TaxCut by H&R Block is a great tax preparation software with the Premium Federal being your one stop shop for federal taxes and one state tax program.
Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 20/25
Everybody who does taxes has heard of H&R Block and their TaxCut software has really transformed over the last few years with a new full service software program to fill out your federal and state tax forms. The regular 1040 form that many filers will be using is a relatively easy form to fill out but deciphering all those little things like deductions, student loans and everything else for taxes can be a nightmare.
I have used only a few forms to fill out my taxes and have not tried other tax preparation software other than TaxCut but have been so happy with it I will be using it again. The TaxCut software I used over the last few years has always been the online version that you simply download and use but this year I asked for the program from H&R Block and got it to review.
The software is easy to install and comes with an automatic update system every time you start it up just to make sure it is really up to date. This is one of the first things I have been impressed with for a tax software, instant updating with current tax laws so you get up to the minute information and correct filing.
When you start up the TaxCut software for your federal taxes you have a few options like importing information from various other programs. You can import from TaxCut previous versions and years as well as TurboTax, Quicken, Microsoft Money and DeductionPro to get all your financial information into the program.
Once you have your program running and all your stuff imported you start by filling in your personal information and filing status. If you imported information this will be partly done due to using the information on the imports but it will also show the full information to make sure it is correct.
When filling out your taxes it does not go line by line on the tax form so you are just filling in boxes, it asks you questions and gives you simple advice and help sections to go to for each question. For things like claiming dependents and what requirements are actually being able to claim someone on your taxes or advice like most people do not use this but you may and then off to a help section to further discuss the topic come up often.
The questions are based on simple and easy to understand language instead of the very strict government wording used on the actual tax forms and manual that come in the mail from the government. I found the taxes and filling out the questions easy and had no problem whisking through my taxes in under two hours, this may seem like a long time but I will elaborate.
Actually using the TaxCut software took less than 15 minutes from start to finish, what took the time was going through all my records and adding up things to input into TaxCut and then double checking my math. I sell stuff on eBay and claim all that I sell but I also deduct the shipping and fees that eBay and PayPal charge so I have some adding and math to do before I can fully complete my taxes.
The software is great and I had no problems doing my usual taxes with my somewhat unusual self employment business as well as my wife doing some of this as well. I also had my son do his taxes using the TaxCut software, 5 federal e-files included in the Premium Federal program, which he found easy to do even though he did ask me a lot of questions.
He is young and only has been doing taxes for a couple of years and he wanted to make sure he was doing things correctly and wanted to make sure he understood what was going on with his taxes. I usually pointed to the screen and showed him how the software had advice and help sections right on the screen that always answered his questions.
This program also elaborates on changes to taxes and the laws and will explain these to you in clear language if you want to check these out. It will often put up questions that pertain to individual sections or questions but at times it will also ask if you want to check out new tax codes and laws or see how they have changed from previous years.
The TaxCut program does include the 5 e-files as well as one state program that you will have to download from the H&R Block website but it does this automatically when it gets to the state filing section. The program will ask you what state you are filing your taxes in and downloads that states program for free, other states will have a cost of $29.95 if you need more than one.
You can send your state taxes in by paper form in the regular mail (snail mail) but for those expecting a decent return you can also pay the $20 and e-file your state taxes through the tax program. TaxCut will send the state taxes in and receive payment straight through the program using a credit card to file your state taxes quickly so you get your return faster. You can of course enter routing numbers and a checking account number to get your return in as little as a week or ten days, I have already received my state return in 4 days or so and should be getting my federal soon.
I found that paying about $20 for the state return and the $50 for the main TaxCut Premium Federal program is a good value due to the hassles it saves over doing it all yourself. The program does a great job of making sure your inputting things in the correct boxes when adding your W-2 information as well as giving good advice when you need it.
The program is very easy to use and simple to install as well as being quite handy throughout the year for a quick check on your taxes and filing out addition financial papers. I have repeatedly gone to my PDF copy of the tax forms to check my gross income and other information on the computer instead of digging into my files in my safe for a quick check on amounts.
The TaxCut software does a great job of filling out your federal and state tax forms as well as the bonus DeductionPro program that helps you itemize your deductions and gives advice on claiming deductions. The DeductionPro is part of the program and loads when you install TaxCut to help you fill out the itemization forms for deductions as well as add them up and tell you how much you can claim.
For my self employed business this is especially helpful if I was to deduct many things but I like to keep things simple and deduct as little as possible. You can use the program to add up deductions for expenses, charity contributions and any other itemizations to give you a nice clear list of all your deductions.
TaxCut is great for self employment and deductions but also for rental properties and varied business interests with plenty of help in choosing what to do with your tax forms and sections as well as home ownership. The program does a great job of guiding you through each section like rental properties and what you need to enter in each section as well as regular home ownership and the varied deductions associated with that.
There is also plenty of help with any questions you might have in the one free chat sessions but I advise to wait until you are as done as you can be with your filing to get as much of your questions gathered for use in the single session. The chat session works as a regular chat and you will have a tax advisor on the other end to help you with your tax questions which worked out well for me as I did use the one that came with my software and it worked just as expected.
TaxCut Premium Federal includes WillPower to help you step by step in creating your own legal will using the program for estate planning. WillPower takes you step by step using simple questions and fill in the blanks to get your financial affairs in order to take the worry about the what if in life.
TaxCut by H&R Block is a great program and for the low cost you do get a lot for your money including the five federal e-files and single state program to at least be able to print out your state taxes. I highly recommend the TaxCut Premium Federal program for a good well rounded tax preparation and federal e-filing suite of software.