Taxes Made Simple: Our Unexpected Date Night

This post is sponsored by H&R Block but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The tax filing deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019. Raise your hand if you love to do taxes (I expect nobody would raise their hand). Jake and I FINALLY got around to doing ours recently. Between our recent trip to Europe and how busy our daily lives are, tax season really snuck up on us this year. Last year, we spent hours getting them done at a tax office. With our hectic schedules, that wasn’t an option this year. I work full time in an office during the week, and am also self-employed as a blogger, which adds up to basically 2 full-time jobs. Jake has an extremely busy job with irregular hours, and has to study with much of the free time he has left after work. This meant filing at the tax office was not an option; neither one of us wanted to spend one of our rare free afternoons together in an office with an accountant going over mountains of paperwork we don’t understand. And, being a blogger means I am essentially a small business owner, so that complicates our filling too. If you know me personally, you know I HATE math and the thought of filing taxes used to give me a headache. Luckily, this year we found the perfect solution: H&R Block Online.

Since I am self-employed as a blogger, I used the Self-employed online product from H&R Block. Filing taxes on my blogger income can be hard since taxes aren’t automatically withdrawn. But H&R Block’s online filing made filling our taxes simple because they basically hold your hand every step of the way. The language was simple, so I was able to follow along step-by-step with no trouble. Each step of the way, they ask you if you have certain forms that are required for each step.  I even uploaded my tax documents by taking photos on my phone – so easy!

They also have tax pros available for any questions that come up along the way, or if you would like a tax pro to review your return before you file. You can even share your screen with a tax expert to show them exactly where you’re stuck. If you’re like me, it can be really hard to explain to someone over the phone what exactly the problem is, so this option is another huge time-saver. Luckily, thanks to how well-written and easy-to-follow their step-by-step guide is, I never got stuck!, This made me feel confident, and the whole process saved us so much time.

The process was so quick that Jake and I finished a couple hours earlier than we expected, so we got a little date night in! The weather has been so beautiful lately, so we spent the afternoon exploring the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and then got dinner together. We didn’t expect to get to the gardens until around sunset, but we got there with several hours of daylight left. Jake usually only gets one day off each week, so the thought of spending the whole day doing taxes was something we weren’t looking forward to. We will definitely always file online with H&R Block because it made the whole process so much easier and quicker. I never even had to do any math!  And, H&R Block gives you the whole price up front, so you know exactly what you’ll be spending. That was always one of the things we really hated about tax season in the past; we would be given one price initially, but once we sat down and went over all our different forms (from our W2s, to my 1099 for being self-employed, to 1098s for our mortgage, and endless other forms that blended together into one confusing alphabet soup), we would end up paying more than we expected at the end. It was nice to know the full price up front with no unpleasant surprises at the end. And it even ended up being a good bit cheaper than our taxes had been in the past as well.


I am here to walk you through the process and explain how it saved me so much time. They walk you through step-by-step and basically hold your hand, which is much needed when it comes to something as confusing as taxes. Unlike going to a tax office, where you have to make an appointment, drive there, and stay as long as it takes to get everything done, with H&R Block online, we were able to stop and save our progress at any time and seamlessly pick back up again. However, because of how quick and easy the process was, we did not need to take advantage of this, but it’s definitely an excellent option to have. One of the other things I loved about the program was how easy it was to take care of what could have been some complicated situations. Jake and I moved to Alabama right in the middle of the year, so we had to file taxes in 2 different states. I was worried this would take a while to get straightened out, but with H&R Block online, it walked us through how to file in several different states and everything was sorted out. The whole process is a quick 6-step process:

  1. Enter your basic info
  2. Report Your Income (W2, 1099, 1098, etc.) – You can simply take a photo of your W2 for easy upload!  And, you can also save some time here by uploading your return from previous years as well.
  3. Deductions: Jake was a student this year and the program was able to maximize our deductions for his tuition, increasing our refund!
  4. Tax credits: we didn’t have any of these this year, but we are looking forward to hopefully adding a tax credit to the family by the time we file for next year!
  5. State Taxes: After moving from Oklahoma to Alabama in June, we had to file in both states. This complexity can usually add a bunch of time and work, but the process was so easy!
  6. Wrap up: At the end, H&R Block suggests docs you might’ve forgotten about. Based on your profile and the other things you’ve entered up to that point, the program is good at figuring out what other forms or documents you may have that could help increase the amount of your refund. I loved this double-check!


Thank you so much for reading! How did your tax filing go this year?



  1. April 1, 2019 / 1:08 pm

    Ugh taxes are the worst! I wish there had a been a class about that in college. This year I paid an accountant but since I had to file Vermont and Virginia taxes, it was super expensive, so next year I might look into doing what you did!

    xoxo A

    • abyersguide
      April 1, 2019 / 1:31 pm

      They really are! There really should have been. I was totally lost when I graduated. My dad has helped me for years, but told us we’re on our own. Yes, I would recommend this. We did something similar last year and we saved so much this year. It was also easier.

    • abyersguide
      April 1, 2019 / 6:30 pm

      It was seriously so easy. It took us way less time than last year when we went to a tax office.

    • abyersguide
      April 2, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      It makes life easier for sure.

  2. Lindsey Puls
    April 3, 2019 / 1:50 am

    Taxes are such a headache! I hate this time of year for that reason, haha. I haven’t ever used H&R block, though. I didn’t know they had a an online solution! Very cool.

    • abyersguide
      April 3, 2019 / 8:36 pm

      I totally feel you! H&R Block made it sooooo easy for us. Highly recommend them.

  3. April 4, 2019 / 4:40 am

    We have actually started using h&R block too after our accountant retired Courtney! I am not good at math myself but it is a user friendly service that works really well. You have presented it so well for any potential new people thinking of using them. I am glad you got an unexpected date night, with your schedules you deserved it! I really love that dress on you ( I remember it from previous posts) what a cute print and cut. It goes well with the denim jacket and wedges. I really like the pics , especially the kissy one!!! Have a great day, Terri xo.

    • abyersguide
      April 4, 2019 / 3:21 pm

      I am glad to hear you’ve started using H&R Block too. I hope you love it. It sounds like it’s been good for you. I am so glad you think I presented it well.Aww thank you it was soo nice to get a date in. We thought we would just be doing taxes all night on his day off haha. You have such a good memory. It was a slighly chilly, so a jacket was necessary. Aw thank you. You too.

      • April 5, 2019 / 4:23 am

        Yes it has been good to us H&R block! We did get some money back which was nice! I didn’t go on a shopping spree yet Courtney though! You did a fabulous presentation for someone seeing the process for the first time. Happy Friday Dear, Terri xoxo.

        • abyersguide
          April 7, 2019 / 2:21 pm

          Yay glad to hear y’all got money back. hahah yes, it’s tempting to do, but not always the most wise. Yay, thank you.

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