I filed our taxes today. In my pajamas, in my bedroom, using my laptop, my webcam, my NeatDesk and my iPhone…and I did it all with Elaine Smith, an H&R Block Tax Professional who walked me through every step of our taxes, answered my questions, explained things to me, and had us filed in just over an hour. (I think it would have been less time but my 4 year old was not in the mood to take a nap and I kept having to go remind him it was time to sleep). Our taxes were filed courtesy of Elaine and H&R Block Live.
Ms. Smith was very professional, very knowledgeable and very personable. I was super nervous about the whole idea of video conferencing, especially about such personal, sensitive information, and I was immediately impressed with her professionalism. After a friendly greeting we got right to work. I had to be sure that I had our documents and necessary information uploaded into a file ahead of time, which I did get done, thanks to my beloved NeatDesk (Seriously. I love that machine. Makes organization so much easier for me!) and a few last minute snapshots of 2 other documents with the H&R Block Live app on my iPhone!
The Block Live app is available on iTunes and the Android Marketplace, for those of you interested. I’m still new to having an iPhone so I was very impressed that I could snap an image of a document and have Elaine see it perfectly clearly just seconds later!
The Block Live option for tax filing is worth the fee, in my opinion. You can have the assistance of a tax professional with over 80 hours (minimum) of training live, as you go along, and do it from the comfort of your own home. Since I’m a stay home mom, it isn’t always easy for me to find times to get appointments for things with my kids being so young- my friends who can babysit also have children who nap so that kind of eliminates half of the times I could do appointments. Being able to do this from my own home saved my sanity- and some money- no babysitting rates to pay! This is a win-win for me to file my taxes this way. We’ve always mailed in our taxes the old fashioned way, and it was refreshing when she said “ok! your taxes are filed!” and I knew that was it- they were done. No standing in line for the return receipt, no postage- they are en route to the IRS as we speak.
One thing I have to note- I asked Ms. Smith if she’s finding that more and more folks are bringing their taxes to her with income from blogs. She said that she has indeed noticed an increase and has done several bloggers’ taxes– which really made me feel great because this was really the first time I had anything to “claim” as a blogger on my taxes. I wasn’t sure how all of that would play in to our taxes and had a lot of questions to ask. Ms. Smith was even a guest on “Blog Talk Radio” giving tax advice to bloggers recently!! She was ready and very prepared for all of my questions!
Now we just sit back and wait for that refund to come in the mail….
I have 5 codes to give away to save 5 of my readers $50 off of the H&R Block at Home service (This covers the cost of a federal return with our Basic, Deluxe and Premium editions.) This giveaway will end at midnight on Monday, April 9 (EST) and winners have just 24 hours to respond so I can get your codes to you! GOOD LUCK!
I was given the opportunity to file my taxes and experience the H&R Block Live in exchange for this post. Opinions are my own.