Import W-2 and 1099 Forms Into TurboTax and HR Block: From Where?

[Updated on February 18, 2014 based on products for the 2013 tax year.]

After reading my previous post Fake TurboTax Discount Through Vanguard and Fidelity, reader Mike sent me an email:

I have accounts with both Vanguard and Fidelity, having several mutual funds, ETFs, and individual bonds, etc., with each company. I am able to download my tax info into TurboTax from both sites. I don’t think l can do that with HR Block.

I think this is one of the reasons Fidelity and Vanguard offer TurboTax and not H&R Block. A couple of years ago I tried using HR Block and it didn’t download my Fidelity or Vanguard info. If you know anyone who has downloaded their tax forms from HR Block, I’d like to know.

Great question. Both TurboTax and H&R Block advertise that they can import W-2 and 1099 forms. But from where?

TurboTax publishes a list of providers from which you can download W-2 and 1099 Forms. The W-2 partners include the leading payroll provider ADP and a number of individual employers. The 1099 partners include most major financial institutions.

I couldn’t find a similar list from H&R Block’s website, but since I have its software, I looked inside the software.

For importing a W-2, H&R Block asks for the employer’s federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). I entered my employer’s EIN found on my W-2. It says it’s eligible for importing because my employer uses ADP for payroll.

For importing 1099′s and 1098′s, H&R Block software lists a number of financial institutions in a scroll box. I can’t copy the complete list out of it and I don’t want to retype them. Because 1099-INT (interest earned) and 1098 (mortgage interest paid) are relatively simple, I’m not too worried about the coverage for banks and credit unions. I just looked at mutual fund companies and brokers, especially discount brokers.

H&R Block’s coverage isn’t as complete as TurboTax’s but there’s a substantial overlap. The table below compares the support for importing W-2 and 1099 forms in TurboTax and H&R Block:

TurboTax H&R Block
ADP yes yes
Fidelity yes yes
Vanguard yes yes
T. Rowe Price yes yes
Charles Schwab yes yes
TD Ameritrade yes yes
E*Trade yes yes
Wells Fargo Advisors yes no
USAA yes no
Scottrade yes yes
Capital One ShareBuilder yes yes
Ameriprise yes yes
Merrill Lynch yes yes

H&R Block doesn’t yet support downloading from Wells Fargo Advisors and USAA. It supports Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab, T. Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, and E*Trade. At a substantial savings off the comparable TurboTax version, I’m not complaining.

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Comments

  1. says

    Nice work on your analysis. Paychex produces less W-2s than some of other providers (they have very small employers). TurboTax also imports W-2s directly from some of the largest US employers, Intuit Payroll, Ultimate Software, Ceridian, Talx W-2 Express, CIC Plus, etc etc. The total is nearly 500,000 employers and 80 Million W-2s. One gap is that the US’ largest employer – the Federal Government – only allows a small number of agencies to import their W-2s into TurboTax.

    In addition, CPAs and Accountants can use our ProTax products to have their customers import ADP and Intuit Payroll W-2s into TurboTax ProSeries and Lacerte Software.

    Again, nice work!

  2. Duke says

    Thanks for your suggestion. Groupon has a deal 20 plus 5 dollars shipping for the HR Block deluxe. So you save a few bucks vs Amazon’s current $31 price.

  3. says

    Thanks for this analysis and I’m pleased to inform that as of March 13th, 2012, H&R Block At Home now imports 1099′s from Vanguard Mutual Funds and Vanguard Brokerage.

    H&R Block At Home also imports W-2′s directly from Ultimate Software, Ceridian, Talx W-2 Express, CIC Plus, etc. etc.

    Also new this year is the ability for a client to easily import a PDF of their prior year Online tax return from competitor’s products. While this capability has exsted for some time now with desktop software, this is a new capability for the online category and H&R Block At Home is the only one doing it.

  4. newtonsapple says

    I just tried importing my W-2 from paychex using H&R block and got a message saying they do not currently work with this provider. I am also not able to download my W-2 directly from the Paychex website. My guess is this is something my employer has to enable. There is a small chance H & R block will allow importing a w-2 if your employer enables online access to w-2′s.

  5. Mark says

    H&R Block is worthless. For my 2012 return I still cannot download information from Wells Fargo Advisors, one of the largest brokerages in the country. I have dozens of capital transactions that I do not want to enter manually. To represent that you permit downloads of 1099s and not have some of the primary brokerage companies included is simply unacceptable and inconceivable that someone would try to market a product that has such a large gap.

  6. MSD says

    I to have numerous trades I don’t want to enter manually.
    Just tried to download 1099s from Ameritrade. HR Block Deluxe shows TDAmeritrade in the drop down selection, but ….no go.
    Logged on to Ameritrade and they mention only two acceptable platforms, TurboTax and TaxAct. HR Block is misreprenting their product.
    I’ve been using their software for over twenty years. Will switch to TurboTax now.

  7. says

    TurboTax continues to expand our data import partners for both TurboTax and our professional tax products used by accountants. While W-2s from Paychex and the US Military are two exceptions, we work with most major payroll firms and employers. In total, there are nearly 100 million W-2s available for import and all of the top stock brokerage and mutual fund firms are connected to TurboTax. If you have any questions, you can contact us at [email protected].

  8. says

    I can’t get myself to use turbo tax. Maybe some of you are too young to remember this, but 10-15 years ago they hid a program inside turbo tax. It tracked your online movements and sent the data back to them. The idea was they could then sell that data to vendors interested in selling you stuff. This goes on today in different ways. The problem with what turbo tax did was they never told you they were doing it. Not only that, but it slowed your computer and it’s internet connection down every time you got on. On top of all of this, there wasn’t a way to remove the software without downloading another program, which they had to have built. Really bad experience. Still don’t trust them. Never will.

  9. David Carlson says

    H&R Block Deluxe + e-file + State 2013 will not download 1099 information from Edward Jones. The 2012 version did work. I spent a half hour in a chat session and another half hour on the phone with H&R Block and they could not solve my problem. I select Edward Jones from the list of names in H&R Block import screen, it checks the internet connection, asks for User ID and Password, but then fails to connect, “Error code 2000.” I tried at least a dozen times, and even logged directly into Edward Jones at the same time, but no luck. Many years ago I used Intuit TurboTax but switched to H&R Block after reading about the spyware problem in the Wall Street Journal. Now I am facing the uneasy prospect of switching back, because I don’t want to enter dozens and dozens of 1099-B transactions manually, which is all H&R Block could suggest to solve this year’s problem. Grrrr.

    • says

      Maybe register a free ID with TurboTax Online and try the import there (you won’t be charged until you file)? Just to rule out whether it’s an Edward Jones problem affecting both tax software or the problem is specific to H&R Block.

    • David Carlson says

      Thanks Paul! Edward Jones also has great instructions for H&R Block at home, but unfortunately the tax software just can’t do it, and no help from H&R Block customer support.

    • David Carlson says

      Paul and Harry,

      Thank you kindly for your help and suggestions. Just as I was about to switch to TTax, I gave H&RB one last try this morning.

      Good news! After failing every prior day this week, I finally succeeded in importing data from Edward Jones into H&R Block at Home Deluxe, just a few minutes ago. I had about 20 failures prior to this morning. I spent much time on the phone with EJ and H&RB, to no avail. The first try this morning failed to make a connection at all, then I selected the “Retry” button, and it went through the normal sequence of checking internet connection, finding/selecting financial institution, asking for my UserID and password, attempting login, and this time it SUCCEEDED to begin to import. I never found out what the problem was. I have a very good internet connection, so perhaps the servers at H&RB and/or EJ were just too busy or something else in their handshake was flakey.

      Anyway, immediate problem resolved (unfortunately after about 250 fields of manual data entry). I’ll now compare how I did manually vs. the import.

      Thank you again for your timely assistance.

      David

  10. Mike Smith says

    H&R Block still doesn’t import Edward Jones financial data for me for 1099-Int, 1099-Div, etc … neither company has a solution though each admit to knowing about the problem. I’m faced with buying TurboTax or paying an accountant. Either way, I won’t buy H&R Block again next year.

    • David Carlson says

      Mike,

      You may see from my post above that I did finally succeed with importing 1099-DIV and 1099-B data from Edward Jones into H&R Block. I can’t say for sure why it finally worked, but my best guess is that I was previously not identifying my computer as “private” when doing my normal logins to Edward Jones, so it was not leaving identification cookies on my computer. I had always been choosing “public computer” because I don’t mind answering the extra security question and dislike having too many cookies on my system, which are a little hard to find and weed out unless you know how and where to look for hidden files. The day the download finally worked was right after I had logged in directly to Edward Jones and chosen the “this is a private computer” that I would normally use to access my accounts. My theory is that the H&R Block software just asks for username and password, and Edward Jones may have been expecting to be able to insert a security question step in between those two things, and the interface in H&R Block would not allow that. Give it a try!
      David

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