If you want tax filing to be as simple as a walk in the park (or perhaps a picnic in the park), you may want to hire a CPA to prepare your return and file on your behalf.
Picnic Tax is a platform that matches tax filers with certified accountants who can help them file their returns. It covers personal tax filing, small business tax filing, and self-employed tax returns. People can also request tax planning and tax advice from Picnic CPAs.
Here’s what else you need to know about the platform in 2022. You can also see how Picnic Tax compares to the best tax software here.
- Personalized tax filing from online CPAs
- Flat-fee model with up-front pricing
- Starts at $225 for personal tax filing
Picnic Tax Details
Online CPA Tax Prep
Starts at $225
Picnic Tax - Is It Free?
Picnic Tax doesn’t offer free services, but it offers free price quotes to all users. People interested in using the service can complete a brief questionnaire to determine their costs. Users who opt to use the service pay the fee upfront. Then Picnic matches the filer with their personalized accountants. Filing starts at $225 for federal filing and one state.
What's New In 2022?
Picnic Tax continues to enhance its website to make tax filing easier. In particular, “onboarding” to the website is easier than ever.
Users can easily create an account and determine personalized pricing within a few minutes. Those that want to use the service can pay and get started.
The company still allows filers to securely upload documents, chat with their accountant, and check on the status of their return through the website.
Does Picnic Tax Make Tax Filing Easy In 2022?
Picnic Tax simplifies tax filing as much as possible. Users can upload all their tax documents to the company's website. Accountants can ask questions and request additional information before they prepare returns on behalf of clients.
Filers don’t need to worry about whether they're maximizing deductions or claiming things correctly. The CPA they connect with will take care of those details.
Picnic Tax Notable Features
Picnic Tax is a bit like the “Uber” of tax filing. It matches accountants and tax filers. Since it's not traditional tax software, the features highlighted here showcase some ways in which Picnic Tax is different from tax prep services and tax software.
Secure Document Upload
Users can upload all their tax documents through a secure online portal. They don’t need to worry about emailing documents or hand-printing tax documents and sending them in the mail.
Online Or Offline Communication With CPAs
Picnic Tax users can communicate with a dedicated CPA via Zoom, email, or through secure chat. The company ensures that filers can easily communicate all the pertinent information to their accountants.
CPAs Prepare And Submit Returns
Picnic Tax makes filing as easy as possible. CPAs take on the heavy lifting associated with preparing tax returns. Filers only need to convey their tax situation to the CPAs before the CPA does the work.
Picnic Tax Notable Drawbacks
As an online tax preparation company, Picnic Tax has a few notable drawbacks.
High Cost Compared To DIY
Personal tax filing can cost up to several hundred dollars. TurboTax Full Service (where an agent prepares user returns) costs less for similar levels of service.
Multi-Factor Authentication Not Enforced
To sign into Picnic Tax, users only need an email address and a password. Multiple forms of authentication are not required. This could be a security risk.
Picnic Tax Plans And Pricing
Pricing for Picnic Tax starts at $225 for federal filing. Users add state returns for $50 per state. The final price of the service increases depending on the complexity of a filing situation. The software increases in price by $100 for each additional layer of complexity.
Picnic is now offering business tax returns as well in addition to personal tax returns. For business pricing, a business return will start at $500. Compared to using tax prep software, this may be more expensive. However, compared to enlisting the help of a CPA, this is a bargain.
Finally, users can set up Tax Planning and Advice appointments with a Picnic CPA. These consultations start at around $300.
Personal Tax Filing
Small Business Tax Filing
Tax Planning And Advice
Small business owners who want help with maximizing their business deductions and staying on top of IRS requirements.
Starts at $225
Starts at $500
Starts at $300
How To Get Started With Picnic
The Picnic Tax process starts with a brief onboarding process to learn about your tax prep needs. The questions asked are simple, direct, and easy to answer. The company seems to have been thinking about only asking questions that matter. The goal is to get you matched with an accountant as soon as possible so the accountant can do the hard work for you.
Once your onboarding is complete, you’ll see your personalized price quote. After you pay, you'll be matched with your accountant.
After you get matched, you are asked to visit a document upload page. The page was clear about what to do, with the required docs organized into five easy-to-understand categories. It was fast and efficient to upload your information here - several different file formats are supported and the website allows for quick drag-and-drop uploads. Since users don’t have to file, the only thing that matters is getting documents uploaded and questions answered.
Once your docs are uploaded, you’re given access to a dashboard where you can communicate directly with your accountant. This interface was also user-friendly, with a status update box indicating how far along your accountant is with your return.
How Does Picnic Tax Compare?
Picnic Tax supplies CPAs for all tax situations. It covers everything from crypto trading to real estate sales. It offers a service that is comparable to tax prep services like TurboTax Full Service or Visor.
The chart below compares prices and services offered by these companies. Picnic is a bit more expensive than TurboTax Full Service, but it's comparable to the prices from Visor.
Editor's note: As of January 20, 2022, Visor's website was unusable and simply said, "Thanks for your interest. We're currently redesigning our website and application." No further details were offered regarding when the site would be operable again.
$1,000+ Federal &
$389 Federal &
$694+ Federal &
Secure Data Upload
Same Tax Preparer Each Year
Is It Safe And Secure?
Picnic Tax has decent online security. It uses data encryption, and it allows users to securely upload documents that only their CPA can access. It also offers secure communication channels for discussing the return.
One possible drawback to Picnic Tax is its authentication process. Users only need an email and a password to create an account. Multi-factor authentication (such as adding an email or phone number) isn’t required.
Filers need to be careful whenever they're working with an accountant. If the filer emails documents to their accountants, the document is no longer secure. The filer also has to trust that the CPA will not accidentally store documents in an unsecured server.
How Do I Contact Picnic Tax Support?
Once you've connected with your CPA, you'll be able to reach out any time via Zoom, email, or secure chat. But before then, your Picnic Tax support options are limited.
If you have questions about how the company's services work, you'll need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Is It Worth It?
Most people can file taxes using tax software. However, some people have very complex tax situations and need help from a pro. Picnic Tax is ideal for those situations.
The service guarantees that filers will have help from a qualified CPA. And it displays pricing before a user starts filing. If you have a complex filing need, I recommend Picnic Tax in 2022.
Picnic Tax FAQs
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that people ask about Picnic Tax:
Can Picnic Tax help me file my crypto investments?
Yes, the platform's accountants can help all types of tax filers. Active crypto traders can find accountants who have experience preparing crypto returns. Filers may be required to upload a spreadsheet with all trades or an IRS Form 8949 to the Picnic Tax website.
Can I request my stimulus check through Picnic Tax?
Yes, accountants will ask whether filers received an economic impact payment. If a filer didn’t receive the payment, the accountant will figure out whether the filer is eligible to claim the Rebate Recovery Credit. The credit will increase the amount a filer receives in their annual refund.
Picnic Tax accountants can also help filers amend their 2020 tax returns if they received the incorrect stimulus payments in 2020.
I didn’t receive the full amount for Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments. Can Picnic Tax help me get the rest?
Yes, the platform requires IRS Letter 6419 from all parents. This document will help the accountants figure out how much to claim for the Child Tax Credit. Any unpaid funds will be added to the annual refund check.
Can Picnic Tax help me with state filing in multiple states?
Yes, it supports filing in all states. Filers must pay $50 per state.
Does Picnic Tax offer refund advance loans?
No, it does not offer refund advance loans.
Picnic Tax Features
Starts at $225
$50 per state
Pay With Tax Refund
Full Service Tax Filing
DIY Tax Prep
Printable Tax Return
Import Tax Return From Other Providers
Will vary by the tax software that your specific accountant uses
Deduct Charitable Donations
Refund Anticipation Loans
Customer Service Options
Email and contact form
Customer Service Email
Web/Desktop Account Access
iOS and Android
Picnic Tax Review: Online Tax Prep
Ease of Use
Features and Options
Plans and Pricing
Picnic Tax is an online platform that connects individuals and businesses with real CPAs who provide personalized tax filing and planning.
- Tax returns prepared by a CPA
- Lock in your pricing after completing an online interview
- Potential to work with the same CPA over multiple years
- Far more expensive than DIY tax prep
- Only one form of authentication is required which may present security risks
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.
Editor: Clint Proctor