Tax news November 2008

Technology

Product analysis: ATX 1040

This CCH Small Firm Services offering is perfect for CPAs on a budget, as well as anyone who likes to work directly with tax forms. The $410 program allows unlimited federal returns, and returns for up to three states. E-filing is available on an a la carte basis for $3 per federal return and $2 per state return. However, you may prefer ATX 1040 Office for $635, which includes all states, cities, and municipalities. This version also includes includes 100 e-filed returns, plus integration with Kleinrock reference materials.
Technology

Product analysis: Lacerte

Lacerte seems to be focusing attention on making its product as user friendly as possible. Installing the program is easy, even for newcomers. The screens and the workflow feel natural, following the logical order that would ordinarily occur in the process of preparing a return. Intuit seems focused on ways to help accountants be more productive so they can prepare more returns, with greater accuracy, in less time, and using less paper.What is new this year for Lacerte?
Tax

Product analysis: UltraTax CS

The aptly named UltraTax program ($2,200) is part of the CS Professional Suite offered by Thomson Reuters. The UltraTax user interface groups related forms and input screens into sets of tabs, so you can quickly navigate through event the most complex returns.
Technology

Product review:: Intuit ProSeries

Those of us dinosaurs who've been knocking around the tax field for decades have probably worked with ProSeries off and on since the DOS days when it was still called TurboTax. They were one of the first affordable, in-house products available, while many tax offices were still sending out their batched files to Computax, Unitax and Dynatax. If you recognize those names, shhhh, don't let on. It will give away your age. Like you, I've had a love-hate relationship with ProSeries/TurboTax.
Technology

Product analysis: Drake Tax Software

Several years ago, speaking at a Nevada Society of Enrolled Agents seminar, I was privileged to be present when IRS gave out awards for the top e-filing firms in Nevada. Three awards were given – small firms, medium firms and high-volume e-filers.What really impressed me at the time was that each and every winner had been using Drake Software. Consider how impressive that must have been if I still remember it 3 or 4 years later.Since then, I've stayed in touch with their sales manager and referred my EA Exam Review students and other tax professionals to the firm.
Technology

Product analysis: TaxWise

New for 2008 in TaxWise from CCH Small Firms Division are e-filing capability for forms 990, new e-filing capabilities for business forms, and an Easy Interview desktop feature that allows staff to input basic information for a simple return which is then sent to a tax professional. IRS Reg. 7216 requirement is automated throughout the program, and users have a choice of automatic or manual updates.
Technology

CCH Small Firm Services expands its reach to smaller tax practices

CCH Small Firm Services has purchased the tax preparation software company IntelliTax, which will now be able to offer the TaxWise program to its clients.TaxWise is used by 45,000 firms while IntelliTax offers its own program to 4,000 similar firms. These firms will be offered TaxWise to use for the 2009 tax season, and IntelliTax will be discontinued.In a letter to tax preparers, CCH Small Firm Services (SFS) said TaxWise has been a leading software program for tax businesses with a high volume of e-filed returns, especially for those with many offices.
Tax

IRS seeks addresses for undeliverable refunds and stimulus payments

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for taxpayers who are missing more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.“People across the country are missing tax refunds and stimulus checks. We want to get this money into the hands of taxpayers where it belongs,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
AccountingWEB Life

Year-end tax planning for your business owner clients

By John H. Brown and Randy S. Williams, Business Enterprise InstituteCurrent tax rates are likely the lowest we will see in our lifetimes. At some point, burgeoning budget deficits, ballooning costs of social programs and war expenses must be paid. As year-end tax planning time for your business owner clients approaches, this article will discuss some planning initiatives you need to remind them to consider. They are not the usual IRA or compensation tips, but rather ones that can materially affect their net worth over time.
Tax

IGAF Firms Interview with Ray Dunkle of Brockman, Coats, Gedelian & Company

This is one article in a series of interviews with firms that are members of the International Group of Accounting Firms (IGAF).Ray Dunkle started his accounting career like many CPAs, by getting a degree and then putting in years as an auditor. But, he admits, this wasn't exactly the life he envisioned. Then one day, as he was starting a new job as an auditing supervisor, his career took a quick right turn and ended up on a path much more suited to his liking.

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