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Another useful tool is the Results Finder, which can help point out potential methods to achieve a desired tax goal. The system also provides built-in calculations to evaluate tax liability from Roth conversions with multi-year distributions, AMT and ACG. The system includes the tax code for federal and all 45 states that tax income, and offers the ability to attach multiple non-resident states.
Reporting: 4.75 Stars
Planner CS provides excellent customizable reporting options, with the ability to select specific years, filter by case, or print a single tab. Built-in tools make it easy to fully tailor reports to firm and client needs, including creating client letters and adding charts or other graphics to client tax plans. A new plan listing report was added this year, giving the option of printing customized summaries that include selected details about plans.
Reports and client plans can be saved to Microsoft Word, RTF or PDF format, when used in conjunction with FileCabinet CS, Likewise, with integration with NetClient CS portals, firms can collaborate with clients and make the plans and other client deliverables accessible to them online.
Import/Export/Integration: 4.75 Stars
As noted previously, Planner CS integrates directly with many of Thomson Reuters’ other programs, including the UltraTax CS and GoSystem Tax RS preparation systems, document management and portal solutions. It cannot directly import or export data from/to other programs, but reports and letters can be saved to Word, RTF and PDF. For tax research, the system includes linking with Checkpoint and the IRS website.
Help/Support: 5 Stars
The built-in help utility includes task-specific features, right-click menus, column copying and pasting and FAQs. The online support site is fully stocked with a knowledgebase, program and implementation guides, demos, videos, tax news and access to the ARNE online user community. The company includes live technical support with program pricing.
Summary & Pricing
Planner CS provides powerful tax planning tools and analysis features designed for clients of any complexity, including those with highly diversified income. The system can be used as a stand-alone program, but its exceptional integration with other programs in the CS Professional Suite, particularly the tax and document storage systems, adds significant value to users of the suite. Pricing starts at $685 for the federal-only system, with states addable as needed.