Visor Tax is a service that claims to combine the convenience of online tax filing with CPA tax filing quality and simplicity.
If you don’t want to DIY your taxes this year, but you don’t have an established relationship with an accountant, Visor may be a service to consider.
Just beware, the convenience and simplicity come with a high price tag, and several people have complained about the customer service in past years - including some claiming to miss the tax filing deadline without any notice.
Is it worth it to hire Visor to prep you taxes in 2020? Here’s what you need to know about the service. See how Visor compares to the best tax prep services here.
- Online app that connects you with tax preparers to get your taxes done
- Upload a virtual shoebox of documents for your taxes
- Flat rate pricing starts at $399
Visor Tax Details
Starts at $399
Online Tax Preparer
Visor Tax Review Video
Visor Tax - Is It Ever Free?
Unlike most tax software packages, Visor doesn’t make a claim that it is free. For good reason too. It’s not free, and it is the most expensive tax “software” we review.
The base price for the filing software is $399 which includes itemizing taxes, up to two states, and W-2 income. Each “add on” such as self-employment filing, crypto trading or rental property costs an additional $99.
Visor Tax Pricing
With Visor, you’ll upload tax related documents (such as your W-2 forms, profit and loss statements from your business, rental expenses, etc.) then an accountant (or enrolled agent) will do the rest of the work for you. That means Visor isn’t competing with tax software. Rather it’s competing with human tax preparers or paid "live" services offered by the online tax software companies.
The basic pricing plan seems a little bit high, but the overall cost (once you add self-employment income or other complicated filing situations) puts Visor’s prices in line with other tax preparers.
Base (W-2 Income, Dependents, Itemized deductions, Two States, Interest and Dividends)
Selling stocks, crypto or other equities
Rental property income
+$99 per property
+$99 per Schedule C
Visor has an extremely simple user interface. There are just three sections.
A dashboard (which shows your progress on filing), a “projects” tab which is where you upload documents and a profile tab. On the right hand side, you’ll see a live chat option which allows you to connect with your tax preparer.
Ease of Use
With a simple user interface, and the ability to upload documents and leave the complexity to the experts, Visor is, at face value, very easy to use. However, people who are new to complex filing situations may be surprised that they still may have some work to do. Tax preparers may need you to answer questions, or upload additional information to complete your return. The more organized you are up front, the less work you’ll need to do down the line.
Not a strength of Visor!
Visor has a few knowledge articles on it’s blog, but users don’t need to figure out their tax situation on their own. That means that Visor’s articles are high level, and designed for users to ask the right question of their tax preparers.
Visor gives users access to online chat throughout the filing process. You can ask questions to clarify what forms the preparer needs, or to give the preparer further information about your situation. These chats can help you find ways to save on taxes in the current year, or at the very least think about lowering your tax burden in the future.
Can Visor Help Me With My Crypto Investments?
Yes! If you bought and sold virtual currency, Visor’s tax preparers will determine the tax implications for you. You’ll simply need to provide a log of all the transactions (which should be available from your virtual wallet).
Visor's Customer Service
Unlike most tax software services, the Visor experience hinges on excellent customer service. Unfortunately, since its inception, Visor has received several very negative reviews (including in the comments of this blog). However, it’s also receives amazing reviews on other sites.
So is it great or horrible? I suspect the answer depends on when you submit documents. If you want to give the service a try, consider uploading documents in January or February. This will give you a lot of time to check out the service (and abandon ship if necessary). At the very least, DO NOT pre-pay for the service. Visor allows you to pay once filing is complete, and you should take up that offer.
Is It Safe?
When you use Visor, you’ll upload your documents straight to the Visor website. That means you don’t have to personally worry about the encryption of documents. Generally, uploading documents is much safer and more secure than emailing them to an accountant.
However, Visor did not immediately require multi-factor authentication. As an internet security nut, I get nervous about any site that doesn’t require a password and a second form of identification. Until Visor fixes this, I have a hard time recommending the site for tax filing, but I understand that not everyone feels the same about security as me.
Who Should Use Visor In 2019-2020?
If you’re looking for an easy(ish) button for tax filing in 2020, Visor could work out, but the actual experience will depend on customer volume.
I think it’s a valuable service for business owners or landlords who don’t already have an established relationship with an accountant. However, I don’t think its an ideal long-term solution for people who foresee a longer career in self-employment (or small business).
A great accountant who advises you on long-term tax planning can be a tremendous asset for your personal and business finances. In short, Visor may provide solution for people willing to pay accounting prices, but it isn’t a substitute for a relationship with an accountant.TurboTax (with CPA review if you need extra help), H&R Block or FreeTaxUSA (if you’re a more confident filer).
Visor Tax Prep Review
- Navigation - 80
- Ease of Use - 50
- Features and Options - 60
- Customer Service - 20
- Plans and Pricing - 50
Visor is an online tax prep service that connects you with a real tax preparer to do your taxes.
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 here and here.
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.