I used TurboTax for a few years, and now I’m trying H&R Block’s tax software. Both of them round every dollar figure that I enter. If I type “27.34”, it automatically gets changed to “27”. If I type “27.83”, it automatically gets changed to “28”.
But the IRS instructions explicitly say that I can choose to round or not round. Their exact words, on page 20 of the instructions for Form 1040 are:
Does anyone know why these programs force me to use rounded figures? I understand that some people might prefer to use rounded amounts, but why can’t they offer me the option?
(Actually, I can understand rounded figures for people who are doing their taxes literally by hand, with paper and pen – fewer digits means less chance for arithmetic errors. But what’s the advantage of rounding when the computer does all the calculations? Please don’t say that it is a data storage problem; in this age of terabyte drives, I really can’t believe that the fractional numbers will strain the software.)