TaxHawk is likely one of the few on-line tax preparation platforms that’s really free on the federal facet for the overwhelming majority of filers, even these with complicated conditions involving self-employment and freelancing, itemized deductions, capital positive factors, fairness investments, and fewer frequent types of earnings. Identical-year state returns value $12.95 to $14.95 apiece, relying once you file.The Deluxe package deal, which affords extra options and performance (corresponding to amended returns, precedence help, and audit help), prices $5.99 per submitting. Deluxe Plus, which has much more bells and whistles (like stay chat and telephone help) prices $10.99.TaxHawk’s Free Version helps just about all IRS types and schedules. The catch is that the prep course of is totally DIY. When you’re searching for a web based tax prep platform that holds your hand from begin to end, cease studying proper now and take a look at our TurboTax overview.TaxHawk is owned by the identical guardian firm as FreeTaxUSA, and the free on-line tax prep platforms are very comparable, proper all the way down to their net fonts. When you’re accustomed to FreeTaxUSA, you’ll be proper at dwelling with TaxHawk – although, when you’re accustomed to one, it’s not clear why you’d need to swap to the opposite.Right here’s what you must learn about TaxHawk’s plans, pricing, options, and total suitability.TaxHawk FeaturesModulesTaxHawk has three modules:Easy: This module is constructed for filers with simple tax conditions that may be accomplished with Kind 1040EZ or 1040A solely.Fundamental: This module is for reasonably complicated conditions: homeownership, HSAs, and itemized deductions. Help for the Earned Earnings Tax Credit score is included.Superior: This module is for everybody else: individuals with a number of earnings streams, small enterprise homeowners and solopreneurs, traders, and people with much less frequent sorts of earnings (corresponding to landlords and farmers).All three modules are free by default. As we’ll see within the subsequent part, tax state of affairs complexity doesn’t have an effect on TaxHawk’s pricing.Interface and FlexibilityTaxHawk’s interface is fairly versatile. When you full the private data part, you may transfer all through the earnings, credit, and deductions sections at will. When you don’t have sufficient data to finish a given type at a given time, no sweat – simply go away it and transfer on. You may return at any level earlier than you e-file.When you’re into the meat of your return, you may reply questions in an interview-style course of, enter knowledge into type fields manually, or alternate. Filling types out manually isn’t really helpful for novices, as TaxHawk’s assist assets are comparatively skinny and IRS publications are mind-numbing (and time-consuming) to pore over.Accuracy CheckerTaxHawk has a built-in accuracy checker that mechanically opinions your return in actual time and flags entries that don’t make sense to the system.Whereas the accuracy checker isn’t clairvoyant and infrequently triggers false alarms, it’s a useful fallback for hurried filers vulnerable to errant clicks or misplaced numerals. For example, when you inform this system that you simply personal your house, then point out that you simply’ll take the usual deduction, the accuracy checker will immediate you to re-evaluate. It might be that taking the usual deduction is the fitting name, nevertheless it’s all the time good to double-check.Importing CapabilitiesTaxHawk permits prior-year return importing from TaxHawk, TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxAct. Earlier than you import your return, you must convert it to PDF format (if it’s not there already) and save the file.Past prior-year returns, TaxHawk’s importing capabilities are severely restricted. You need to manually enter data from earnings and lender statements (1099s and 1098s, as an illustration). When you earn earnings from numerous totally different sources or actively commerce equities, you’re more likely to face an information entry marathon with TaxHawk. That mentioned, in case your cash is extra priceless than your time, this could be an appropriate trade-off – and when you have only one or two sources of earnings, you’re not more likely to discover the dearth of importing capabilities in any respect.Accuracy and Most Refund GuaranteeTaxHawk has an industry-standard accuracy assure. When you incur a federal tax legal responsibility or penalty attributable to a software program error, omission, or glitch, you’re entitled to reimbursement. Sadly, this assure doesn’t maintain for state returns – if one thing goes improper on that entrance, you could be on the hook for the total quantity. TaxHawk additionally has a most refund assure. If an equivalent return ready with a TaxHawk competitor nets you a bigger refund or smaller tax legal responsibility, TaxHawk fortunately refunds your prep charges.Plans & PricingTaxHawk has two plans. In contrast to most tax prep applications, TaxHawk’s plans are differentiated by their options and value-added companies, not the complexity of the tax conditions they’re constructed to deal with.1. Free EditionTaxHawk’s Free Version contains your federal return at no cost. Every state return prices $12.95 to $14.95, relying on once you file (those that wait typically pay extra). With just about each IRS type accessible, the Free Version is suitable for nearly any tax state of affairs, from the quite simple to the very difficult. Nonetheless, it has solely essentially the most rudimentary help options, so it’s not splendid for novice filers.The Free Version contains:All Supported IRS and State Varieties. TaxHawk helps just about all IRS and state types. On the federal facet, which means Schedules A, B, C, D, E, and Ok. Whether or not you personal your personal small enterprise or must report capital positive factors from the sale of a house, you’re coated right here.Bookmarking System. TaxHawk’s prep interface has a bookmarking system that you should utilize to flag particular sections or pages inside sections for future references. It’s notably helpful if you wish to start your return early, however lack all the data essential to finish a specific portion. Search for the bookmark icon on the prep interface’s higher toolbar.Progress Tracker. TaxHawk’s progress monitoring device exhibits at a look which sections you’ve begun, which you’ve accomplished, and the place you’re at in each. It doesn’t drill down too far into the small print, nevertheless it supplies a pleasant overview for filers who plan to work on their returns over a number of classes.Actual-Time Refund/Legal responsibility Show. Like most on-line tax prep applications, TaxHawk has a real-time tax refund/legal responsibility show that modifications as you progress by your return. You’ll discover it on the fitting sidebar of your return.Earlier-Yr Return Importing. TaxHawk helps prior-year return importing from TaxHawk, H&R Block, TaxAct, and TurboTax. When you filed final 12 months’s return with a type of applications, you may import your demographic and private data with just some clicks. In any other case, you’ll must manually re-enter all pertinent data.Data Base. TaxHawk has a company-generated information base stocked with frequent tax- and platform-related assist subjects. Yow will discover solutions to most elementary tax questions right here, however extra superior or difficult points in all probability require a go to to the IRS’s web site or a human-to-human interplay with somebody on TaxHawk’s help workforce.E-mail Help. TaxHawk has a reasonably rudimentary ticket-based e-mail help system. Get began by clicking the Help button on the fitting sidebar of the prep interface or the footer on the TaxHawk homepage. Anticipate a response inside 24 hours throughout the week, longer on the weekend. Needless to say you may’t get in contact with TaxHawk’s help workforce by telephone with the Free Version – for that, you must improve to Deluxe.Storage for Accomplished Returns. You may retailer your accomplished returns for reference in TaxHawk’s free cloud storage capsule at no extra cost. There’s no sundown or capability restrict. When you’re nervous about cloud storage, you may obtain your return as a printable PDF as properly.Prior-Yr Returns. You may file prior-year federal returns, going again to 2010, at no cost. Prior-year state returns value $14.99 apiece.2. Deluxe EditionTaxHawk’s Deluxe Version prices $5.99 to file your federal return and $12.95 to $14.95 per state return. It’s acceptable for filers who want extra help and value-added service, however aren’t keen or in a position to pay for full-service tax prep at rivals like TurboTax and H&R Block.The Deluxe Version contains all of the options accessible within the Free Version, plus:Precedence E-mail Help. Deluxe customers leap the e-mail help queue, which actually is useful towards the submitting deadline.Free, Limitless Amended Returns. The Deluxe Version helps you to amend and refile as many prior-year returns as you want at no extra cost. You usually must pay for amended returns on an a la carte foundation.Audit Help. This informational service is obtainable solely to Deluxe customers. It contains entry to on-staff audit specialists skilled to reply particular questions in regards to the IRS audit course of and audit-related IRS correspondence. They’re glad to overview particular items of correspondence and reply questions on your particular tax state of affairs. Nonetheless, this characteristic shouldn’t be confused with precise audit illustration, which some on-line tax prep platforms provide for a further cost.three. Deluxe Plus EditionTaxHawk’s Deluxe Version prices $10.99 to file your federal return and $12.95 to $14.95 per state return, relying on timing. The primary differentiator right here is responsive service; with Deluxe Plus, you may get a TaxHawk staffer on the horn throughout prolonged enterprise hours all through tax season.The Deluxe Version contains all of the options accessible within the Free Version, plus:Cellphone Help. TaxHawk’s telephone help workforce is obtainable to Deluxe Plus customers solely throughout tax season (January by late April). Open hours are Monday by Friday, 9am to 9pm Jap Time, topic to alter. Cellphone help employees can reply technical and fundamental tax-related questions, however they’re not certified tax professionals.Stay Chat. TaxHawk affords stay chat help to Deluxe Plus customers solely. The chat characteristic is operational year-round, Monday by Saturday, 8am to 12am Jap Time. It’s not accessible on weekends or in a single day.Advantages1. Extraordinarily Low PricingTaxHawk is among the many greatest on-line tax prep values, bar none. When you’re at the start involved with discovering essentially the most cost-effective answer to your annual tax ritual, and your tax state of affairs is just too complicated for big-name tax prep applications’ free variations, I’m hard-pressed to think about a greater different.Assuming one state return, you may full your state and federal filings right here for lower than $13 when you get began early sufficient within the tax season. In contrast, full-service options like H&R Block and TurboTax can value $100 or extra in your federal return alone.2. Helpful Bookmarking and Progress-Monitoring SystemTaxHawk’s prep interface has a helpful bookmarking system to which I’ve but to discover a superior different. It’s nice for filers who plan to fill out their returns in levels, maybe as they obtain tax types from lenders and earnings sources. When you must mark a bit for any cause, all you must do is hit the bookmark icon and, voila, it’s flagged for straightforward reference.The progress-tracking system is equally user-friendly. Marked because the “matter checklist” within the interface, it exhibits which sections you’ve visited, which you’ve but to go to, and what you are able to do in every. Whereas it’s not notably interactive or granular, it’s a giant assist for filers returning to the interface after just a few days or even weeks away.three. Versatile InterfaceTaxHawk’s prep interface is much more versatile and user-friendly than some higher-priced options. When you get previous the preliminary data entry and importing stage, you may freely transfer between and inside sections. That is nice information for assured, self-guided filers who know precisely which types and sections they should give attention to and which they will safely ignore.four. Lengthy Time-Out FuseTaxHawk’s prep interface has an extended time-out fuse. I didn’t set my watch to it, however I walked away from the interface for 15 minutes or longer at a number of factors throughout the prep course of. On none of those events was I mechanically logged out of my account. The one manner this qualifies as a downside is when you’re prepping your taxes on an unsecured community or on a public pc – neither of which it’s best to do anyway, until you need to make buddies together with your pleasant neighborhood cybercriminal.Disadvantages1. Not Applicable for Inexperienced FilersThere’s no sugarcoating it: With TaxHawk, you get what you pay for. Because of its paltry human help assets and DIY interface, this program isn’t acceptable for inexperienced or first-time filers. In case your tax state of affairs is comparatively easy, this isn’t that huge of a deal, as you may go for a completely free different, corresponding to TurboTax’s free version. In case your state of affairs is extra complicated, your greatest selections are TaxAct and TaxSlayer, each of which have moderately priced “all types” choices.2. Restricted Importing CapabilitiesTaxHawk’s importing capabilities are fairly restricted by rivals’ requirements. You may import prior-year returns from TaxHawk, TaxAct, TurboTax, and H&R Block. When you filed with one other service final 12 months, you’re out of luck. TaxHawk lacks 1099 importing capabilities too. When you earned curiosity or miscellaneous earnings final 12 months, you’ll must enter all of the related knowledge your self – a tedious, probably time-consuming prospect.three. Not the Most Cell-Pleasant PlatformTaxHawk has grown extra mobile-friendly over time, nevertheless it’s nonetheless close to the again of the pack on this entrance. Filers preferring tablets to laptops or desktop machines ought to take into consideration mobile-friendly options, corresponding to TurboTax.four. Restricted Help With the Free EditionAs famous, TaxHawk isn’t essentially the most novice-friendly on-line tax prep platform round. That’s very true for the Free Version, whose help infrastructure consists of a complete however tough-to-navigate information base and a ticket-based e-mail assist system that’s not acceptable for pressing queries. Upgrading to Deluxe or Deluxe Plus addresses a few of these points, however the higher-priced plan remains to be no match for TurboTax’s sturdy assist infrastructure.5. No In a single day Buyer SupportTaxHawk’s human buyer help workforce isn’t on obligation in a single day or on weekends. Deluxe clients can attain help by stay chat between 8am and 12am Jap Time, Monday by Saturday. Cellphone help is obtainable between 9am and 9pm Jap Time, Monday by Friday.This can be a huge downside for busy filers who don’t have time or power to fill out their returns throughout the workweek, or want to attend till the wee hours to get began. Increased-priced rivals typically have longer buyer help hours, with some open across the clock at tax season’s peak.6. No Audit RepresentationTaxHawk doesn’t provide audit illustration for any clients. The Deluxe Version’s audit help module is beneficial, nevertheless it’s no substitute for skilled steerage by the audit course of. When you’re searching for a tax prep product that may show you how to with a full-fledged audit, search for a web based possibility with an in-person arm, corresponding to Liberty Tax On-line or Jackson Hewitt On-line. Full-service online-only applications, corresponding to TaxAct and TurboTax, might provide audit illustration as an add-on characteristic for a further cost.Last WordOnline tax prep isn’t resistant to inflation. Like most services, it appears to get a bit costlier yearly. I’ve been reviewing tax prep software program for a number of years now, and I’m with out fail dismayed – although in fact not shocked – after I return to the area every winter and discover previously free plans behind newly erected paywalls.Together with FreeTaxUSA, its doughty cousin, TaxHawk stays a low-cost oasis in an more and more costly on-line tax prep panorama. Although not for everybody, it fills an important area of interest for assured, frugal filers.By no means change, TaxHawk. By no means change.Have you ever ever used TaxHawk to arrange your taxes on-line free of charge?