H&R Block Free Online is one of America’s most popular ways to file Federal and State taxes for free.
In fact, they boldly claim that, “H&R Block’s Free Online tax filing service gives you more for free than TurboTax Free Edition. Parents, employees, and students, in particular will appreciate all of the fast, easy features that make filing simple returns a breeze”
Trusted sources seem to agree, as NerdWallet recently gave H&R Block Free a 5-star rating and ranked it as the “best tax 2021 software for simple returns.”
1. H&R Block Free for “Simple” Tax Returns Only
If you’ve seen H&R Block commercials you might know the catchy jingle, “File online for free, max refund guaranteed!”
However, you probably never noticed the tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the screen that says, “Limitations apply, simple returns file free.”
In other words, most people don’t actually qualify for free, and have to end up paying for one of their other online options like Deluxe or Premium. So, do you qualify to file with H&R Block Free Online? Here’s who can file for free:
2. Qualifications: Who CAN File Free?
In a nutshell, a “simple” tax return means that all of your income is from your job and you claim the standard deduction instead of itemizing. This means that if you have income from other sources like freelance work or rental income, then you probably can’t file with H&R Block Free Online.
Use H&R Block Free Online for simple tax situations including:
- Form 1040
- W-2 income
- Income from interest (1099-INT), dividends (1099-DIV), and student loans (1098-E)
- Earned Income Credit (EITC)
- Student tuition and loan interest
- Retirement income
Tip: Unlike other free tax software H&R Block also allows you to file schedules 1 and 3 including business income, retirement contributions, the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC), and the Saver’s Credit!
Now, let’s talk about who can’t use H&R Block Free Online to file in 2021.
3. Who Can NOT Use H&R Block Free
As we mentioned, H&R Block’s Free version includes more free features than the competitors. However, a majority of Americans still might find that Free isn’t best for their needs. Here’s what H&R Block Free does NOT include:
- Real Estate tax and mortgage interest deduction
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
- Freelance or self-employment income
- Income from investments like stocks, bonds, and Bitcoin
- Rental income
- Small business expense deductions
- Asset depreciation
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4. H&R Block Free for Students
While H&R Block does not have a different product or specific discount for college students, most students with simple tax situations find that they can use H&R Block Free Online to file their State and Federal taxes.
If you are a student with questions about student deductions or benefits like the Lifetime Learning Credit or American Opportunity Credit you can visit the H&R Block Student Resource Hub here.
They also have great resources for questions about Student aid, scholarships, and student tax forms like Form 8863, 1098-T, and 1098-E.
5. H&R Block Free for Military
While H&R Block does not have a special Military discount, they do provide access to free Federal and State file for active-duty military through their partnership with Military OneSource.
Military OneSource provides tax services for the military as well as free file though H&R Block. To learn more, visit: www.militaryonesource.mil
6. Don’t Qualify? Try the IRS Free File Program!
If it looks like you don’t qualify for H&R Block Free, you still may be able to file for free with H&R Block software through the IRS’ Free File Program. (Learn more)
While this program expands the number of Americans who can file free, your adjusted gross income (AGI) will need to be less than $72,000.
To get started you’ll just need to answer some simple questions. If you qualify you can choose to file with H&R Block through their website.
I hope you are able to file free with H&R Block Online. If you don’t meet the requirements, we have exclusive discounts on H&R Block Online and Download here.
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