Affordable and Easy To Use Tax Software

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #2981381 Reply
    PackerBacker12
    Participant

    I have some clients lined up on the side and I would like to do their tax returns for them. Any tax software that people can recommend which is easy to use and at the same time affordable? At work I use Lacerte but looking up their pay-per-return option, they charge somewhere around $360 for the software and another $75 to file a return (Federal and one State). I've heard some people mention Drake and TaxAct but I have no experience with those software.

    #2981813 Reply
    ReckedRecked
    Participant

    Drake is probably one of the most used and cheapest, and TaxAct I've heard is good as well.
    I use UltraTax at work, and went with their PRP for my side practice as well.
    About the same for a license and 65/75 for personal/business.
    It costs more, but using something you are familiar with, that might prevent an error and saves your reputation. The trade off on $$ was worth it to me to protect my reputation.
    My average return this year has been about $677, the $$$ corp returns obviously skew the average, but if I'm spending $100 per return, and making 577 per return? That's okay by me.
    Normal minimum for me is $300 on a personal and $750 on a business, $300/hour.
    The cheapest personal I did was $175 for a lady with e kids, EIC return, and she lost her job.
    Some friends and family got the $200 discounted rate.

    Don't undersell your services. Don't fill your book with small $$ returns, you'll end up working like a dog for very little money with tons of exposure and risk as you need to process the returns very quickly to make it worth your while.
    You're better off setting a higher price rate and missing out on some of the lower ones. You simply cannot compete on price with big blocks stores, or uncertified/unregistered preparers.
    I picked up a client this year that paid $40 to file a return last year. $40!!! The guy was a felon and did time for tax evasion about 10 years ago. No idea how he got back the ability to prepare returns.

    Try Drake and TaxAct. I am sure they offer a free trial.

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

    FAR-93 11/9/17 (10wks, 250 hrs, Roger 1800+ MCQs, Gleim TB 600+MCQs, SIMs)
    AUD-88 12/7/17 (3 wks, 85 hrs, Roger 1000 MCQs no SIMs hail mary)
    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
    BEC-91 2/16/18 (4wks, 90 hrs, 1240 MCQs)

    #2982023 Reply
    turo9992000
    Participant

    When I used to do taxes on the side, I used TaxWise. It was around $400 it included 20 efiles federal/state and after that it was $20 to efile. It worked for what I was doing.

    AUD - 64, 80 Passed on 10/09/17

    BEC - 75 Passed on 12/09/17

    FAR - 69, 71, 73, 83 Passed on 06/10/18

    REG - 81 Passed on 09/10/17

    #2982698 Reply
    Tncincy
    Participant

    @Recked, So how do you not compete with the big block stores poping up all around with the loan advances and etc? Oh, I am using taxwise, have used them for 20 years. Too scared to change or too lazy to learn another software. Taxwise is a good software, you can do as little and as much as you want. Their software will accommodate your business size (they have for me). I do agree with Recked, make it worth it tax season is too short for little money.

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader.....time to pass
    #2982701 Reply
    MikeyMikey
    Participant

    I use Drake. If you get it now for the 2020 tax year it will cost you about $1,600 (plus sales tax), unlimited returns. If you do 50 returns that's an average of about $32 per return, which isn't too bad.

    You can do their pay-per-return too, which is $330 for 15 returns and then $22 for each additional return. After you hit 85 returns you can automatically convert to unlimited returns for no extra charge, which is a pretty good deal. If you did 85 returns it would end up costing you $1,870. If you hit 100 returns your average cost per return would be $18.70.

    In my opinion it's the best software out there. Plus their customer service is second to none.

    AUD - 77
    BEC - 90
    FAR - 76
    REG - 82
    Michael J. Conard Jr. CPA, EA

    Millhouse Accounting

    #2982809 Reply
    Tncincy
    Participant

    I just took a look at Ultra tax. It might be a good idea to do a search, someone might have some good deals or early bird sign up deals. Free trials for sure.

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader.....time to pass
    #2995835 Reply
    smoothiezguy
    Participant

    Intuit's ProConnect Tax is good and a great choice if you're only doing a few returns. There's no upfront software cost – you only pay per return. I think it's $72 per return at the most expensive rate. Obviously if you prepay for more returns you get a better price.

    BEC - 83 x1
    FAR - 87 x1
    AUD - 71 | 82 x2
    REG - 93 x1

    I'm Done!!!

    #2998014 Reply
    freecloud
    Participant

    Hello,

    I am thinking of having some side job as tax preparation. I have PTIN number. I wonder if you guys need to apply Efin and EIN numbers to prepare some returns for clients.

    Thank you for info.

    Have good faith in yourself on the way of studying CPA exams😄
    #2999814 Reply
    ReckedRecked
    Participant

    You 100% need an EFIN to e-file returns for clients, and e-filing is required if you prepare more than 10? returns in a year?
    It once was over 100 returns, but they tightened that number up. 10 returns is the e-file mandate limit for NY.
    Your software provider will likely want proof of your EFIN before allowing you to e-file returns, as part of the ID theft prevention campaign.

    EIN makes sense UNLESS you want to put your SSN on each return you prepare, which no one does.
    (Firm EIN is required on prepared tax returns.)
    SS4 application on the IRS.gov website, should take you all of 5 minutes and you will have the EIN immediately. Screenshot that page and print it so you have a hard copy record.
    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online

    While you are at it you should look into creating some type of legal entity, even if it's just a DBA of Your Name, CPA. The bank will want this to open a bank account, etc.

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

    FAR-93 11/9/17 (10wks, 250 hrs, Roger 1800+ MCQs, Gleim TB 600+MCQs, SIMs)
    AUD-88 12/7/17 (3 wks, 85 hrs, Roger 1000 MCQs no SIMs hail mary)
    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
    BEC-91 2/16/18 (4wks, 90 hrs, 1240 MCQs)

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