CFS Tax Software, Inc. – CA and NY Sales Tax Preparer – 6399
Best Fit: Preparers responsible for small and mid-sized businesses with multiple locations and reporting requirements in California or New York.
- Very easy to use, and includes automatic system updates
- Built-in e-filing and payments to California
- Reports, forms, and gross summary reports can be published to PDF or paper
- Integrated client communication tools
- Multi-entity/client management
- Only handles California and New York returns
- E-filing is not natively supported for New York Returns
- Very little integration with accounting systems
The CA and NY Sales Tax Preparer systems from CFS Tax Software, which are sold and run independently, can be used to prepare returns for multiple entities. The tools are designed for preparation of sales and use tax returns, plus related filings, including main and short forms, client communication templates, state filing instructions, e-filing and payment for California returns. CFS also offers a wide range of tools, including California and Maryland business and personal property taxes, tax research, financial planning tools, Schedule D tools, live and after-the-fact payroll, W-2/1099 reporting.
Basic System Functions - 4.5 Stars
Each of the state programs operate independently, but share common design and navigation elements and form preparation functions. Each application opens into a master screen composed of panels for the client list, client folder and the module library. The client list is a basic, alphabetized list, with the ability to add or edit clients. The client information screens are familiar and easy to use, with options for managing business banking and tax ID information, as well as assignment of paid preparers, if more than one at a firm.
The module library lists all of the forms available for either California or New York, depending on the version of the program. Preparers have quick access to forms and reports, as well as labels, memos, account statements, to do lists and invoices. Users navigate to select the form, identify the filing period, and the system opens up an automatically populated form replica containing basic business information. The program calculates fields as data is entered, and offers direct access to instructions for each field.
Installation is quick and guided by simple prompts that also aide in setting up initial client and preparer/firm data. The systems can be installed on a single workstation or, with the addition of the network license, can be used by any number of preparers and staff in an office. CFS Sales Tax Preparer can be used to manage and file returns for any number of business entities.
Compliance Capabilities - 4.25 Stars
Both the California and New York Sales Tax Preparer systems offer support for all local and special taxing jurisdictions in their states, and support filings for businesses with multiple locations in these states. For the CA program, forms preparation includes: 401, 401-EZ, Schedules A, B, C, G, 1150 prepayment, and also BOE 65, 91, 101, 135-A, 230, 345, 392, 400-MCO, 400-MIP, 400-MT, 400-SPA, 401-DS, 401-E, 468, 531-G, 735, 501-ER Electronic Waste Fee, 501-TF Tire Fee, 501-TK Storage Tank Fee. The NY program offers forms ST-100, 101, 810, 809, 943, 945/1045, and Schedules A, FR H, N/N, P and W, plus Connecticut form OS-114. As noted previously, data entry is performed on form replicas that, when printed are approved for filing, and the programs offer tools for distributing sales across jurisdictions within the states.
CFS is approved by the California BOE as an e-file and e-payment system for sales and use tax, and utilizes the Direct Transmit method (XML-based) for filings. Users have the optio of performing all processing electronically, can mail paper-based filings, or file electronically and mail a check. New York’s recent changes to sales and use tax filings included a mandate for most businesses to e-file, but the state has not yet approved any integration with technology vendors, so electronic New York filers must use the state website.