Great Tax professional packages meet the needs of small to mid-size firms, including tax preparation firms -- from those with only a few returns to those that process business returns and need a lot of bank products, says Cathy Laviolette, product manager at Greatland Corporation, maker of the software.
The basic program supports most federal 1040, 1065, and 1120 forms and state forms, and includes a tax organizer, letters, and billing forms. Great Tax may be installed on a stand alone computer, on peer-to-peer networks, and to a server. Bank products and e-filing are fully integrated into the software. Online conversion programs are free. Great Tax has only one Spanish form but "we are moving in that direction," Laviolette says.
Great Tax has concentrated on making it faster and easier to use their products says Laviolette. "One new feature, the Speed of Refund Wizard, has more intuitive screens and eliminates keystrokes." The professional may use the keyboard without the mouse or in combination. "The goal is to decrease preparation time and increase accuracy."
More new features for 2009 include:
- Multi-state automation - Calculating credit for taxes paid to other states will be automated.
- The audit trail. At this point, the audit trail, which tells you where the amount comes from, is functioning only on a few key forms and in a few key fields, but the company is planning to expand this feature in future years.
- A hotlink that brings preparers directly to the E-file Center from the return.
- Enhanced multiple office management tool
- A lock on completed returns
- Multiple form display in the Input Forms List
Many of the popular features of the Great Tax packages are accessed through buttons at the top of the screen that allow the user to take a peek at the return in process, access a general information summary, alerts and upgrades directly from the return. Updates may be downloaded on an individual schedule online or from CD's'.
Other popular features are the libraries, which are great for W-2's says Laviolette, as well as autofill capabilities and the paste option for an amended return which permits the user to copy information from the original return. Detailed tutorials are attached to the sample 1040 and 1065 and Frequently Asked Questions to the 1120 and 1120S.
The Great Tax online E-File center allows professionals to view all of their e-filing and bank transactions, monitor alerts, and connect to the IRS Web site. It also provides access to state mandates and e-filing information.
Professional packages for individual tax return preparation range from $395 for the basic program, which supports federal individual returns and returns for one state, to $1,055 for the Professional package which supports returns for all states and has many client management features, to $1,865 for the Individual Silver package. E-filing transmission fees apply to all of these programs except the Individual Silver package.
Business and individual packages range in price from $1,455 for the Professional Plus package, which supports key federal business returns, to the Premium packages, which support the preparation of 1065, 1041, 1120, 1120S, 790, 990 and 5500 returns, to $2,560 for the Platinum package. The Platinum package price includes unlimited free e-filing and participation in the Great Tax bank program. Transmission fees for e-filing apply to the Professional Premium and Professional Plus business and individual packages.
Pay-Per-Returns Processing (PUPs) is ideal for processing state or business returns if you only need one additional state or business return, Laviolette says. PUPs can be accessed online through the Great Tax software while in a client's return. For 2009 PUP charges are $35.00 for each business return (includes federal and 1 state and $17 for each individual state or additional state business return).
The Tax Planner at $195 is a planning tool that many be added to any package. It allows the user to compare scenarios on the screens based on a five-year comparison. It allows you to bridge client files from the Great Tax program for the current or prior year. It also has an export feature where main page totals can be copied to the clipboard and used in Excel or other software programs.