Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

H&R Block bolsters mobile repertoire with Android, iPhone app

Tax service H&R Block is helping consumers manage their taxes this year with a slew of new mobile applications.

H&R Block has rolled out an app for iPhone and Android devices that lets users enter their information to file their taxes. The apps join H&R Block’s other lines of mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that aim to make tax preparation easy.

“H&R Block is focused on creating a great experience for the 40 percent of people who prefer to do their own taxes,” said Andy Dextraze, director of the mobile center of excellence at H&R Block, Kansas City, MO.

“One that allows them flexibility and ease of use, no matter whether they choose software, online, mobile or a mix of mobile and online,” he said.

H&R Block claims to be the world’s largest tax service provider with more than 575 million tax returns completed since 1955.

Mobile tax
The H&R Block at Home app is a mobile extension of the company’s online services.

Users can file for either federal or state tax returns via the app.

Here is a screenshot from the iPhone app

In order to file taxes, users must create an H&R Block account.

The app uses the device’s built-in camera to let users snap pictures of their W2 forms to file them. Users can also type in information from tax forms into the app.

Once users are finished sending their forms in, they can view a PDF either in the app or online.

The app is available for free download in either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Android Market.

App first
In addition to the Block at Home app, H&R Block also has apps that are meant for specific users and iPad devices.

The company’s iPad app is tailored towards users needing to file federal forms 1040EZ, 1040A or 1040.

H&R Block has also developed a mobile app for its Emerald Card users who pre-paid debit cards and need to file their taxes.

Last year, the company integrated its features into the Pageonce app to let users track their tax returns (see story).

By taking the tax filing process mobile, it is proof that consumers trust their devices to perform big transactions, similar to mobile banking.

With the widespread use of online tax returns, mobile makes a natural next step in making traditional paper-heavy tasks such as tax filing digital.

“With the explosion of growth in mobile usage, this is the next logical place to serve our clients,” said Mr. Dextraze.

“H&R Block’s strategy is to serve our customers anywhere, anyway and anyhow they want to be served,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York