For the past several years, TaxHawk and it’s partner site, FreeTaxUSA, serve 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. They even created a new logo!
The new “Deluxe Plus” tier is designed for people willing to pay for Live Chat and Phone Support.
Should you use the new Deluxe Plus 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 2020.
- Easy navigation and inputs
- New Deluxe Plus tier with more support options
- Great pricing for the options offered
Starts at $0
$12.95 per State
TaxHawk - 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 Pricing And Plans
TaxHawk has three pricing tiers. In all three tiers, the price for state filing is $12.95 per state. Read the notes below for more information on how these pricing tiers compare to FreeTaxUSA.
All Tax Situations
* TaxHawk and FreeTaxUSA are identical on the free level.
** FreeTaxUSA Deluxe costs $6.99 vs. TaxHawk’s $5.99. However, FreeTaxUSA comes with LiveChat support at the Deluxe Level.
*** TaxHawk comes with Phone support and FreeTaxUSA does not.
Is TaxHawk 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.
We strongly recommend adding two-factor authentication as we previously discussed in ways to prevent identity theft.
Aside from TaxHawk’s different pricing structure, the difference between it and FreeTaxUSA are negligible.
TaxHawk’s navigation is a hybrid between guided and self-guided navigation. Unlike some of the more robust services (for example TurboTax, H&R Block, or TaxSlayer), TaxHawk doesn’t ask detailed questions about your income.
But, once you “enter” an income section it will ask helpful questions to guide you to the appropriate part of the software. One thing that I appreciated about TaxHawk’s navigation was the “help bubbles” sprinkled throughout the software. The help bubbles helped to define tax jargon. The bubbles also gave details on “what’s allowed” compared to what isn’t allowed.
On top of the help bubbles, TaxHawk 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.
TaxHawk 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.
TaxHawk Knowledge Articles
TaxHawk serves up relevant knowledge articles in a “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.
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 $5.99. To get phone and live chat support, you have to upgrade to the DeluxePlus version of the software which costs $10.99.
It’s important to note that TaxHawk doesn’t offer support from a tax filing professional. You have to be confident in your filing to use the software.
Who Should Use TaxHawk 2019-2020?
TaxHawk is an excellent bargain choice for 2020. While the software isn’t free, the high quality combined with the low price make it a worthy consideration. The interface improvements have really made it user-friendly this year.
As far as upgrades go, the Deluxe tier seems like a useful addition for just $5.99. The Deluxe Plus pricing tier may be a good choice for users who are likely to need last minute filing help, but otherwise users should skip it.
New filers should probably avoid TaxHawk because of the lack of guidance. You'll find better alternatives with H&R Block or TurboTax.
Overall, TaxHawk offers a tax product rivals the best tax software, but it offers much lower prices if you're comfortable without much navigation.
- Navigation - 90
- Ease of Use - 80
- Features and Options - 75
- Customer Service - 85
- Plans and Pricing - 90
TaxHawk 2020 made some great improvements to their software, and we recommend them for small business owners and side hustlers.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.