A great tax software doesn’t need to serve everyone well. TurboTax shines because it makes filing for complex tax situations a breeze. H&R Block offers an expanded base of truly free filing. TaxSlayer offers low cost filing with the added bonus of being able to get an tax refund advance. TaxHawk allows complex filers to get their filing done inexpensively, and FreeTax.com is actually free.
Unfortunately, the crowded tax software marketplace means that decent software services like 1040.com really don’t stand a chance. It’s not as usable for complex filers. It’s not as cheap as other services. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t offer any great advantages.
That’s not to say it’s a bad software. It’s not. But filers who can be picky, should be picky about their software service, and 1040.com just isn’t a top choice this year.
- Improved navigation, but only for easy tax returns
- Not recommended for rental property owners or self employed
- Pricing plans aren't competitive in 2018
In 2018, 1040.com cleaned up their navigation. The extra effort paid off. 1040.com now offers one of the better question and answer navigation styles in the marketplace. Using easy to understand questions, the software guides users to each section.
Even better? They make it easy to add multiple forms. This is great for people who have multiple jobs or multiple bank accounts. Too many low-end software services require users to navigate backwards to enter additional information, but not 1040.com. They make sure you’re done with a topic before moving you along.
1040.com also offers self-guided navigation which is great for people who are familiar with filing their own taxes. The software uses a left hand navigation, with drop down menus, so it’s intuitive.
Another nice feature of 1040.com is that they’ve made it relatively seamless to switch back and forth between guided and self-navigation.
1040.com Ease Of Use
With a decent user interface, and great navigation, 1040.com is a great candidate for top marks in ease of use. Unfortunately, the software is really only easy for people with taxes that are already straightforward.
For example, the software doesn’t have calculators and information that helps users fill out certain forms like the Schedule E. Rental property owners can find the form under “Other income” but they are left calculating profits on their own. Likewise, the forms supporting self-employment retirement contributions were confusing.
Software users can’t import any existing forms (except their prior year’s tax returns), meaning 1040.com is lagging behind most of the great tax softwares.
1040.com Knowledge Articles
1040.com offers some helpful links to knowledge articles (and IRS forms) directly from the software. The software makes judicious use of explanations in their guided navigation, so most users will have an easy time getting through the software.
If you get stuck, you can often find what you need through the Help center. In addition to offering live chat support, you can ask a question via email or you can browse the knowledge articles. Overall, the knowledge articles were informative and to the point. Unfortunately, 1040.com doesn’t have the breadth of articles that some tax software services have.
1040.com Pricing And Plans
1040.com has three pricing tiers. Unfortunately, this is where 1040.com really falters. Even though they offer free live chat services and email help, the software simply isn’t worth the price in 2018.
In fact, we found their free file plan to be one of the most restrictive that we've seen.
These are the plans:
People itemizing taxes or claiming credits, families with dependents
All others (including side-hustlers)
Not recommended for rental property owners
For A Better Deal:
Who Should Use 1040.com In 2018?
As I’ve mentioned a few times, 1040.com isn’t the software to use in 2018. It’s tough to see where they offer an advantage. Again, it’s not a bad software, but it’s struggling to find it’s niche.
Consider alternatives to 1040.com in 2018.
1040.com doesn’t offer any great advantages compared to other tax filing options. It’s priced a little higher, doesn’t differentiate itself with any specific targets, and while it works well enough, it doesn’t wow.