I’ve used H&R Block tax preparation software for years. It’s available in physical form from retailers, as well as downloadable online directly from the H&R Block website. While downloading the software may be convenient, there are a few reasons you might make a special trip to buy a physical copy instead. Buying a physical copy of H&R Block tax preparation software could save you money, and be more convenient to access your returns if needed in the future.
Physical Copy Is Cheaper
Buying a physical copy is cheaper than buying the digital version online. Below is a cost comparison of the different versions of H&R Block software between electronics retailer Best Buy and downloading digitally directly from H&R Block.
|H&R Block Version||Best Buy Price||Online Price|
|Premium and Business||$69.99||$89.95|
Buying a physical copy is significantly cheaper than buying the digital version directly from H&R Block.
No Need For Extended Download Feature
If you purchase the digital download directly from the H&R Block website, you can purchase an extended download add on for $5.99. This add-on allows you to download the software for up to two years. This is great if you had uninstalled the software, or got a new computer and needed to access the software again. However, if you had purchased the physical copy you just reinstall from the CD even after the 2 years.
Built In Backup CD
Another add-on option for direct digital download customers is a backup CD for $10.99. If you buy the physical copy you already have the software on CD, and it’s cheaper!
Buying H&R Block tax preparation software online may be convenient, but the physical copy is cheaper and it comes with all the add-on options built in. One suggestion H&R Block should consider is to change the delivery medium to USB stick like Microsoft has done for Windows as many newer computers no longer have a CD Drive.
How about you, EOD Nation, how do you buy your tax preparation software?
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I appreciate your legwork on the ‘extended download service’ Travis! I don’t recall seeing that before. But H&R sends me numerous emails from November though April with ‘deals’ on their software. One of those, which I missed, was 50% off the package, which would have made Premium about $38. As is, the regular ‘deal’ is for a nickel cheaper than Best Buy.
Cheaper is probably the only value here, since you can easily backup the download on Google Drive/One Drive, or any hosting service that gives you a few GBs to backup. And these days, it’s still highly recommended to use an external backup drive, which you can get a few TBs at very low cost.
Then since 2016, laptop trends started dropping the disk drive.
I downloaded the wrong software. What do I do now? I can’t file my taxes.
The H & R Block download is terrible. You can not re-enter and change data without getting error messages. My program has been locked for 5 days without explanation other than that an error has occurred. The so called “live help” is clerical staff that knows nothing about taxes. You get transferred to another department that either never answers the phone or is closed. I have used H and R Block for the last 20 years via the CD and taxes were smooth and easy. This is a night mare. There is a simple form I need to add but can not file my taxes without getting in. Had to ask for an extension. H&R Block’s software and support is terrible. Do not purchase this.