Even though some say that tax season never ends, the summer is traditionally the time when software manufacturers offer tryouts, early renewals and promotional pricing, and when practitioners have the opportunity to try something new.

Meanwhile, the complexity of the Tax Code and tax legislative changes mean that taxpayers will continue to rely on professional preparers, which in turn should boost the profession and help stabilize the software market.

There continues to be a contraction in the number of independent makers of tax preparation software, as a result of acquisitions of smaller companies by the dominant manufactures. Tax Relief from AccountantsWorld and Package Ex from ExacTax were discontinued when purchased by Thomson Reuters, and Sage Software's CPA Tax Manager was discontinued when the company entered an alliance with CCH ProSystem fx for its tax prep customers.

More recent purchases of ATX and TaxWise by CCH, TaxWorks by H&R Block, and TaxSimple by Thomson Reuters have ensured these companies' continued existence for the foreseeable future. The Justice Department is currently seeking to stop the proposed purchase by H&R Block of 2nd Story Software, the maker of TaxACT software, in an antitrust lawsuit filed in May. Although TaxACT produces a professional package as well as a consumer edition, the deal was seen as potentially damaging to the strength of the do-it-yourself market.

Following are manufacturers with special summer tryouts and discounts.

 

CCH, A WOLTERS KLUWER BUSINESS

(800) 739-9998

http://cchgroup.com

ProSystem fx Office Suite

Evaluation software is available for tryout for ProSystem fx Suite, including ProSystem fx Tax, Engagement, Practice, Fixed Assets, Trial Balance, and Planning. Order on the Web site or call the toll-free number.

 

CCH SMALL FIRM SERVICES

ATX

www.atxinc.com

(888) 455-0183

ATX is available in six comprehensive packages, as well as a pay-per-return version starting at under $500. Call for free evaluation kit; offers access to the 2010 program, complete with over 10,000 federal, state and local tax 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, Scan&Fill with Document Manager and CCH research.

 

TaxWise

www.taxwise.com

(888) 455-0182

Call for free evaluation kit; offers test drive of interface and features. The demonstration software includes forms 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990, plus state modules. Six packages available, many including e-filing and CCH research.

 

DRAKE SOFTWARE

www.drakesoftware.com

(866) 670-8478

Drake Software

Complete package includes individual, business, partnerships, corporations, e-file, bank and all state software programs at no additional cost. Also included are client write-up with MICR check encoding, on-line tax research tools, real-time Web reporting, appointment scheduler, preparer Web sites, document manager, and tax planner. Free demo available on Web site, or by calling.

 

GREATLAND

www.greatland.com

(800) 968-1099

Great Tax

Professional tax prep software designed to meet the needs of individual and business tax preparers, with diverse packages and an intuitive interface, and an online e-file center. Free demo - a working version of the 2009 software -available at the Web site, or by calling the toll-free number.

 

HOWARDSOFT

www.howardsoft.com

(858) 454-0121

Tax Preparer

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

 

INTUIT

Lacerte Tax

www.lacertesoftware.com

(800) 765-7777

Built to maximize productivity and streamline most critical work for the year-round, multiple-person accounting firm. Free evaluation software available at http://lacerte.intuit.com.

 

ProLine Tax Online

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

(888) 236-9501

Cloud-based tax solution for tax professionals. Free use of the application until you need to file or print is available on Web site.

 

ProSeries Professional Edition

www.proseries.com

(800) 934-1040

Built for professionals with a range of individual and/or business clients, and includes tools to help professionals run a more successful practice. Request free 2010 evaluation software on Web site.

 

ProSeries Basic Edition

Designed for entry-level and beginning tax preparers that primarily provide preparation of Individual 1040 and State returns. Free evaluation software available on Web site.

 

ORANGE DOOR, INC.

www.orangedoorinc.com

(650) 952-1773

Orange Tax Suite Pro

Cloud-based tax software designed for professional users and firms. Free account and five free returns available on Web site.

 

PETZ ENTERPRISES

www.crosslinktax.com

(800) 345-4337

CrossLink Professional Tax Software

Contact CrossLink for fly-for-free or demo.

 

PROTAXPRO

www.protaxpro.com

(805) 644-9398

ProTaxPro

Free online software available for first-year users at Web site. Appropriate for tax professionals, and service bureaus with flat or multilevel market structures. Includes e-filing and bank products.

 

2ND STORY SOFTWARE

www.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 included, and low-cost integrated e-filing available. 2010 software free at http://prep.taxact.com.

 

TAXWORKS

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

GoSystem Tax RS

(800) 968-8900

http://cs.thomsonreuters.com

Free 30-day test drive available online; includes all features, allows access for 100 users and enables you to produce 25 returns for all tax types and states.

 

UltraTax CS

On-premise or cloud-based options available. Trial package offers complete 2010 UltraTax CS system at no charge for evaluation purposes. Early renewals are offered a discount, and specially priced new-user packages and a special new user transition program are available. Registration for live webinars, a multi-media demo, client testimonial videos, and a series of product videos also available on Web site.

 

TAXSIMPLE INC.

www.taxsimple.com

(800) 989-8955

TaxSimple

Free full working version of 2010 tax year CD, including state and federal 1040s with over 2,000 forms, schedules and worksheets, and electronic filing for all states. The CD also includes programs for Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709, and 990.

Even though some say that tax season never ends, the summer is traditionally the time when software manufacturers offer tryouts, early renewals and promotional pricing, and when practitioners have the opportunity to try something new.

Meanwhile, the complexity of the Tax Code and tax legislative changes mean that taxpayers will continue to rely on professional preparers, which in turn should boost the profession and help stabilize the software market.

There continues to be a contraction in the number of independent makers of tax preparation software, as a result of acquisitions of smaller companies by the dominant manufacturers. Tax Relief from AccountantsWorld and Package Ex from ExacTax were discontinued when purchased by Thomson Reuters, and Sage Software's CPA Tax Manager was discontinued when the company entered an alliance with CCH ProSystem fx for its tax prep customers.

More recent purchases of ATX and TaxWise by CCH, TaxWorks by H&R Block, and TaxSimple by Thomson Reuters have ensured these companies' continued existence for the foreseeable future. The Justice Department is currently seeking to stop the proposed purchase by H&R Block of 2nd Story Software, the maker of TaxACT software, in an antitrust lawsuit filed in May. Although TaxACT produces a professional package as well as a consumer edition, the deal was seen as potentially damaging to the strength of the do-it-yourself market.

Following are manufacturers with special summer tryouts and discounts.

 

CCH, A WOLTERS KLUWER BUSINESS

(800) 739-9998

http://cchgroup.com

ProSystem fx Office Suite

Evaluation software is available for tryout for ProSystem fx Suite, including ProSystem fx Tax, Engagement, Practice, Fixed Assets, Trial Balance, and Planning. Order on the Web site or call the toll-free number.

 

CCH SMALL FIRM SERVICES

ATX

www.atxinc.com

(888) 455-0183

ATX is available in six comprehensive packages, as well as a pay-per-return version starting at under $500. Call for free evaluation kit; offers access to the 2010 program, complete with over 10,000 federal, state and local tax 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, Scan&Fill with Document Manager and CCH research.

 

TaxWise

www.taxwise.com

(888) 155-0182

Call for free evaluation kit; offers test drive of interface and features. The demonstration software includes Forms 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990, plus state modules. Six packages available, many including e-filing and CCH research.

 

DRAKE SOFTWARE

www.drakesoftware.com

(866) 670-8478

Drake Software

Complete tax prep package includes individual, business, partnerships, corporations, e-file, bank and all state software programs at no additional cost. Also included are client write-up with MICR check encoding, online tax research tools, real-time Web reporting, an appointment scheduler, preparer Web sites, a document manager, and a tax planner. Free demo available on the Web site, or by calling vendor.

 

GREATLAND

www.greatland.com

(800) 968-1099

Great Tax

Professional tax prep software designed to meet the needs of individual and business tax preparers, with diverse packages and an intuitive interface, and an online e-file center. Free demo - a working version of the 2009 software - available on the Web site, or by calling the toll-free number.

 

HOWARDSOFT

www.howardsoft.com

(858) 454-0121

Tax Preparer

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

 

INTUIT

Lacerte Tax

www.lacertesoftware.com

(800) 765-7777

Built to maximize productivity and streamline the most critical work for the year-round, multiple-person accounting firm. Free evaluation software available at http://lacerte.intuit.com.

 

ProLine Tax Online

www.proline.taxonline.com

(888) 236-9501

Cloud-based tax solution for tax professionals. Free use of the application until you need to file or print is available on Web site.

 

ProSeries Professional Edition

www.proseries.com

(800) 934-1040

Built for professionals with a range of individual and/or business clients, and includes tools to help professionals run a more successful practice. Request free 2010 evaluation software on Web site.

 

ProSeries Basic Edition

Designed for entry-level and beginning tax preparers that primarily provide preparation of individual 1040 and state returns. Free evaluation software available on Web site.

 

ORANGE DOOR INC.

www.orangedoorinc.com

(650) 952-1773

Orange Tax Suite Pro

Cloud-based tax software designed for professional users and firms. Free account and five free returns available on Web site.

 

PETZ ENTERPRISES

www.crosslinktax.com

(800) 345-4337

CrossLink Professional Tax Software

Contact vendor for fly-for-free or demo.

 

PROTAXPRO

www.protaxpro.com

(805) 644-9398

ProTaxPro

Free online software available for first-year users at Web site. Appropriate for tax professionals, and service bureaus with flat or multi-level market structures. Includes e-filing and bank products.

 

2ND STORY SOFTWARE

www.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 included, and low-cost integrated e-filing available. 2010 software free at http://prep.taxact.com.

 

TAXWORKS

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

GoSystem Tax RS

(800) 968-8900

http://cs.thomsonreuters.com

Free 30-day test drive available online; includes all features, allows access for 100 users and enables you to produce 25 returns for all tax types and states.

 

UltraTax CS

On-premise or cloud-based options available. Trial package offers complete 2010 UltraTax CS system at no charge for evaluation purposes. Early renewals are offered a discount, and specially priced new-user packages and a special new-user transition program are available. Registration for live webinars, a multi-media demo, client testimonial videos, and a series of product videos also available on Web site.

 

TAXSIMPLE INC.

www.taxsimple.com

(800) 989-8955

TaxSimple

Free full working version of 2010 tax year CD, including state and federal 1040s with over 2,000 forms, schedules and worksheets, and electronic filing for all states. The CD also includes programs for Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709 and 990.

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