by Roger Russell

With tax season over, software manufacturers begin to tinker with next season offerings and follow possible legislative developments that will have to be integrated into their preparation packages. Most also provide special deals that are designed to win over some converts prior to the start of the big marketing push later in the year.

While the list of manufacturers has shrunk in recent years as the result of industry mergers and acquisitions, the list is partially balanced out by several new entries.

Greatland’s Nelco, based in Green Bay, Wis., familiar to many practitioners as a third-party e-filer developer, has introduced its own preparation package, Great Tax. Pekin, Ill.-based NTS Service Corp. also began marketing a professional tax preparation package a year ago. Both companies’ products are said to be private-label versions of Kaysville, Utah-based Laser Systems’ TaxWorks.

The following are manufacturers with special deals, demos and discounts.

Alpine Data Inc.Montrose, Colo.

(800) 525-1040

Tax/Pack Professional

Free demos of the entire 2001 product line are included on one CD. The package includes Form 1040, 45 states, as well as Forms 1120, 1120S and 1065. A multicolumn fixed asset manager is included. There are no pay-per-return limits and no per-person fees. Free updates are available on the Web site or via a built-in bulletin board.

Programs are available on diskette for those with no CD-ROM capabilities. If the user elects to receive the initial release on CD-ROM and update it through the built-in bulletin board on the company’s Web site, Alpine will waive all shipping and handling fees. E-mail is sent every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and outlines any changes that have occurred during the past 10 days.

ATXCaribou, Me.

(800) 944-8883

Max, Saber, Zillion Forms,


This post-tax season, current customers have until the end of June to renew for a 10 percent early renewal discount. An Info Pack is available, consisting of a CD with a demonstration of Form 1040.

A two-for-one offer gives practitioners the opportunity to try this year’s product free of charge until Sept. 1. If they keep it beyond Sept. 1, they will be billed for it and get next year’s product free of charge.

CCH Inc.Riverwoods, Ill.

(800) 739-9998

ProSystem fx Office Suite

Evaluation software is available for free on CD for a 60-day tryout for all six ProSystem fx office products, including ProSystem fx Tax, Engagement (formerly ePaceEngagement), Practice, Fixed Assets, Trial Balance (formerly Audit) and Planning. It may be ordered by visiting the Web site or by calling the toll-free number. Renewal discounts are 20 percent, or 25 percent for additional software purchases.

CPA SoftwarePensacola, Fla.

(800) 272-7123

Visual 1040, Visual Business

Tax Suite

Last year’s products are available for free evaluation. In addition, online demos are available. Discounts are offered to new users and early renewers. The amount of the discount varies according to the number of products purchased.

Creative SolutionsDexter, Mich.

(800) 968-8900

Ultra Tax

CSI offers the complete 2001 Ultra Tax software package at no charge for evaluation purposes. Early renewals are offered a discount or free shipping and handling. Specially priced new user packages are available.

Drake SoftwareFranklin, N.C. 

(800) 890-9500

Drake Tax Solution

Demos of the entire suite are available at no cost. Discounts are offered for early renewal, and for new customers who sign up before January. Former Xpress Software users may purchase Drake at the renewal discount price. All states are included in Drake Tax Solution at no additional charge. Free shipping is included.

Dunphy SystemsColumbus, Ohio

(614) 431-0846

Dunphy Systems 1040


Working version of last year’s individual software is available for free on CD or can be downloaded for free from the Web site. Business equity programs 1120, 1120S and 1065 are available for $50 each.

ExacTaxAnaheim, Calif.

(800) 583-3536

Package Ex

Free demos for federal Forms 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 990 and 706 are available by phone or on the Web.

HowardSoftLa Jolla, Calif.

(858) 454-0121

Tax Preparer

A working program CD is available for a 30-day free trial.

IntuitSan Diego

(800) 934-1040


Intuit offers a free CD including 2001 editions of federal 1040, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1041, 990 and all individual and business states. Also available free of charge are Client Organizer, Practice Manager, Electronic Filing, Bank Products and a 30-day trial version of Fixed Asset Manager. Intuit offers free tele-seminars for users qualifying for discounts.

Lacerte SoftwarePlano, Texas

(800) 765-7777

Lacerte Tax Software

A free evaluation kit containing the live version of Lacerte’s 2001 individual and business programs and states is available on a single CD.

Laser SystemsKaysville, Utah

(800) 230-2322


Free demos on CD for federal and state 1040 and federal Forms 706, 709, 990, 1041, 1065, 1120 and 1120S are available, as are discounts for early renewals and for new users on selected packages.

Micro Vision SoftwareHauppauge, N.Y.

(800) Tax Relief (800) 829-7354

Tax Relief for Windows

Free Accountant’s Office CD, with last year’s programs, is offered on a trial basis. That includes all tax software, write-up, trial balance and financial planning software. Early-bird discounts are available, depending on the time of purchase.

NelcoGreen Bay, Wis.

(800) 266-4669

Great Tax

Free demo CDs available at Web site or toll-free number.

Orrtax SoftwareBellevue, Wash.

(800) 377-3337


This year’s product, with limited functionality, is available on CD for demonstration purposes for free. It becomes fully functional when an authorization code is activated upon payment. All packages are priced at a 40 percent discount until the end of June. After that, they will continue to be discounted at various rates through the end of August.

Petz EnterprisesTracey, Calif.

(800) 345-4337


Fly For Free and Free EF demos are available on CD or by downloading them from Web site. Early renewal discounts are available.

RIA GroupNew York

(800) 950-1216

GoSystem Tax (CD) and GoSystem Tax RS (Web-based)

A free 30-day Test Drive is available on CD or the Web. The GoSystem Tax RS Test Drive includes all features of the Web-based tax compliance software. It includes 30-day access for 100 users, including 25 returns for all tax types and all states.

2nd Story SoftwareCedar Rapids, Iowa

(800) 573-4287


Customers can call or go to the Web site. Free evaluation products are available on CD by calling the toll-free number or by placing an order on the Web site, including 1040 product, all 1040 and 1065. A fully functional 2001 program is available, as is Form 1120S.

TaxSimple Inc.Randolph, N.J.

(800) 989-8955


TaxSimple offers for free a full working version of the 2001 CD, including state and federal 1040s with over 1,800 forms, schedules and worksheets. The CD also includes programs for Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990. The full program may also be downloaded for free from the company’s Web site.

A variety of special pricing and discounts for first-time users, early renewals and conversion discounts are available.

Universal Tax SystemsRome, Ga.

(800) 755-9473

TaxWise Professional Software Suite, FormsComplete

A free evaluation kit supplies a fully functional system based on last year’s product. TaxWise also offers promotional pricing for new users, early renewal discounts and multiple location discounts for multiple offices.

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