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Published: May 17, 2023 12 min read

Tax software can help you e-file your state and federal income tax returns. These solutions assist users with identifying potential money-saving deductions, saving you time and keeping you on the right side of the law.

In recent years, various tax software services have proliferated. With so much competition, many tax software systems have begun to differentiate themselves by competing on areas like pricing, user experience, added features and informative content (like covering common tax questions and answers).

1040.com stands out for its single, flat-rate pricing structure and simplicity of use. In this guide, we'll take a deep look at its strengths and weaknesses. We'll examine how it fits with the competition and which taxpayers might benefit. Continue reading to find out if 1040.com is the right tax preparation software for you.

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Best for simple tax returns

1040.com offers basic functionality at a low price. For a flat fee, you gain access to all of the software's features. However, it lacks many of the bells and whistles typical of more sophisticated software products like H&R Block or TurboTax. Consequently, it may not work well for some small business owners, individuals with significant investments or cryptocurrency traders. However, budget-conscious consumers with simple tax-filing needs might benefit from the service.

1040.com walks users step by step through the tax filing process. It uses a questionnaire format that keeps the filing process simple. Just make sure you have what you need to file taxes before you get started, such as your W-2 or 1099 forms. The whole process shouldn't take long, and many people will be able to finish in under an hour.

1040.com tax Software Pros and Cons

  • Flat $25 fee for all features
  • Filers can pay for filing fees with their refund
  • Maximum refund and 100% accuracy guarantee
  • Not suitable for reporting crypto earnings
  • No full-service tax preparation

Pros explained

Flat $25 fee for all features

You'll pay a single, flat $25 fee to access all of 1040.com's features. However, the company charges additional fees to users who elect to pay with their refund and for customers who purchase audit protection. We'll cover both of these features in more depth later on.

Filers can pay for filing fees with their refund

If you'd rather skip paying with your credit card at checkout, 1040.com lets users pay with their tax refund. 1040.com will take out the money you owe before direct depositing the remainder in your bank account. Bear in mind that if you choose this option, you'll have to pay an additional $24.95, which will basically double your price.

Maximum refund and 100% accuracy guarantee

1040.com offers its customers a maximum refund and a 100% accuracy guarantee. The maximum refund guarantee states that if you use a competitor and receive a larger refund or a smaller tax bill, 1040.com will pay you the difference. There are two caveats to this guarantee. One, you'll have to completely redo your taxes on another platform at least once to qualify. Two, you must input exactly the same information on the two forms, or you won't be eligible for the refund.

1040.com's 100% accuracy guarantee states that 1040.com will reimburse you for any IRS or state-level penalties caused by an error on its end, such as wrongly entered information or miscalculations. Again, if 1040.com determines that you're responsible for the penalty, you will not see any money.

Cons explained

Not suitable for reporting crypto earnings

While 1040.com provides a field for reporting gains and losses from cryptocurrency trades, its overall functionality is limited. Taxpayers who've recorded a significant number of cryptocurrency transactions in the past year may be better served elsewhere.

No full-service tax preparation

Unlike other tax software systems, 1040.com has no full-service tax preparation options. Full-service tax preparation means that you're paying an actual accountant to review your taxes. Since this involves considerably more work, it's generally offered as a premium add-on feature. 1040.com's service offerings emphasize frugality and simplicity. A full-service preparation service just doesn't meld with its core offerings.

1040.com tax software Offerings

In this section, we'll explore the three main features offered by 1040.com. 1040.com offers electronic filing options for federal and state-level taxes. You may also purchase an optional audit protection service for an additional fee.

Federal return filing

Federal filing represents the core of 1040.com's services. 1040.com will walk you through the federal tax returns process with a series of helpful questions and prompts. As you fill out your federal tax return, the 1040.com software will automatically look for tax credits and deductions that you might qualify for. 1040.com uses an autosave feature so you don't have to worry about losing your progress if you have to get up and go at any point.

1040.com offers all of its federal tax return features to every user as part of its flat-fee structure, so you won't have to worry about paying extra to unlock certain features. 1040.com's limited importing function represents a significant drawback. If you work for a participating employer, you should have no trouble importing your W-2. However, most workers, including all 1099 contractors, will have to input their information by hand. 1040.com doesn't let users import spreadsheets either.

State return filing

By a similar token, 1040.com offers state return filing to all plan holders. Not only will you not be asked to pay extra, but you can also file taxes for multiple states. By contrast, many tax software companies charge for each state that you file taxes with, so if you're someone who moves around a lot, you'll definitely want this feature. 1040.com makes filling out your state return easy by auto-populating many of the required fields with information taken from your federal return.

Audit assistance

Audit assistance is an add-on feature that will set you back an extra $29.95. It's important to note that 1040.com doesn't actually provide audit assistance. Instead, it partners with Protection Plus, a third-party service provider. Protection Plus works with a number of major tax preparation software companies, including Intuit and TaxSlayer. With 10 million members, it's hardly a fly-by-night operation.

Protection Plus will assist you in the event that the IRS decides to audit you. Less than 1% of all taxpayers get audited each year. However, the process is notoriously stressful and time-consuming. Even if you've done everything right, you may still benefit from the peace of mind that comes with expert assistance.

1040.com tax software Pricing

1040.com stands out from the competition for its all-in-one $25 flat-fee pricing. You won't have to pay anything extra to access certain features or to pay your state-level taxes. However, 1040.com does charge a $24.95 fee if you choose to pay with your tax refund. Audit assistance also costs an extra $29.95.

1040.com tax software Financial Stability

Neither 1040.com.com nor its parent company, Drake Software, has received ratings from any of the three major credit rating bureaus. Furthermore, no readily apparent information regarding either company's financial health exists online.

1040.com tax software Accessibility

1040.com offers limited accessibility to noncustomers. While it has an online contact form available to the public, its live chat feature is reserved for active users. Positive customer reviews suggest that most individuals have little difficulty navigating the website or getting in touch with support staff.


Taxpayers in all 50 states can use 1040.com to file their federal and state tax returns. Unlike with H&R Block, you can't walk into a neighborhood branch office — 1040.com is completely online. It also doesn't offer a publicly available customer support phone number, so if you prefer a human touch to your tax preparation, you may be better served elsewhere.

1040.com offers an online chat feature that customers can use to discuss issues with one of its on-staff tax professionals. You will need a 1040.com login password and username to access this feature. Members of the public can get in touch through the online messaging form available on 1040.com's contact page or reach out via social media.

1040.com maintains a Facebook and Instagram page, along with a YouTube channel.

Contact Information

You can connect with 1040.com through its online contact form, or you can reach out through Facebook or Instagram. If you're a current user, you can also use its live chat feature.

User experience

1040.com offers a straightforward user experience. You'll receive prompts to guide you through each step. However, individuals with more complex tax filing needs may find the user experience less pleasurable. For example, active stock or cryptocurrency traders may experience tedium when completing those steps. Self-employed filers may also prefer a more robust service option.

1040.com tax software Customer Satisfaction

The vast majority of online customer reviews offer strong praise for 1040.com's simplicity, ease of use, effectiveness and affordability. A few comments noted helpful customer support via the chat function. Only a very small percentage of the reviews were negative, and most of these complained about poor software performance.

1040.com tax Software FAQ

Is 1040.com a legitimate site?

1040.com has processed more than 150 million tax returns in the past decade alone and has provided professional-grade income tax software solutions since 1977. It offers standard encryption and multifactor protection services to protect its users' data.

Does 1040.com have a free option?

No. At present, 1040.com only offers a single $25 pricing tier. If you'd like to learn how to file taxes for free, check out our comprehensive guide.

Is 1040.com tax software worth it?

That depends on your individual needs. 1040.com is best for people with relatively simple tax returns. Individuals with more complicated tax filing needs should look elsewhere. For example, if you need to file back taxes, you might choose to go with a competitor.

How we evaluated 1040.com tax Software

When evaluating 1040.com, we looked at the following factors:

  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Pricing
  • Accessibility
  • Customer support
  • Customer reviews
  • Time in business
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Summary of Money's 1040.com tax Software Review

1040.com offers a solid range of basic tax preparation features for a single fixed price. Individuals with simple tax needs may enjoy the step-by-step functionality. However, those with greater tax needs, such as cryptocurrency users or day traders, may find the software tedious and time-consuming when completing various tax schedules. 1040.com doesn't offer a full preparation option. If you'd like an accountant to review your taxes, you'll have to go elsewhere.

1040.com guarantees you'll get the maximum refund you're entitled to. Its 100% accuracy guarantee also protects you in the event that 1040.com makes a mistake on your behalf. With 1040.com, you don't have to worry about paying an extra fee to prepare your state taxes. Not only will it auto-populate your state taxes with your federal tax information saving you time, but it lets you file taxes for multiple states for free. You will have to pay an extra $29.95 to access its audit protection service.

Ultimately, 1040.com stands out for its rock-bottom pricing and simplicity of use. However, it's not the right software for all tax situations, so if you have complicated tax needs, you'll likely be better served elsewhere. Ready to learn more about tax software systems? Use our best tax software guide to find the right tax software for your needs.