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Tax Act Professional and other lower cost software

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#1
s054  
Posts:
19
Joined:
4-Jun-2020 3:15am
Location:
Jerusalem, Israel
Used Tax act professional this year, first year as a preparer. Not bad, mainly for 1040 simpler returns.

Does anyone have experience with this software? How does it compare to the higher priced softwares of other companies? Is it really worth it to pay for premium software?
 

#2
ATSMAN  
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1734
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31-May-2014 8:34pm
Location:
MA
If you are going to be preparing mostly 1040 forms without multiple states and without Sch C, E, F then for the price you pay it is probably the most cost effective option.

For more complicated returns demo Drake, ATX. The total price of the package is within the ballpark of the Professional Tax Preparer package of Taxact with unlimited e-file ($1250)
 

#3
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2488
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6 ft away
Keep in mind that Drake has a pay-per-return product offering, if you're just starting out or don't do a lot of returns.
 

#4
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1782
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21-Apr-2014 11:24am
Location:
North Carolina
TaxAct is good software up to a point. I have used it for some years to prepare 1040s. However, two issues arose this year that dragged me away from it. Firstly, they have issues with putting the correct codes on the 8949 and attaching a PDF. Secondly, depreciation does not always work properly, if an incorrect method was used at any point in the past and, if you override, you cannot e-file. There is no scope to prepare a 4562 by inputting numbers directly. Finally, this year they messed up the SEHI. It calculates correctly if you have PTC. In fact it does a really nice job. You just can't e-file it if you want the return to be correct.

As TaxAct said they were absolutely, totally, irrevocably correct when I asked about these issues, I decided to move to Drake. I will miss the ease of use in TaxAct. It is excellent software for the more basic returns and it did a good job at handling Oil & Gas K-1's when I had a client who bought and sold them on a regular basis. However, if you have business returns, or any of the issues noted above, you may find that it is lacking.
 

#5
s054  
Posts:
19
Joined:
4-Jun-2020 3:15am
Location:
Jerusalem, Israel
I'm having some issues with TaxAct when e-filing previously rejected amended returns.

Had a client who had tried applying for the stimulus through the non-filers portal and by mistake checked the box "can be taken as dependent on another return". So she needed an amended return. Turns out the efile got rejected because of change of status (to HOH from single), so I tried again efiling the amended return, using the filing status of the EIP non-filer return.

Got an error message from TaxAct, that the return cannot be efiled. No reason given, and no submission ID either. Called them, and they claim that anyone who used the non-filer portal previously, must file amended by mail.

The funny thing is that this client had other family members who had the same mistake on their non-filer portal return, and I got their amended return e-filed and accepted. So it looks like a TaxAct bug, they just don't want to admit it.

Does anyone have any experience with UltimateTax?
 

#6
ATSMAN  
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1734
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Location:
MA
Ultra Tax is in a different league than Tax Act. Couple of years back I did demo it but it was too rich for my blood :lol:

There is a reseller by the name of Ultimate Tax that resells, Drake, Taxwise etc.
 

#7
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1782
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21-Apr-2014 11:24am
Location:
North Carolina
ATSMAN, the query in post #5 is about UltimateTax, which is a low-cost option to Intuit ProConnect Online or Drake Zero. I have never trialled UltimateTax, but I did look at their website a few months ago. Looking at their pricing, I doubt they would be in a higher tier than TaxAct or Drake.

TaxAct has an annoying habit of making it difficult to e-file unless you follow every last rule "in triplicate". S054, who is your sales rep? You might consider getting in touch with them and wondering aloud why you should stay with them. That may well get a more palatable solution to your e-file problem. Then again, depending on your rep, it may not!
 

#8
Posts:
111
Joined:
24-Jun-2014 10:35pm
Location:
Chandler, AZ
As a long time user of TaxAct it is perfectly good software for a small tax practice. I am surprised SumwunLost has had problems with the e-filing. I have often overridden entries in TaxAct and the returns e-file fine.

Like all tax return software there are things that TaxAct doesn't do well but once you know what they are it is easy to work round them.

I looked at Drake last year and just like TaxAct there were things that it couldn't do which didn't make it worth changing to Drake.

Overall I am happy with TaxAct and it works well for my mostly 1040 tax practice with a handful of business and foreign clients.
 

#9
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1782
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21-Apr-2014 11:24am
Location:
North Carolina
What can I say, AZUKHiker? I have had returns that TaxAct even refused to process for e-filing, where the calculated depreciation was plainly incorrect. I spoke with TaxAct as each issue arose and they were indifferent at best. I should note that these are issues that were not there last year. For several years, I have had self-employed clients who have PTC. It was never a problem until now. Their answer was to file on paper. We are about a decade into mandatory e-filing and software that goes backwards on the basics is in trouble.

I did have a long chat with my TaxAct sales rep, after I had paid for Drake. She was disappointed and I only gave her the time of day because (a) she has always been very nice in the past and (b) I have used TaxAct, consumer or professional, since my 2002 return.

Of course, if one has no filing problems, TaxAct is good, efficient software and I could understand why one would wish to remain with them. However, I acquired the clients of a retiring EA last year. The issues I encountered did not look good in front of new clients, which is why I felt I had to move as quickly as I did.
 

#10
ATSMAN  
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Location:
MA
SumwunLost wrote:ATSMAN, the query in post #5 is about UltimateTax, which is a low-cost option to Intuit ProConnect Online or Drake Zero. I have never trialled UltimateTax, but I did look at their website a few months ago. Looking at their pricing, I doubt they would be in a higher tier than TaxAct or Drake.

!



I believe https://www.ultimatetax.com/ is a reseller of other tax prep software like I posted previously.
 

#11
s054  
Posts:
19
Joined:
4-Jun-2020 3:15am
Location:
Jerusalem, Israel
Turns out I had one digit wrong from the client's SSN. I had even double and triple checked, don't know how it happened!
TaxAct gave me an "unknown error" message, so I tried filing through Intuit ProConnect Pay per return. I got the "Name control not matching SSN" message, so I knew exactly what the problem was. Got it e-filed and accepted in the end.

So TaxAct has some bug with the rejected return error message when the SSN is wrong. Their bug costed me $97 for a ProConnect single return. Not happy, looks like they just don't have the developer resources like Intuit.

So the explanation from the rep about amended returns, of returns which had originally been non-filer EIP returns, not having the ability to e-file, was simply untrue.
 

#12
ATSMAN  
Posts:
1734
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31-May-2014 8:34pm
Location:
MA
So TaxAct has some bug with the rejected return error message when the SSN is wrong. Their bug costed me $97 for a ProConnect single return. Not happy, looks like they just don't have the developer resources like Intuit.


It should have given a data mismatch error, with the rejection code.

Often times you get what you pay for :P
 

#13
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1782
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21-Apr-2014 11:24am
Location:
North Carolina
You do have to dig for the detail on the reject code in TaxAct. I believe it's in the Professional Reports tab.

Mind you, there was a Tax Court case about FATPs being responsible for making sure returns have, in fact, been filed, even if sent electronically. One of my tasks this morning will be to send a PoA to a client so that I can call NCDOR and find out whether or not a C Corp return has been accepted. I got an acceptance and rejection notice at the same time over the weekend. I do not think calling TaxAct would be sufficient. Only NCDOR can definitively tell me if the return has been accepted. Ultimately, that is not TaxAct's job and my professional responsibility, I believe, is to correspond with NCDOR as soon as possible.
 

#14
Beagle  
Posts:
48
Joined:
16-Jan-2020 3:15pm
Location:
Freelander
Have you given OLTPro a look? IMO it's a better alternative to TaxAct and provides a ton of forms for the money.
Online it says the fee for everything via the desktop version is $749 but I renew each April 15th and pay $549. Individual 1040, 1040N, 1041,1065,1120,1120S, 2290, 5500, 720, 709, 706, & 990 All States + e-filing included.

Your preference in tax software is going to depend upon how your brain works versus how the software works. In 6-7 years of using OLTPRO, I've never had a problem with the final product OLTPRO produces. Customer Service has always been solid for me but honestly I only use it 1-2x per season. One of their nice features is that all the previous years of tax returns are on my hard drive but they are also in their website for me to access remotely.
 

#15
ATSMAN  
Posts:
1734
Joined:
31-May-2014 8:34pm
Location:
MA
I think OLTPRO has come a long way since I looked at it couple of years back. I found weakness in the trust returns. I believe the IRS VITA folks now use OLTPRO instead of Taxwise?
 


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