Last year I gave you my tax filing tips and told you all about how I love to use HRBlock.com to file my taxes. For the past five years I have used the Best of Both service – which lets me input all my data myself, then upload my return to be reviewed by a tax pro.
This year, I tried something new! HRBlock.com now has Block Live! A online video chat service that makes filing taxes at home just like going into their offices. Actually, I think it’s easier:
- No appointment needed – just look up your zip code and you’ll get a list of tax pros available right then! (If you like to work with the same person and they are a Block Live tax pro, you can still schedule an online appointment.)
- Comfort of home – as long as you have a web cam, you’re sitting pretty right there on your couch!
- Easily send documents – just scan or fax them over to the tax pro and they’ll be looking at the same paperwork you have within minutes.
- Live chat and video gives a personal touch – and you can ask all your questions along the way as they pop up, rather than wait for a reply via email.
Some features are the same – the tax pro can get your info from prior filings with HRBlock.com to make filing faster. And they’ll work to make sure you get all the deductions you have coming! And of course, you can easily transfer your info to your state filing and do it all at once (additional fees apply to state filing).
What do I miss? Well, I am kind of Type-A, so I miss inputing the data because I like to see it with my own eyes. And, I miss watching my return figure go up (sometimes down!). But… my favorite part of Block Live was getting to ask a zillion questions of my very patient tax pro! I learned a lot from chatting with her!
The time spent is about the same as when I filed online myself. Probably 10 minutes scanning documents. We had technical difficulties on my computer so we switched to phone chat, which took a little over an hour (would’ve been shorter without the problems on my end).
BUY IT: The price of Block Live varies – from FREE (yes, file with the EZ form, and get a free federal filing until February 29, 2012) to upwards of $300 (super complicated returns with business filings, etc.). Personally, tax law is so complicated, I consider it worth the expense to know I did my taxes right (and, tax prep expenses are deductible the following year!).
WIN IT! HRBlock.com is giving FIVE lucky winners a free Federal Filing using H&R Block At Home service (this is the service I used last year)! (State filing extra). ARV $74.95. This service includes Worry Free Audit Support, Maximum Refund Guarantee, and Accurate Calculations Guarantee.
Disclosure: I was given a free tax filing to facilitate writing this post. I was not compensated in any other way, and all opinions are 100% my own.