1040.com Reviews - Is It the Right Tax Preparation Software for You?
1040.com is a tax software site with a single price for all federal and state tax returns. Their single-price model is what makes them unique.
You’ll often find that tax software offers multiple price points depending on how complex your return is. It’s hard to know exactly which tier you need until you start the return, at which point the software will alert you when you need to upgrade. There are no surprises with 1040.com.
The software is the creation of Drake Enterprises, an N.C.-based tax firm. We spoke with Charlie Reynolds, a Drake sales consultant, who told us the main focus of their 1040.com software is simplicity. They want the user to have a no-frills, affordable tax software.
Our review of 1040.com gives you the details and analysis you need to decide if the software is the right fit for your needs and comfortability filing taxes.
1040.com costs $25 for federal returns (1040/ 1040SR/ 1040X) and does not charge you to make a state return.
There is no free version of 1040.com.
I set up a 1040.com account and found the experience simple and pain-free. The software guides you through your return with easy-to-answer questions about you, your work and your deductions.
The deductions and credits screen is straightforward and not overwhelming.
Simpler returns can take as little as 15 minutes based on our experience.
If you’re someone who enjoys straightforward questions and doesn’t need a lot of explanation, you’ll like 1040.com.
Education and Support
If you run into a situation where you don’t feel confident in your answers, 1040.com has two options for you. You can contact their live chat or you can consult their educational material.
We used their live chat support multiple times and found it helpful and very responsive. 1040.com’s live chat window pops up in your software window, making it easy to get advice as you fill out your tax return.
Their education section is robust and provides answers to general and specific questions about your taxes. It is clear and well-organized, with each article broken up into small sections that are easy to read.
1040.com will refund the $25 you paid to file your taxes if your refund is smaller than it should be or your tax liability is bigger than it should be.
If this is the case, you’ll need to send a letter to 1040.com’s parent company, Drake, within 30 days of filing your taxes.
You cannot get your fee refund if the difference in a refund or tax liability results from you providing incorrect or erroneous information.
1040.com guarantees their calculations will be accurate as long as the information you provide them is accurate and correct. If you input the right information for all questions and a software mistake results in IRS penalties or interest payments, 1040.com will reimburse you for those penalties.
Like the maximum refund guarantee, you’ll need to send a letter to them explaining your situation.
As a freelancer, you’ll need to file 1099 income as well as Schedule C, which is a form through which you can claim business expenses like costs related to your home office, internet, mobile phones, supplies, and subscriptions.
1040.com provides you with all the forms you need to file as a freelancer.
If you own a home, you require a special set of forms you use in conjunction with your 1040:
- Form 1098: Mortgage interest statement
- Form 8396: Mortgage interest credit
- Form 8828: Recapture of federal mortgage subsidy
Because 1040.com supports these forms, their software is a good fit for you if you're a homeowner.
When you’re an investor, you have to file a myriad of forms and schedules. 1040.com supports the following forms which cover income and losses from stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, and real estate:
- Schedule E: includes income from real estate investment conduits (REMIC)
- Form 1099-B: Stock transactions
- Form 1098-DIV: Income from stock dividends
- Form 1099-INT: Interest earned from investments
- Form 1099-R: Distributions from your retirement accounts
If you’re a parent with a child in daycare or in college, you’re entitled to certain deductions and tax credits. 1040.com supports the following forms that are specific to parents:
- Form 2441: Chil and Dependent Care Expenses
- Form 1098-E: Student loan interest
The software also covers the following tax credits related to your children:
- American Opportunity Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
- Adoption Tax Credit
- Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
People with Simple Returns
If you don’t have kids, own a home and don’t have a business or any 1099 income, then you can most likely file for free on Credit Karma Tax or other popular tax sites with free options.
1040.com is designed to provide a flat fee for complex reviews; it’s not concerned with catering to people with simple returns that you can do for free.
While freelancers and the self-employed are a good fit for individuals who have 1099 work and a side business, small business owners with employees should consult with a tax preparation service, Reynolds told us.
While the site does support many of the forms you’ll need for your small business, the intricacies of your situation require a professional who can ensure the information you provide is pertinent and correct.
|Homeowner filing cost*||$25||$29.95||$40||$29.99||$29.99|
|Investor filing cost*||$25||$29.95||$70||$39.95||$49.99|
|Freelancer filing cost*||$25||$29.95||$90||$74.95||$49.99|
|Business owner filing cost*||$25||$29.95||$90||$74.95||$79.99|
|State filing cost*||Free||$19.95||$0 for free filing, $40 for paid version||$0 for free filing, $39.95 for paid version||$0 for free filing, $36.99 for paid version|
|On-demand CPA/ EA/ Tax expert access||No||No||Yes (extra $50 to $90)||No||Yes (extra $30 to $60)|
|Support options||Email and live chat||Phone, email||Video, phone, chat, email||Phone, chat, email||Phone, chat, email, in-office|
|Paid access to CPAs and EAs||No||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Audit services||None||Will correspond on your behalf and represent you in IRS audit meetings ($39.99)||Will correspond on your behalf and represent you in IRS audit meetings ($39.99)||Will correspond on your behalf but won’t represent you in IRS audit meetings (free)||Will correspond on your behalf and represent you in IRS audit meetings (free)|
*Pricing reflects cost at the beginning of tax season. As the tax deadline gets closer, prices go up.
As you decide which tax software is best for you, reflect on past tax returns you’ve done and ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you struggle to work through more complicated parts of your return?
- Were there times you wished you could talk to a tax expert?
- Did you feel like the software’s value exceeded what you paid?
- Do you feel like you overpaid for the software?
- How often did you consult the software’s education section?
- Is it easy for you to file your taxes?
These types of questions will reveal what aspects of your tax software are most important to you. Your answers will help you find the software that offers that meets your needs for support, education, and value.
1040.com offers a truly unique pricing model: $25 for all returns and no free option. This straightforward approach alleviates the confusion or frustration you’d feel if there were multiple price points depending on how complex your return is.
Based on our research, this site is a good fit for some and not a good fit for others.
Who It’s Good For:
Self-sufficient filers: This software’s simple user experience will work well if you are used to DIYing taxes and don’t need any hand-holding as you work through your refund.
You’re on a budget: 1040.com’s $25 fee is a competitive one and offers a lot of value if you’re self-employed or a freelancer and own a home and investments. The one-price model eliminates the possibility of surprises, as the software won’t stop you at certain points and require you to upgrade. Plus, you get access to live chat support and a substantial education section.
Who It’s Not Good For:
Business owners: If you own a business with multiple employees, 1040.com lacks the tax pro support and audit defense that you may be looking for as you navigate your complex tax situation.
You worry about audits: Audits are rare—the IRS audits about 1% of all returns. However, if audits concern you, 1040.com doesn’t offer any peace of mind. There aren’t any options for audit defense and they don’t have any paid add-ons that allow you to send your return to a 1040.com tax pro for review.
I will not use this program again. They bait you with a free offer but switch along the way, so it is not possible to pay less than $44.95. They do not notify you if your return has been accepted by the IRS.
Do not use this bait and switch program!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend