H&R Block Tax Pro Review

by David@MoneyNing.com · 2 comments

This was post is sponsored by H&R Block.

Filing taxes used to take me 15 minutes. I would wait for the first day taxes could be filed, log in online, fill out a few simple forms, and just wait for my refund check. Then life happened. I created an online business, started a family, owned a few different types of investments, and more. I’m sure I can still file my taxes easily online, but I no longer have the confidence that I can take advantage of every tax break available to me.

Now I solicit the help of a tax guy. He’s great – confident, attentive, and knowledgeable. He’s also expensive. What I don’t like the most is how it now takes me a few hours to gather documents, drive out to meet him just to tell him all the nuances of my past tax year and then to email him every once in a while to make sure he is working on my return.

But what can I do? Enter H&R Block Tax Pro Review.

I never really knew H&R Block lets you file a return with them online for one of their tax professionals to review your work, making sure you are getting all the tax breaks. The Tax Pro Review add-on does exactly that. For $59.99 – $89.99 on top of their usual online filing fee (the exact amount depends on the complexity of the return), one of their certified tax professionals will review your submission and get back to you in as little as three business days.

This is quick, and it could totally change the game for me every tax season. I got a chance to test out the service, and I was plenty happy with all the new features they added to make life simpler for me.

For instance:

  1. I can choose to upload a PDF copy of last year’s return and they will fill out my personal, dependents, spouse, and other small little details for me.
  2. I can also snap a picture of my W2 and have all the information populate.
  3. I can import all the 1099s from major brokerage firms directly into my return by entering the username and password I use to log into those brokerage accounts. For those who are nervous about online security, you can also choose to upload a PDF file.

15 minute returns are once again possible. Woohoo!

After I went through a straightforward online question and answer process, I opted for the tax pro review for $89.99.

The system listed the exact documents I need to upload into their secured server for the tax pro to reference, which is nice because I don’t have to send everything I ever get that could be tax related, saving me time.

I was then taken to a screen that lets either H&R Block automatically pair me with a tax pro based on the data of my return, or I can search for one myself by zip code or name. I tried searching by zip code and many tax pros came up. It also lists a brief description of the person’s area of expertise, which is useful for me to find the right person.

H&R Block says that everyone reviewing tax returns under their Tax Pro Review are graduates of its 60-hour Income Tax Course. They must also complete at least 18 hours of continuing education and an average of 20 hours of skills training on policies and procedures every year.

I’m sure those training will come in handy next tax season when all the new tax changes come into effect. I also find comfort knowing that I won’t miss any tax breaks next year because a real human will be looking over my return next year.

I chose Mary Bunnell, who was already briefed on my mission to take a look at H&R Block’s product this year. The system shows that she has 18 years of experience filing taxes for people. It also states that her expertise is in rental real estate and small business, so she’s perfect for my tax situation.

Once you are done picking the right person and making a payment, your return will be sent to the tax pro for review. She will then look over your return and make sure you are getting all the tax breaks you deserve, asking you questions if she has any via phone or email. You can then e-file the return and get everything wrapped up.

The hybrid approach is really smooth. Apart from saving some money, you can save a ton of time by using the efficient online system to knock the data entry part of the process out of the way, while still having a real professional dedicated to your return.

The only question I have now is why I didn’t find out about H&R Block’s Tax Pro Review all these years?

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  • Craig says:

    I did the H&R Block free tax file and then at the end it asked if I wanted a $50 tax pro review. What that made me think was that someone would make sure I did my return correctly for $50. There was no notification that the $50 was just to start the process and when I was notified my return was available to sign and file, I logged into my account and was hit with a $250 bill. Now I dont have access to my tax return on the site and I cant and I am unwilling to pay that much to file. Some sort of warning that the $50 was not all I was going to be charged would have been nice, I would not have done it.

  • Monica says:

    Your experience depends on who you get. I had a lovely lady for 6 year who always got things done within 3-4 weeks. Last year she retired and I had another person whose software estimated $4k higher tax than the online program and she could not explain why. We wasted 2 months going back and forth and I eventually had to file myself. This year I figured I would try one more time, but it the tax pro has had my return for more then 2 weeks and I have not gotten more than a vague introductory email. Do not even think of adding the service in April unless you want to risk filing late.

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