Photo by Heather Middleton
By M.J. Subiria Arauz
H&R Block At Home 2011, a product of H&R Block, Inc., provides free tax audit support for users, and it's the only online and software tax preparation program to do so, according to a spokesperson.
The service comes with one-on-one guidance from an H&R Block agent, and representation before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in the event that the taxpayer is audited, said H&R Block spokeswoman Jessica Lerman. The service can be attained from the software, or an online version of H&R Block At Home, she said.
"Only H&R Block At Home offers free audit support, so do-it-yourself taxpayers can feel confident knowing they have the guidance of an H&R Block-enrolled agent, in the event of an audit," added Jason Houseworth, vice president of digital solutions for H&R Block.
According to H&R Block officials, H&R Block At Home Online has a free edition, which includes tools and advice such as automatic double checking of an individual's tax returns for errors, a question-and-answer section that guides people through their tax returns and free federal e-file.
The lowest price to obtain the H&R Block At Home Software is $19.95, which provides services such as the ability to prepare and print unlimited federal returns, at no cost, and five free personal, federal e-files, according to H&R Block officials.
The features on both the online and software versions are in addition to the free tax audit support service.
The online and software versions of H&R Block At Home can be obtained online by visiting www.hrblock.com, said Mark Minor, senior product manager for H&R Block At Home. The software can also be purchased in stores, such as Walmart, Best Buy and Staples.
"It's been very successful," said Minor. "We've helped a lot of people in very tough situations. We would like to think of it as a life line."
H&R Block spokeswoman Jessica Lerman said H&R Block At Home is updated when tax law changes occur. Also, credits and deductions are added, or expire. She said the accuracy of the tax refund is guaranteed, or the tax return is free.
"...H&R Block at Home clients can rest assured that the software and online solutions will reflect any changes Congress makes," added H&R Block vice president of digital solutions Jason Houseworth.
Houseworth said the product provides value, support and expertise to H&R Blocks' customers.
"H&R Block users now are connected to thousands of questions answered by a community of tax experts from The Tax Institute at H&R Block," he said. "Getting answers from these dedicated, trained professionals gives users confidence their tax returns are being prepared properly, and that they are getting the maximum tax refund [to which] they are entitled."
Lerman explained that The Tax Institute at H&R Block gives nonpartisan information and analysis, on implications of tax policies and proposals, to individuals from different professional fields, including policy makers, journalists, experts and tax preparers, she said.
The specialists of The Tax Institute include certified public accountants, attorneys and former IRS agents with years of expertise, she explained.
"The Tax Institute at H&R Block is the go-to source for objective insights on federal and state tax laws affecting the individual," said Lerman.
For more information visit http://thetaxinstitute.com.