From the July 2011 Review of Tax Document Automation Systems
Lacerte Tax and ProSeries Tax Professional users who would like to reduce time spent entering data into the tax application.
Tax Import for Lacerte and ProSeries, formerly ProLine Tax Import, is the Intuit solution for scanning and importing data into its Lacerte Tax and ProSeries Professional tax applications. The product is included with both Lacerte Tax and ProSeries Tax Professional, and units for processing can be purchased individually or in bulk. While Tax Import is new for 2011, the Intuit team has been very creative in solving common problems faced by practitioners, and has a fresh approach to tax document automation.
Core Product Functions/Features:
Tax Import has a simple user interface, and as mentioned above, supports both data extraction from scanned documents as well as imports from financial institutions. Practitioners can send clients an e-mail message explaining how 1099DropOff.com allows clients to enter their login information for supported financial institutions to authorize them to transmit the client’s tax information to the practitioner’s account at Intuit. When the information arrives, it is downloaded to the practitioner’s computer for import into the client’s tax return in Lacerte or ProSeries. Eleven of the largest financial institutions, representing approximately 70% of the active individual investment trades in America, support direct download of tax information to Intuit through 1099DropOff.com.
While this process works very well, many clients and practitioners have concerns with the security and confidentiality of this information. Even though Intuit is a large provider of payroll services and credit card processing, concerns about phishing attacks and identity theft may cause some practitioners to not use this service. While some firms and clients may determine that they are not ready to implement this service, firms who are using the service report that it eliminates a significant portion of the data entry associated with investment activity.
Information that is not available for download such as W-2 and 1099 forms can be extracted from scanned images. Documents are scanned with a TWAIN or ISIS compatible scanner, are associated with a client, and are submitted to Intuit’s secure data center for OCR processing. The data extracted, as well as an organized, bookmarked, and highlighted PDF file and a spreadsheet of securities trades are transmitted to the practitioner. (An example of the bookmarking and highlighting is shown in Figure 2). The tax preparer then verifies the information to be entered against the source documents, and imports the data into the return.
Intuit offers telephone support, user forums and a searchable support knowledgebase to help users resolve problems. The tools are easy to work with, and the per-return charge paid for using Tax Import covers as many items as the user would like to submit for processing. There are no additional fees for subsequent reprocessing of information.