In a move to bring the best value to its 55,000 customers, ATX simplified its tax preparation product line. ATX now has five primary tax preparation packages. Five is simpler? The company says yes-that in the past, it had a wide array of bundles that were each considered a separate package.
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There have been significant changes in the bundling that make it difficult to compare the 2005 bundles with the 2004 versions. [This article has been corrected since it was originally posted.*]
"Although there's been some price changes with the bundling, customers receive unlimited efile, a comprehensive forms package, integrated W-2/1099 package, and Kleinrock Research," says Ken Crutchfield, vice president of marketing.
The other four products are 1040, which includes three states for $375; 1040 Office, which includes all states and 1040 Kleinrock Research for $575; and Max, which includes 10,000 forms for individual and business returns for $985; Max Office, which includes everything in Max, plus Kleinrock Reference libraries for $1,200; and Total Tax Office, which includes everything in Max Office, plus Kleinrock's TaxExpert Suite.
ATX is also moving away from the use of its Saber brand, on the market for 10 years, just as the company, which originated in Caribou, Maine, now bases more of its executive activities in Rockville, Md., where its sister Kleinrock is also housed.
HQ Caribou, Maine
Phone (877) 728-9776
Fax (800) 285-5076
Multi-state processing Unlimited.
Data entry Interactive/interview.
Support methods Toll-free telephone and fax, online community bulletin boards and Knowledgebase documents.
Electronic storage No.
Electronic filing 1040, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 990, 940, 941, 1099, and W-2; unlimited free efiling comes with all packages.
Integrates with the following Kleinrock Research products, as well as CaseWare Engagement and ATX's accounting product line powered by AccTrak21.
New for next year Inclusion of free, unlimited efile with every tax preparation package; ability to efile 940/941 and 1041 returns; and an enhanced depreciation module offering users two data entry methods.
The 2005 enhancements focus on five areas, including the inclusion of free emailing in all packages. Users will have the ability to efile 940/941 and 1041 returns, and the ability to efile extensions for federal, state, individual, and business returns.
An expanded error messaging system features 8,600 messages that trap errors before returns are transmitted to taxing agencies. Users will also be able to hide completed efiles; delete rejected ones; receive better reject codes; descriptions, and reasons; and a receive acknowledgement button has been added to the toolbar.
When it comes to depreciation, ATX will now offer customers the choice of whether to use an asset entry worksheet or a direct-entry method for Form 4562. The asset entry worksheet will include improved calculations to handle bulk sales and automatically transfer data to selected state depreciation forms, making the preparation of Form 6252 for installment sales and Form 8829 to track home office depreciation easier.
Furthermore, integration among ATX's tax software continues. ATX's tax software is part of the ATX Total Integrated Office. However, this season ATX is focused more on integration with Kleinrock Research, and will add context- sensitive research links to the Kleinrock product. This year, the links will be available for seven return types including the 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 990, and payroll.
Robert Baker, enrolled agent, of Independence, Mo.-based Bob Baker Tax Service, prepares approximately 300 tax returns per season with ATX's Max tax preparation package, and sticks with the product due to its "reasonable pricing." He has also found the continued integration with Kleinrock Research has saved him time. "The Max product includes tax research, and I no longer have to search for answers. There were many times when I needed to find an exact title, and I had to spend a substantial amount of time looking up information in books. Now, if I have a research question it takes me straight from the line in the tax return to the answer," says Baker.
* According to ATX representatives, while many of the company's product configurations have changed from tax season 2004, the prices between the tax season 2005 Total Tax Office is almost identical to the $1,400 price tag carried by last year's software. We regret the error.