Intuit — Intuit Tax Online
From the May 2012 review of professional tax compliance systems (traditional workflow).
Best Fit: Small tax practices and solo preparers with variable 1040 and business tax return volume, and also seeking mobility of web-based program.
- Web-based, anytime access
- No IT management or updating required
- Pay-Per-Return pricing, no startup costs
- Instant ramp-up/down with any number of users
- PC and Mac friendly
- Mobile app for checking status, client information, securely emailing returns
- From the makers of Lacerte and ProSeries
- Lacks integration with accounting programs
- Paperless limited to PDF output
- Client portals not offered
- No business management/billing functions
Intuit Tax Online is a web-based professional tax compliance system, providing multi-client management tools, client organizers, PDF file management and integrated banking products. The TY 2011 version has seen continued development and expansion of the system’s capabilities, including the addition of fiduciary returns to those already offered (1040, 1065, 1120 and 1120s). The program also includes diagnostics, network access and client communication tools.
Core Product Functions/Features - 4.5 Stars
As a completely web-based program, Intuit Tax Online requires no installation or startup costs, allowing preparers to get up and running quickly with access to client returns and information from any location where they have internet access. The system offers professional preparation of original and amended individual, fiduciary, partnership, C-Corp and S-Corp returns, compliance for all states and city taxes. It also has extension request forms for each, but does not support preparation of forms 990, 706 or 709. Unlimited e-filing is included with the program.
Intuit Tax Online can be used to file resident and non-resident returns for individuals, and includes calculations for passive activities, AMT, household employment taxes, suspended losses, partial rental ownership, carryovers and other special tax treatments, but does not offer K-1 data import between business and individual returns or a kiddie tax link for form 8615. Intuit Tax Online includes an MFJ/MFS comparison tool and automatically checks for AMT.
The tax preparation system opens into the user’s web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera are supported on either Mac or PC computers and devices), with the home page offering a client selection list that groups returns into individuals and business returns. Clients are automatically sorted alphabetically, and a search function is also available. Each client can have multiple returns stored in their folders, either for scenario testing or from prior years, and notes can be added at the top level of returns. The interface also offers links to view the e-file dashboard and transaction histories, as well as help and account and program settings. Management can customize the firm’s profile and user settings, including setting access rights to individual preparers.
Return preparation screens divide tasks into four categories: Enter Data, Review Data, Check Results, and File Return. These areas can be accessed from tabs at the top of the screen, with each providing different menus on the left. The majority of data entry takes place on interview style sheets that follow the layout of a traditional return, with the ability to jump to general information, payments, income, deductions, credits, taxes, other and miscellaneous forms. Although a true form-based entry mode is not available, preparers can quickly view the return in PDF format. When finalizing a return, the system allows a customized cover letter to be included with the PDF.
The Review Data section offers summary results of a client return, and the Check Results tab displays, diagnostics messages, potential data errors and suggestions, with the ability to move directly to those areas of the return. The system allows multiple client returns to be open simultaneously.