Author Topic: Anyone else miss the old 1040?  (Read 1888 times)

jpdx

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Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« on: December 14, 2018, 11:49:11 PM »
Trying to use Forms mode in TurboTax is giving me a headache. This "postcard" 1040 is a joke. Now there are more forms to shuffle around, and the elegance and flow of the old 1040 is gone.

walkwalkwalk

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2018, 09:22:19 AM »
The good news for some tax accountants (myself included) is that some software lets you review it using the old 1040. So at least there's that.

Sugaree

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2018, 08:43:54 AM »
I'm more pissed that TurboTax is using this new form as an excuse to force me to use their non-free version if I want to claim the dependent care credit.  Guess I'm going to be on the lookout for a new set of software.  I have filed my taxes without help and without paying for it every year since I started working.  My first job was...a tax preparer.

phildonnia

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 04:24:44 PM »
Not so much a joke, as a badly done magic trick at a kids party.

MAGICIAN: And, voila: the 1040 now fits on a postcard!

SMART-ASSED KID: Hey, you just dropped five new schedules into your lap!

MAGICIAN: uuuuhhh...

PARENT: Billy, stop ruining the trick for the stupid kids!

phildonnia

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 04:34:13 PM »
I'm more pissed that TurboTax is using this new form as an excuse to force me to use their non-free version if I want to claim the dependent care credit.  Guess I'm going to be on the lookout for a new set of software.  I have filed my taxes without help and without paying for it every year since I started working.  My first job was...a tax preparer.

I first used IRS Free-file last year, and I was pretty satisfied.  However, it's not "interviewey", and you have to know what you're doing.  Any worksheet has to be done offline.  In particular, you have to do the Schedule D Tax calculation yourself.

Turbo Tax has a nasty way of waiting until you spend a few hours entering information before demanding more money because you have a K-1.

Sugaree

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2018, 02:25:34 PM »
I'm more pissed that TurboTax is using this new form as an excuse to force me to use their non-free version if I want to claim the dependent care credit.  Guess I'm going to be on the lookout for a new set of software.  I have filed my taxes without help and without paying for it every year since I started working.  My first job was...a tax preparer.

I first used IRS Free-file last year, and I was pretty satisfied.  However, it's not "interviewey", and you have to know what you're doing.  Any worksheet has to be done offline.  In particular, you have to do the Schedule D Tax calculation yourself.

Turbo Tax has a nasty way of waiting until you spend a few hours entering information before demanding more money because you have a K-1.

That would be okay, I think.  I've worked as a tax preparer before, so I think I can handle it.  I don't have anything overly complicated.  A kid, some Ws, some random 1099s that probably add up to less than $250. 

Sibley

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2018, 07:35:57 PM »
Me. I haven't done anything yet, but not looking forward to it. If nothing else, it'll take me a lot more time to review. Though with the tax change, my parents won't be itemizing, which will make that a tad easier.

Any one see HR Block's software yet? Parents are on that, and I'm not switching them until they sell the house. (that year, I'm hiring a tax pro to do theirs).

Otherwise, I've used TaxAct and Free Tax USA in the past. Annoying in different ways.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2018, 08:11:53 PM »
I bought H&R Block software this month.  I have always been a TurboTax person except last year when my XH dragged us to professional tax prep post-divorce. 

I decided not to return to TT after looking up reviews and found H&R to be rated higher, plus I was still carrying a grudge from them taking away basic investment activities from their deluxe version a couple years ago and requiring a move to the premium. 

I got the H&R version that omits state filing so it cost about 1/3 of the premium TT.  On Amazon H&R was $23 vs. $70 for TT. 

NonprofitER

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 08:22:06 AM »
Not so much a joke, as a badly done magic trick at a kids party.

MAGICIAN: And, voila: the 1040 now fits on a postcard!

SMART-ASSED KID: Hey, you just dropped five new schedules into your lap!

MAGICIAN: uuuuhhh...

PARENT: Billy, stop ruining the trick for the stupid kids!

Yessssss, exactly! 
I've been doing our taxes for about 4 years and find all the new schedules/forms (some of which are literally 1/4 page or less...) completely aggravating. It's the same exact inputs/questions spread out over more pieces of paper. 

For those looking at TurboTax, etc. - I found its easier to just read the lengthy 1040 instructions and associated form instructions and fill out all the forms/schedules myself and submit online. The first year it took me hours to wade through but its gotten progressively faster in subsequent years and now I better understand how to minimize our tax burden.  When we used an accountant and software in the past, I felt like we were potentially leaving money on the table. YMMV.
 
We are married/filing jointly, have both W-2 and self-employment income (read: schedule C, SE, etc.), and a child, etc. so our situation is not inherently simple but I was still able figure it out by carefully reading all the instructions and using worksheets, etc. Not everyone's cup of tea though.

kanga1622

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2019, 05:12:41 AM »
I'm more pissed that TurboTax is using this new form as an excuse to force me to use their non-free version if I want to claim the dependent care credit.  Guess I'm going to be on the lookout for a new set of software.  I have filed my taxes without help and without paying for it every year since I started working.  My first job was...a tax preparer.

Weíve used FreeTaxUSA for the last several years. If you donít mind using an online software, it is a good option. Iíve filed with self employment, rental income, dependent care expenses, earned income credit, savers credit, and child tax credit for free. The state returns do cost around $13.

Sugaree

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2019, 01:00:52 PM »
I'm more pissed that TurboTax is using this new form as an excuse to force me to use their non-free version if I want to claim the dependent care credit.  Guess I'm going to be on the lookout for a new set of software.  I have filed my taxes without help and without paying for it every year since I started working.  My first job was...a tax preparer.

Weíve used FreeTaxUSA for the last several years. If you donít mind using an online software, it is a good option. Iíve filed with self employment, rental income, dependent care expenses, earned income credit, savers credit, and child tax credit for free. The state returns do cost around $13.

Thanks!  This is the best I've seen so far.

penguintroopers

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2019, 03:44:47 PM »
Not so much a joke, as a badly done magic trick at a kids party.

MAGICIAN: And, voila: the 1040 now fits on a postcard!

SMART-ASSED KID: Hey, you just dropped five new schedules into your lap!

MAGICIAN: uuuuhhh...

PARENT: Billy, stop ruining the trick for the stupid kids!

Yessssss, exactly! 
I've been doing our taxes for about 4 years and find all the new schedules/forms (some of which are literally 1/4 page or less...) completely aggravating. It's the same exact inputs/questions spread out over more pieces of paper. 

For those looking at TurboTax, etc. - I found its easier to just read the lengthy 1040 instructions and associated form instructions and fill out all the forms/schedules myself and submit online. The first year it took me hours to wade through but its gotten progressively faster in subsequent years and now I better understand how to minimize our tax burden.  When we used an accountant and software in the past, I felt like we were potentially leaving money on the table. YMMV.
 
We are married/filing jointly, have both W-2 and self-employment income (read: schedule C, SE, etc.), and a child, etc. so our situation is not inherently simple but I was still able figure it out by carefully reading all the instructions and using worksheets, etc. Not everyone's cup of tea though.

We did this last year, and will do again this year, but I constantly have the nagging feeling that if we screw up the IRS could come down on us with a vengeance.

Honestly though, if two college-educated intelligent adults with a relatively simple tax situation can't get through a 1040 without problems, the tax law/forms/schedules need changing.

Livingthedream55

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 10:28:59 AM »
https://www.freetax.com/ is free Federal and State.

boridi

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2019, 07:18:00 PM »

Honestly though, if two college-educated intelligent adults with a relatively simple tax situation can't get through a 1040 without problems, the tax law/forms/schedules need changing.

Or the "intelligent" adults can learn to read the instructions.

penguintroopers

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2019, 12:29:46 PM »

Honestly though, if two college-educated intelligent adults with a relatively simple tax situation can't get through a 1040 without problems, the tax law/forms/schedules need changing.

Or the "intelligent" adults can learn to read the instructions.

I said nothing about not reading the instructions? Its still challenging for someone the first time. Am I eligible for this tax credit? Do I take the standard deduction or itemize? What is a MAGI? That's different from what we made total over the year? I earned a small amount from tutoring- I have to report that? Oh, now I have to do a COMPLETELY different page and come back to the 1040 with those results? Now I have to do this page for being a grad student and getting the lifetime learning credit? What even IS a HSA disbursement? Oh, health savings account, well, no, we put money the HSA but didn't go to the doctor and need it... etc.

For someone who is new to the game, there's a learning curve.

phildonnia

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2019, 09:23:24 AM »

Honestly though, if two college-educated intelligent adults with a relatively simple tax situation can't get through a 1040 without problems, the tax law/forms/schedules need changing.

Or the "intelligent" adults can learn to read the instructions.

I said nothing about not reading the instructions? Its still challenging for someone the first time.
...

For someone who is new to the game, there's a learning curve.

Having done it, I can say that reading the instructions is more than most people have the time to do, intelligent or not.

I've always been a DIY guy, and have saved a ton of money.  But I've discovered that you must be willing to put in a lot of time and effort to "read the instructions".  It's like replacing brake rotors on a Toyota; it's just a series of wrench movements, and it's all there in the youtube video.  But the concepts are difficult to understand, and you absolutely must know what you're doing.  As far as taxes, "reading the instructions" for me consisted of reading the full instructions for every form, IRS Publication 17, and a good section of the E&Y Tax Guide. 

Here's the proof: When the country was recently discussing tax reform (reform, ha!) it was clear that very, very few people had any idea how taxes are actually applied, or what the effect of any particular change would be on specific cases.  The only thing that people knew about the effects of tax reform was what their favorite website told them the effects would be.  Because actually knowing what we were discussing is beyond the capabilities of someone who hasn't curled up by the fireplace with a good IRS Publication. 

Mr. Green

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Re: Anyone else miss the old 1040?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2019, 10:04:32 PM »
I miss the old form. It had flow. This new one basically just shifts half of the 1040 boxes into new schedules, all in the name of getting the 1040 on a half sheet of paper. As someone who manually does their taxes and files paper copies it's also an incredible waste of paper. The first four pages have more white space than content (1040, Schedule 1, Schedule 2). It accomplished nothing more than shuffling the content around.