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IRS tax program updates info

This note is only related to H & R Block tax software. I will presume this information also applies to other tax programs.

The update status has been pending since installation and the program was updated, as of Feb. 18. Another update is now indicated for March 3.

I don't which areas of tax code(s) are affected by these updates, and will not begin to process our return until I see that further updates are not pending.



  • I used to use H&R Block tax software some years ago. I think I entered too many items (dividend reinvestment plans) and the software crashed. I had to re-enter the information three times and each time the software crashed when I tried to move have it go to the State tax software. Ever since then I have used TurboTax.
  • We use TurboTax for a long time. Back then that was the only one available. Good to know to avoid Tax-Cut from H&R Block.
  • It’s not just Block, TurboTax has always constantly updated its software throughout the tax season. Sometimes, it’s for IRS updates due to last minute tax law changes and other times for bug fixes.
  • I have never had a problem with the updates on either software application. The last time I used the H&R Block software (TaxAct?), the software kept crashing (no pun) every time I tried to populate the State form with the reported amounts. I even called a H&R Block rep. who had no I idea what I was talking about. It took numerous hours to re-enter the figures for each of the three times only for the software to crash each and every time.
  • Yes, updates are not uncommon.
    We switched from TT to HR Block program in 2006 or so.
    I've never had a problem using the HR federal/state program.
  • Just to clarify, H&R Block’s software used to be called TaxCut, TaxAct is a different company altogether.
  • Thanks. Not sure whether it was TaxAct orTaxCut. I think the last time I used tax software other than TurboTax was 2011 or 2012.
  • beebee
    edited February 2021
    File Your Federal Taxes Online for Free:
    Free File is now open!

    Welcome to Free File, where you can prepare and file your federal individual income tax return for free using tax-preparation-and-filing software. Let Free File do the hard work for you with brand-name software.

    Also, if you are itemizing this is the IRS State Sales Tax Calculator:
    Tips and Guidance for Determining Sales Tax Deduction
  • H & R Block entered the personal financial software market in late 1993 with the purchase of MECA Software, which was best known for its "Managing Your Money" program. Block decided, however, to sell MECA in March 1995 for $35,000, while retaining the right to publish tax preparation software under the name TaxCut. By 1998 its subsidiary, Block Financial Corporation, was the second largest publisher of personal financial software, with record sales of Kiplinger TaxCut, as more people were using their computer and the Internet to prepare their own tax returns.
    On October 31, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia announced its decision to issue a permanent injunction blocking H&R Block's proposed acquisition of the company that markets the TaxACT line of tax-preparation software. The court found that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition. ... [In 2011] H&R Block market[ed] a line of tax-preparation software under the brand name "H&R Block At Home" (formerly known as "TaxCut").

    If you used something in 2011 or 2012 called Tax <something> it wasn't Tax Cut. These days, H&R doesn't even seem to have a name for its software. Here's what Tax Cut looked like in the early 2000's when it ran on Windows XP and a Pentium (90MHz, 133MHz preferred).
  • edited February 2021

    Indeed, you might be able to still get 2011 At Home:

    but I probably have my CD in a drawer somewhere, and it would be free :) .

    Way too much history:
  • I tried Tax Cut once several years ago. Very hard to use. Turbo Tax is pretty easy and fairly cheap. Every time I tried a CPA they made a huge mistake. Just sent in daughter's return to both feds and state Both accepted it so I assume all of the updates are done.
  • After doing some digging, I did find some old disks. It was prior to 2011. I used H&R Block TaxCut in 2008 and H&R Block AtHome in 2009. I learned my lesson; I will only purchase TurboTax from now on.
  • We have had great experience with TurboTax for many years. The deluxe version in CD costs $40 at Amazon. Download version costs the same at Costco and other retailers.
  • I had a problem with TT Home & Business. Last year I made a QCD after I turned 70.5, but not 72. There was no way to make the QCD a tax free distribution until I increased my age a few years. I then was able to enter the QCD properly. After finishing, I put my correct birthday back in. That worked. Thanks to the TT forum.
    I hope TT fixes this as this will happen to me this year too, and then others thereafter.
  • When I'm logged into my Fidelity account, there is a link to TurboTax and Fidelity pays the fees.
  • @davidmoran: thanks for the MacInTax memory. I got my first Mac in 87 and started using the software the next tax year. It evolved into TurboTax, under the Inuit umbrella.
  • edited February 2021
    dstone42 said:

    When I'm logged into my Fidelity account, there is a link to TurboTax and Fidelity pays the fees.

    The only thing I see on both our Fido accounts (we have Premium Services) is the usual “up to $20 off” offer. Even with the discount, it’s still more expensive than Amazon.

    Looks like they offer discounts for Block and TaxAct as well.
  • Yeah, we get the portfolio value Fido discount, low but not nothing, close to the same as buying at say Costco most years, I believe. The high-trading discount, bwahaha, jeez.
  • beebee
    edited April 2022
    Related Article:
    To keep the IRS from moving in on its business, Intuit amped up its lobbying machine. One line of argument was that the IRS shouldn’t be in the business of being both the tax collector and the tax preparer, and Intuit seemed to offer a compromise.

    The industry led by Intuit, made a counteroffer to the Bush administration: a public-private partnership that became known as the free file program. At the heart of it was a simple quid pro quo: The IRS promised the industry that “We, the government, will not create our own product. Therefore, the government is not going to get involved in competing in your market. But in exchange, you, the industry, have to create free versions of your software like Turbo Tax. And that has to be made available to a large number of Americans.”

    How TurboTax Tricks Taxpayers
  • I have always bought the CD version , not really trusting TT online, and my tax situation is fairly complicated.

    But my son used the online version last year, as it was cheaper or free( ?) He found he couldn't print a copy of his return.

    Rather than have to buy a new Mac to run the CD, my sister used the online version. It is completely different than the CD version in it's summary tables and categories.

    I could not figure out where some of the tables were coming from
  • edited April 2022
    The IRS has "free file fillable forms" in place on the website. It's easy, does math when you ask it to, very straightforward. Anyone who has a relatively consistent form of income and deductions and doesn't mind reading an instruction booklet here and there can do it themselves relatively easily: for free, filed electronically, and so far for this kid, with a fast refund.
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