H&R Block Vs. TurboTax — Which Is Better For Filing Taxes?
- Tax day is April 17th, but the sooner you file, the sooner you can get your tax refund. The IRS actually recommends that American tax payers file their taxes online and they also say you should request your refunds via direct deposit. So we decided to take a closer look at the two most popular online tax filing systems to see which one is better. So I'm here with Anya who beat us all to the punch when it comes to doing your taxes. She is a true early bird and has already filled out her tax return on not just one online filing service, but two and we're here to find out which one she liked better. So what type of taxpayer would you say you are? I'm filing one income this year. Last year, I was filing two for my business insider internship and from my freelancing gig. So that was a little more complicated. This year, I'd say I'm a much more streamlined taxpayer because I only have one income to worry about as opposed to two. - [Interviewer] Why did you use Turbo Tax last year and are there certain taxpayers you think that it might be better for? - So last year I started off using H&R Block. It was going very well at first, then when it came time to file my freelancer income, I found it much more complicated. It was quite unclear how to move forward, so I ended up going to Turbo Tax. It was a breeze. I just filed, you know, my regular business insider income and my freelancer income and it was not an issue at all. If you are somebody who has side projects, side hustles, you're a freelancer, Turbo Tax is probably better. It really allows you to skip back and forth between different stages of the process. Seems a bit more acclimated to people who have multiple sources of income. - [Interviewer] Which service was easier to go through the process? - So they were both very similar in that they both had very intuitive interfaces that kind of keep the process flowing and also answer questions along the way as you're going through it. I found H&R Block more streamlined, a little bit more intuitive than Turbo Tax but they're both pretty similar in terms of how you use them. - [Interviewer] Which one had something that really stood out as a pain point? Something that was kind of annoying. - Turbo Tax because they're very pushy about trying to get you to upgrade to their paid services. They keep taking you back to the screen where you're able to select different options and just basically asking are you sure you want to do this for free and it's kind of like, yes, I am sure, and they basically show you all your information saying, we did your taxes last year. You're 50% complete if you upgrade to plus now. And when I declined and went to the free service instead, it kind of makes a point of showing you losing all your information and I felt that was a bit passive aggressive. And it's a stark contrast to H&R Block which was very much easier to use in the sense it doesn't make you set up an account right away. You can kind of go through it. It does ask you if you want to upgrade, but it just feels less insistent, less, you know, making you second guess yourself essentially. - [Interviewer] What was one of the major differences you noticed between the two different services? - So, H&R Block's service is incredibly linear which I liked personally because it just takes you from beginning to end and it's a very straight forward march to the end. In terms of Turbo Tax, it really allows you to jump around more, I felt, in terms of its interface. You could start one thing, leave it, go to something else. That might appeal to different personalities based on how you like to work. - [Interviewer] Given your experience, which service would you ultimately recommend? - I'd say, if you're like me, and you are filing for one income, both are good. H&R Block, for me, was better just in terms of its interface and the way I was able to kind of breeze through it essentially. So if you don't have to worry about other free lancing or side gig income, I would say H&R Block is probably best. - Okay cool, so H&R Block is your pick? - Actually, this year I'll be using Turbo Tax to file my taxes. - That seems like it goes against what you just said though. - Well, I already have an account on there. I'm all set up. They have all my information even though they made a point of stripping it all away when I didn't upgrade. I'm used to it and they're both so similar that you now, I just feel like might as well start an ongoing relationship with one of them as opposed to switching back and forth. - That makes sense. I mean it is nice when you have all of your tax returns in one place, but if you do want to switch back and forth every year, you can just download the PDF and keep your own digital copy. Thanks so much for doing your taxes early so the rest of us could heed your advice. - Thanks for having me. (laughing)