2011 Review of FormMagic, Inc. — Tax-Mate 1099

FormMagic, Inc. — Tax-Mate 1099



From the Oct. 2011 Review of W-2 & 1099 Compliance Systems.

Best Fit: Accounting firms with large client bases, with varied import/integration needs.


  • Strong multi-client management tools.
  • Multi-user level security.
  • Multiple data entry options.
  • Built-in diagnostics.

Potential Limitations:

  • Limited local forms.
  • Lacks client billing/invoicing center.


The Tax-Mate 1099 system from FormMagic offers print and electronic filing of year-end information returns and forms, including W-2s and all 1099s, with the ability to mask recipient SSN/TIN numbers. The program is available for both Mac OS and Windows. It prints to plain or preprinted paper with excellent batch printing options, and has data import and label creation functions. Tax-Mate 1099 is available in four versions. This review focuses on the most comprehensive Advisor version. FormMagic also offers systems designed for 1042 compliance, medical reimbursement management and SEC reporting.

Basic System Functions  (4.75 Stars)

The different versions of Tax-Mate are designed toward different types of users, with the basic print-only option suited for small businesses, and the advanced Advisor system providing a full-service option for tax and accounting firms managing compliance for multiple clients. It can support any number of EIN payers with unlimited form recipients, and can be used by any number of concurrent staff, although no file lock-out options are included, and system security features enable only top-level password protection.

The full Tax-Mate system can be downloaded and installed in a few minutes. Company data setup is very simple, and the comfortable interface providing an on-screen user guide that steps new or infrequent users through common tasks. The home screen displays links to all forms supported by the program, along with the total number of recipients for each of the forms for the currently selected client. A list of payers is also present, along with basic company information. Selecting a form type brings up the most recently completed recipient or a new blank data-entry screen for the form, with a tabbed interface that divides data entry into payer information, recipient data, amounts and a form view. Payer data is automatically populated, and amounts are automatically routed to the relevant W-3 or 1096, if necessary.

An exceptional alternate view is available that shows a spreadsheet view of all forms of a particular type, for all clients or a single payer, with data shown for all fields and totals running across the bottom of the screen. This allows users to quickly see totals for 1099-MISC box three, for instance, or any other field. The system also includes good built-in search functions, as well as simplified printing functions. It is available for installation on computers running Windows, Mac OS and Windows servers, but is not offered as a SaaS or hosted model.

Reporting  (4.25 Stars)

Tax-Mate has built-in links to the IRS Fire and SSA BSA electronic filing systems, enabling unlimited e-filing or returns and multi-state capabilities. The Advisor version of the system includes support for all 1099 and 1098 forms, in addition to W-2, W-2G, 5498, and printable forms W-3 and 1096, which aren’t submitted when e-filing, but can be used as a summary report. Multi-state W-2 recipients are also supported using the federal e-filing piggyback system, but individual state and local forms are not included. Forms can be previewed on screen prior to printing, and users can specifically select which form copies to generate. Tax-Mate includes a diagnostics system that verifies TINs and checks for errors in FICA withholding and other areas.

From the multi-recipient screen view, users also have the ability to print specific form types, such as W-2s, W-3s or 1099-Misc (or other 1099 variations) across all or multiple clients at the same time. TIN masking can be used on any printed forms, and all forms can be saved to PDF. The system also offers printing of mailer coversheets and form instructions, supports duplex and multi-copy per sheet printing, and can print to preformatted stock or plain paper. Other printing options include reports and labels, with data automatically pulled from recipient copy information. The vendor does not offer printing/mailing outsourced services, nor does the system include a built-in billing utility.  

Import/Export Capabilities  (4.25 Stars)

Tax-Mate handles import of Excel, HTML, CSV and text-based documents, which allows for two-step import from QuickBooks, Sage Peachtree and other business financial systems. Aside from saving to PDF, no other export capabilities are included.

Help/Support (4.5 Stars)

Tax-Mate includes a traditional Help index, along with right-click menus, the homepage quick start guide and a “How Do I” tutorial. The online learning center offers program demos, FAQs, program updates and a full user guide in PDF format. As previously noted, the system is offered in versions for PCs and Macs. Live technical support is included in system pricing.

Summary & Pricing

Tax-Mate provides a comprehensive 1099 and W-2 solution, with strong multi-client management tools and overviews, as well as batch printing options that can streamline forms generation. It includes unlimited e-filing for federal and all states through the federal agency piggyback process, but does not offer separate forms for state and local reporting. The well-designed interface offers multiple data-entry options and is easy to learn and use. Tax-Mate 1099 Advisor costs $299 per year for any number of in-firm users Versions of the system for users with less complex needs start at $95.

2011 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars


Product Delivery Methods:

_X_ On-Premises

___ SaaS

___ Hosted by Vendor