- Flickr/Thomas Bonte
- H&R Block is a popular service for electronically filing your taxes.
- H&R Block’s free tax calculator will estimate your 2018 tax return in less than five minutes.
- The tax calculator will also estimate your 2019 tax return under the new GOP tax law.
H&R Block is one of the most popular services for filing your taxes online.
The traditional paper-and-pencil option will get the job done, but if you e-file you’ll get your tax return within three weeks, rather than the standard six weeks. Plus, you can request your refund via direct deposit.
Although President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill into law at the end of December, new tax brackets will only affect income earned starting January 1, 2018. In other words, you’ll see those changes when you file your 2018 taxes next year.
If you have your W-2 handy, it’ll take less than five minutes to estimate your tax refund using H&R Block’s free online tax calculator. Not only does H&R Block estimate your refund for 2018, it also estimates your refund for next year, which will change thanks to tax reform.
You begin by answering a few questions about yourself: your marital status, age, number of dependents, and whether you have health insurance.
The next section, titled “income,” is where your W-2 comes in.
These are the only three numbers you’ll need from your W-2:
- 2017 total wages (box 1 on your W-2)
- Federal income taxes withheld (box 2 on your W-2)
- State income tax (box 17 on your W-2) – you can ignore this one if your state doesn’t tax income
In the example below, we entered figures for a single, 30-year-old with health insurance who earns a $75,000 salary and lives in Los Angeles.
- H&R Block
After entering those figures, you’ll answer a few more quick questions about whether you own a home, have children, or expect to claim any other deductions or tax credits.
And then your tax refund estimate will appear:
- H&R Block
The $75,000 earner used in our example could receive a refund of $3,136 in 2019 – about three times higher than what they’re likely to get this year.
Once you’re ready to actually file your taxes, the IRS recommends e-filing and requesting direct deposit for your refund.
Popular online tax services like TurboTax and H&R Block are easy to use, even for tax novices. If your income was less than $66,000 in 2017, many online tax services offer the option to file for your federal taxes – and sometimes state taxes – for free. You can check your options using the IRS Free File Lookup tool.