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TurboTax vs H&R Block At Home 2011


Is H&R Block At Home or TurboTax the Best Tax Software?
H&R Block & TurboTax
H&R Block, Inc. & Intuit Inc.
All things considered, TurboTax is the better tax software this year. Both TurboTax and H&R Block At Home offer the same guarantees for accuracy, getting the highest refund possible, etc., both import data from major payroll services, banks and brokerages and both have a comprehensive step-by-step interview. But the TurboTax interview is the best I've used in any tax software, and with the free answers to tax questions and expanded audit help, it is the best tax software of any I've reviewed this year.

Prices for the online versions of each tax software are comparable to within a couple of dollars. If you prefer desktop software to the online, you'll pay more for TurboTax desktop, but you also get a smoother navigation and easier guidance compared to H&R Block At Home. If you need the Premier version with a state return, you'll actually pay $10 less than you would for the comparable H&R Block At Home Premium with state.

H&R Block At Home includes a tax professional who attend audit meetings, and to get the same level of help with an audit with TurboTax, you'll need to tack $40 onto the cost of the software. Both TurboTax and At Home offer free help via phone and/or chat if you are audited. But, keep in mind that an audit is very unlikely, and if you have tax questions while you are completing your return TurboTax answers them for free while you only one free tax question answered from H&R Block At Home (additional questions are $20 each).

Best Interview
If you're not solely choosing tax software based on price, don't assume that H&R Block At Home is the best option. TurboTax still has an interface that is slightly easier to navigate, and you'll find answers to many tax questions faster directly from interview where H&R Block At Home may require you to search for the same information. The ability move ahead in the interview to enter information from W-2, 1099s and other forms in TurboTax is really helpful while H&R Block At Home won't let you move ahead. If you have a very basic tax return, this probably won't matter much. But, everyone else will probably finish their tax return faster with TurboTax, and the time savings can be significant.

Tax Help
For the last two years, H&R Block edged out TurboTax in this comparison due to its live professional tax help and the lower price. But, this year, TurboTax has tax pros waiting to take your questions and to help you through a tax audit via phone or chat. Most tax audits never get to the point of meeting or court, though. If you use TurboTax and you want insurance that someone would accompany you to an in-person audit meeting, you'll pay an extra $40.

Which is Best?
In my opinion, TurboTax is the better tax software, and it ranks above any other tax software like TaxACT or CompleteTax (although both are quite good).

If cost is a huge factor for you, use an online version of TurboTax since that tax software is less expensive. If you strongly prefer desktop tax software, you have limited funds and you don't mind spending more time completing a more complex return, then H&R Block At Home is likely the best option for you. Otherwise, I recommend TurboTax.

Individual Reviews:

Indepth Comparisons: TurboTax vs H&R Block At Home:
  1. Compare Tax Software for Tax Year 2011
  2. Tax Interviews and Guarantees
  3. Importing and Transferring Tax Data
  4. Getting Technical and Tax Help
  5. Help if You're Audited
  6. Price Comparisons
  7. Bottom Line: H&R Block At Home or TurboTax

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