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Surprise, HR Block Free tax prep is not free.

24 January, 2012 (06:08) | How to

I just read a few complaints on a consumer watchdog website about H&R Block. Grow up people! If you are old enough to file taxes you should have some basic consumer skills on your own by now. They seem to believe putting a * next to a word and making you read the fine print should be illegal.

The result: HR Block At Home Free* is free

*State filing not included

** State filing costs $27.95 (you can see this by clicking on the main page about 3 inches below the price. It is a link below the words “1 federal e-file included” which says “State additional fee.” If you click that link it tells you. Magic.

There are some options. You can download the forms from the IRS. You can get them at a library. You can call a friend who is smarter than you.

Many people don’t seem to understand which version to buy. I’ll give you a hint:

  1. Write down the little letters on the top of your tax forms. W2, 1099 etc.
  2. Go to the HRblock page. Click “learn more” under basic. Scroll down and find Supports most tax forms and click View list. You should be able to do just about anything with this list:

Common IRS forms and schedules:
Form 1040 Individual Income Tax Return
Form 1040A Individual Income Tax Return
Form 1040EZ Income Tax Return for Single and Joint Filers
Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement
Form 1098 Mortgage Interest Statement
Form 1098-E Student Loan Interest
Form 1098-T Tuition Payment
Form 1099-DIV Dividends and Distributions Income
Form 1099-G Certain Government Payments Form 1099-INT Interest Income
Form 1099-MISC Miscellaneous Income
Form 1099-R Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing
Form 2441 Child and Dependent Care Credit
Form 8863 Education Credits
Form 8917 Tuition and Fees Deduction
Schedule A Itemized Deductions
Schedule B Interest and Dividends
Schedule C Profit or Loss from Business
Schedule C-EZ Net Profit from Business
Schedule D Capital Gains and Losses
Schedule EIC Earned Income Credit
Schedule SE Self-Employment Tax

Other IRS forms and schedules:
Schedule E Rents, Royalties, Partnerships, Etc.
Schedule F Profit or Loss from Farming
Schedule H Household Employment Taxes
Schedule K-1 Estate and Trust Income
Schedule K-1 Partnership and S Corporation Income
Schedule R Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled
Section 179 Worksheet
Taxable Recovery Worksheet
Form W-2G Gambling Winnings
Form 982 Reduction of Tax Attributes Due to Discharge of Indebtedness
Form 1040-ES Estimated Tax
Form 1040-V Payment Voucher
Form 1040-X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (For current year returns)
Form 1098-C Vehicle Donation
Form 1099-OID Original Issue Discount
Form 1099-Q Payments from Qualified Education Programs
Form 1099-RRB Railroad Retirement
Form 1099-S Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions
Form 1099-SA Distributions from HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA
Form 1099-SSA Social Security Distributions
Form 1116 Foreign Tax Credit
Form 1310 Refund Due a Deceased Taypayer
Form 2106 Employee Business Expenses
Form 2106-EZ Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses
Form 2210 Underpayment Penalty
Form 2210-F Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Farmers and Fisherman
Form 2439 Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains
Form 2555 Foreign Earned Income
Form 2555-EZ Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
Form 3903 Moving Expenses
Form 4137 Social Security Tax on Unreported Tips
Form 4562 Depreciation and Amortization
Form 4684 Casualties and Thefts
Form 4797 Sales of Business Property
Form 4835 Farm Rental Income and Expenses
Form 4868 Automatic Extension of Time to File
Form 4952 Investment Interest Expense
Form 4972 Tax on Lump-Sum Distributions
Form 5329 Return for IRA and Retirement Plan Tax
Form 5405 First-Time Homebuyer Credit
Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits
Form 6251 Alternative Minimum Tax
Form 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions
Form 8332 Release of Claim to Exemption
Form 8396 Mortgage Interest Credit
Form 8453 Electronic Filing
Form 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations
Form 8606 Nondeductible IRAs
Form 8615 Tax for Children Who Have Investment Income of More Than $1,900
Form 8801 Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax-Individuals, Estates, and Trusts
Form 8812 Additional Child Tax Credit
Form 8814 Election for Child’s Income
Form 8815 Exclusion of Interest from Series EE Bonds
Form 8822 Change of Address
Form 8822-B Change of Address – Business
Form 8829 Expenses for Business Use of Your Home
Form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses
Form 8862 Information to Claim Earned Income Credit after Disallowance
Form 8880 Credit for Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions
Form 8885 Health Insurance Credit for Eligible Recipients
Form 8888 Direct Deposit to More than One Account
Form 8889 Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Form 8910 Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
Form 8948 Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets
Form 9465 Installment Agreement Request

Writing and testing software costs a lot of money. It isn’t just copying a few forms from the government. If it was, you would have 50 million tax prep websites out there. If you want to file online from home you need to cough up a little bit of cash and pay the guys who wrote the software. Otherwise go write your own if it is so easy.

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