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The best tax services for 2022

The Bankrate Awards

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You deserve the best tax service

When choosing a tax service, it’s important to find a company that meets your needs. The right tax software provider can save you time and money. But if you’re looking for in-person help, branch footprint may be more important for you.
 
That’s why we’re highlighting the best of the best in taxes. We evaluated the top services using an objective methodology and picked winners across various categories, with one tax service standing out among the rest.
 
Here are the winners (well, winner) of the 2022 Bankrate Awards for Best Tax Services. 
How we picked these tax services:
  • Bankrate identified the top and most well-known tax services across the county.
  • We evaluated factors such as cost, educational options, assistance during filing, ease of use and more.
  • For each superlative, we indexed more heavily on the most relevant factors in the methodology.

Best tax software overall

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H&R Block

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Free filing Ease of use Branch footprint

H&R Block offers a best-in-class filing option for a range of consumers, whether you’re looking for free filing online or want in-branch assistance. H&R Block offers free filing for simple federal and state returns. There are three paid tiers as your federal taxes become more complex: 
 
  • Deluxe, starting at $49.99 (currently $29.99 with temporary promotion)
  • Premium, starting at $69.99 (currently $49.99 with temporary promotion)
  • Self-employed, starting at $109.99 (currently $84.99 with temporary promotion)
An additional state return costs $36.99. 
 
If you need help along the way, H&R Block has educational resources as well as 24/7 live chat, phone support for the paid plans and live help with Tax Pro Review or Online Assist. And for in-person filers, H&R Block has more than 9,000 retail locations across the country.

  • H&R Block offers a range of filing options to fit your individual needs.
  • There’s a free-filing option for federal and state returns.
  • Educational resources and filing assistance make it easy to file with H&R Block.

The winner for best tax software rated highly for its cost for federal returns, whether it offers a free version, educational options during the filing process, assistance options during the filing process, ease of use, ability to import forms and whether it offers a refund calculation tracker. Bonuses were given to companies that have a high-rated mobile app or offer in-branch services.

Best low-cost tax service

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H&R Block

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Free filing State and federal returns Cost transparency

H&R Block’s free filing option is the company’s most popular filing option, according to the company’s website. And understandably so. The free filing option includes federal and state returns. It also offers guidance with the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and to filers who are looking to deduct student tuition, payments or loan interest or report retirement income. H&R Block’s Deluxe filing option also typically starts at $49.99, a slightly lower price than some other comparable services. At the time of publishing, the Deluxe filing option is slashed to $29.99 for a temporary promotion. The company is transparent when it does charge a fee and boasts its No Surprise Guarantee: If H&R Block doesn’t deliver on transparent pricing, free audit assistance, a midyear check-in and transparency in the filing process, you’ll get 20 percent off of the next year’s filing fees. 

  • The free filing option is for federal and state taxes and offers lots of features.
  • The starting price for the Deluxe option is lower than comparable services from other companies.
  • H&R Block is upfront and transparent about its prices.
The winner for best low-cost tax software rated highly for the same factors as the best tax software, but the methodology was indexed to account more heavily for the cost for federal returns and whether it offers a free version.

Best in-person tax assistance (branch)

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H&R Block

Read the full review by our Bankrate reporters
Highlights Branch footprint Drop-off option Robust safety measures

H&R Block has more than 9,000 offices nationwide, so if you’re looking to file taxes in person there’s likely a branch nearby. Walk-ins and appointments are both accepted. The in-person filing process with an H&R Block tax pro typically takes about an hour, and you can follow along on your own screen as the filing process moves along. H&R Block also offers a drop-off service, where you drop off your files at an office and wait while the tax pro finishes your taxes (starts at $69). Once your tax pro is finished, you can review, approve and sign your return through the company’s app or head to the office to do it in person. H&R Block also takes safety measures against COVID-19, such as requiring face coverings for everyone and frequently disinfecting high-contact surfaces.

  • H&R Block has thousands of branches across the country.
  • Customers walk in or schedule an appointment with a tax pro, or even use the company’s drop-off service.
  • The company is taking safety measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The winner for best in-person tax assistance rated highly for the same factors as the best tax software, but the methodology was indexed to account more heavily for companies who offer in-branch assistance.
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