Intuit vs H&R Block: A Comparison of the Tax Preparation Giants
Table of Contents
– Company Overviews
– H&R Block
– Flagship Products
– H&R Block Tax Software
– Performance and Reach
– Market Share
– Expertise and Accuracy
– Pricing and Plans
– Intuit TurboTax
– H&R Block Tax Software
– User Experience
– Ease of Use
– Customer Support
– Mobile Apps
– Intuit TurboTax Mobile App
– H&R Block Mobile App
– Tax Professional Assistance
– TurboTax Live
– H&R Block Tax Pro Review
– Data Protection
Intuit’s TurboTax and H&R block are two of the most widely used tax preparation services in the United States. With easy-to-use software and access to tax professionals, both companies make filing taxes more convenient for millions of Americans each year.
This detailed comparison looks at how Intuit and H&R Block stack up across a number of categories including key products, performance and accuracy, pricing, user experience, mobile apps, tax professional assistance, security, and more. Read on to learn which brand offers the best fit for your tax situation.
Intuit was founded in 1983 and launched their first product, Quicken personal finance software. In 1993, they released TurboTax, which has become the leading tax preparation software. Intuit had $9.2 billion in revenue in 2021 and now offers a wide range of business and financial management products including QuickBooks. However, TurboTax remains their flagship consumer product.
H&R Block Overview
H&R Block has been preparing taxes since 1955 when brothers Henry and Richard Bloch founded the company. In addition to DIY tax software, H&R Block operates thousands of retail tax offices where customers can get assistance filing. H&R Block reported $3.5 billion in revenue in 2021. Their focus remains on supporting taxpayers through software or in-person services.
TurboTax is Intuit’s flagship consumer software for filing federal and state income taxes. Key features include:
– Step-by-step guidance for entering tax information
– Easy importing of tax forms like W2s and 1099s
– Deduction finder identifies tax credits and deductions you qualify for
– Expert review of your return
– Maximum refund guaranteed
TurboTax is available online or can be downloaded to your desktop. There are a variety of pricing plans based on complexity.
H&R Block Tax Software
H&R Block Tax Software offers similar DIY tax preparation capabilities:
– Q&A guidance to complete your return
– Import prior year’s tax data
– Get answers from tax experts while you file
– Deduction finder
– Audit support guarantee
H&R Block offers multiple software options including free file, online, desktop, and self-employed.
Performance and Reach
Both TurboTax and H&R Block have a significant share of the tax preparation market. According to Internal Research Services, consumer market share in recent years was:
– TurboTax: 35% of e-filed federal returns
– H&R Block Tax Software: 16%
So Intuit’s TurboTax has over double the market share of H&R Block’s tax software. However, this doesn’t include H&R Block’s retail tax preparation services.
Expertise and Accuracy
When it comes to accuracy, both brands use experienced tax professionals to build their software and can safely handle even complex tax situations:
– TurboTax uses CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax attorneys with on average 15 years of experience.
– H&R Block tax software and services are prepared by CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax attorneys with an average 10 years of experience.
Multiple studies have shown accuracy rates exceeding 95% for both TurboTax and H&R Block. Overall expertise levels are very comparable.
Pricing and Plans
Intuit TurboTax and H&R Block offer several software options at different price points.
TurboTax pricing includes:
– Free Edition: Federal and state filing for simple returns
– Deluxe: $59.99 federal, $44.99 state. Includes deductions, retirement income, charitable giving, child tax credits
– Premier: $79.99 federal, $44.99 state. Everything in Deluxe plus investment income, rental property, stock options, home office deduction
– Self-Employed: $119.99 federal, $54.99 state. For personal and business income, contractors, freelancers, side jobs
They offer free filing for eligible taxpayers and military members. State filing fees apply to paid federal products.
H&R Block Tax Software
H&R Block DIY software pricing includes:
– Free Online: $0 federal and state for simple tax returns
– Premium Online: $29.99 federal, $36.99 per state. Itemized deductions, healthcare costs, child care expenses, education credits
– Premium with Tax Pro Review: $49.99 federal. Assistance from a tax pro to review your return
– Self-Employed Online: $79.99 federal, $36.99 per state. For personal and business income, deductions and credits
Free in-office tax prep is available based on income. State fees apply for premium online packages.
Both brands offer competitive pricing tiers based on return complexity. H&R Block offers lower prices for mid-range offerings but TurboTax has more expensive high-end packages for self-employed filers.
Ease of use and customer support are also important factors when choosing tax software.
Ease of Use
TurboTax and H&R Block both provide user-friendly, step-by-step guidance:
– Easy questionnaire format to collect tax information
– Plain language guidance – no tax expertise needed
– Support features like glossary, definitions, and explanations
TurboTax offers a bit more hand holding and explanation throughout the process. But H&R Block also makes it simple for beginners.
Independent testing found TurboTax easiest for new users while H&R Block was best for clarity and navigation.
If questions come up, you can access customer support through:
– Phone – Extended tax time hours 7am to midnight
– Chat – 24/7 availability during tax season
– Email, Facebook and Twitter support
– Phone – Extended hours from 9am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 5pm weekends
– Chat – Support 7 days a week during tax season
– Email and social media support
Both brands offer solid customer support access during peak tax season. TurboTax offers slightly more extensive hours.
Filing on the go is easier than ever with TurboTax and H&R Block mobile apps.
Intuit TurboTax Mobile App
Key features of the TurboTax mobile app include:
– iOS and Android app versions
– Snap a photo of your W2 or import docs from your camera roll
– File federal and state returns entirely on mobile
– Track refund status
– Secure sign-in with fingerprint or face recognition
– Sync seamlessly with TurboTax online
With all the functionality of the desktop version, you can complete your taxes from start to finish on your smartphone or tablet.
H&R Block Mobile App
The H&R Block mobile app enables features such as:
– iOS and Android compatibility
– Upload photos of your tax forms
– File federal and state returns from your device
– Estimate your refund
– Manage and import your documents
– Sync with H&R Block online
While fully functional, the H&R Block app has a slightly more basic interface. But it still provides mobile access to file conveniently.
Both apps effectively enable filing taxes from anywhere. TurboTax app has a slight edge in features and design.
Tax Professional Assistance
If you need help completing your return, both TurboTax and H&R Block offer tax expert support.
TurboTax Live connects you with a certified tax expert for unlimited real-time support including:
– Live review of your return – unlimited amendments
– Advice tailored to your specific tax situation
– Answers related to deductions, income, credits, self-employment taxes
– Guidance on tax forms or where to enter information
– Help completing your return from start to finish
Starting at $179, TurboTax Live provides on-demand assistance to address any questions.
H&R Block Tax Pro Review
Tax Pro Review lets an H&R Block expert review your return for accuracy:
– Tax professional reviews your completed return
– They make any needed corrections or recommendations
– You get to review and approve updates before filing
– Assistance with specific questions during filing.
Tax Pro Review costs $49.99 for federal returns. Unltike TurboTax Live, it offers just one review instead of unlimited help.
For more hands-on assistance, H&R Block’s 400+ retail tax offices also provide in-person preparation.
No one wants to compromise sensitive financial information while filing taxes.
Both brands use security features like:
– Encryption to protect data in transit and at rest
– Multi-factor authentication for account access
– Regular security auditing and testing
– ISO certified security standards
They also safely transmit returns directly to the IRS and states using the latest e-file standards.
Based on these measures, both services keep your data locked down and out of harm’s way.
If the unlikely occurs, pricey guarantees provide peace of mind:
– TurboTax offers the Audit Defense Guarantee. They will provide audit guidance from CPAs, EAs, or tax attorneys and cover any additional taxes owed due to TurboTax calculation errors.
– H&R Block has an Audit Support Guarantee. They provide similar audit assistance from tax specialists and assume liability for additional taxes or interest due to software errors.
With either brand, you can file confidently knowing they have your back in the event of an audit.
When it comes to DIY tax software, both Intuit TurboTax and H&R Block offer robust solutions packed with features to handle all tax situations. TurboTax generally rates higher for user experience while H&R Block costs a bit less for mid-tier offerings. Both guarantee accuracy and provide tax professional support in case questions arise.
For most filers, TurboTax may be the best bet thanks to top-rated ease of use, extensive mobile features, and unlimited tax expert assistance. But H&R Block remains a competitive choice with lower pricing on some products. Taxpayers can’t go wrong relying on either of these leading brands to securely file their returns and maximize deductions.