With the tax filing season over, tax software vendors hope to get a head start on next season's sales by offering special summer season discounts and tryouts. At the same time, preparers have some time to tinker with different software to find a solution that fits their practice.Meanwhile, the recent enactment of tax legislation, such as the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 - with the promise of more to come - gives preparers additional motivation to consider new software solutions. Publicity over legislative changes will drive increasing numbers of taxpayers to seek professional help, according to observers. It also means more sales for tax prep vendors, since more preparers are expected to enter the field to service the additional taxpayers seeking professional advice.

During the past few years, the list of vendors has shrunk. Most recently, Dexter, Mich.-based Creative Solutions, a Thomson business, announced its purchase of Columbus, Ohio-based Dunphy Systems in May 2006. Other vendors that have dropped off the list in recent years include Tax Relief from AccountantsWorld and Package Ex from ExacTax, both purchased by Creative Solutions. Sage Software's CPA Tax Manager was discontinued in 2004, when the company entered an alliance with CCH ProSystem fx for its tax prep customers.

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