2011 Review of American Riviera Software Corp. — Magtax Professional

American Riviera Software Corp. — Magtax Professional

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

Best Fit: Firms managing year-end compliance for multiple businesses, with built-in electronic filing for federal and supported states.


  • Comprehensive forms, reporting capabilities.
  • Output to various file formats.
  • Excellent QuickBooks integration.
  • Strong Help utility/assistive features.

Potential Limitations:

  • No built-in invoicing functionality.
  • Does not provide 940-series forms.


Magtax is designed as a multi-company year-end compliance system for professionals managing these processes for their clients. It is available in two versions, Standard and Professional, with the latter version offering more comprehensive forms support for all W-2, 1099, 1098 and 1042-S filings. The program is installed on a workstation or server, provides direct integration with QuickBooks, and offers a remote client data import utility.

Basic System Functions  (4.75 Stars)

Magtax opens to a comfortable interface, with the Dataset Manager acting as the client/payer selection screen. This screen displays general data and file location information, along with tabs for quickly accessing e-file generation tools for submitting forms to the IRS, SSA, and state and local governments. Additional tabs show files that are ready to file as well as previously filed information returns. A wizard helps with initial setup of payer information, including contacts, W-2 defaults, 1042 defaults, Maryland-specific information and data for corrected forms.

When working within client company files, the system offers additional menus at the top of the screen, allowing users to quickly access existing forms, edit or enter new ones, or import data from QuickBooks. Quick print functions and histories can also be used, and icons offer “Getting Started” tips, pointers on new features, and the ability to update the program from the vendor’s website. Recipient selection lists are separate for each entity type. The W-2 list displays summary information for all recipients, sortable by name, GL account, wages, tax and each individual form field. Users can search by column. The 1099 list offers similar summary data overviews and sort-and-search functions, along with tabs for viewing recipients of each type of 1099. New forms can be easily added using either a form replica view or the QuickAdd screen. These client management tools, along with batch printing and other features, provide excellent user navigation and reporting options.

This review is of the Professional version of Magtax, which supports up to five concurrent users, and is designed to be installed locally. However, it can be hosted by third-party ASPs for firms with remote access needs. The system can be used to manage any number of payer entities, with any number of recipients each. Magtax also offers consolidation features that enable users to quickly combine data from multiple divisions or sub entities that file as a single entity, thereby preventing multiple 1099s or other forms from being processed for the same recipients.

Reporting  (4.5 Stars)

Magtax includes free electronic filing to federal and state agencies, and can export data into formats generally accepted by local taxing jurisdictions that accept electronic filing. The system also offers printing to either preformatted stock or plain paper, with support for forms W-2 and W-3 (with corrected forms), as well as forms W-2G, 1098, 1098-C, 1098-E, 1098-T, 1096, 5498, 1042-S and the following 1099 versions: Misc, Div., Int., B, C, G, R and S. W-2 recipients can have multiple state reporting. The system does not offer forms in the 940 series.

Magtax offers batch processing across multiple companies and form families, allowing users to quickly process year-end returns at the same time for different payers. Users can generate forms W-3 and 1096 as summary reports, even when filing electronically. No managerial reporting options are available, nor does the program include built-in billing/invoicing functions. Rather, two-way integration with QuickBooks is offered for these processes. Forms can be saved to PDF, CSV and electronic file/magfile formats. The vendor does not offer outsourced print/mail services.

Import/Export Capabilities  (4.5 Stars)

Magtax offers several QuickBooks import options, including W-2 and 1099-Misc forms, other 1099 and 1098 forms, multi-state functions, and older formats. The system also imports from Excel, CSV and text files, and includes a remote client data import feature that eases data transfer between the firm and payers. No recipient portals are available.

Help/Support  (5 Stars)

Magtax has a very well-built Help utility, which includes a “getting started” guide, context-sensitive assistance, right-click menus, and task-specific Help links on all work screens, in addition to the company setup wizard. Online support options include tutorial videos, FAQs, a knowledgebase, downloadable program updates and a newsletter. The vendor’s website also provides contact information for live technical assistance, which is included with system pricing.

Summary & Pricing

Magtax has strong, two-way integration with QuickBooks that enables users to easily pass data between the systems, including assigning of GL accounts to each recipient. Electronic filing is included, and the program provides a comprehensive collection of the most commonly used year-end forms. Pricing for the Professional version is $299 per year, with renewals costing $150, including all e-filing, laser printing and other features. The Standard version is $199, with renewals costing $100.

2011 Overall Rating: 4.75 Stars


Product Delivery Methods:

_X_ On-Premises

___ SaaS

_X_ Hosted by Vendor