Years ago, you could only file your tax returns by going to an office and having a tax professional prepare and file the return for you. Now, many software programs are offered online to help you complete and file your returns yourself. H&R Block, in operation since 1955, is one company that offers software to complete the return on your own. H&R Block has five software versions to choose from for home use: free, basic, deluxe, premium or best of both. Two versions that meet the needs of most users are the basic and deluxe editions.
Included in Both
Both H&R Block's Basic and Deluxe editions include the forms you need to prepare, print and e-file your tax return as well as advice from H&R Block tax specialists. Both editions also include a 100 percent accuracy and maximum refund guarantee, with step by step guidance to make sure you maximize your refund. You can import last year's tax return for reference and the software will double check for errors in your tax forms.
The first difference between the basic and deluxe editions of H&R Block's Home tax software is the price. At the time of publication, the basic package was $34.95 and the deluxe package was $49.95. The price difference is mainly due to what is included in each package and for whom the package is geared. The intended customers for the basic package are those with simple tax situations, people without many deductions, investments or gains and losses to report. The deluxe package is geared towards homeowners and investors with interest, tax deduction, and sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to report.
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The H&R Block Home Basic edition includes questions to guide you through basic deductions, but does not include steps or forms to guide you through reporting more in depth deductions or gains or losses from stocks, bonds, mutual funds, charitable donations and mortgage interest. The deluxe edition offers tax guidance based on popular occupations to help discover more deductions. It also offers advice for achieving more tax benefits after life changes such as retirement.
Choose the version that seems right for you in the beginning. With both editions, you can access tax professionals as well as other users with questions you may have about your needs. When you first start filling in information on either version, you answer questions about yourself and your tax situation. If the version you choose may not meet your needs, a suggestion is given for the appropriate version. If you choose to switch to the other version, any information you already entered is transferred to the new version.