H&R Block versus TurboTax Online: Tax season has begun and many of you are wondering which online tax software to use. In this case, it comes down to a battle of the two heavyweights for online tax software: TurboTax versus H&R Block; but which one is better?
We tried both in an effort to determine which is best. Each brand has several comparable versions of their software at different prices based on the complexity of your taxes. In this review, I compare the Deluxe versions of TurboTax and H&R Block Online to decide which software is better based on these categories:
H&R Block vs TurboTax:
- Price: Which is cheaper?
- User-Friendliness: Which is easier to navigate?
- Which software results in a bigger tax refund?
- User reviews: Which one scores better with customers?
1. Price Comparison
Although I started both H&R Block Online (learn more) and TurboTax Online (learn more) through their heavily-advertised “Free” promotions, it turns out that I had to upgrade to Deluxe in both cases. That’s because “Free” lacks the features that I need to file my apparently “not-so-simple” taxes including some freelance income.
So, when it comes to buying the Deluxe version, H&R Block was the cheaper of the two for me. In fact, TurboTax on average seems to cost about $5-20 more based on the complexity of your tax return, and which version you ultimately need to buy.
This estimate seems to be confirmed by the price comparison of H&R Block versus TurboTax that is currently on hrblock.com:
You can see above that TurboTax is a little more expensive than H&R Block. Notice that TurboTax also raises their price earlier in the tax season than H&R Block.
*Tip: Don’t pay retail price for H&R Block or TurboTax as you can use a coupon or key code for up to a $20+ discount!
Also, note that with both TurboTax and H&R Block if you need to file a state tax return, and it’s going cost you $36.99 per state return unless you file early in the tax season when that State fee is waived.
So, when it comes to comparing TurboTax vs. H&R Block based on price, H&R Block Online costs a little less, and wins this round.
Tip: Are you itemizing? One noticeable difference for anyone using the free version: H&R Block’s Free version allows you to fill out the Schedule A for free, versus TurboTax which makes you pay to itemize your deductions.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 0
2. User Friendliness
Which is more user-friendly, TurboTax or H&R Block? Well,first, let’s look at a couple of quick demos that help you get a feel for their interface and how they work:
*Demo: How TurboTax Online Works:
*Demo: How H&R Block Online Works
OK, so TurboTax and H&R Block were both very user-friendly and informative. However, one thing I noticed was that H&R Block’s platform was a little bit less pushy in having me upgrade to the paid version.
In fact, unless you have a very simple tax return (with no investments, dependents, or freelance income) filing your taxes is not free. You should plan on paying to file your taxes, especially with TurboTax.
*Related: Is TurboTax Really Free?
I noticed that when I did switch over to the “Free” version of TurboTax, they made a point of showing me how certain features were stripped away!
Even so, overall I would say that in comparing H&R Block vs TurboTax for user friendliness, TurboTax is more user-friendly.
This is because their platform was definitely a lot easier to get through, and the questions were little bit more inquisitive and thorough in finding out if I qualified for certain tax deductions or tax credits.
So in comparing TurboTax versus H and R Block for user friendliness, the overall winner was TurboTax.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 1
3. Which Online Tax Software Resulted In the Bigger Refund?
So, did H&R Block or TurboTax give me the larger tax refund? After inputting all my income and tax information, my Federal refunds were close, but TurboTax gave me a slightly larger refund than H&R Block.
In looking at a few other reviews for TurboTax versus H&R Block Online I found that users got very similar refunds, but a recent experiment by Business Insider also concluded that TurboTax usually results in a slightly larger refund for Federal tax returns.
Tip: Are you self-employed or a freelancer? For those of you who are freelancers or self-employed, I found that TurboTax is a bit better for finding potential deductions and tax credits that I was eligible for, especially the home office deduction, compared to H&R Block.
*Update: I do have to add that TurboTax and H&R Block, (and now Jackson Hewitt) guarantee to get you the maximum refund. So if you do try both H&R Block and TurboTax and find that one gives you a bigger refund, they will surely check your math and ensure the accuracy of your refund.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 2
4. User Reviews for H&R Block Online vs TurboTax Online (Which Rates Better?)
One person’s experience trying both TurboTax and H&R Block Online is helpful to read, but merely a piece of the larger puzzle when deciding which tax software is better.
So, to better see the whole “forest through the trees,” let’s consult the wisdom of the masses and see how TurboTax and H&R Block scored based on thousands of customer ratings from verified user reviews:
TurboTax vs H&R Block Customer Ratings:
Here’s a comparison of customer ratings taken directly from user reviews online at hrblock.com and turbotax.intuit.com:
Wow, nearly 200k verified customers rated TurboTax and H&R Block on their websites. Out of this plethora of helpful and honest user reviews, customers rated TurboTax a bit higher than H&R Block.
It should also be noted that TurboTax is the #1-selling tax software in America, with H&R Block coming in with a #2 ranking.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, TurboTax wins the round.
*Scorecard: H&R Block: 1, TurboTax: 3
Conclusion – H&R Block Versus TurboTax Online: Which Is Better?
So, when it comes to online tax software, should you go withTurboTax or H&R Block?
While both H&R Block and TurboTax have established themselves as dependable, user-friendly tax software, but one of them is superior in my opinion.
In this heavyweight fight, I believe that TurboTax is the winner by unanimous decision on the scorecard!
I do have to add that both TurboTax and H&R Block should be commended, and the competition was close. So, this is no “knockout” win for TurboTax.
Why Is TurboTax Better Than H&R Block Online?
While there is certainly a “Coke versus Pepsi” debate over which is better, I prefer TurboTax over H&R Block Online.
Why? I recommend TurboTax over H&R Block Online because I believe that TurboTax is more user friendly, and ultimately resulted in the larger tax refund for my situation.
Should You Use H and R Block or TurboTax?
Business Insider also recently compared the online versions of TurboTax and H&R Block. Although the video doesn’t mention which one resulted in a bigger tax refund, it’s worth watching if you’re on the fence:
TurboTax of H&R Block – How to Get the Best Price:
Thanks for reading our review of H&R Block vs TurboTax (Online). If you do go with one of these tax-heavyweights to file your taxes, be sure to use our exclusive discount to get the best price online:
*Related: What’s the best tax calculator online?