This year, 1040.com emerged as a contender in the “middle” pricing part of the tax software world.
It offers a simple pricing plan ($25 for all filers), and a commendable user interface. Unfortunately, a lack of audit support, no “ask a pro” option, and no import options left us wanting more. While 1040.com offers a decent service at a decent price, it’s not compelling.
The tax software marketplace is too crowded for a service with no standout features. Should you use 1040.com to file your taxes this year?
Here’s what you need to know about the 1040.com tax software this year, and make sure you check out how it compares to the best tax software programs.
- Improved navigation, but only for easy tax returns
- Not recommended for rental property owners or self employed
- Flat rate pricing at $25, including free state returns
1040.com – Is It Free?
No. 1040.com allows you to “Start Filing” for free, but users must pay a $25 fee to complete filing through 1040.com. It is nice that the company moved towards transparent pricing, so users know exactly how much they need to pay before they start.
What’s New In 2021?
This year, 1040.com introduced a few basic interface changes that make navigation of the software somewhat easier. The software also has better “Tell Me More” links sprinkled throughout the software. These give pithy explainers to help users understand a question. For more difficult topics, the “Tell Me More” links out to IRS topics.
Aside from these minor changes (and changes to support the new tax laws), 1040.com has not made any bold new changes.
1040.com has a simplified pricing plan. All users will pay $25. It is worth noting that the $25 price tag even applies to users who need to file multiple state returns.
This puts the software in a solid middle-of-the road pricing for tax software.
It could make sense for some filers, including those who may “unexpectedly” get bumped into higher pricing tiers. For example, those with tuition expenses, child care deductions, gambling winnings, health savings account, and more.
Plus, the fact that your flat $25 includes state can be very compelling for those who are going to need to file a state return in a paid tier. When you compare the prices of TurboTax and H&R Block, you’ll find the state return alone can exceed $25.
1040.com uses a “hybrid” navigation model. Users can decide whether to allow 1040.com to ask questions about their taxes, or users can use a left-hand nav-bar to navigate for themselves.
The interview style navigation can be a bit onerous. 1040.com doesn’t have the “easy-to-use” interface required to support long-form interviews. Premium software like TaxSlayer, H&R Block or TurboTax offer superior navigation, but often at much higher price-points. A bargain software like FreeTaxUSA offers slightly better navigation at a lower price point.
Ease Of Use
While 1040.com has tweaked its interface to become easier, it is still difficult to use. The software often has forms nested within forms. That leads to excessive clicking and can make it easy to forget an important thought train.
Additionally, 1040.com doesn’t support any imports. Users need to hand-enter information from W-2 forms, 1099-NEC, brokerage statements and more. Most other companies support a W-2 import if not more forms.
1040.com doesn’t have robust search functionality. However, users can learn more about tax topics through the software’s “Tell Me More” buttons. Each of these buttons opens a short article that covers common questions related to the topic at hand. Most of these articles included some “tax jargon” to “English” translations. However, the articles were short, and the articles link to the IRS website for users to get more information on their own.
1040.com is bare-bones tax software. Users can choose to upgrade to an Audit Protection program for $24.95. Additionally, users who want to pay using their refund will need to shell out an additional $24.95.
The other “extra” that 1040.com offers is a philanthropic focus that could motivate some filers. A portion of all proceeds goes towards improving water supply throughout the world.
Can 1040.com Help Me With My Crypto Investments?
1040.com supports filing for crypto investments. However, it doesn’t make the process easy. Users must manually enter all their trades (and their conversions to US Dollars) to make the software work. Crypto investors who want a better option should consider TurboTax which has an integration with CoinBase.
Can 1040.com Help Me With My Missing Stimulus Check?
Congress passed two rounds of stimulus funding in 2020. Citizens who should have gotten checks but didn’t receive them may qualify for a Rebate Recovery Credit when they file their taxes. 1040.com will add this credit for any user who didn’t receive their stimulus checks. Once people file their taxes, the credit will increase the size of their refund checks.
How Does 1040.com Compare?
$36.99 per additional state
Retirement Income (SS, Pension, etc.)
Small Business Owner (over $5k in expenses)
$29.99 Fed & $36.99 State
$49.99 Fed & $36.99 State
$84.99 Fed & $36.99 State
Final Thoughts 1040.com on 2021?
This year, 1040.com failed to impress. The software is fine. The pricing is fine. But several companies surpass “fine”.
As just one example, Credit Karma Tax offers good software for free. This year, 1040.com isn’t impressive. Rather than going for a middling software choose the best tax software for your situation.