H&R Block At Home 2012 is a tax preparation program used to complete and file United States federal and state tax returns. It includes step-by-step instructions that guide users through the tax return process. Once a return is complete, users may print and mail their tax forms or file the return electronically online. H&R Block releases a new edition of At Home each year to comply with tax codes for the current tax season. Therefore, software installed for one tax year is not valid for completing tax returns for a subsequent tax year.
The At Home 2012 user interface provides a step-by-step questionnaire that walks users through the tax return process. The interface is structured by multiple tabs that help prepare different types of tax forms. A welcome tab provides a summary of the current progress, and a progress bar shows the overall percentage complete. Federal and state tabs, when clicked, include several input forms and questions. Users complete these sections by entering data on each form and then clicking a “next” button to continue.
At Home advertises a “Do-It-Yourself” model so that ordinary users can file tax returns without the need for professional tax help. By performing error checks and tax validation, At Home provides confidence that returns are compliant with tax regulations. It also leverages built-in expertise to search for the maximum refund. H&R Block provides several At Home versions that tailor to the needs of different user groups, including personal users, homeowners and investors, the self-employed, and rental property owners. Each version incrementally adds new features to meet the growing needs of each user group.
At Home also provides the Smart Import feature, which allows users to import tax information from previous versions of At Home, or from TurboTax, Quicken, Microsoft Money, or any financial software package that exports to .TXF (Tax Exchange Format) files. When these files are imported, At Home automatically enters data into the user tax forms with the provided information.
While completing a tax return, each section may temporarily be left incomplete, and users may continue where they left off at a later time. The interface provides help tools and the status of current federal and state refunds, which are updated in real-time as users complete the tax return forms. Once all forms are complete, At Home validates the tax return and submits any detected errors. When users have fixed the errors, they may select the File tab to electronically file or print their tax return documents.
The At Home user community is comprised of various federal and state taxpayers who file taxes for personal income, self-employment, investments, and rental properties. These taxpayers benefit from the “Do-It-Yourself” model, which can save money instead of hiring professionals to complete tax returns. Users often repeatedly purchase At Home to file their annual tax returns.