EY Debuts TaxChat, a Direct-to-Consumer Tax Platform

The professional services firm is hoping to tap into a massive business by streamlining tax reporting through an easy-to-use platform.

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Need to Know

  • EY announced TaxChat, the company’s first direct to consumer tax filing service app available to individual taxpayers around the world. 
  • The new app will feature customer service support via chat and phone and mirrored web-to-app interfaces for easy movement between devices. The app will also have updated functionality, reflecting all 2019 regulatory tax changes. 
  • Do it yourself tax filing solutions remain in high demand, it’s reported that 137,866,000 million tax returns were e-filed for Tax Year 2018.

Analysis

For the first time EY, one of the largest professional service firms in the world, will offer online tax preparation services directly to consumers through the app TaxChat.  

TaxChat will provide personalized service from a licensed EY tax professional who will prepare and file tax returns on the taxpayer’s behalf through the digital platform. The service is currently available in the UK and the US, with Brazil, Canada, Australia and France being added later this year. 

TaxChat was previously available exclusively as an employee benefit to EY employees, but an increase in tax filing complexity has the firm taking their services directly to individuals. 

“The accelerated pace of digital and regulatory change has led to increasing complexity for taxpayers and authorities around the world. Today’s global workforce is more sophisticated, digitally-minded and flexible than ever before. At EY, we are committed to helping every taxpayer – individual and corporate – navigate this evolving landscape. EY TaxChat helps deliver traditional services in a new way to provide individuals with a modern, broad set of tax compliance and mobility services for a digital, data-intensive world,” Dina Pyron, EY global TaxChat leader said in a statement.  

After answering a few questions about their personal circumstances, EY TaxChat users are provided a price quote tailored to their individual situation. Once approved taxpayers submit their tax documents by photo directly through the app or by uploading via the cloud, asking questions at any time through the platforms chat function. The user’s tax return is then prepared by EY professionals and sent back to the individual for approval. Finally, EY then files the return on their behalf. 

EY’s platform joins a crowded space dominated by companies like TurboTax, Credit Karma, and H&R Block, but as a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services the firm hopes their deep history will grant them an advantage. 

“EY has more than 100 years of experience serving the tax needs of some of the world’s most complex companies and successful individuals,” said April Spencer, EY America’s business tax leader. “With EY TaxChat, we can bring EY knowledge, experience, and technology to help even more individuals file their taxes with ease and confidence.” 

The IRS reported that as of October 2019, nearly 137,866,000 million tax returns were e-filed for Tax Year 2018. EY’s investment in the digital consumer represents a market opportunity of $15 billion in key countries around the world. 

The EY TaxChat app is available online directly through the firms’ website. 

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