This post is sponsored by H&R BLOCK, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
It’s that time of year again….the time that every self-employed person, like myself, seems to dread. Tax time! When I started blogging back in the day, I had NO idea that one day I would blog for a living. And that my blog would help support my family and allow me to stay home with my kids. It’s all really mind-blowing! I also had zero clue that one day I’d be filing taxes on my blogging income. Filing your taxes can be tricky but filing your taxes as a self-employed blogger is a whole other battle. There are receipts, invoices, mileage, 1099s, paystubs but no W-2 to help guide you.
I am NOT a tax expert. I’ve learned that filing taxes when you are self-employed is complicated. Last year I had so many documents and receipts to sort through and it was really overwhelming. Luckily there are some online tax filing services that offer guidance on filing self-employed. But it’s hard to figure out exactly what you need….especially when you are a busy mom, like I am! There are so many different tax services, but which is the best? Well, I’m happy to report that I did a lot of research AND experimented filing my taxes with two well known tax services: H&R Block and TurboTax. And here’s what I learned:
Both companies had online products that were visually appealing and broke down each step a lot more simply than I had imagined! I don’t know why I was stressing so much! I really appreciated that with H&R Block I could take a picture of my tax documents with my phone and upload them instantly! They texted me a secure link, I snapped a photo, and all my information was added for me. It was such a seamless process! With TurboTax, I found their uploading tool to not be as user friendly and I had to attempt to upload several times. It was frustrating!
When I got stuck on something complicated relating to my self-employment deductions and receipts, H&R Block’s Ask a Tax Pro service allowed me to connect instantly with an expert tax pro who live chatted with me and answered all my questions! They even offered to screen share, so the tax pro could view exactly where I was stuck. Game changer!
I also learned that with H&R Block, there are no hidden fees. With their new Price Preview feature, I could view the price every step of the way. The price is also featured at the top of the screen, and if it ever increased, it explained why. With TurboTax, the screen showed my price through the experience, but it’s hidden several layers deep within the Tax Tools navigation and difficult to find. I found H&R Block to be more transparent and up front with their pricing. I also found H&R Block to be more affordable than TurboTax and ended up saving over $20 using H&R Block’s Self-employment online product in the end!
I absolutely preferred filing my taxes with H&R Block over TurboTax. The help and assistance that H&R Block provided just blew me away! TurboTax offers tax assistance too, but I found that with the guidance of H&R Block’sonline product I didn’t have as many questions, and when I did, the answers came quickly and were simple enough for me to understand and implement. The language that H&R Block uses to ask questions and provide help was just simpler and easier to understand. TurboTax seemed a bit more complicated and confusing, and sometimes I was unsure on how to answer their questions. H&R Block asked questions that made going through each step pretty simple.
Although I used their Self-employed product, H&R Block also offers a free online product if perhaps your taxes aren’t as complex as mine! TurboTax offers a free product as well. However, H&R Block’s free online product covers more tax situations than are included in TurboTax’s free product, such as deductions and credits for student loan interest, tuition and fees, child dependent care expenses, reporting income from Social Security/Unemployment, and claiming exemptions from health care coverage.
I know that filing your taxes can seem daunting, especially if you are self-employed like me. And tax reform will have an impact on basically everyone, so it’s important that you get started on your taxes now! If you’re confused about how tax reform changes impact your specific tax situation or realize you’re in over your head doing your own taxes, H&R Block can help in person or online. They now offer virtual tax prep so you don’t ever have to step foot into an office! It’s called Tax Pro Go. H&R Block matches you with a tax pro based on your specific tax situation and they guarantee the price up front. You simply upload your docs and an expert tax pro does the rest! Then, when your return is ready, you just review it and get your refund. I discovered that TurboTax offers TurboTax Live, which is where someone will offer advice and a final review and guarantee of your work, but you still have to go through the filing process yourself. So if you need more help this year or want an expert who understands the tax reform changes and can assist you without leaving your house, H&R Block’s Tax Pro Go is a great option!
If you’re nervous about switching tax services, H&R Block made it easy! I just dragged and dropped our last year’s tax return into their uploader and so many fields were then already filled in for me, and it saved a ton of time. To learn more about H&R Block and all the tax services they offer, visit their website here.
With H&R Block Online, I can do my taxes anywhere, anytime, with the comfort that their expert tax pros are standing by to help if I need it! Filing taxes can be scary, but H&R Block makes it easy.