Tax Preparation Methods – Which is right for you?

H&R Block advises on DIY, using a pro for tax prep.

Deciding which tax preparation method to use depends largely on taxpayers’ comfort with their tax situations. However, the more complex the situation is, the more likely the assistance of a tax professional should be sought.

Consider the following when debating taking the do-it-yourself route or consulting a tax professional.

Going it alone with the right tools isn’t so lonely

This year, H&R Block upgraded its do-it-yourself tax preparation products to provide a better tax preparation experience and easy access to free, unlimited advice from tax experts via real-time chat.

H&R Block’s do-it-yourself tax preparation methods have the decades of the company’s expertise built in. An interview sequence asks DIY filers questions about changes in their lives in the past year that could impact their tax situation. This further ensures users take all the tax credits and deductions they qualify to claim.

H&R Block tax software offers DIY taxpayers multiple online and downloadable software products based on tax complexity. This includes a version for business owners seeking a solution that allows their individual and business tax returns to be prepared with the same product.

All of these products plus the 1040EZ app and iPad app come with free audit support and representation, and an accuracy guarantee.

Picking the right pro can be a money saver

Tax law changes, marriage, divorce, birth, adoption, job loss, foreclosure and business decisions can mean more complicated tax returns and the need to consult a qualified tax professional. Following are some tips on making a good choice for assistance with tax preparation:

  • Use only trusted tax preparers committed to helping taxpayers claim the maximum amount entitled by law
    • Unsubstantiated claims may save taxpayers money up-front but likely will cost them in the long run.
  • Seek reputable tax professionals who guarantee their work and understand what happens if an error is made on the return
    • H&R Block guarantees accurate calculations.
    • If IRS penalties and interest charges result from an H&R Block error, the company will pay these expenses
  • Select a preparer available year-round.
    • Taxes typically are prepared January through the April filing deadline, yet the IRS corresponds with taxpayers all year about audits and other concerns.

Block Live allows clients to have their tax returns prepared by an H&R Block tax professional in real time via integrated online video conference or chat. This service is ideal for taxpayers who have busy schedules that make it difficult to make time for a trip to the office, and for those who need to file their taxes from a remote location.

Still can’t decide? Best of Both gives clients the flexibility to first prepare a return on their own, then pass it along to H&R Block to review and correct as necessary. An H&R Block professional will sign and e-file the return on the client’s behalf.

Regardless of who prepares tax returns, taxpayers are legally responsible for the contents. A little research about tax professionals now can prevent significant financial and legal challenges later.

For more information, visit www.hrblock.com or call 800-HRBLOCK.