With the end of busy season for most tax preparers, the summer months are open to try something new. Accordingly, most tax preparation software manufacturers offer tryouts, early renewals and promotional pricing.

The number of software manufacturers has declined in recent years, as a result of the acquisition of smaller companies by the dominant manufacturers. Tax Relief from AccountantsWorld and Package EX from ExacTax were discontinued when they were purchased by Thomson Reuters, and Sage Software's CPA Tax Manager was discontinued when the company entered an alliance with CCH ProSystem fx. Greatland, which formerly sold its own brand of software, will now be selling Drake Software.

More recent purchases of ATX and TaxWise by CCH, TaxWorks by H&R Block, and TaxSimple by Thomson Reuters have ensured these companies' survival, at least for the immediate future. Last year's proposed purchase of 2nd Story Software, the maker of TaxACT software, was blocked by the Justice Department in an antitrust lawsuit. However, TaxACT was acquired later by InfoSpace, which then changed its name to Blucora Inc., becoming the parent company of both InfoSpace and TaxACT.

Following are manufacturers with special summer tryouts and discounts.

 

CCH

A Wolters Kluwer business

http://cchgroup.com

(800) 739-9998

ProSystem fx Office Suite

Evaluation software is available for tryout for ProSystem fx Tax, Fixed Assets, and Planning. It may be ordered by visiting the Web site or calling the toll-free number.

 

CCH Small Firm Services

www.atxinc.com

(866) 345-4172

ATX

ATX is available in three comprehensive packages, as well as a pay-per-return version starting at under $500. Call for a free evaluation kit to access the 2011 program, complete with over 10,000 forms, plus W-2 and 1099 payroll reporting forms. The ATX line of integrated products is also available for evaluation and includes Client Accounting Suite, PaperlessPlus and CCH research.

 

www.taxwise.com

(866) 345-4171

TaxWise

Test drive the program's interface and features by calling for a free evaluation kit. The demonstration software includes Forms 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990, plus state modules. The software is available in three pricing packages, many including e-filing and CCH research.

 

Drake Software

www.drakesoftware.com

(800) 890-9500

Drake Software

Complete package includes wide range of tax prep software, and client write-up with MICR check encoding, real-time Web reporting, an appointment scheduler, preparer Web sites, a document manager, and a tax planner. It also features GruntWorx integration to scan, organize and populate data, and SecureFilePro for online file transfer and storage. For additional information or a free demo, visit the Web site or call the toll-free number.

 

ProTaxPro

www.protaxpro.com

(805) 644-9398

ProTaxPro

Register online and receive a free trial of hosted professional tax software. Offers tax prep and e-filing for federal and state personal income tax filings and Forms 1099 and W-2 filings with no software to install or download.

 

HowardSoft

www.howardsoft.com

(858) 454-0121

Tax Preparer

Working program CD available for free. Check Web site for further promotions.

 

Intuit

Lacerte Tax Software

www.lacertesoftware.com

(800) 765-7777

Lacerte Tax Software is built to maximize productivity and streamline work for the year-round, multiple-person accounting firm. Free evaluation software is available on Web site.

 

Intuit Tax Online

http://proadvisor.intuit.com/product/ intuit-tax-online/ito

(888) 236-9501

Intuit Tax Online is a Web-based, cloud computing tax solution designed to provide an anytime, anywhere solution. Free use of the application until you need to file or print is available on the Web site.

 

ProSeries Professional Edition

www.proseries.com

(800) 934-1040

Built for professionals with a range of individual and/or business clients, ProSeries Professional provides fast, reliable tax prep across a comprehensive set of tax forms and schedules, and includes tools to help professionals run a more successful practice. Request free evaluation software on the Web site.

 

Orange Door Inc.

www.orangedoorinc.com

(650) 952-1773

Orange Tax Suite Pro

This cloud-based software is designed for professional users and firms. Sign up on the Web site for a free account and five free returns.

 

Petz Enterprises Inc.

www.crosslinktax.com

(800) 345-4337

CrossLink Professional Tax Software

Request a live demo and view training videos on the Web site.

 

2nd Story Software

www.prep.taxact.com

(800) 573-4287

TaxACT

TaxACT Preparer's Edition includes the forms and time-saving tools for preparing and printing an unlimited number of client returns. Money-back guarantee, and low-cost integrated e-filing available. Try 2011 software free on the Web site.

 

RedGear Technologies

www.taxworks.com

(800) 230-2322

TaxWorks

Free demos on CD or download for federal and state Forms 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 706, 709, 990 and 5500. Package includes free electronic filing. Discounts for early renewals and for new users on selected packages.

 

Thomson Reuters

UltraTax CS

http://cs.thomsonreuters.com

(800) 968-8900

Trial package offers the complete 2011 system at no charge for evaluation purposes. Early renewals are offered a discount, and specially priced new user packages and a personalized new user transition program are available. UltraTax CS is available in traditional on-premise configurations as well as a cloud-based delivery option. Also available via the Web site is a registration form for live webinars, a multi-media demo, client testimonial videos, and a series of product videos.

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