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2013 Review of TaxWise, by CCH Small Firm Services

TaxWise by CCH Small Firm Services
(800) 755-9473

From the May 2013 review of Professional Tax Preparation systems.

TaxWise by CCH Small Firm Services
(800) 755-9473

Best Firm Fit: TaxWise is a traditional tax application which is designed for high volume 1040 and business returns which can be purchased with a range of integrated applications.


  • Includes integrations into other applications such as the Paperless Plus document storage tool, a depreciation application, a trial balance tool, and client accounting applications.
  • PaperlessPLUS Premier allows firms to extract and import information from scanned documents like W-2’s and 1099’s.
  • TaxWise includes a “training mode” so new preparers can learn how to use the application as well as handle electronic filing rejections and other issues.
  • The application supports preparation of returns in English and Spanish, and firms can access Spanish versions of forms, sample client letters, client support, and can speak with technical support in both languages.
  • TaxWise Online, a web-based version of the application available since 2006, is an option for practitioners who want to move their tax application online.
  • Multi-office and staff management tools are available.

Potential Limitations

  • Online tax organizers and client portals are not available for this product.
  • The application has limited tools for on-screen review of complex returns.


TaxWise is one of the tax applications provided by CCH Small Firm Services, and this product is focused on individual tax compliance, but also supports return preparation for businesses, non-profits, benefit plans, trusts, and estates.  Bank product support is integrated into the application, and although TaxWise users can create and print client organizers, the product does not support interactive online client organizers.

The TaxWise individual tax application supports Federal and State returns for all states and the District of Columbia. Local income tax returns are available for Michigan, Ohio, and New York City. TaxWise supports a wide range of business tax forms, including Federal forms 706, 709, 990, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, and 5500, as well as the state counterparts to each of these forms. Users can perform common calculations, such as MFJ vs. MFS, kiddie tax, and AMT computation. The software supports preparation of amended returns.

The application is available in a number of bundles, including a basic bundle which includes only 1040’s as well as other bundles which have different combinations of products, including business returns, tax research offerings, as well as some accounting and document storage tools.

Users can also purchase a separate application, PaperlessPLUS Premier which extracts data from scanned 1099’s, W-2’s, and investment statements into a format which can be imported directly into the application.

Firms with multiple offices can synchronize data across office using the TaxWise Central Office Manager, including a web-based data synchronization tool.   Users can access IRS publications and instructions as well as software help from within the product’s help function.

TaxWise includes a “training mode” which can be used by new preparers to learn more about the application as well as submit and deal with electronic filing errors. CCH Small Firm Services also produces a daily video podcast during tax season – “Good Morning SFS” where they discuss issues affecting firms and preparers.

Summary and Pricing

TaxWise offers five bundles which start at $1,049 which include plans with both per return electronic filing fees as well as unlimited electronic filing. A premium package which includes all individual and business (1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709, 990, and 5500) for Federal and all States, all electronic filing fees, as well as a research library, a fixed asset manager, a trial balance utility, as well as applications for client accounting and document storage is $3,349.

The PaperlessPLUS application is available separately, and pricing starts at $549.


2013 Ratings:

TaxWise by CCH SFS  

Core Product Functions/Features

Paperless Workflow 4.5
Integration 4.25
Help/Support 4.5
Overall Rating 4.5