Q.  What does the TaxSmack app do?

A.  TaxSmack allows anyone to enter a handful of key numbers from their 1040 Tax Return and then get a full explanation of how their taxes work.   The most interesting results are how characteristics such as Children, College, Health Insurance & other key attributes result in tax savings.

Q.  Is TaxSmack a tax prep software?

A.  No.  TaxSmack comes into play after you have completed your taxes and have at least a preliminary version of the 1040.  TaxSmack then compiles that information so you can actually understand what is creating tax savings and how you might be able to discover missed tax savings opportunities.

Q.  Can I use TaxSmack for a previous year’s tax return?

A.  Yes, the tax code has been structurally very similar over the last few years.  A few line numbers will have shifted as new items have been added but the key summary numbers needed as inputs such as Total Income, AGI, and Total Credits will be obvious on past year returns.  Note that the tax calculations will be slightly off as some tax parameters such as tax bracket limits adjust slightly with inflation.

Q.  How long does it take to work through TaxSmack?

A.  If you have your 1040 in front of you then you simply are entering numbers from the form.  Only a handful of numbers are collected; for example only “Total Income” is collected and not the dozen of types of income that cumulative form the total income.  There are two stages the first collecting the most important tax numbers and only takes a few minutes.  The second stage asks for the tax info related to specific attributes such as Children and Education.  This stage also takes just a few minutes to enter only the relevant data.

Q.  If I get different tax numbers from TaxSmack then from my tax prep software, should I question the tax results?

A.  TaxSmack relies on some simplifying assumptions to quickly get to the main results.  Usually this will exactly or very nearly match your actual 1040.  However the possibility exists that TaxSmack may not account for the specifics of your situation and the results could dramatically differ from the (true) 1040 results.  In that case it may be worthwhile to check your tax calculations as you may have missed entering accurate data or overlooked a tax credit that you are eligible for.

Q.  What assumptions does TaxSmack make in moving from slide to slide?

A.  To speed up the data entry, TaxSmack assumes that you have the most probable tax outcome.  For example that you take the Standard Deduction and don’t itemized deductions.  TaxSmack calculates two of the most important tax credits — Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Credit (EIC) based on the known data.  These are usually accurate but may be thrown off by other information; For example, the assumed EIC is based on AGI but the credit will change if Earned Income does not equal AGI.

Q.  What does “Correct” and “Incorrect” imply on the buttons?

A.  “Correct” means that the assumptions and calculations TaxSmack used matched the next number in your 1040.  “Incorrect” means TaxSmack guesstimated wrong and the accurate number needs to be entered from the 1040.

Q.  Does TaxSmack work on all devices?

A.  TaxSmack is a (mobile) website that needs Javascript enabled to do the calculations.  It will run on your desktop, tablet or phone.  TaxSmack is compatible with almost all browsers such as Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari but FireFox appears to be incompatible with the app.