Taxhub Review 2022 – Online Tax Prep by a CPA

Taxhub is a relatively new online tax filing service that blends the user-friendly interface of online DIY services like TurboTax with the expertise of professional (often in-person) preparation services. It clearly aims to disrupt the tax prep industry.

This mobile-friendly cloud software platform offers accountant-prepared tax returns for individuals and businesses. Taxhub requires a fraction of the time commitment of DIY online options and may be cheaper than some independent certified public accountants in some situations.

Taxhub isn’t the only hands-off, CPA-run online tax prep platform out there. Imitators come and go, and big-name providers like H&R Block now offer hands-off or hybrid filing options of their own. But it does have a lot going for it.

Taxhub Plans and Pricing

Taxhub is more expensive than most DIY-friendly online tax software and at or above the cost of independent CPAs for some taxpayers. Whether its in-house expertise and hands-on service justify the price is open to interpretation.

But the company’s approach to tax preparation is easy and convenient. No matter how simple or complicated your tax situation, a licensed CPA prepares your return, and the preparation experience is uniform for all filers. It consists of three steps:

  1. Upload Your Documents. After finalizing your plan, you upload your tax documents, including any relevant income and expense statements. You can upload files directly to Taxhub’s secure server or take a picture of each document and text it.
  2. Conduct a Phone Interview. The next step is a brief phone interview with a licensed CPA (usually the person who prepares your taxes) to go over the particulars of your tax situation. You can schedule the consultation from your account dashboard. There’s no questionnaire.
  3. Approve Your Return and Pay. After the interview, Taxhub prepares your return, typically within 48 hours. If you approve, you pay. The price may be higher than the estimate if your situation requires a plan upgrade. In rare instances, your final price may be higher than the highest advertised price.

Individual Taxhub clients have access to a fully customizable prep and filing plan. Small-business clients have a fully customizable business prep and filing plan as well. 

Both businesses and individuals can schedule one-on-one CPA consultations for $49 per 15-minute interval, with fees credited back to the client if they later prepare and file with Taxhub.

Tax preparation fees vary based on your needs. 

Individual Plan

Taxhub has one off-the-shelf plan for individual income tax filers. Starting at $159 per federal return, it includes:

  • One free state return
  • Wage income
  • Single or married filing
  • Common credits for filers with dependents
  • Common scenarios related to homeownership
  • Itemized deductions
  • Interest and dividend income

If Taxhub’s individual plan isn’t adequate for your needs, you can customize it by adding services on an a la carte basis, such as:

  • Rental property income
  • Stock and crypto sales
  • Business income, including self-employment
  • More than one state tax return
  • Earned income tax credit

Your estimated price updates automatically as you go, and at no point do you have to walk through a lengthy online questionnaire. But adding a la carte services increases your return’s cost quickly. 

For example, you can expect to pay $100 to add business or self-employment income and $100 to add equities sales, though pricing is subject to change. The first state return is included, but additional state returns cost $75 each. And the earned income tax credit costs a whopping $250.

Business Plan

Taxhub’s customizable business plan is appropriate for C-corporations, S-corporations, partnerships, and trusts. Pricing starts at $459 per business but can quickly rise for larger enterprises. 

As part of the customization process, you must answer basic questions about your business, including:

  • Number of fixed assets
  • Number of partners or shareholders
  • Annual revenues

For an additional fee, Taxhub can provide basic ongoing bookkeeping services as well.

Additional Features of Taxhub

Overall, Taxhub’s hands-off filing process is its most significant draw. But it has some additional features worth noting.

Maximum Refund Guarantee

Like most competitors, Taxhub has a maximum refund guarantee for state and federal returns. If you find another tax prep service that earns you a larger tax refund or lower tax liability, Taxhub promises to refund your preparation fees.

Pay With Your Refund

Taxhub allows you to pay your preparation fees with your IRS tax refund. Taxhub doesn’t directly charge for this option, but you do have to accept a bank charge the company can’t control.

Prior-Year Returns

You can use Taxhub to file a previous year’s return, even if you didn’t previously prepare with Taxhub. You can obtain copies of your current and prior-year tax returns by contacting Taxhub directly.

Messaging System

If you have any questions before or during the tax preparation process, you can use Taxhub’s internal messaging system (accessible through your account). This system functions like email and usually takes a few hours to a business day to produce a response. 

Whenever possible, it connects you with the CPA tasked with preparing your return.

CPA Consultation

Even if you don’t file with Taxhub, you can retain the company for as-needed CPA consultations throughout the year. These cost $49 per 15 minutes or $50 for unlimited conversation if you choose the “CPA consultation” add-on when filing with Taxhub. 

If you retain Taxhub as your on-call CPA first, the company credits your CPA consultation fees against your tax prep fees, potentially offsetting the entire out-of-pocket cost.

Advantages of Taxhub

Taxhub has many filer-friendly features that justify paying CPA prices. 

  • Incredibly Simple Process. Taxhub’s tax preparation process is incredibly simple: You provide some basic information, upload your tax documents, consult with a CPA, and approve your completed return. You don’t have to pore over your documents, interpret IRS jargon, or sit through tedious questionnaires. 
  • May Be Cheaper Than Some Other Full-Service Options. Although unquestionably more expensive than cut-rate DIY options like FreeTaxUSA and TaxAct, it might be a better deal than full-service, in-office tax prep options like Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service. 
  • No Hidden Fees. Taxhub has no hidden fees, a significant advantage over some office-based preparers. 
  • Upload Documents by Text. Taxhub lets you upload your tax documents via text message. That’s a handy perk that’s virtually unique among tax prep companies and a huge advantage to customers who dislike breaking out their computers.
  • Low Time Investment Relative to DIY Options. With no questionnaires or self-filled forms, Taxhub is a breeze compared to DIY competitors. Though the amount of time filers need to devote to the initial consultation and document upload processes lengthens as their situations grow more complex, the same applies to DIY returns. 
  • Mobile-First Website. Unlike desktop software-first competitors like TurboTax and H&R Block, the much newer Taxhub started as a mobile-friendly, cloud-based service. Every part of its website is a pleasure to use on small-screened devices. 
  • Personalized Service. As a boutique shop, Taxhub offers a degree of personalized service larger competitors can’t match. Don’t let the all-online filing process fool you: When you do your taxes with Taxhub, you’re keenly aware of your value as a customer.

Disadvantages of Taxhub

As convenient and easy as Taxhub is, it’s not without drawbacks. It’s not a great value for all tax situations and remains a lean company with limited customer support.

  • Not a Good Value for Simple Tax Situations. Taxhub’s off-the-shelf plan costs more than $150 per return but accommodates only relatively simple situations. Many competitors also have limited functionality but cost far less. Many offer federal returns for free, and some (including TurboTax) also provide state returns for free.
  • Limited Staff. Taxhub remains very much in startup mode. Its small team is likely unable to provide the responsiveness its larger competitors can, particularly during crunch times. It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which Taxhub becomes overwhelmed with customer questions or problems in the week or two before the filing deadline.
  • No Military Discount. Taxhub doesn’t advertise any discounts or deals for military filers. That’s a significant disadvantage relative to other options, which may offer deals for active-duty military.
  • Steep Fee to Claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. Taxhub charges $250 to file returns claiming the earned income tax credit. That’s particularly steep given that it generally applies to lower-earning folks. 
  • Higher Prices Than DIY Competitors and Many Human CPAs. Taxhub was once cheaper than most mom-and-pop CPAs. That’s no longer the case for individual filers and businesses with complex situations. It’s now possible to spend well over $400 at Taxhub for a return that would cost $250 with an independent mom-and-pop CPA or less than $200 with TurboTax or H&R Block.

How Taxhub Stacks Up

So, how does Taxhub compare to better-known competitors? Not badly, all things considered. Take a look at the key differences between Taxhub and TurboTax, which also offers full-service online tax prep.

Taxhub TurboTax
Free Plan None Yes, simple situations only
Expert Assistance Yes, all returns prepared by CPAs Yes, available online starting at $40; full-service filing starting at $80
Pay With Your Refund Yes, for an additional fee Yes, for an additional fee
Most Expensive Plan Cost Starting at about $260 (full service) Starting at about $390 (full service)

Final Word

For a scrappy tax prep startup, Taxhub is pretty impressive. It’s among the most hands-off tax services I’ve encountered, requiring far less time from its customers than DIY competitors.

It can be cheaper than in-person and CPA-run online tax prep services for some taxpayers, though recent price increases have blunted this advantage somewhat. And it offers some features, such as text message document uploading, that aren’t common elsewhere.

On the other hand, Taxhub doesn’t have instant name recognition or an established reputation. It’s not clear Taxhub has what it takes to grow into a company that could challenge the tax prep industry’s status quo. But disruption doesn’t happen without early adopters who buy into the cause.

For more options, check out our full list of top-rated free online tax preparation services.

Source link