TaxACT's preview edition, available now, gives tax preparers the opportunity to get a head start on tax season, says Jessi Dolmage, Public Relations and Creative Solutions Manager at 2nd Story Software. "They can prepare forecasts for clients based on current tax law." TaxACT is sold directly from 2nd Story, not through retail outlets, Dolmage says, which helps to make the comprehensive packages affordable.
TaxACT's target market is small to mid-sized firms that provide tax preparation services to individuals, partnerships and small businesses.
New for 2009 are:
- PDF import of 2008 returns.
- Stock assistant
- Appointment manager
- Prior year comparison reports for 1065 and 1120 returns.
Popular features in most packages are the state planners, the alerts and comparison reports and on the 1040, the Federal Q&A step-by-step guidance or guidance by topic. One feature that appeals to new users, Dolmage says, is the ability to download the previous years' software. Users may use the interview option or input data directly to the form or "toggle back and forth," says Dolmage
The basic packages also include:
- Document templates
- Online tax topics
- Stock assistant
- Automatic data transfers from federal to state forms.
- Export Feature - Customize export queries of client list to comma-separated values (CSV) or tab-delimited (.txt) formatted files. Integrate your TaxACT client contact data into other software reporting tools.
- The College Student Financial Aid Report (FAFSA) - Helps clients to maximize their eligibility for college financial aid.
Enterprise versions offer more complex technology and support including:
- Return safe (changes cannot be made to open returns)
- Multi user networking
- TaxACT data import will autopopulate key information from prior year return
- Import capital gains transactions from GainsKeeper
- W-2 importation available from select payroll providers
- Tax specialists available by phone or email.
Online backup is included with TaxACT Preparer's 1040 Enterprise Edition (at $199). An unlimited number of returns can be saved to TaxACT's secure online servers. With TaxACT Preparer's 1040 (non-Enterprise version), all returns are saved to the user's PC (wherever he or she would like to save them).
2nd Story Software has teamed with Chase Bank, River City Bank, and Republic Bank to offer competitively priced Electronic Refund Checks (ERCs), Electronic Refund Deposits (ERDs), and Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs).
TaxACT Preparer's 1040 packages range in price from $119 for the federal return package to $199 for the Enterprise edition. The 1040 state package is $19.95 and supports part-year and nonresident forms. Data is transferred automatically from the federal to the state return.
Preparers may choose from two- or three-business package bundles that support partnership and business returns and the Enterprise package for each, which range in price from $199 to $479 (over $595 value). The all states product is $79.95 for the 1065 and for the 1120. Individual states may be purchased for $19.95.
The all-in-one business tax product, which contains all states for both the 1065 and the 1120, ranges in price from $479 to $669.
E-filing is priced per return based on volume. E-filing is free for users who e-file more than 100 returns.
Phone and tech support for non Enterprise packages is $19.95.
Comprehensive one-on-one beginner's and advanced training with a TaxACT expert on the essentials of installing and operating TaxACT software.is available for $39.95. Training sessions run from October 20 through November 31, 2009: