Startup Common Form lets people with simple finances do their taxes in 5 minutes from their phone or computer. Common Form team do this by allowing customers to take pictures of their W-2, importing the data, and by using pubic data records and social profiles to pre-populate their tax return. Here is our interview with Bill Hendricks, Co-Founder of Common Form:
Q: How would you describe Common Form?
A: Common Form lets people with simple finances file their taxes in minutes from their phone or computer.
Q: What advantage does Common Form have over its competitors?
A: Two main advantages: 1) We’re the only tax preparation software that is designed specifically for simple filers. We cut out all the obscure tax questions that don’t apply to them, so they can get their taxes done much faster and with much more confidence. 2) Our pricing is clear and transparent – completely free if you don’t get a refund, $20 if you do get a refund. Most of our competitors use sneaky pricing and lots of up-sells to extract the most money possible from their customers. You won’t find a single up-sell in Common Form.
Q: How did the Common Form team meet ?
A: We worked together for years at Intuit, the makers of TurboTax. I led product development and marketing teams, Charles lead engineering for TurboTax.com, and Austin was the lead engineer for TurboTax.com.
Q: Are there any key individuals outside of your company that have been of great help to your startup?
A: Absolutely! There have been so many that I hesitate to name them because I can’t name them all. Here are just a few: Jason Seats (@seats), the Managing Director of Techstars in Austin, Brian Mesic (@brianmesic), an advisor, and Evan Loomis (@evanloomis) an advisor and the person who introduced at Techstars Demo Day.
Q: What can we expect from your team in next six months?
A: Tax season! We are putting the finishing touches on our Tax Year 2014 product (filed in 2015). We went live on February 28, 2014 so there wasn’t a lot of Tax Year 2013 left when we launched. We’re very excited to have a full season this year and look forward to giving the big players a run for their money.
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