Discussion:Tax prep software

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> Tax prep software

Kamunyama (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2005
I am starting up a tax preparation/returns business in alabama. Can anyone recommend software i can use. i have seen several on the web but havent read any reviews. i also plan to e-file using the software.



Elmer (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2005

Mpfllc (talk|edits) said:

9 December 2005
Intuit's ProSeries (The pro version of Turbotax) is, in my opinion the best for the money. You may buy the full programs or prepare returns on a "Pay as you go" basis. Have used ProSeries in it's different permutations since 1986 and have been very pleased. Have only had small, minor issues with their interpretation of the IRC, but I give it 98% out of 100. The trick is to not rely on any software to cover all issues. You must have a good working knowledge of tax law and the mechanics of tax preparation prior to using any program. Hope this helps and good luck with your practice.

MizLiz (talk|edits) said:

December 13, 2005
I've been using Lacerte since 1985. It's spendy, but if you have a large client load, it's invaluable, and worth every penny.

Anuenue (talk|edits) said:

15 December 2005
I agree with Mpfllc as I did with MizLiz on the other discussion forum.

And again....you get what you pay for.

Beengel (talk|edits) said:

15 December 2005
Intuit's Taxpro Basic might be a good start. $250 gets you 50 returns and 2 states. You also have the ability to do electronic filing with this. They do offer a free working sample from 2004. Pretty good program.

Donniecastleman (talk|edits) said:

25 September 2007
I'm a Drake guy, it works fine for me and is a decent price for all forms, and I don't have to talk to someone in Zimbabwe when I have support issues. I had tried their software back in 2000 and didn't care for it and then came back when ATX "sold out" and put all their customer support overseas.

JR1 (talk|edits) said:

September 25, 2007
I'm with Beengel. Unless you're a DOS kind of guy, ProSeries wins. If you hate them, Donnie's right, Drake is the other good choice, highest customer satisfaction ratings.

Lmcdon9822 (talk|edits) said:

25 September 2007
Try www.taxact.com. I have been using the professional edition for 4 years now. Great for small startup firms with computers that are not networked.

Newtaxguy (talk|edits) said:

10 January 2008
ka-ching, ka-ching

HAPPY TAX (talk|edits) said:

10 January 2008
Try this thread for some price comparisons:


Fuzzy Faced Leader (talk|edits) said:

14 January 2008
Google CPA Technology Advisor: 2007 Readers' Choice Awards. Good review of leading tax products.

Arlo (talk|edits) said:

17 January 2008
I have been using ATX Total Tax Office since 2001. It's a nice program, good features. It takes a little more diligence than some of the other programs out there, but the price is also good for a smaller firm as my home office is. At the office, we use LaCerte. Great program, great features, but big price tag. It all depends on what your particular business will support. I went back with ATX because I am familiar with it and it is pretty easy to work with.

Larousse (talk|edits) said:

1 February 2008
I've been using TaxWorks since 2002 season and I am very pleased with the software and most of all the support.

WAKAYO (talk|edits) said:

1 July 2008


Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

1 July 2008
Wakayo, all professional software lets you efile, using your EFIN, as many returns as you want. If you are a professional, you need to purchase professional software, and not use consumer software like Turbo Tax or Tax Cut.

WAKAYO (talk|edits) said:

1 July 2008
Thanks, Since my plan is for less than 100 clients the other part of my question deals with cost benefit issue. Any idea the cheapest professional sw for this size individuals tax return.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
Cheap accountants use cheap software. Turbo tax is cheap. Most professional software allow a per usage fee. Subtract that amount from your invoice and you will have your cost benefit issue figured out.

DZCPA (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
More for you to read.


Lancermc (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008

Listen to those who use cost effective software. I use Lacerte pay by return for a small tax practice. For 2007 I did about thirty five returns, 1040s, 1120S's, 1065s, 1041s, with some complexity. My Lacerte fees were in excess of $1200! How did this happen? I got used to Lacerte many years ago, and it is to prohibitive for me to retrain now. I actually called Lacerte last year to see if they could guide me on other software selections they have. Of course they could not help me, actually the arrogance was suffocating during the phone call.

I am going to look at all of this again this fall to see if I can get over to Drake or one of those more cost effective programs people above talk about. Intuit is just another of the corporate giants who will bleed us for every penny. I see it every day in my life. Personal and business expenses are out of control.

I respect very much your desire to start off correctly. Wish I had done more up front, as I am feeling very locked in.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
Lance, your answer to Kamun is about 2 1/2 years too late.

Southparkcpa (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
I use Pro Series, have used Lacerte as well when I worked per diem in NY. Both very good. I went to "Pay Per Return" in 2002 after paying 5K for FULL Pros Series (I think) to save $1,000. The additional time it took to pay up each time, tie in electronically etc... wasn't worth it. I now pay around 5K for FULL proseries and it works very well. Lance, your $35 per return is NOT in fact that bad. A Bit high, but not terrible. Try to simply add a few clients, raise your fees by say $20 and stay with Lacerte. It calculates the right tax, has ALL the forms and is a great program etc....

How many of us have ever tried to to a retuen and the form we needed isn't there. I do ONE (JUST ONE) MAINE Corporate return and Pro Series doesn't have it. Drives me nuts!!!

Lalva (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
I am 100% with SouthPark. I am using ProSeries Basic and I am frantically looking for a tax software that is affordable and that has all the forms that I need. I have also prepared only 30 returns in 2008, but the returns are somehow involved, not the typical straight forward 1040. But accuracy is more important for me that saving a few hundred bucks, since it can backfire (lawsuit anyone?).

Anyway, I think that I am going to upgrade to ProSeries Professional ($1,200 + tax = $1400) just for my peace of mind. I am going to do some marketing and raise my fees, and see what happens…

Lancermc (talk|edits) said:

2 July 2008
Ok Lava and Southpark, I feel better now not being alone. What you say is exactly how I justify it each year, appreciate the input. I just keep passing the cost on.

Kev, why am I late? Kamun is just starting out. Oh I see now, a 2005 post! Ooops.

SQS (talk|edits) said:

11 April 2009
WHATEVER YOU DO DO NOT BUY TAXVISION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KCGuy (talk|edits) said:

11 April 2009
I use Tax Works since I started 2 years ago and it has all the bells and whistles...never had any issues with support or the program..the price is around $900 with all electronic filing and there is never any extra fees..

Brock And Associates (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2009
I really like tax act being fairly new....there is frankly a lot to forget to check, even if you are a CPA or EA. If taxes were easy, we wouldn't have jobs.

Taxact allows you to enter directly into forms if you have simple returns or as you mature and more returns become 'simple'. Or you can follow through the Q&A like Turbotax or Taxcut.

I looked at the others and while I liked some of the other features they offer, I come back to TaxAct because of cost. I didn't see anything in the Proseries or Lacert or others that I couldn't live without. But for the price, TaxAct has everything I need need. Even with the per return versions of the higher end software, I could't come close.

When I am doing 50+ returns it may be something worth revisiting.


FloridaTaxes (talk|edits) said:

16 April 2009
I used TaxAct my first year but was frustrated because they did not have some of the non-resident state forms I needed. I believe they have added those forms now and overall it was not bad at all for the $120 they charge. The past two years I went with ProSeries Basic. I like it much better. Plus, if I need to prepare a return with forms that do not come in the Basic edition, I can pay $18 to use the professional edition. I also have access to the 1120, 1065, and 1120S modules on a pay per return basis and I can download prior year software for any type of return. I also think the $3 e-filing fee is nice and I heard that next year they will not be charging for e-filing.

Anchorman (talk|edits) said:

17 April 2009
I'm a raving fan of Drake Software since I started doing taxes in 05. You can buy on a pay per return basis. They offer the availability of any form (1040, 1120, 1065). They always pick up the phone on the second ring. They speak English (... well, in a Carolina sort of way). They send Easter cards (that's a minor point to 99% of us, but to me it speaks of shared values.) I could go on and on.

I had one complex return this year--on the 15th of April--that was problematic on a number of levels. But they called me back 3x that day making sure we did it right. Few vendors are committed to that kind of support.

Now I don't want to try anything else because I know so many of the Drake screens and nuances.

If you buy the software in May, it's $995 for an unlimited number of returns, regardless of entity type.

CathysOpinion (talk|edits) said:

18 April 2009
This year I used TRX (or TaxWise). For the most part, I was pretty happy with it. We used Lacerte Pro Series for many years, the pay per return version, and it just got too expensive. It is a very good package. Economics was the main reason for switching.

I like their Tech Support, very friendly and knowledgeable. I've already purchased next year's version.

  • spam deleted

Solomon (talk|edits) said:

13 March 2011
Are you trying to peddle something?

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

15 March 2011
Any of you remember CPAID software ? And there was another they bought out or maybe the other bought them out. Man Im getting old. Use to get the programs on floppies !!!!! And used a damn modem for e-filing. And backed shit up on tape !!! Man I miss the old DOS days and $3000 HP III Laser printers and hell, the programs were $2k a year !!!! Us old timers have it made now !!! Stuff is getting cheap.

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

15 March 2011
The other was Best Software. I new I would remember. Anyway they all trickled into Intuit (bought out).

Z32 Twin Turbo (talk|edits) said:

15 March 2011
Sorry knew not new. My spelling is getting pretty bad.

Taxoasis (talk|edits) said:

15 March 2011
I am using Taxact Professional with pay as you go e-filing. So far so good, but you really need to be astute with the State taxes. Not all items are automatically imported.

Mcaccounting (talk|edits) said:

26 September 2013
Hello All,

I just received my renewal form for Proseries and the price keeps getting high every year. I'm looking to switch software's, mainly because of the price. However I'm a bit skeptical since I'm reading good and bad experiences. My question is over all what other software would be beneficial to switch to after using Proseries for so many years? Thank you in advance.

AgwmTax (talk|edits) said:

27 September 2013

Please see the survey for satisfaction by users.

Drake came out on top.

ZL28 (talk|edits) said:

21 October 2013
i'M TRYING out Pro-Series.

I like it.

One issue though - scrolling.

What's the deal here?

I go to scroll my mouse down the form and it barely rolls down.

Do others find this a problem?

Any suggestions?

BFStax (talk|edits) said:

22 October 2013
I switched from TaxAct after using that for a few years. Now that I have a growing practice I finally pulled the trigger on ProSeries. I evaluated Drake but ProSeries seemed better to me for multiple reasons. One thing I hate about ProSeries is that I can't zoom out lower than 80%. Everything is so big. I agree about the scrolling, seems like it doesn't move as far as I would want, but a minor annoyance.

Overall so far, I like ProSeries. They didn't tell me this, but just for buying the 2013 license, they gave me the 2012 license too which helped because I was able to file 3 extensions using it.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

23 October 2013
I have Windows 7 with a Microsoft mouse and have no real problem with the scroll wheel. In Proseries, the right mouse will reveal much ....especially 'cross reference' in certain fields. E.g., I wonder where certain numbers came from on Form 1116 for FTC....a cross reference reveals all the K-1s and those with FTC

EAinCA (talk|edits) said:

23 October 2013
Has anyone used the Intuit Online tax software for professionals? My client base has now grown to over 300 clients and I want to stick with one software for awhile. I am currently using Proseries, but I have considered Lacerte and UltraTax. The intriguing part of Intuit is that it is 100% cloud based and over the next few months, I am looking to expand my practice out of state. Has anyone had any issues using Intuit Online?

EAinCA (talk|edits) said:

23 October 2013
Never mind, I just saw the other threads, I meant to search the yellow box, but I forgot.

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