributions, and more.
Importing W-2 and 1099 Forms Directly From Providers
Depending on your situation, you may not even need to own a scanner. H&R Block makes it easy to automatically import your W-2 and 1099 forms from many different providers. Simply enter your employer’s EIN and the H&R Block online software will let your know if you can directly import your W-2. The process is similar for 1099 forms (again, available from select partners).
If your employer isn’t supported by the auto import feature, you can simply take a picture of your W2 with your phone or tablet and import it directly into your tax return. Their software then pulls all the information directly from the photo and imports it into your tax return. This is much faster than manually typing, and eliminates possible errors when typing in your information.
Start, Stop, & Save Your Progress
You don’t have to finish your taxes in one session, even when filing online. I always try to gather all my forms in one place and get everything ready to go before I start my return. But it’s not uncommon for me to forget a form or have to look something up before I am able to complete my tax return. Thankfully, you can save your progress as you go, and pick up where you left off.
Use Tax Calculators and Check Progress as You Go
H&R Block has a great online tax calculator you can use without having to start a tax return. This is a great tool for getting a rough estimate of your tax obligation (or potential refund). If you do start a return with H&R Block, you will be able to see your progress as you go.
Try the H&R Block Tax Calculator. This free tool helps you easily estimate your refund or how much you’ll owe in taxes. Give the H&R Block Tax Calculator a Test Run.
H&R Block Can Handle Changing Tax Situations
Your tax situation this year may be different than it was the previous year. That’s OK. H&R Block can handle a variety of situations that may impact your tax return, such as the getting married, having children, starting a new career, moving to a new state, serving in the military, and much more. The intuitive tax return process makes sure you don’t miss anything—even if it’s something you may not have been aware of.
H&R Block – File Federal Taxes Free Online
If you haven’t yet filed your taxes, I recommend checking out H&R Block’s online software. Their solution offers a variety of features, including the ability to file a simple federal return online for free. Here are some additional features and the H&R Block online versions.
H&R Block Online Offers the Following Features:
- W2 snap & easy to import: Take a pic of your W2 from your smart device (new feature).
- It’s easier than ever to switch to H&R Block Online – with drag and drop you can import a PDF of last year’s return from any other tax prep service.
- Refund Reveal™ shows how and why your refund changed
- Free EITC: EITC is now free on any H&R Block Online product
- Mobile: Improved flow and usability on mobile apps
H&R Block Online Versions:
- H&R Block Online – FREE EDITION – Best for new filers or simple tax returns
- H&R Block Online – DELUXE – Best for homeowners and deductions
- H&R Block Online – PREMIUM – Best for investors or small business owners
H&R Block – Taxes Won
Taxes can be complex. But filing your return doesn’t have to be difficult. You can leverage the years of experience and knowledge H&R Block brings to the table, and complete your tax return with relative ease. And the best part? Not only is your return guaranteed, but you can get started right now, for free. H&R Block: #taxeswon.