TaxChat

Tax preparation for people with better things to do

Reviews

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383091
Steven C. ToyMaker@sctoy
To echo Mike's sentiments we really do want to hear what you think about this alternative way of getting your taxes filed. What do you like about it? What gives you pause, if anything? We really do want to hear your thoughts. While I'm here I want to extend a big thank you to the Product Hunt Community. You have given us inspiration and information we have used to make the product you see today. We believe you will give us ideas to make it into a better product tomorrow.
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Claude Sutterlin@claudesutterlin · Owner, Coffee Bean Studios LLC
@sctoy I love the idea and intend to use it. My first reservations: 1) Am I going to get half way through and find "Oh, this is only for Scenario A, your taxes are too complicated" 2) As soon as I see that I'm uploading my tax documents, I want to know 100% my documents are safe. I see the blurb about AWS encryption... but I've been pressured by CEO's to put stuff like that on pages before I was comfortable with it. Perhaps a blog post about your security model or steps you've taken to secure the back-end? 3) Outside of trusting the tech stack, I also have to trust your tax professionals. The person receiving the docs could cause issues through maliciousness OR carelessness. What if they leave their phone on the subway? The 80 year old man at HR block that I meet face-to-face with *could* be a deviant, but I trust the devil that I can see more than a randomly assigned person. That being said, I'm a pretty trusting person and will be using the service tonight. I'll let you know how it goes if you're interested.
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Michael PereiraMaker@michaelbpereira
Thank you, @claudesutterlin, for your very insightful thoughts and questions. (This is why we love and admire Product Hunt as a forum – only here can you get this quality of constructive inquiry.) Addressing your questions in reverse order: (1) In building TaxChat, one of our first imperatives was to have the best tax professionals in the U.S. on the supply side of our network; in our view, the fact that our experience is remote rather than in person raises the quality bar – for the “devil that I can see” reason you cite. Accordingly, we interviewed 600 tax professionals an accepted 102 into our network; and our professionals have an average of 28.6 years of tax preparation experience. For each of those 102, we undertook rigorous background checks, confirmed their PTINs with the IRS and confirmed that any claimed credentials (e.g., the CPA or enrolled agent designation) are valid and current. Our tax professional app is exclusively on desktop, so even if one of our professionals left his or her phone on the subway, it would not adversely affect your private information. (2) Another of our first imperatives was security of data and personally identifiable information. Your idea of a post about our security model is excellent. We will, shortly after posting this reply, describe our security model in more detail on this page. (3) In light of the quality our tax professional network, as described above, there is no ceiling on the complexity of tax returns that TaxChat can accommodate. Our professionals are some of the smartest, most ethical, hardest working folks you can ever hope to meet – and all of them can handle returns across the full spectrum of complexity. We can’t wait to hear your feedback once you have an opportunity to try TaxChat tonight. And thanks again for your excellent questions. @sctoy
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Michael PereiraMaker@michaelbpereira
TaxChat lets you get your tax return prepared by one of the best tax professionals in the U.S., entirely on your mobile phone, for a low fixed fee. Steve and I started TaxChat because the tax preparation process is unacceptably complex, opaque and antiquated. In response, we set out to build a product that is super simple, transparent and contemporary – in short, the antidote to the pain of tax preparation. We aimed to create a completely customer-centric tax preparation experience. What do you think? We’d be thrilled to hear your thoughts or answer your questions here. Or feel free to email me at mpereira@tax.chat or Steve at stoy@tax.chat.
503452
Michael PereiraMaker@michaelbpereira
A member of the Product Hunt community asked how we at TaxChat are handling security of documents, data and personally identifiable information (PII). In the interest of providing the Product Hunt community with confidence in the security of our system – without undermining that security by describing it in too much detail – following are some of the measures we have taken to ensure that documents, data and PII are as secure on TaxChat as they are on the infrastructure of a well-functioning bank or broker-dealer. Starting with the TaxChat client app: Images of tax documents created by TaxChat clients using an iOS device’s camera are never stored in the device’s camera roll. TaxChat transfers document images to TaxChat’s systems over encrypted TLS communication channels. TaxChat’s systems do not accept connections that are unencrypted. We also employ HTTP Strict Transport Security, a security feature that instructs the TaxChat app to never attempt communication via unencrypted channels. TaxChat’s systems currently have an A+ rating by SSL Labs. You can confirm this with SSL Labs here: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/.... All document images and chat messages between TaxChat clients and tax professionals are encrypted from the moment they reach TaxChat’s systems. They are never stored on disk or in any file system, temporary or permanent, without first being encrypted. For encryption, TaxChat employs the highly respected and NIST-approved Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) along with best practices for cipher modes and parameters. AES has been the subject of an extraordinary amount of testing and analysis since it was introduced in 2001, having been selected as the best from a group of competing standards. AES is widely considered to be a safe and secure method of encrypting sensitive data. User passwords are cryptographically hashed using over 250,000 rounds of hashing. That’s more than twice as many rounds as the popular password manager LastPass uses. We do not store any credit card data in TaxChat’s systems. @claudesutterlin @sctoy
255593
John Spinale@jspinale · product guy
This is brilliant! Just installed it, will report back on April 16 on the final results. Thanks guys.
383091
Steven C. ToyMaker@sctoy
Thanks @jspinale we look forward to it and here's to hoping you have a refund coming.
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Benyamin Clayman@yozapli · FileQE
Really nice looking home page. 1. How is this different than TaxFyle? 2. Do you allow digital nomads/expats? If so, at what extra cost?
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Michael PereiraMaker@michaelbpereira
Thank you, @yozapli, for the positive feedback on our homepage. Regarding your question on competition, TaxChat is the only genuine on-demand platform in the entire tax preparation industry – the only business that makes immediate, automatic connections between clients and a network consisting exclusively of experienced, accomplished and ethical tax professionals. Other businesses in our competitive ecosystem either give clients a list of tax professionals to choose from (Taxaroo), give tax professionals a list of clients to choose from (Taxfyle) or supplant human experience and discretion with artificial intelligence (Tada). That is, TaxChat uses a bona fide on-demand model (like Uber), Taxaroo uses a marketplace model, Taxfyle uses a modified reverse marketplace model and Tada uses a partially automated model. There is nothing inherently wrong with marketplaces, reverse marketplaces or automation, but in our view, TaxChat’s on-demand model is by far the most consumer-friendly approach to assisted tax preparation. Regarding your question on expatriates and digital nomads, U.S. citizens that are living, working or traveling abroad are one of our core markets. Such folks have to file U.S. tax returns, but typically have great difficulty finding a qualified local tax professional who can prepare a U.S. tax return for a reasonable fee. TaxChat gives expats and digital nomads direct access to qualified U.S. tax professionals that can complete and file their returns for the same low, fixed, transparent fees as TaxChat charges domestic filers. In short, yes, we serve expats and digital nomads. But, no, we do not charge them anything extra because we don’t think that doing so would be fair. @sctoy