If you’ve been procrastinating tax filling – it’s now the time to get the ball rolling. Your papers will not fill up themselves. No worries; although tax filling is not exactly a fun or enjoyable task, there are online tax filing services available online that can help you get the job done more quickly and conveniently. Two of the most popular tax filling services right now are Liberty Tax and H&R Block. So, which one is the best? See the comparisons between Liberty Tax vs H&R Block below!
Liberty Tax: User Experience
Liberty Tax comes with a simple and clean interface. Although it does not look as modern as some other tax preparation software applications, its simplicity makes it very intuitive to use. It guides you through the tax preparation process systematically, so it is suitable even for beginners and first-timers who don’t know much about tax filing. However, it also allows you to skip the step-by-step process and immediately choose the forms that you want to fill out if you are confident in what you are doing. It can also recommend additional forms that you may want to consider filing for credits or tax deductions.
Not all people prefer popup warnings, so Liberty Tax is wise by relying less on popups for information. However, there’s some more scrolling here. While navigation is not very quick, some people may actually prefer how the lists of items gather before starting. It can send email reminders if you start the tax filing process yet haven’t finished, provided that you have activated the feature.
Whenever you are working with numbers, it is very easy to type two or three digits in wrong. Fortunately, Liberty Tax allows you to go back and forth easily to fix errors. There are help options pinned on the right sidebar, which include common questions-and-answers and live chat.
H&R Block: User Experience
On the other hand, the interface of H&R Block is designed like an interview. It guides you step by step through simple yes-or-no questions and checklists, and it will automatically populate your official forms based on your answers. Of course, this format is really easy to understand. It really simplifies the complicated process of tax filing. You can also navigate to different parts of the process easily.
The difference between Liberty Tax vs H&R Block is that, on H&R Block, you can’t fill the forms directly. The downside of H&R Block is that it does not really give a way for an in-depth look at your forms. While it automatically calculates the numbers on your forms, it does not explain how it comes down to those conclusions. Experienced users may also feel that it is cumbersome because it does not allow you to directly fill the forms. The only way to fill the forms is through the interview process.
Nevertheless, H&R Block provides built-in support guides and also telephone support. In case that you are getting audited, it can provide support and even representation for an extra fee.
Tax Preparation Options
Liberty Tax has two options for tax preparation. The most common and convenient is to prepare your taxes online. It stores your information in the cloud so that you can access it anywhere, anytime. However, it is only available as a web-based service. It does not have any app for smartphones or tablets.
Liberty Tax also allows you to visit one of their nationwide retail offices. Here, you can work with one of the professional tax preparers to prepare your taxes. This is one of just a few online tax preparation services that have physical locations.
The next difference between Liberty Tax vs H&R Block is that H&R Block comes with several different formats. It can be accessed through web browsers. However, you can also purchase and download traditional software for offline use. There are also mobile apps for Android and iOS devices which enable you to take a picture of your W-2 form to input directly into your filling.
Just like Liberty Tax, H&R Block also allows you to visit one of their physical locations around the country. There, you can meet a professional tax preparer to handle your tax filing.
There is no tax preparation software application that can guarantee a refund. However, Liberty Tax does provide several ways for tax return. You can choose to receive the return through direct deposit to your bank account, check, or prepaid card. You can even apply for an advance for your return if you go to the physical office. However, you can’t pay your tax filing fee with your return.
On the other hand, H&R Block provides several options for a tax refund. You can receive it through direct deposit or prepaid card. Well, you can also receive it through a check, but there is an additional fee for this option.
H&R Block also allows an advance for a refund of up to $1250. In addition, one cool thing about this tax service is that it allows you to pay the tax filing fee with your tax return if you are not eligible for the free filing.
Time and Money Savers
If you used a different service last year, you can import the last year’s information to Liberty Tax. This is a very useful timesaver feature, especially if you use multiple accounts or if you have long-term deductions. If your employer uses ADP or Equifax, you can upload your W-2s instead of entering the data manually. Liberty Tax is very convenient that it analyzes your information and informs you about the credits that you may qualify for.
On the other hand, H&R Block allows you to import your W-2s via PDF scanning regardless of the service used by your employer. However, using the built-in scanner is not always effective because it may find difficulties in recognizing the text. There is a section in the filing process that brings you several tax deduction opportunities to help you maximize your return.
|Liberty Tax||H&R Block|
|- Allows to skip the interview process and fill the forms directly||- You can only use the interview-based interface|
|- Only has a web-based interface||- Has web-based interface, traditional software, and mobile apps|
|- Receive the return through direct deposit, check, or prepaid card||- Return via deposit or prepaid card is free, but via check has a fee|
|- You can upload W-2s instead of entering manually if your employer uses ADP or Equifax||- Can import W-2s via PDF scanning, but not always work|
Liberty Tax vs H&R Block have different pros and cons. In general, Liberty Tax is more recommended because of the neat, easy-to-use interface. It is suitable for both beginners and experienced users, as it allows the user to access the forms directly. Nevertheless, H&R Block can be your choice if you prefer to use a mobile app.