The well-known tax preparer H&R Block is offering free tax preparation to specific users of TurboTax for the 2014-2015 tax preparation system. The company is taking advantage of the price hike on TurboTax.com for users who would normally use the site to prepare and submit their taxes on their own. These kinds of fights between major companies are often advantageous for customers because they result in freebies.
H&R Block is currently spreading the word online that the company will be giving a free software package of TurboTax Deluxe to customers who have already bought TurboTax Basic or TurboTax Deluxe for 2014. Free software that’s already been purchased seems counter-intuitive, but consumers have voiced their dissatisfaction that the online TurboTax Deluxe version is now missing features they’ve grown used to having for tax preparation assistance. The removal of these features has resulted in a number of negative reviews of TurboTax posted on Amazon.com. Accessing missing C and D forms now requires the purchase of and even more expensive version of the software. This lack of access is a definite problem for individuals who need to report income from small businesses. H&R Block offers a version without the missing tools, and it’s available for anyone who sends an email to SwitchToBlock@hrblock.com. They need to include their contact information as well as a scan of their receipt proving they’ve purchased TurboTax Deluxe or Basic. Interested customers also need to include whether they have a Mac or Windows operating system on the computer they’ll be using for their 2015 tax preparation and submission to the IRS. Further details are available through various media outlets, though the information has been left off H&R Block’s official website so far.
The offering from H&R Block is cost-effective for customers because they each receive a $55 value on the deluxe version software, particularly if they paid the initial $20 for the basic version. Many tax preparation customers consider use of use more important than the overall cost. Since the average tax refund is around $3,000 for many people, the initial cost of the preparation software is less important. Itemizing deductions will often allow individuals to write off the expense of the tax preparation itself. One of the additional goals of H&R Block is to build brand loyalty among former TurboTax users. Nearly every past DIY tax preparer has some difficulty switching to a completely unfamiliar software package for submitting their tax returns.