QCD Navigator™ 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 Navigator?

While QCD Navigator’s federal tax calculations are professional grade, we do not recommend that you rely on it to prepare your tax return, simply because there are a number of caveats in the tax code which QCD Navigator was not designed to address. For example, the net investment income tax (NIIT) and alternative minimum tax (AMT) have yet to be implemented into QCD Navigator. Nor does the program know if you’re entitled to take gambling or passive activity losses, or if you’re subject to the 28% rate gain on the sale of collectibles. High-income donors and special-circumstance taxpayers are advised to use our QCD Pro service.

How accurate is QCD Navigator'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 helps justify the cost of the upgrade.

What's the upgrade path from QCD Navigator to QCD Pro?

You can rest easy knowing that if you pay $44.95 for QCD Navigator and later discover that you require professional assistance, you can upgrade to the $99.95 QCD Pro service by simply paying the $55.00 difference. Whether it’s because you came across a special situation beyond the scope of QCD Navigator, or your tax savings are significant enough that you can justify paying for professional guidance, or you’re in the IRMAAZone™ and want to ensure your windfall, the upgrade option is simply a click away in your member area dashboard.

What is QCD Navigator's Medicare premium savings feature?

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 in QCD Navigator and QCD Pro called the IRMAAZone™ which alerts you if you’re close to realizing Medicare premium savings and can achieve the bonanza by performing a simple, no-cost transaction. If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself “in the zone” you’ll see specific instructions on what to do to realize the savings. Consider it an adviser-grade planning bonus for DIYers. Check out the screenshot.

Does QCD Navigator come with a money back guarantee?

We handle any fee refund requests on a case-by-case basis.

If you discover a bug or miscalculation in QCD Navigator that is producing unacceptable results for you, we reserve the right to fix the software issue before considering any fee refund request. You may be asked to provide us with a copy of the data you entered to help us troubleshoot the issue.

We would urge you to try our free QCD Explorer, primarily to see if tax savings are possible for your financial situation, before paying for the QCD Navigator service. If you used QCD Explorer and did not realize enough in tax savings to justify the cost of QCD Navigator, we would advise you not to upgrade to QCD Navigator or QCD Pro (please see FAQ below). Thus, we will not consider any fee refund requests based on the amount of any tax savings, or lack thereof, produced by QCD Navigator.

For any other fee refund requests you may be required to provide us with a copy of the data you entered to help us determine the validity of your claim.

Is there a limit on the number of tax situations I can save in QCD Navigator?

While saving your information upon each visit is available, you are limited to finalizing (i.e. email, print, download) just once. It is helpful to have a hard copy (email, print, download) of the information you entered and the expected results for you to use as a guide for completing your donations and filing your taxes, so you must be judicious about when to finalize your information. We suggest finalizing and receiving your hard copies as soon as you’re fairly certain that your financial situation will not change much for the rest of the year. Even if your financial situation were to change after finalizing, you will still have the opportunity to make revisions in QCD Navigator and view the results, you just won’t be able to produce hard copies of the revised scenario.

The 2019 version of QCD Navigator will not be accessible after January 15, 2020 because it is a year-end planning tool and we are ramping up for the start of our tax preparation season.

Does 1040Plus retain a record of the financial info that I enter into QCD Navigator?

No, we do not. When you save your information between visits in QCD Navigator you are saving your data using local browser storage (similar to cookies) on your local hard drive. We keep no record of that nor do we have any knowledge of your information. When you submit (aka finalize) your information, 1040Plus retains only a record of your identifying info: timestamp, full name, email address, IP address, and submission count, primarily to ensure that users are finalizing their data and to prevent multiple submissions from the same account.

What's the purpose of the MS Excel export file?

The reports you receive from QCD Navigator when you finalize your information are summary by nature, whereas the MS Excel file contains all of your entries in addition to QCD Navigator calculated field results (nearly 180 fields). Because we keep no record of your entries it is helpful for you to have a record of the raw data in case you have questions about your results or need technical or tax support. Our QCD Pro and professional tax preparation services can also import your MS Excel data file for further review and processing should you desire these services.

My tax savings were negligible after trying QCD Explorer. Can I expect greater tax savings with QCD Navigator or QCD Pro?

Unlikely. It could be that your tax liability is too low due to low taxable income (i.e., taxable income just above the filing threshold) and/or your charitable contributions are not significant enough for you to realize noticeable QCD savings. Unless one or both of those change, we would advise you to come visit us again next year when your financial situation may be different. It’s still gratifying for us here at 1040Plus that, even though we could not save you money this year, you were able to make that determination on your own, from the comfort of your home, without having to pay a financial professional for the same results.

After trying QCD Explorer my tax savings are significant enough to justify the cost of upgrading to QCD Navigator. Is it possible that QCD Navigator could produce significantly different and less desirable results?

Yes, that’s possible, and here are a couple of scenarios where that’s likely to occur: 1) if you’re claiming dependents that would eliminate most or all of your tax liability, and 2) if you have enough to itemize deductions not including your charitable contributions. Because our free QCD Explorer does not provide for dependents or itemized deductions, users in the above (rare but possible) scenarios may discover their Federal tax savings determined by QCD Navigator are noticeably less than the savings determined by QCD Explorer.

Or perhaps a significant percentage of your total income is derived from qualified dividends and/or long term capital gains, which you enter as ordinary income in QCD Explorer but gets preferential tax treatment in QCD Navigator – again, this would only make a noticeable difference if your tax liability were to be near or at zero.

QCD tax savings should change slightly between the two programs, for better or for worse, simply because QCD Navigator allows for more types of tax scenarios, hence more precision.

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

You get priority email support, which means we’ll respond to your program-related email inquiry within 24 hours, sometimes longer on weekends. Tax-scenario email inquiries may take longer and are subject to our discretion as these kinds of inquiries often need to be escalated to one of our tax experts or may be beyond the scope of QCD Navigator and better handled through our QCD Pro service.

I see that I must register my name/email before using QCD Navigator. 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 Navigator 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 Navigator?

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 Navigator experience.

Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsers are not compatible with QCD Navigator 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!