Intuit said it plans to avoid the electronic filing delays that kept many last-minute tax returns from being processed last April.

"We want to make sure that never happens again," said Ian Campbell, director of marketing at the company. Intuit, which makes the TurboTax consumer line, and the Lacerte and ProSeries professional lines of tax prep software, has brought in outside experts to make sure it has enough redundancy and continuity in its e-filing systems.

As part of its contingency planning, Intuit will have backup systems in place that can take over in case of a main system failure, noted Campbell. The company is also promoting a guarantee that will reimburse clients for any paid e-filing fee and assessed penalties if the tax return is filed late.

Intuit is also trying to get its professional software shipped out earlier than usual. Lacerte will be available for download on Nov. 7, while ProSeries will be available on Nov. 15.

Intuit has added a Texas margin tax return and California registered domestic partnership return to Lacerte, as well as a Lacerte Trial Balance utility that works with its Lacerte SmartMap technology to automatically map tax line assignments.

ProSeries includes a client checklist that's designed to streamline the traditional organizer approach to getting clients to provide information for the return. ProSeries also offers a WebListings service that will help tax preparers get their practices listed on search engines such as Google, Yahoo Local, YellowPages.com and Superpages.com.

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