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Gorislav Kopylov
Gorislav Kopylov

Tax Prep Software For Mac

What's the best professional tax software for you? It's a simple question, and it's not at all easy to answer. Every tax preparer has a different standard for what is best for their business. Some tax pros are looking for a simple, basic tool to get the job done. Others want something with a lot of bells and whistles.

Tax Prep Software For Mac

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UltimateTax's team has been doing a comparative study on professional tax software for three years in a row. You will not find a more comprehensive breakdown of the features of the top software options on the market!

Whether you are a new tax preparer or an established one, the tax software guide will save you precious research time. It provides a quick comparison chart of pricing and product features. This is followed by discrete reviews of each software, detailing what they have to offer.

Our in-house team feels confident that the guide achieves a fair and measured comparison of tax preparation business software. If you feel that any information needs updating or correcting, click here to leave your comment. Your feedback as a preparer is welcome.

Our in-house team has done extensive research and hands-on testing on the tax software programs listed here. The team's collective insights have contributed to this comparison guide. In performing their analyses, the team members relied on a shared set of criteria for evaluating tax professional software, presented as follows:

Tax preparation is an established process that doesn't change that much from year to year. Electronic tax preparation tools don't display a great deal of variation from each other, either. They all accomplish the same functions, more or less. The differences lie more in ease of use, user experience design, gated features, and customer support. And pricing. The price differences between various software products can be significant.

Low-priced tax software options are aimed at new tax preparers, boutique agencies and cost-conscious purchasers. Mid-priced software products are pitched to mid-sized offices. Premium and enterprise editions cater to high-volume tax preparation businesses that serve corporate clientele.

One more thing to keep in mind: it can be a good idea to purchase your software months before the start of the tax season. Many products are available at a discounted rate if bought several months before the tax season. The prices on this comparison chart are based on the MSRP of the products. You may be able to find them at a lower price point.

But what about the product itself? UltimateTax gets good reviews on that, too. The company makes easy-to-use, feature-rich tax preparation software for both desktop and online platforms. UltimateTax gives tax preparers two modes for processing tax forms. One is data form entry mode, which simply presents a tax form to be filled out with information. The other is interview mode, which guides you through the process of completing a tax form with prompts and indicators.

You can enjoy paperless filing (if you have an EFIN), real-time progress reports on e-filings, regular automatic back-ups to ensure that your data is protected, e-signature support, check printing, reports, and context-sensitive help built into the software.

UltimateTax Pay-Per-Return offers great value to the new tax preparer dipping their toes in the business. Priced at the super affordable rate of $288s, UltimateTax PPR is perfect for anyone who wants to quickly get a mini tax office up and running, with support for 1040 tax forms, including Federal and all States. The cost for e-filing is only $15 per return.

UltimateTax Online 1040 is perfect for the on-the-go professional. You don't need to install anything. Access the online tax software from anywhere, file unlimited 1040 returns electronically, view real-time progress reports, and grant account access to as many as 10 users at once.

For your information, UltimateTax works in partnership with TaxWise for tax calculations and e-filing functions. The UltimateTax software adds several proprietary features, including 365 Service and the easy-to-use Launchpad workflow optimizer.

Summary: Drake offers packages that bundle together tax preparation software, office management tools, and (optionally) Drake accounting software. Note that in addition to each package, a subscriber still needs to purchase a Drake Tax 2020 software license to be able to e-file 2020 tax returns.

This year, Drake Tax offers several software packages that include Drake Tax 2012-2019, Drake Tax Planner, Drake Documents, Drake Scheduler, a collection of various tax forms, all State returns, and Drake Accounting Pro 2022 (Power Bundle only).

When you purchase one of these packages, you have the option to add Drake Tax 2020 for an additional software license payment of $300 ($330 for the Pay-Per-Return version). Drake Tax 2020 adds the functionality to e-file and print 2020 tax returns.

In total, there are four Drake Tax software packages. Three packages offer versions of Drake on the Desktop, which has to be installed on your computer. One package is available for Drake in the Cloud, which is an online application.

To simplify the price breakdown, the cost of the Drake Tax 2020 software license is included in the price shown for each package. The price breakdown shown on the Drake Software website looks different because the Drake Tax 2020 license fee is listed separately there.

Whatever package you choose, Drake on the Desktop will equip you with a set of various software tools. These include a digital filing cabinet for documents, a tax planner app, and a scheduler. Basically, the package includes a few office management software applications.

Drake on the Desktop also provides e-filing functionality. The software supports the following tax forms and schedules: 1040, 1040 NR, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1120H, 706, 709, 990, 1041. All standard State returns are included as well.

Drake Tax is your basic tax preparation software. It is designed to make the process of completing a return more efficient and streamlined. The software can automatically calculate a return as you fill out the data fields. You can set up shortcut keys and macros to speed up tax return data entry tasks.

You can further speed up tax preparation using optional hardware add-ons. These include an e-signature pad and a 2D barcode scanner. The signature pad can simplify electronic tax filing by letting clients digitally sign returns. The barcode scanner enables importing data from W-2s or K-1s with 2D barcodes.

Using Right Networks, Drake in the Cloud can be accessed on any computer with a broadband Internet connection (1.5Mbps speed or better). Drake promises 99.95% availability of their cloud-based tax prep solution.

Drake is offered under the UltimateDR package at $999. This package supports unlimited e-filing of individual income tax returns. For an additional $100, you can add support for corporate returns and other features to help your tax preparation business serve corporate clients.

Summary: TaxWise still provides distinct desktop and software based packages, with the online application specialized in the processing of individual 1040 returns. Add-ons like a mobile app are available at an extra cost.

Comparing TaxWise with UltimateTax shows that the tax software programs offer similar features: on-premise and online application options, form-entry and interview modes, interface customization, diagnostics, online tax preparation and bank product integration.

Software users can shell out a little more to activate additional features. The TaxWise Mobile add-on costs an extra $399 to give you access to a mobile app which integrates with the online software. (As of this review, TaxWise Mobile does not work with the desktop software. You may check with your Wolters Kluwer sales rep to find out if this has changed.)

Adding $99 will net you a Refund Estimator. This sets up a customizable website that works like a very basic client portal. Tax preparers can direct clients to check out the website to get a quick estimate of their federal refund.

It's a little funny that a tax software product so simple and straightforward should offer all these complicated pricing, packaging and add-on options. TaxWise feels like it is stretching itself a bit far to accommodate many types of tax preparation businesses. Back in 2020, TaxWise offered only three desktop packages: TaxWise Pay-Per-Return, TaxWise ProFiling and TaxWise Power (the premium package). Now, there are four.

Then again, software companies need to react to changes in technology, consumer preferences, and market realities. With 2020 having been a pivotal year in many respects, Wolter Kluwers must certainly be banking on this new approach to prove a strategically sound response.

TaxWise offers both standard tax form entry and interview mode. The interview mode provides guide questions for a new user or new tax preparer working to complete a tax form. It assists one in filling out the tax information correctly without skipping anything of importance. The diagnostics tool adds an extra layer of accuracy checking to prevent errors that may result in rejected e-filings.

A number of help and support options are packaged into your TaxWise subscription. The CCH AnswerConnect Mini Package provides reference materials. It lets users access the U.S. Master Tax Guide and primary sources. TaxWise subscribers can also browse the TaxWise Online Education Video Library. All kinds of tutorial and training videos can be explored to expand users' understanding of the software and the tax preparation process.

CrossLink markets itself as a professional software solution for high-volume tax return preparation. It is available on desktop and online platforms. The flagship desktop version, CrossLink 1040, is designed for processing individual income tax returns.

If you want to prepare business returns, you have several options. You can purchase CrossLink 1040 Pay-Per-Return (PPR) and add on CrossLink Business Pay-Per-Return. Alternatively, you can purchase CrossLink 1040 Desktop and CrossLink Business as a joint package.


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