1040 Now Review – Easy Online Tax Preparation
1040 Now is one of many online tax preparation Websites designed to make it fast and easy for you to prepare your Federal and state income taxes without having to download software or visit a professional tax preparer. As these software companies go, 1040 Now offers an affordable product and for many taxpayers, the Federal version will be free. If you’re looking for a way to get your taxes done without spending a fortune, 1040 Now might be a good choice.
1040 Now Overview
As with most lower-priced tax preparation software products, 1040 Now is an online product, rather than something you need to download and install. There are upsides and downsides to this; perhaps the best advantage is that the software will always be up to date, and you won’t have to worry about making sure you’re using the latest version. On the downside, you’ll have to trust 1040 Now to store your personal information on their servers. They do use secure connections and encryption, but if you’re skittish about sharing your personal information over the Internet, this may not be the product for you. With more and more reports about Internet hacking of supposedly secure Websites, more and more people are becoming concerned about this issue. 1040 Now uses Secure Socket Layers and encryption to ensure that your data remains safe.
The 1040 Now home page is a bit misleading; it suggests that your tax preparation is free. Well, the preparation is free, but they do charge you $14.95 to actually file the Federal return ($19.95 for the 1040 or 1040A), which makes it somewhat less than free. They do have a 1040 Now Free File Edition, which is actually free, provided that you qualify to use it. Qualifications vary by state, age and income, so you should check the 1040 Now Website to see if you qualify. Millions of people do, so it’s worth taking a look. For all versions of the software, the charge is $17.95 to file state returns.
1040 Now Tech support is available online or by telephone, for a fee. 1040 Now has no in-person support as you might find with companies such as H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt. 1040 Now does permit you to store your previous years’ returns on their site, making it easy to import information from previous years for the current year’s return.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using 1040 Now, as their forms and processes are somewhat different from those at other sites. Otherwise, you may find some of the forms to be similar looking and confusing. Aside from that, one of the benefits of 1040 Now is that unlike other products, they don’t have different versions of the software for filers with different needs. Some companies will offer one version for people who just need the 1040 EZ form, another for those who have a home or children, another for those who have a small business and another for those who have stock transactions, with each version being more expensive than the previous one. Not so at 1040 Now; they make one version of the software that’s suitable for everyone, regardless of the forms you need to file your return. That’s a nice bonus of using 1040 Now, and a great opportunity to save money for those with more complex finances.
Most tax preparation products are easy enough to use and these days, they’re all capable of handling basic deductions, schedules and forms. You’ll be reminded of the most common deductibles, such as child credit, Earned Income Credit and mortgage interest deductions. What 1040 Now cannot do, and neither can any other software, is tell you about all of the ways that you could be saving money on your taxes but aren’t. That’s not a fault of the tax preparation software; that’s a problem having to do with tax strategy. The U.S. tax code is horribly complex, with new items being added each year and other things removed. It’s a big, clunky, awkward piece of law and it’s difficult even for professionals to keep track of all of the changes. There are many, perhaps thousands, of ways that taxpayers could be saving money on their taxes through legal deductions, but some of these are quite obscure, and unless you know enough to mention it when working on your tax preparation, your software program isn’t going to know about it.
The fact is that many, if not most, taxpayers are paying too much in taxes, only because they aren’t aware of all of the things they could be legally deducting from their income, thus lowering their taxes. It’s not their fault, and it’s not the fault of their software. It’s just that it’s asking a lot of any taxpayer to know about everything. That’s why tax preparation software isn’t enough. If you want to pay the least amount of taxes that you’re legally obligated to pay, then you need a specialized resource. You need one that will tell you how you can save money. You need one that can tell you what things you can legally deduct and how they apply to you. You need that explained to you in simple English and not in complicated tax talk or legalese. You need a resource that can keep up with the annual changes that take place in the tax code so that you know how these changes are going to affect you from year to year. Then you can put it all to use so that you can save money on your taxes. Not just this year, but every year.
1040 Now can do a good job of helping you prepare your taxes. It’s going to provide accurate results, do it quickly, and see to it that your return is filed promptly. If that’s enough for you, then great. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about how you can save money, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your taxes, then you’re going to need more than what 1040 Now can offer you.