Free No-Frills Tax Prep Software From H&R Block

H&R Block is offering Tax Cut Basic federal tax preparation software to directly compete with TurboTax. It’s free, for a price.

Like TurboTax, Tax Cut Basic asks you a series of questions to fill out your forms. The software lets you import last year’s data from Turbo Tax, and features error checking, and advice for changing tax situations.

To download, H&R Block asks for a name and address and whatnot. However, there’s nothing to stop you from registering as Seymour Butts of Privacy Lane.

The program touts the ease and convenience of e-filing, though that costs an additional $15.95. Better just to print them out and mail them in.

TaxCut Basic charges $24.95 to purchase the ability to file a state return. TurboTax offers a very similar free program that doesn’t require a download, but state returns are $25.95.

Overall, a decent quckie tax prep software for the tax payer who just wants to get ‘r done. — BEN POPKEN

TaxCut Basic [H&R Block] (Thanks to Krispfeiffer!)

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  1. theDevilsDue says:

    Several companies, including H&R Block offer free online tax prep and e-filing of federal returns. For more information, check out http://www.irs.gov and look for the ‘freefile’ link on the left hand side of the page…

  2. Pelagius says:

    I used this over the weekend (too cold to do much else) and it was a breeze, especially with the damn confusing Schedule D stuff.

  3. abartonkc says:

    I suggest avoiding the commercial tax software programs (TurboTax and Tax Cut) and downloading TaxAct for FREE. You can prepare, print and efile with the Standard product for free.

    http://www.taxact.com/products/index_personal.asp

    For your state taxes, if you have them, check with your state’s Department of Revenue website. A lot of states provide filing online.

    http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/internet.html

  4. Morton Fox says:

    Very good deal, although I’ve already purchased Taxcut Premium + State for not much more than the Taxcut State add-on.

  5. simpleguru says:

    Most of the companies listed on the IRS’s freefile link have maximum income limits.

    TaxAct.com offers 100% free prep and filing for federal, and you can file state taxes for free thru most states (links can be found on IRS website).

    For more info:
    http://simpleguru.blogspot.com/2007/01/merry-taxmas.html

  6. Be careful if you use this in Michigan.

    I used this software (it was for some reasons mailed unsolicited to me). It seemed to calculate my federal return correctly, but screwed up my state return to the tune of believing I owed 1800 dollars. Their customer service said basically if I can calculate it correctly on my own they’d give me a refund for the price of the state form. I did it myself and got my state refund as well as my software refund, and filed both state and federal manually since my confidence was shaken in their software.

    Also remember last year H&R Block admitted to having miscalculated their own taxes for FY2005 and FY2004.

  7. ganzhimself says:

    I got the Premium version of the software from them for “free” since I filed with them online last year. Then I find it’s $24.95 to get the software to file State tax. Fine, no big deal… Then I find that it’s $15.95 to e-file the federal forms, and another $15.95 to e-file the state form! So, over $60 bucks later, my taxes got filed. Never again… Next year it’s TaxAct Basic for me.

  8. any such name says:

    OK, I see above a recommendation for TaxAct…. anyone else filed their federal taxes online (particularly anyone living in Illinois)??
    I did my IL state taxes online either 1/31 or 2/01 of last week, and it’s already pending in my checking account today – go state of Illinois!!!

    I’m just leery of all of the free programs, as I don’t want to read the huge amount of fine print that comes with them all.

    Any recommendations??

  9. dead9uy says:

    I’ve used H&R Block’s program the last 3 years and have been happy with it. I began mine this year and was scheduled to receive an $1800 refund. But, before I submitted it I went on Turbo Tax and entered everything to see if it matched up. Low and behold, it came out to $3360, nearly double! I entered everything the same so I can’t understand the difference. I also just take the standard deduction as I don’t own a house. I went ahead with the Turbo Tax return, it’s been accepted and my money should be direct deposited within the next 10 days.

  10. peetah says:

    for my fellow Canadians, I have used quicktax web for a few years now and it is simple and quick. just a series of questions that lead you to the appropriate forms you need to fill in.

    there are usually 20% off coupon codes available through most banks. It works out to be about 15 bucks taxes included.

    I believe if you annual income is below a certain amount filing is free at quicktax web aswell.

  11. 3dogs says:

    TurboTax Fed ans State are free to State Farm customers.

  12. MikeyP says:

    I’ve been using TaxAct for the last couple years and couldn’t be happier. As mentioned above, federal is free to efile and you can efile the state for a small fee or just take the data and enter it in to your own state forms or efile yourself. If I was getting a refund this year I would have paid for the state efile just to say thanks to TaxAct, but alas it was not meant to be for me in 2006.

  13. heavylee-again says:

    @ 3dogs
    Kinda. If you are a State Farm customer AND have an online account set up on their website, then you can file both Federal and State taxes completely free using TurboTax online. I also used their Deductions Maximizer, also free.

  14. And, of course, one of the states I have to file a partial-year tax return in is one of eight that doesn’t support partial-year tax returns in this software.

  15. Optimistic Prime says:

    If you’re under 50 yrs old and make less than something high like $56,000, you can get it for free, but you must go through IRS.gov. The free TurboTax limit is $26,000. I went through both and was more satisfied by H&R Block-Head. They got me a refund where Turbo-Tax would’ve had me owing about the same amount as the refund…

  16. Optimistic Prime says:

    While I’m thinking, look into your state’s own web-site. I live in Ohio and it’s free to e-file through them. It’s pretty straight forward as well.