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H&R Block Review

Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins

Best for Self-Employed Filers

  • H&R Block is one of the most intuitive tax software platforms we researched.
  • The Self-Employed Online service tier has numerous options for reporting various revenue streams and losses.
  • H&R Block has physical locations throughout the U.S. for users who prefer in-person assistance.
  • This review is for sole proprietors who want to learn about H&R Block's online tax software and why it's our pick for the best tax software for self-employed filers.

H&R Block's Self-Employed Online software is our pick for the best online tax software for self-employed small business owners because of its ease of use, dedication to accuracy and network of physical retail locations that offer additional assistance. Though it costs more than some of its competitors, H&R Block supports a wide range of IRS tax forms that can help you handle nearly any small-business-related tax need.

H&R Block

H&R Block

The Verdict

H&R Block's intuitive, step-by-step navigation through the tax filing process and responsive customer service make this software a great choice for microbusinesses and self-employed filers.

We chose H&R Block from a range of online tax software options. To understand how we chose H&R Block, you can find our methodology and a list of tax software vendors on our best picks page.

H&R Block Pricing

H&R Block, like most of its competitors, provides its tax filing service in multiple tiers that increase in both price and features.

If you're self-employed, you have more complex tax needs than the average personal income tax filer, so you'll need the Self-Employed Online tier. This is the most expensive of the company's four tiers, costing $104.99 for federal taxes and $44.99 for each state tax filing you need to complete. Like the other tiers, it includes free federal e-filing.

While $104.99 may seem a bit steep, tax filing companies often reduce the price of their services and software as the calendar inches closer to the mid-April filing deadline.

Key takeaway: At $104.99 for the Self-Employed Online tier plus $44.99 per state tax filing, H&R Block isn't the cheapest option, but it's packed with the features self-employed individuals need.

H&R Block Features

In addition to its positive user experience, H&R Block's rich assortment of features sets it apart from its competitors. The software automates several processes to ensure accuracy and makes tax filing as easy as possible. Here are some of the features H&R Block's online tax software includes:

Free Data Imports

Even if you filed your taxes with a different tax preparation software last year, like TurboTax or Quicken, H&R Block can directly import your data. In the same vein, the program can import data from your W-2, so you spend less time on data entry.

Step-by-Step Filing

With taxes as complex as they are, it's helpful that H&R Block's software interface guides you through the filing process. By displaying prompts in plain language, H&R Block provides an easy-to-understand experience that keeps you on the right track.

Variety of Forms

H&R Block's software supports all kinds of forms, including 1095-A, 1098, 1098-E, 1098-T, 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT and 1099-R. The Self-Employed Online tier that we examined also includes support for forms that apply specifically to small businesses and self-employed individuals. For example, you can file investment income, rental property income and even the income you've earned from your side gig as a driver for a ride-hailing service.

Reporting Assistance

Professional assistance is available for all of H&R Block's service tiers, though the free plan provides technical support only via chat. Specialized assistance from tax experts, certified public accountants and enrolled agents is also available. Although this costs extra, it may be especially helpful for self-employed filers who have questions regarding complex tax situations, like managing income from capital gains, home sales and retirement assets.

Dedication to Accuracy

Filing an accurate tax return is of paramount importance, and H&R Block helps to ensure you have entered your information accurately. Whenever you enter an item incorrectly or place something in the wrong field, the software notifies you of the mistake. Human error can result in mistakes that attract scrutiny from the IRS, potentially leading to audits, fees and other penalties. The safeguards in H&R Block's platform help you feel confident that your returns are accurate.

For an additional fee, a professional can prepare your taxes either online or in person. You can even drop off your tax documents at your local H&R Block, which will contact you when filing is done. This costs an additional $49 for online tax prep and $69 for the in-person or drop-off service.

Free Storage

It's important for small business owners to hold on to past filings, and through H&R Block's service, you can archive up to six years of past filings for later use at no extra cost.

Max Refund Guarantee

H&R Block seeks to get you the biggest return possible by searching its extensive deduction and credit database to see if any are applicable to your specific situation. Like the rest of the features, this assistance is automated. If you're using another vendor's software results in a larger tax refund, however, H&R Block will refund any fees you paid to that vendor for your tax return.

Key takeaway: H&R Block offers many features that bolster its usability and ensure that your return is accurate.

H&R Block Pros

Of all of the services we examined, H&R Block has the most suitable features for very small businesses and self-employed filers. The software's tax preparation and filing platforms are easy to learn and navigate. It covers federal taxes extremely well and offers tools to file state taxes, albeit for an additional $44.99 per state.

H&R Block's online software is very user-friendly. The interface is attractive and logical, making it simple to navigate. After you enter some basic information about yourself (such as your full name, birth date and Social Security number), it takes you to the main screen. On the top of the screen are four tabs: Overview, Federal, State and File. Under each of those tabs are sections for your income, deductions, credits and more.

As you provide more information, the software fills out each appropriate form and displays updates to your federal and state tax return figures in real time. If the software detects any errors in the process, it flags them for you to fix. Once complete, the final forms are displayed so you can give them a once-over before filing them. Throughout the process, your data is protected with high-powered encryption.

In addition to the company's online and downloadable tax programs, you can have a tax professional assist (either in person or online) or take over for an additional fee. Considering one mistake can mean audits and fees or worse, the option to get help from a professional can provide peace of mind.

Key takeaway: The intuitive nature of H&R Block's tax filing system makes it easy to use, but if you need professional assistance, it's available for an extra fee.

H&R Block Cons

Though we feel confident in our pick of H&R Block as the best choice for self-employed tax filers, one downside stood out: the cost to file state returns. On top of the $104.99 for the Self-Employed Online option, each state tax filing costs $44.99.

Key takeaway: If you use H&R Block, you'll have to pay for your state tax filing.

Ready to choose your online tax software? Here's a breakdown of the rest of our coverage:

Image Credit: simpson33 / Getty Images
H&R Block

H&R Block

The Verdict

H&R Block's intuitive, step-by-step navigation through the tax filing process and responsive customer service make this software a great choice for microbusinesses and self-employed filers.

Andrew Martins
Andrew Martins
Business News Daily Staff
Andrew Martins has written more than 300 articles for business.com and Business News Daily focused on the tools and services that small businesses and entrepreneurs need to succeed. Andrew writes about office hardware such as digital copiers, multifunctional printers and wide format printers, as well as critical technology services like live chat and online fax. Andrew has a long history in publishing, having been named a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner.