Visor has been getting a lot of attention since its launch last year. It’s not really traditional “tax software” — it’s not for DIYers.
Instead, Visor offers the convenience of filing online and combines that with the kinds of services you might get by hiring a local accountant. You answer some questions, upload your documents, and voila: you’re assigned to a “tax team” that selects and fills out the appropriate forms for you. Then you review, sign, and file.
It’s basically Uber, but for CPAs.
It’s not cheap, but for the price it really might be the easiest and simplest way to get your taxes done. It also offers you year-round support and the ability to speak to a dedicated tax pro who is the same every time for you, instead of whoever answers the phone.
- Online app that connects you with CPAs to get your taxes done
- Upload a virtual shoebox of documents for your taxes
- Flat rate pricing starts at $99
The Visor process happens in three parts:
- Answer questions about your tax situation to figure out what your pricing is going to be (see below) and get matched with an advisor.
- Upload all your documents (W-2s, bank statements, 1099s, stock sales, the works).
- Review your prepared forms, sign, and file.
They keep the answering questions pretty simple:
Then you upload your documents:
Note the absence of any step that includes “filling out forms.” You don’t need to do too much “navigation” because you are doing the digital equivalent of bringing a shoebox of receipts to your accountant.
That said, there are two “navigation” features to note. First is that each user gets a “dashboard” where they can schedule a call and find the return they want to work on.
Second, there’s always a bar at the top of the page that shows you where you are in the process.
You can see that the design’s all done with mobile in mind. (The mobile app isn’t released yet, but it’s clearly going to look a lot like this.)
Ease of Use
This is a very easy-to-use site. It’s not flashily designed, but everything works great. The uploader is lightning-fast.
Personally, being used to very dense tax sites with tons of instructions, I do find the site’s spareness a little unnerving. There are specific places to upload specific forms, like health insurance and 1099s, but there’s also a catch-all, “other” category where you can put . . . anything you want. Visor clients are relying on the site’s accountants to catch anything that’s missing and request it.
The mobile app will be released sometime soon (no date available yet). While I haven’t experienced it, in theory this will make it very easy to snap a picture of a paper document with your phone, in addition to uploading PDFs from your computer.
Not a strength of Visor! But that’s exactly the point. There are no knowledge articles because the idea is that you are not filing your taxes yourself — your accountant is doing it for you and will have the situation covered.
If there is something specific you want to talk about, you can get in touch with your advisor.
Pricing and Plans
Visor isn’t cheap, although for some people it could certainly be cheaper than its direct competitor: hiring an accountant and consulting with them throughout the year.
Visor’s pricing is built on a series of flat fees. You start with a “basic” package for $99 which includes all state returns, W-2 income, homeownership, itemized deductions, and interest/dividends.
For each of these situations, add another $99:
- Sold stock, equity, or crypto
- Have rental income
- Have K-1/partnership income
- International taxes
(Right now, January 2019, Visor is offering 50% off all its plans, but the offer is limited to the first 1,000 people to prepay, so it’s not clear how long that will be available.)
The plans all include audit protection and year-round conversations with your tax advisor.
Who Should Use Visor In 2019?
Visor is a great option for people who want to pay a flat fee for personalized support — and don’t mind it getting up to several hundred dollars for more complex situations.
Instead of software that helps you do your taxes, it’s software that connects you with someone else who will do them.
It’s the closest thing to taking your accountant a pile of receipts in a shoebox and walking out the door, but with upfront pricing so you know exactly what you’re getting into.