H&R Block review for tax year 2023 (2024)

H&R Block

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Via H&R Block's website

Federal filing fee

$0 to $496

State filing fee

$0 to $70

What you should know

H&R Block offers a full gamut of tax preparation options, from a free do-it-yourself version online to in-person help. Its prices tend to be on the steeper side, but you won’t find anything rudimentary about the service.

And, introduced in time for 2023 tax year filing, H&R Block’s AI Tax Assist uses artificial intelligence (AI) to serve up vetted H&R Block tax guidance on all of its online editions at no extra cost.


  • H&R Block’s paid, online products include AI Tax Assist, which provides instant, expert answers to tax questions.
  • The platform features user-friendly interfaces with plain language, so entering information is easy, even for the free version.
  • H&R Block’s No Surprise Guarantee promises transparent pricing and free audit assistance if needed, otherwise you get 20% off next year’s return.


  • H&R Block products can be pricey, especially if you choose to have a Tax Pro prepare your return for you.
  • The AI Tax Assist and live support are not available to free filers.

Who H&R Block is best for

H&R Block is best for filers who want the option to see an expert in person or the assurance of a strong brand with friendly user experience and a history of tax prep expertise.

As one of the top five tax software platforms for 2024, H&R Block stands out by giving you the option to see a tax professional at one of its roughly 9,000 locations. If that’s not your thing or you’d like to save some cash by doing it yourself, the software has a plain-language interface and you have a buffet of choices on how to use it, including by mobile app, desktop application or by downloading the software.

Its free version is robust compared to some competitors, allowing you to report unemployment income without upgrading to a paid version. If you do need a paid version, its software prices trend lower than TurboTax’s. (Though Cash App Taxes offers a completely free return.)

Whichever option you choose, don’t wait until the last minute; timely tax prep and filing can minimize stress, prevent careless mistakes and even avert last-minute catastrophes.

Key features

  • AI Tax Assist. AI is included in all online, paid products to answer your filing questions in real time.
  • Max refund guarantee. If you find a bigger tax refund elsewhere, whatever you paid for H&R Block’s service will be refunded.
  • Highly-rated mobile app. The H&R Block app earned 4.8 out of five stars on iOs and 4.2 stars on Android.

Options for human help

  • Tax Pro. You could meet an H&R Block “Tax Pro” in person or virtually and have an expert do all the work of preparing your taxes; you simply provide the materials. This is the most expensive option, but, also, perhaps, the least stressful. Pricing starts at $89 for the simplest filings and goes up to $496 for a federal filing, depending on your tax situation.
  • + Tax Pro. If you don’t want to spring for the full Tax Pro service, but you do want someone to check your work, you can have an expert review your forms before you file. You must file online to get this service and the upgrade will jump your federal filing price to $55 total for state and federal if you’re using the Free Online version. You’ll shell out $120 for the Deluxe, $180 for the Premium and $210 for the Self-Employed versions, all of which require an additional $49 per state.

A closer look at H&R Block’s products

H&R Block offers one free online product for the simplest returns, three online products and four downloadable softwares.

All prices and details are accurate as of April 1, 2024.



Free Online

For: Those with simple returns, such as students and individuals with a single W-2 job.

Pricing: $0 for a federal and state filing. Abilities: Upload forms using your phone camera; claim education credits and tuition interest, Child Tax Credit, unemployment income.

Limitations: No itemized deductions or human help options.

Paid, Online


For: Filers who claim dependents, own a home or earn 1099 income.

Pricing: $46.75 for federal filing, plus $49 per state filing.

Abilities: Report health savings accounts (HSAs), real estate taxes and mortgage interest; receive AI tax help; itemize deductions.

Limitations: You won’t be able to account for income from a business, investments or cryptocurrency, or take deductions for rental properties or business expenses.


For: Investors and rental property owners.

Pricing: $72.25 for federal filing, plus $49 per state filing.

Abilities: File forms on investment income, cryptocurrency, stock sales and rental property deductions, plus access AI tax help.

Limitations: Does not include small business forms or live help.


For: Self-employed business owners

Pricing: $97.75 for federal filing, plus $49 per state filing.

Abilities: Report business income and deductions with AI help at your fingertips.

Limitations: Human help isn’t included.

Paid, Downloadable

If you need to work offline (or you prefer it), downloadable software is available.


For: Taxpayers with simple returns.

Pricing: $35 for five federal filings.

Abilities: For one price, five individuals can electronically file (e-file) federal tax returns and see real-time refund results.

Limitations: State tax return software isn’t included. No options for itemized deductions, self-employment income or rental income.

State editions

For: Individuals who need to file taxes with one or more states.

Pricing: $39.95 per state; additional $19.95 per state to e-file.

Abilities: Complete whatever state-specific tax forms you need.

Limitations: You must also purchase some version of H&R Block’s federal tax filing service. States without income tax and New Hampshire don’t allow e-filing.

Deluxe + State

For: Offline taxpayers who have itemized deductions.

Pricing: $59 for five federal filings and one state return.

Abilities: Itemize deductions and report income all offline.

Limitations: No self-employment or small business forms; no access to AI tax assistance or tax expert support.


For: Individuals who need to report self-employment or rental property income.

Pricing: $85 for five federal filings and one state return.

Abilities: Report self-employed 1099 income, rental property and expenses.

Limitations: No small business tax forms, AI help and human support not included.

Premium & Business

For: Small business owners who prefer to work offline.

Pricing: $99 for five federal filings and one state return.

Abilities: File personal and business taxes.

Limitations: No AI or tax expert support.

Paid, Tax Pro

You could have your tax returns professionally prepared and meet with an expert virtually or in person.

Tax Pro

For: Individuals or small business owners who prefer to work with a professional or who have exceptionally complicated taxes.

Pricing: Prices vary depending on the complexity of your return, starting at $89 + state filing fee for simple (W-2 job) tax return. More complex returns, such as those that involve self-employed income and dependents can raise the price to $496. Additional fees may apply for state and state e-filing.

Abilities: Your taxes are done for you.

Limitations: You must attend an appointment, which will require transportation to an H&R Block office or stable internet for a virtual meeting.

Free Online

H&R Block’s Free Online tax service is not going to be for everyone, but the cost can’t be beat. Free federal and state filing means that those with the simplest tax return only need to upload documents like the previous year’s tax return and a W-2.

If you start the filing process and realize you need more forms or human help, you can upgrade rather than starting over, though the product will no longer be free.

You may be eligible for the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs, which offer absolutely free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals.

Paid online editions

With anything greater than the simplest of tax situations, you’ll likely need to pay to access more forms. Whichever level of service you need, AI Tax assist is included at no additional cost and you can opt for human help (for an increased price) at any time.

The downloadable editions don’t include such help options, but you may find some savings.

Downloadable software

H&R Block’s four desktop versions may work best if you have concerns about internet speed or security, or if you want to take advantage of a low price for five federal filings, which may be helpful for helping your parents with their tax returns.

You pay upfront and download the software package, do your work offline and file when you are ready.

If you need more state filings than what’s included in your chosen software, you’ll pay an extra $39.95 per state to prepare the forms, which you can then print and mail. If you’d like to e-file your state return, you’ll pay $19.95 more in most cases. (State e-filing is free in New York, but isn’t available in New Hampshire and in states with no state income tax.)

Tax Pro help

The cost is higher, of course, but, if your taxes will be complicated this year or if you would rather avoid the DIY approach, H&R Block has offices in every state. Preparing your taxes one-on-one with an expert, in-office or virtually, may offer a significant level of comfort.

How H&R Block stacks up


Best for

Filers who are looking for ease-of-use plus in-person support options

Filers who are willing to pay a little more for a wide variety of product options

Taxpayers who are comfortable filing their taxes online

Cost-conscious taxpayers filing simple returns, without need of expert assistance

Federal filing cost

$0 to $496

$0* to $469

$0 to $67.95


State filing cost

$0 to $49 per state filing

$0* to $69 per state

$0 to $44.95 per state

Free (single state)


  • In-person support and AI Tax Assist available
  • User-friendly, plain language interface
  • Interview-style questions without jargon
  • Live support available in English and Spanish
  • Less expensive options
  • Military file for free
  • Free phone and email support
  • Free federal and state filing
  • Gratis audit defense


  • More complex returns can be pricey
  • AI assistance and live support are not available to free filers
  • Pricier, with only 37% of filers qualifying for the free version
  • Huge amount of options may be confusing
  • No option for full-service tax preparation
  • Requires a premium package for expert assistance
  • Can’t file multiple state returns
  • Limited support options
  • Requires app download

*roughly 37% of taxpayers qualify. Form 1040 + limited tax credits only.

H&R Block vs. TurboTax

Both of these companies have long histories in the tax preparation software field: H&R Block was founded in 1955; TurboTax (Intuit Corporation), 1983. They have worked the bugs out, and are known for ease-of-use and accessibility, if also for higher pricing.

TurboTax tends to be more expensive, but it offers live support in English and Spanish, and includes an expert tax review at all price points, including the free version. H&R Block stands out by having branches where you can choose to work face-to-face (and not just on a video conference) with a tax expert.

H&R Block vs. TaxSlayer

TaxSlayer has a clunkier interface, but is more budget friendly compared to H&R Block. The price for a TaxSlayer federal return tops out at $67.95, which includes self-employment forms and includes access to experts. Each TaxSlayer software version comes with phone and email support while live chat and “priority support” (in which you get bumped to the front of the helpline) come with the premium package.

Note that TaxSlayer does not offer full-service tax preparation (it won’t do your taxes for you) and it does not have physical branches you can visit.

H&R Block vs. Cash App Taxes

Cash App Taxes is the newcomer on the block, but offers free federal and state filing, with “no upsells.” Like H&R Block, it offers both a maximum refund guarantee and an accurate calculations guarantee.

However, it allows you to file for only one state. You can’t purchase a second or third state — you’ll either need a different software platform or to file directly with your other state(s). Its support options are also limited—while you can reach out to a human for technical support, its tax support exists mostly as a list of educational articles.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Going to H&R Block can be a worthwhile choice if you want the security of going in-person to an H&R office to have your taxes prepared by an expert. H&R Block also offers a compelling choice for DIY tax filers who are excited about real-time access to AI assistance based on data from H&R Block experts.

H&R Block data protection includes web browsing encryption, multi-layer authentication, industry-standard encryption. In addition, the company has secure facilities, data centers, networks and servers.

H&R Block free pricing is legit for both federal and state simple returns with no tax expert review and no AI expert assistance. If you’d like your free return reviewed by an expert, you need to pay $55 to upgrade to the “Free Online + Tax Pro Review” version.

H&R Block only takes money from your refund if you choose to pay for the tax preparation services with a federal refund deduction. But you can choose to pay for your preparation services upfront.

H&R Block offers a 100% Accuracy Guarantee, which means the company will cover any tax penalties or interest you face due to an H&R Block software calculation error, up to $10,000. Its Maximum Refund Guarantee also covers cases where it is shown that an error in the software or by the tax preparer impacted your refund.

H&R Block review for tax year 2023 (2024)
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