For the past several years, TaxHawk and its partner site, FreeTaxUSA, have served up almost identical services at identical prices.
However this year, TaxHawk is working to differentiate itself by offering an extra tier of services to the TaxHawk site. The “Pro Support” tier is designed for people willing to pay for Tax Advice given via Live Chat, Phone or Screen Share.
TaxHawk’s Pro Support tier is easily the lowest cost option for professional tax help, and it’s basic pricing is a real bargain. But some users may find better deals or better software elsewhere. Here’s what you need to know about the software before filing in 2021.
Should you use the new Pro Support tier or any of TaxHawk’s other offerings this year? See how TaxHawk ranks on our list of the best tax software.
We explain the ins and outs of TaxHawk’s tax filing software in 2021.
- Easy navigation and inputs
- New Pro Support tier with more support options
- Great pricing for the options offered
Is It Really Free?
TaxHawk offers free Federal Tax filing for all filers. That includes anyone from side hustlers, to people with student loan interest deductions, individuals with HSAs, and even self-employed people.
But TaxHawk isn’t 100% free. If you have to file a state return, you’ll pay $12.95 per state. It is worth noting that TaxHawk has a built-in calculator to help you appropriately pay taxes in multiple states (if that’s necessary), but you’ll have to pay extra for each additional state.
TaxHawk’s Pro Support (which includes tax advice) costs $24.99 and is not free to anyone.
What’s New In 2021?
In 2021, TaxHawk renamed its “Deluxe Plus” tier to “Pro Support”. In addition to LiveChat and Phone Support, TaxHawk is allowing customers who pay for Pro Support to share their screens with tax experts.
Aside from the expanded Pro Support functionality, TaxHawk has made a few tweaks to the user experience to better guide users through the software. It now raises “IRS read flags” if a user seems to have entered information incorrectly or entered incomplete information.
The software also introduced summary screens at the end of each section instead of waiting until the final stages to show your progress.
TaxHawk Pricing And Plans
TaxHawk has three pricing tiers. In all three tiers, the price for state filing is $12.95 per state. TaxHawk’s first two pricing tiers are price aligned with the pricing from FreeTaxUSA. The Pro Support tier is unique to TaxHawk.
* TaxHawk and FreeTaxUSA are identical on the free level.
Each year, TaxHawk (and it’s sibling site, FreeTaxUSA) make small but noticeable improvements to the navigation and user experience. Both sites offer a hybrid navigation model that includes asking users questions and then giving users freedom to start and stop different subsections based on their needs.
At times the site can be tough to navigate, especially when the user has to select different topic subsections to enter information. However, TaxHawk has Help Bubbles sprinkled throughout the software to help users. Additionally, it has a “Where do I enter” link on the right hand side of software. This robust list gives links and information about where to enter every form and topic I could think of.
TaxHawk’s best navigation feature is its “Summary”. The summary section gives details on the income and deductions that you claimed. The details make it easy for you to check your actual entries against your “gut” or what you think you earned this year. This should make it easy for you to see if you’ve accidentally missed any critical information or “fat-fingered” anything you’re entering.
Ease Of Use
Overall, TaxHawk is fairly easy to use. But it does have some downfalls, especially for filers who don’t have experience filing taxes.
TaxHawk doesn’t allow any imports, which means there is a high potential for errors. Additionally, the navigation isn’t as robust as some top of the line products. That means that users might get lost if they don’t understand how to file taxes.
Despite some of the clunkiness, TaxHawk has made some strides in improving ease of use. The introduction of section ending summaries aids in what could be a complicated filing system. It also has a Navigation Bar at the top of the software that makes it easy to “jump back or forward” to relevant situations.
TaxHawk serves up relevant knowledge articles in the “Top Issues” and “Help with this Page” links on the right hand side of the screen. Users can also search TaxHawk’s knowledge base using a search bar. The articles themselves tended to be an appropriate length, and most included hyperlinks to relevant sections. Many of the articles give details on what constitutes a business or deductible expense compared to a personal expense.
Users who are really struggling have the option to upgrade to Pro Support. This gives them the option to use Live Chat, Screen Sharing and Phone calls to get their questions answered.
To get priority email support, unlimited amended returns, and audit assistance, you need to upgrade to the Deluxe version of the software. The cost is $6.99. To get expert assistance, you will need to upgrade to the Pro Support level. This includes screen sharing, phone support and live chat.
Does It Support Cryptocurrency Investments?
TaxHawk has knowledge articles that explain how cryptocurrency investors can file their information. Users will need to use Coinbase or a similar site to look up their price conversions between cryptocurrency and USD at the time of the sale.
Can I Get My Missing Stimulus Check?
In March, Congress issued a stimulus check for $1200 per adult and $500 per child (with some income restrictions). If you didn’t get a stimulus check this year or you think you were underpaid, TaxHawk can help you claim your Recovery Rebate Credit. This credit retroactively gives filers their money in the form of a tax credit. During the credit section, it will ask about stimulus checks and calculate the appropriate credit on your behalf.
Is It Secure?
TaxHawk gives users multi-factor authentication. You can decide between email and text as your second-factor of authentication. Generally, text messaging is a more secure second-factor of authentication.
How Does TaxHawk Compare To The Competition?
TaxHawk is a bargain software, so our comparisons focus on other software with similar pricing structures. TaxSlayer is somewhat more expensive than TaxHawk but offer slightly better functionality. Credit Karma Tax is a completely free tax software that has comparable functionality compared with TaxHawk for less complex situations. However, TaxHawk tends to be better than Credit Karma Tax for self-employed people, landlords, and people who lived or worked in multiple states.
Since TaxHawk is also offering a “Pro Support” tier that includes guidance from CPAs and Enrolled Agents, it does have some expanded options compared to the “normal” competition.
Who Should Use TaxHawk 2021?
TaxHawk is an excellent bargain choice for 2021. While the software isn’t totally free, the high quality combined with the low price make it a worthy consideration.
In 2021, we’re especially excited about TaxHawk’s Pro Support Tier. The $24.99 price tag is a real bargain compared with similar offerings from H&R Block and TurboTax (assuming you don’t qualify for TurboTax’s free offering).
If you’re not familiar with tax filing, and you want a certified expert to help, TaxHawk is a great option this year. It’s exciting to see a bargain software deliver the personalized touch at an affordable price point. Bargain hunters who aren’t opting for the Pro Support may still see real value from TaxHawk. It’s not completely free, but it is one of the lowest cost options for side hustlers, landlords and others with complex filing situations.
However, TaxHawk isn’t as easy to use or as elegant as some of the higher end software. If you have a very basic tax return, check out TurboTax. It’s offering a free expert review for the Free software tier if you file before February 15th. Additionally, many users will qualify for H&R Block’s free service this year. This is an easy to use service with absolutely free filing for qualified users.
Here are some of the most common questions we see about TaxHawk every year.
Is TaxHawk Free?
TaxHawk does have a free federal pricing tier. However, you will pay for a state tax return at every price level.
Is TaxHawk the same as FreeTaxUSA?
They are sister companies and they use the same backend technology platform. However, they do have slightly different price and support options.
How much does it cost to file your taxes with TaxHawk?
It depends on your tax situation, but prices range from $0 to almost $40.