Tax Pro Go from H&R Block gives busy consumers virtual tax office option

March 12, 2019 : Amy Schiska-Lombard

As tax season pushes on, millions of Americans have yet to file their taxes. Reasons for waiting to do so range from a fear of owing money, to not having the proper paperwork. Regardless of the reason, anyone procrastinating is not alone.

In fact, H&R Block research shows that 57 percent of Americans say they’ve lost sleep or sacrificed free time on the weekends—just so they could deal with tax preparation.

Regardless of individual reasons for waiting to file, there are ways to help the process go more smoothly, whether someone chooses to go it alone, or seeks out expert help. And because this is the first season under tax reform, it pays to be especially diligent: this year how tax law changes impact them personally could come as a surprise to some taxpayers.

So, what are the options for the busy Americans who want help with their taxes, but don’t have the time or flexibility to get into a tax office?

The nation’s tax professionals often begin with a seemingly simple piece of advice, which can pay dividends over time: get organized now.

Organizing the necessary information is going to make tax time so much smoother, no matter how someone chooses to undertake it. Get all the important tax documents together in one place as they come in. Missing tax documents can lead to missing out on tax benefits a taxpayer is entitled to claim. For a little extra help with documents, hop online. The internet is full of free resources, like the tax prep checklist on hrblock.com.

For those who don’t want to see the inside of a tax office, but want the comfort of expert help, technology again stands as a strong option with H&R Block’s Tax Pro Go.

Karen Orosco, senior vice president of U.S. Retail at H&R Block, says technology can be one of the greatest helps for time-crunched Americans this tax season.

“H&R Block Tax Pro Go is designed for clients who want help from a tax expert, but also want the convenience of not having to visit a tax office,” Orosco said. “If you or your tax pro have a question, you can connect and share additional information using our secure online portal, email or even talk on the phone if you prefer. There’s no office visit, no preparing your own return, just upload your documents, sit back and we’ll take care of the rest.”

Another concern often raised by time-conscious Americans is the size of their tax refund, especially under tax reform and updated withholding tables. The biggest piece of advice being given by the nation’s tax professionals this year is in reference to the W-4.

People who don’t like what happened with their refund this year can take steps to help see it doesn’t happen next year—one way is by updating their withholding with their employer. Tax season presents a great time to make that update, because tax prep requires a lot of the same information that goes on a W-4. It’s also good to make these updates at the start of the year so the changes are stretched out over a longer period.

Orosco also presented another point for seeing a change in one’s refund: Individuals may also see refund benefits by contributing to a traditional IRA.

“Individuals may potentially increase their refund or decrease the amount they owe by contributing to a traditional IRA,” Orosco said. “You have up until the April 15 deadline to contribute and reap the potential benefits. H&R Block tax professionals can provide expert guidance for clients when they file their 2018 tax returns.”

The final piece of important advice may seem obvious, or even simple, but bears repeating year over year. Americans need to keep their life in mind, because major changes like having a child, purchasing a home, or starting a new job can truly alter one’s tax situation.

Life changes typically mean tax changes, so when something significant changes, it may be a good idea to consider getting expert help.

To be matched up with a virtual tax professional this year, it’s easy, it’ll save time, and it just might make a refund even better. Go to hrblock.com/taxprogo to get matched with an expert tax pro and see the price.

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Amy Schiska-Lombard

Amy Schiska-Lombard

Contributor

Amy Schiska-Lombard leads communications activities to raise consumer awareness about H&R Block’s online and virtual tax products. She has extensive internal and external communications experience in multiple industries and international markets. Schiska-Lombard holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Missouri State University.

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