TaxHawk - Review for New Users
Filing Taxes Online
If you are looking for an alternative to big tax services TaxHawk is a worthy choice. Just as the name implies the service is quick and provides precision tax preparation.
One of the first things that catches your eye when you visit the site is the big bold 'FREE' on the homepage. Like most people, I have my doubts about things like this because there is no such thing as a free lunch. Well, after poking and prodding the software from every angle I found that 'free' really means free here. In fact, this is one case where you don't get what you pay for, you get much much more.
Let's start with the federal return. A common practice in online tax software is to advertise a free federal return. Once a visitors takes the bait most services make the switch, but not here. I waited and waited, thinking "This is too good to be true." and "Surely, the catch is coming". When I got to the end of my return the words 'free federal' were sitting in my cart. I was surprised (and delighted) that TaxHawk kept their word. I should mention that my federal return wasn't a wimpy w-2 using a measly 1040EZ form. No. No. No. It was a nasty return that would make most CPAs sweat. I had bought and sold a home and stock, had a baby and owned rental property, and had some 1099s for my freelance writing. TaxHawk took all this in and guided me every step of the way. When I was finished I couldn't believe that I had done it myself. I wanted to call my guidance counselor from High School and tell her I wasn't a complete failure (and that she should consider using TaxHawk to file her taxes).
All kidding aside, I would (and have), recommended TaxHawk to anyone wanting to file their individual taxes. First time users will be amazed at how easy it is and hardened tax veterans will appreciate the depth TaxHawk provides without complicating the process.
Low Income Tax Filing
Taxhawk offers free federal and state tax filing for anyone that makes less than $20K. Many companies will provide a free federal and charge for the state but Taxhawk provides a way for individuals with low income to file their taxes with no cost.
Limitation of their Software
If you have an LLC or other type of business organization you won't be able to use Taxhawk.
The software covers returns for filers that are sole-proprietors, owners of rental property, home owners, or have investment income.
Only one state return can be filed in a given year. If you lived in two separate states in the year you can't use TaxHawk. Customer support is all email or through the software contact form. For some people these are deal killers, for others they appreciate paying a 10th the price and still getting free support (even if it's email only).