H&R Block At Home 2013 Deluxe - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

H&R Block At Home 2013 Deluxe

CNET Editors' note: The Download Now link directs you to the product page, where you can purchase and download the software.

CNET Editors' review

If you own your home or have some investments, H&R Block's Deluxe online filing service delivers the convenience of eFiling with expert guidance, and for a surprisingly affordable (and recently discounted) price. The Deluxe option has everything offered in the Free and Basic options plus help with your home mortgage, investments, dividends, and charitable deductions. You can also file your state taxes for an additional fee. You don't have to file (or pay) until you're satisfied and H&R Block guarantees its arithmetic, too. The Deluxe tool lets you import previous filing data from TurboTax, TaxACT, and other services.

If you've ever shopped for a cell phone online, H&R Block's Web site will have a familiar look and feel. You have four choices: Free, Basic, Deluxe, and Premium. We clicked the Deluxe tool and proceeded to the log-on page to access the secure site. You can try the services for free without creating an account, but you can't store returns online or access support until you have an account. The step-by-step tax prep process includes plenty of options for seeking answers to questions -- most of which have already been asked. Limits on session times prompted timeout warnings, but that's for your safety.

When eFiling began, you could only file the easiest tax returns with the help of expensive software. Today you can account for interest income, mortgage deductions, and other critical tax breaks with H&R Block's Deluxe tax service.

Tax app showdown:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    1.9 stars

    out of 16 votes

    • 5 star: 2
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 2
    • 2 star: 2
    • 1 star: 10
  • Current version:

    1.0 stars

    out of 1 votes

    • 5 star: 0
    • 4 star: 0
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 1
  • My rating:

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Treat Consumers with More Respect"

    April 15, 2014  |   By DRDON101

    Version: H&R Block At Home 2013 Deluxe

    Pros

    Overall, the software works worked well. However, there are three concerns about the software.

    Cons

    VERY Important Note: Per the clandestine PDF software install issue discussed in my summary notes below, I initially made a good faith effort and contacted HR Block's customer service operation via an online chat platform. When I made clear to the IM rep that the proposed solution was completely ineffective, the rep suspended the IM conversation. I also tried to post a review on the HR Block webpage, and although I received an email confirmation that the review had been received, to date, it has not been posted. As you read about the problems below, it's not surprising the HR Block chose to suppress the review because of the serious issued discussed in my review. Given that trust is the most valuable impression that we can have about a tax software program, their current modus operandi gives me great pause about trusting this company with use of my personal data, my tax data, and the caliber of their software.

    Summary

    The first concern is relatively minor, and would be an improvement. Specifically, when the customer reaches the screen for "Your Preferred Refund Method", a clear, third menu line option needs to be added for the purchase of US Savings Bonds with one's tax refund. Without a clear option listed, I was totally dependent on accidently noticing a small FAQ question in the far right column to figure out how to allocate part of my refund to a bond purchase. Also, for the software help information under-- "How can I purchase U. S. Savings Bonds with my refund?" -- the $5,000 limit information should be added.

    My second point is of a far more serious nature. Specifically, when installing the tax software package, HR Block, included without permission a PDF software package named PDF995. The installation of the PDF995 software is also not disclosed in the 14-page End User License Agreement. Given that many users already have PDF read/write software, installation of the PDF995 software should be provided as an option during the installation process. It is very inappropriate to add such a software package to a user's hard-drive without permission.

    My third point is to ask HR Block to take the high road and include in either the installation process, or as a software menu item, the option for consumers to make clear choices about the use of their personal data. Unfortunately, I had to go through the process of hunting down the privacy policy and then work through the various options. Take the high road and include the privacy choice options directly, instead of requiring the consumer to hunt the policy down. Such transparency would enhance the trust a consumer can have in HR Block.

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