Tax time is the worst, but Picnic Tax wants to make tax filing a picnic. The service matches you with a qualified CPA who will complete your tax filing for you.
If spending a few hours on taxes is your idea of a nightmare, Picnic Tax might be the right product for you. It’s one of the most expensive options on the market, but it’s a user-friendly service.
Here’s what you need to know about Picnic Tax in 2021. You can also see how Picnic Tax compares to the best tax software here.
- Online tax preparation that connects you with a real accountant
- Flat-fee model with clear, up-front pricing
- Base price is $225 for Federal and State return
Picnic Tax Details
Online Tax Prep - All Forms
Starts at $225
Picnic Tax - Is It Free?
Picnic Tax offers free price quotes to all users. You can figure out how much you’ll pay before you get started. However, the actual filing starts at $225 for Federal filing and one state.
What's New In 2021?
Picnic Tax continued with what worked well last year, but added HelloSign to allow you to electronically sign your documents. This is a great addition.
It’s still using a well-designed algorithm to match filers to CPAs. Users can upload documents, chat with their CPA, and keep tabs on their return using Picnic Tax’s website.
One of the things that really jumps out about the Picnic Tax product is the transparent price quote feature on Picnic’s homepage. By clicking a few buttons on the homepage, you know exactly what you’re going to pay before you start the tax filing process. And you’ll only pay for the work that you actually need done.
Pricing starts at $225 for Federal filing and up to one state. Filing for additional states will cost $50 more.
However, the pricing can escalate depending on the complexity of your filing situation. People with self-employed income, rental properties, K-1 Forms, and wage income will pay $625 for Federal and State filing (in two states).
The software increases in price by $100 for each additional layer of complexity.
$0 for first state, $50 each additional
Each Additional Form
Picnic Tax’s prices are on-par with, or maybe even slightly lower than if you include state pricing, TurboTax’s Full Service option. However, Picnic Tax only works with CPAs (where as TurboTax only offers tax professionals with no guarantee of any specific type or level of expertise). That means your taxes will be done by qualified professionals.
Picnic’s pricing is on-par with the pricing from several independent CPAs in my area.
Business Tax Prep
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.
The 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, Picnic Tax will match you 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. Picnic Tax makes that quite easy.
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.
Ease Of Use
Picnic Tax is designed to make tax filing a picnic, and it delivers. It’s simple to add forms, and it’s simple to answer questions. You don’t have to juggle email chains and secure transfer codes. Everything about the process is fast and easy. Early in the season, you can expect a super-fast turnaround too.
Although users don’t need extensive tax knowledge, Picnic Tax offers a great blog that covers a wide range of tax topics. If you prefer to DIY your taxes, you may want to take a look at some of the topics.
Picnic Tax Extras
Unlike many companies, Picnic Tax doesn’t offer tons of bells and whistles to draw users in. If you want your taxes done by a CPA, Picnic Tax offers that service securely at a fair price. That’s all they do.
Can Picnic Help With My Crypto Investments?
Yes! Picnic Tax can help crypto traders file their taxes. If you're someone who has done a lot of trading, using Picnic Tax could be an ideal way to ensure accurate taxes. It is important to note that you may be required to produce certain forms for your Picnic Tax CPA. A tool like CryptoTrader.Tax can help you get that done quickly, but the price can be quite high.
Can Picnic Help With My Missing Stimulus Check?
If you didn’t receive your first stimulus check your Picnic Tax CPA will request the Stimulus Rebate Credit on your behalf.
How Does Picnic Tax Compare?
Picnic Tax may be more expensive than some other full-service online tax filing companies - but it all depends on how complex your tax return is.
For example, TurboTax Full Service starts at just $100 for Federal filing and $40 per state for a basic return. However, if you need TurboTax Premium Full Service due to investments, you're going to start at $230 for just a Federal return.
By contrast, Picnic Tax starts at $225. Therefore, depending on your situation, Picnic Tax prices are competitive. If you want your taxes to be done by a CPA, you should expect to pay a high price.
Here's a quick comparison to some of the competitors:
Starts at $225
Starts at $299
Starts at $140
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. It displays pricing before a user starts filing. If you have a complex filing need, I recommend Picnic Tax in 2021.
Picnic Tax Review: Online Tax Prep
- Ease of Use
- Features and Options
- Customer Service
- Plans and Pricing
Picnic Tax offers online tax preparation for a flat transparent price.
- Good value in having a tax preparer or CPA handle your tax return
- Prepares both personal and business taxes
- Not a DIY option – you’re sending your documents in to be professionally prepared
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.