From the Oct. 2008 Review of W-2/1099 Compliance Programs
For small businesses or professionals helping small businesses with lower numbers of 1099 or W-2 filings, FileTaxes.com offers an extremely easy-to-use web-based system for filing forms 1099 (MISC, INT, DIV, R, S), W-2, W-2C, 940, 941 and 944. Developed by Greatland, which offers various tax and financial-oriented software and products (including the WinFiler system reviewed on page 24 of this issue), FileTaxes.com supports any number of client payers and recipients and is used on a form-by-form preparation basis with no software or subscription pricing.
The system supports filing for all states and electronically files with the IRS and SSA, and includes mailing of recipient copies. Pricing is per form: $3.79 for each 1099 or W-2 (with discounts for users transferring data from QuickBooks, based on volume). Form 941s cost $4.95 each and 944s are $9.98 each.
Usability/Navigation - 5 Stars
After creating an account and logging in (which takes about two minutes and costs nothing to set up), users are presented with the Form Filing Home screen, which provides a secure interface with extended validation (the new “green bar” security certificate that highlights the browser bar when logged in), offering users an added sense of comfort when filing confidential wage data online.
The Form Filing Home screen gives options for importing data from QuickBooks, viewing previously submitted forms or starting new forms, with links to the form families (1099, W-2, Corrections, and 941/944). A menu on the left also provides access to account options, technical support, additional pricing details, import functions and a “How it Works” page. Each of the return pages provides an explanation of the preparation process, with a progress bar across the top showing what step the user is on. For W-2s and 1099s, there are four steps: Overview, Form Completion, Checkout and Submission.
Data is entered onto a form replica that includes selection lists for Employer/Payer and Employee/Recipient if prior forms have been submitted for either entity. Since the program uses a traditional web browser, navigation functions are simple and data-entry fields can be navigated using either a mouse or the tab key. The system maintains lists for Payers and Payees, enabling users to set up these lists in advance and then select them from the list on the form during preparation.
FileTaxes.com does not automatically calculate FICA withholding data for W-2s. When data entry is complete, a button at the bottom is used to add the form to their “Cart,” after which the system displays a spreadsheet list of forms ready to submit. This screen also displays form-filing fees, and provides access to a reconciliation and summary report. Users can either elect to check out or enter additional forms. No preparation charges are incurred until finalizing the submission process, allowing users to return to previously saved forms to make edits and file them at a later time. It does not store credit card or payment information. After completion, the user receives an e-mail confirmation from FileTaxes.com. Electronic filing is handled automatically, and the vendor manages all mailings. Additional copies of forms can also be printed by the user.
Reporting & Import/Export Capabilities - 4 Stars
Although intended as an electronic filing system, all forms prepared on FileTaxes.com can be printed to any paper stock with virtually any printer. Previously entered forms are maintained on the secure site and can be accessed as needed by authorized users. A reconciliation report (in Excel format) and summary report (in HTML) are available. Users can upload client data from QuickBooks, with several price breaks depending on volume. No export options are available.
Support for Paperless Transmission - 4 Stars
FileTaxes.com is designed specifically for electronically filing to the IRS and SSA, with all filing and mailing of recipient copies processed by the vendor. State and local filings must be performed by the user.
Help/Training - 4.5 Stars
The program is really exceptionally easy to use, and therefore shouldn’t require any training. Users can access Help functions, FAQs and a knowledgebase, in addition to the “How it Works” explanation of the system. Tech support is included during the filing process.
2008 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars