QCD Explorer™ FAQs

Breaking News - Read This First!

On December 20, 2019 President Trump signed into law the SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) Act of 2019, which not only introduces changes to IRA contribution and distribution rules for 2020 and beyond, but also includes the infamous year-end “Tax Extenders,” some of which are retroactive to January 1, 2019.

Due to the fact that the 2019 Tax Extenders were enacted with just five business days remaining in the year (after nearly everyone in the country had already finalized their QCD strategies), our QCD Explorer, QCD Navigator, and QCD Pro Web programs did not incorporate the 2019 Tax Extenders into their respective 2019 programs. Those Tax Extenders are as follows:

a) Schedule A medical deduction floor returns to 7.5% of AGI from 10% of AGI
b) Schedule A Mortgage Insurance Premium deduction returns
c) Tuition and Fees Deduction returns as an above-the-line adjustment

Our 2020 programs, which we expect to available in May, will incorporate the exciting new IRA contribution and distribution rules as well as the Tax Extenders.

How accurate are the federal tax calculations in QCD Explorer?

While QCD Explorer’s federal tax calculations are professional grade, you should not rely on it to give you an accurate representation of your tax return, simply because you may not be aware that you have certain types of income and/or deductions that make a difference in your tax situation which QCD Explorer does not address. For example, tax exempt interest factors into your taxable social security computation, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary income, passive activity losses and investment interest are not always fully deductible, etc

My wife and I have only pension and social security income, IRA distributions, and interest income. We don't itemize deductions. Will QCD Explorer provide an accurate federal tax for us?

Yes, providing you’re both over 65 years old (with at least one of you over 70 1/2 years old), you’re filing Joint, and you have no dependents.

How accurate is QCD Explorer's state tax savings estimate?

QCD Navigator’s state tax savings estimate is a work in progress which we will continue to improve upon. Because it is beyond the scope of QCD Navigator to program the multitude of tax rules for the 43 states that require an income tax return, we devised a rough estimate of state tax liability based on the states’ rates, brackets, and average AGI. Our best advice to users at this time is to rely on the federal tax savings, consider any IRMAA savings an unexpected windfall, and take the state tax savings with a grain of salt.

Our QCD Pro service will produce accurate and reliable state tax savings – for those in high-income, high-state-tax scenarios this feature often helps justify the cost of the upgrade.

What is the Medicare Premium Savings Indicator?

Medicare premium savings can be significant, even greater than the combined federal and state tax savings for many middle income retirees. Thus we included a feature with our paid services (QCD Navigator and QCD Pro) called the IRMAAZone™ which alerts the user if he or she is close to realizing Medicare premium savings and offers a precise and simple strategy for obtaining the savings. For those users the actual dollar savings amount is visible in the program and included with the results.

In QCD Explorer there’s a watered-down version of the above for users who are close to or eligible for Medicare premium savings, with messages that urge you to upgrade to a paid service to ensure that your financial results are complete and accurate so that you can realize the savings.

Are there any limitations to how often I can access QCD Explorer?

There are no limitations on the number of times registered users can access QCD Explorer.

The 2019 version of QCD Explorer will not be accessible after January 1, 2020 because it is a year-end planning tool and we are ramping up for the start of our tax preparation season. QCD Navigator is available a bit longer, until January 15, 2020 as those users have the ability to save/email/print/download their info which they will need for preparing their taxes.

Does 1040Plus retain any record of my financial info?

Because there is no “Submit” process for QCD Explorer users there is no way for us to receive or retain any of your financial info.

I'd like to get started using QCD Explorer, but my income/charitable may change before year end. Does QCD Explorer allow me to save my data?

QCD Explorer does not allow users to save data, but QCD Navigator does.

What kind of support can I expect as a QCD Explorer user?

You get low-priority email support, which means we’ll respond to your program-related email inquiry generally within a few days, perhaps sooner if there are few high-priority QCD Navigator and QCD Pro support inquiries ahead of yours, Tax-scenario email inquiries are not supported for QCD Explorer users as the program was designed for the simplest tax scenarios. If your tax situation is beyond the scope of QCD Explorer you should consider upgrading to QCD Navigator or QCD Pro to receive more support options.

I see that I must register my name/email before using QCD Explorer. Will I be inundated with unsolicited emails from 1040Plus?

No, we detest spam as much as you do. Not only do we respect your privacy, but we’ve never had any desire or need to achieve financial gain by running ads or links for products other than our own, as you can see by visiting any of our websites. Any emails you receive from 1040Plus will be either account or support related with the exception of an occasional upgrade reminder and a year-end tax preparation service notice (both of which may contain some tantalizing offers). On your member page there will be a box you can check to prevent us from sending you unsolicited emails, but we suggest you wait and see if unsolicited emails becomes a problem before taking that drastic step.

What does 1040Plus do with my personal signup information if I decide I no longer want to use its services?

There’s a link on your member page which you can use to delete all of your personal information from our database except for your email address which we anonymize, i.e., we do not use for any purpose other than to prevent you or anyone else from signing up for a new account using that email address.

When can I expect Explorer to begin using the new year's tax laws and rates? Should I wait for the new version to come out before I sign up?

The current program version (Tax Year 2019) will remain operational until April 15 2020 (the traditional 2019 tax deadline for most filers) so that users can use our program’s results and links to help prepare their taxes, perform “What-If” scenarios with their 2019 tax returns, etc.

The Tax Year 2020 program version will be available the following day.

If you’re reading this in 2020 there’s no reason to wait for the new version. Anyone who signs up in 2020, even if it’s on Jan 1, will automatically be migrated to the 2020 version when it goes live in April.

Which browsers work best with QCD Explorer?

Chromium-based browsers such as Chrome and Opera have been used successfully. The Chromium-based Edge browser (not the original IE-based version) is also compatible. Firefox is compatible. Please note that with all of these browsers you may need to upgrade to the current (or near current) version to enjoy the best QCD Explorer experience.

Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsers are not compatible with QCD Explorer thus far, though we are working diligently to add these browsers to the mix.

I'm a Tax Preparer/Financial Adviser/Nonprofit Organization. Does QCDNow offer group plans?

Yes, coming soon!