If you have been apprehensive about forgoing your annual visit with a tax professional in favor of an online tax filing program, you may now have the advantages of both. Tax filers who have come to rely upon a living, breathing human being to help them prepare their returns and answer their questions will now have access to the same when using one of the leading online tax preparation programs. Both H&R Block and Turbo Tax (Intuit) have introduced living, breathing human beings in the form of tax professionals, as part of their online help systems. Qualified tax experts will be available through live chat, messaging or text. H&R Block even plans to include live video chatting to give tax filers the same experience of meeting with a human being.
More than a third of all tax returns are filed online. Many of the filers who continue to see a tax professional, often paying five to ten times the fee charged by the online programs, do so for fear of making errors and not getting a maximum refund. H&R Block and Turbo Tax offer extremely user-friendly guidance and navigation and both are guaranteed to be error free (audit protection is an extra charge). If you still have some apprehensions, you could do what many filers do, and that is to use the online program to prepare your returns and then have a tax professional check them. You'll still save a small bundle and it will allow you to gain more confidence in the online program.