With simplified pricing and an improved interface, 1040.com emerged as a contender in the “middle” pricing part of the tax software world.
Unfortunately, the lack of extras and inability to import forms from PDF made us question whether it brings significant value to the table.
Should you use 1040.com to file your taxes this year?
Unfortunately, the crowded tax software marketplace means that decent software services like 1040.com really don’t stand a chance. It’s not as easy to use for complex filers. It’s not as cheap as other services, but could be compelling if you have to file a Federal and state return (as the state pricing in a lot of software can be expensive).
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 for 2020, free state
1040.com Review Video
1040.com Flat Rate Price
Unlike most other software services, 1040.com doesn’t claim to be free. It costs $25 for any filing situation. The $25 price includes both state and Federal filing. 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.
In previous years, 1040.com has primarily functioned as DIY software tool. This year, it has beefed up its navigation help. The interface guides users through simple questions to ensure that filers are hitting the right parts of the software.
However, the 1040.com doesn’t have easily accessible provisions for landlords. While you can add a Schedule E form yourself, the hassle isn’t worth figuring out.
While 1040.com is still a bit more cumbersome than TaxSlayer, H&R Block or TurboTax, it’s a solid interface. The filing experience is one step above the bare bones experience you’ll get from FreeTaxUSA or similar bargain software services.
1040.com Ease Of Use
1040.com receives middle of the road marks for its ease of use. On the negative side, you won’t get to import any documents from PDF (such as brokerage statements). Since even free services like Credit Karma Tax are allowing photo imports, this is a drawback to 1040.com. It’s a deal killer if you’re an active trader who wants to connect to a brokerage account.
You can import your W2 if your employer supports it (and over a million employers do).
On the other hand, most of 1040.com’s built-in calculators are extremely easy to understand. When paired with a uniquely well-written library of help articles, and live chat tech support, this is a good tool.
1040.com Knowledge Articles
1040.com has worked really hard to make taxes easier for the layperson. I recommend the services free printables for anyone getting started on the taxes. The articles within the software are a good mix of “what does this mean?” and how-to fill out your tax forms. The software also has lots of high quality explainers built-in throughout the software.
The one gap that I found was that 1040.com does not have articles on virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. Given how prevalent this is for tax filers, and the new added complexities around it, this is surprising.
The software doesn’t have a lot of extras. Tech support is included, but users don’t get audit support included or included tax support from a pro. However, 1040.com is a “mission” oriented company that commits a portion of profits to funding clean water projects around the world.
1040.com does have two upsells (which they don't call upsells - related products), which are:
- Pay with your tax refund for $24.95
- Audit protection for $29.95
Can 1040.com Help Me With My Crypto Investments?
1040.com doesn’t offer special guidance to help you file crypto investments in 2020. However, it has all the forms needed for people who traded or mined crypto investments in 2020.
Who Should Use 1040.com to File Taxes in 2020?
In 2020, 1040.com showed some major improvements. The simplified pricing, amazing knowledge library and the improved navigation gave a positive impression.
However, 1040.com fell a bit short of being one of our top recommendations. FreeTaxUSA offers a similar quality of software for a lower price. TaxSlayer costs a bit more, but has more opportunities for reasonably priced upgrades (such as advice from a tax pro and audit protection). And if you’re an active trader, you’ll probably want to pay for a service like TurboTax that can connect to your brokerage and calculate your tax burden for you.
- Navigation - 80
- Ease Of Use - 40
- Features And Options - 70
- Customer Service - 80
- Plans And Pricing - 70
1040.com doesn’t offer any great advantages compared to other tax filing options. It offers flat-rate pricing, but that’s about it.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.