Drake Tax Software Review – One Price Gets it All
If you’re operating a tax preparation business or thinking about it, you’ll need software with which to file and calculate your clients’ returns. Drake Tax software offers a package that includes just about everything you’ll need to get going, all at an affordable price. Drake Software is easy to use, intuitive, easy to update and comes with two pricing options to make it affordable for both experienced businesses and those just starting out. Read on for our full Drake Tax Software review.
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Most of the tax preparation products we’ve reviewed were those for the consumer level – things an individual taxpayer might use to prepare his or her personal income taxes. There are a lot of people out there, however, who might have use for a professional tax preparation package and that’s where Drake tax software can be useful. Drake tax software is among the best-known in the industry, and it’s ideally suited for a small to medium sized business, with prices fine tuned to help those who are just starting out.
Drake Tax Software Overview
Most tax software, be it consumer level or professional level, is sold and priced in modules. You buy only what you need, and you pay accordingly. That’s not the case with Drake software; its essentially a complete package and it comes with a two-tiered price structure. You can pay one price up front (currently $1495) that gets you all of the features, or you can pay a smaller amount (currently $300) that gets you a package that’s about 95% similar, though the lower price only covers 15 tax returns. After that, you’ll pay $20 per return up to a maximum of 85, at which point your purchase will convert to the Drake Tax software Unlimited package. This is perfect for smaller businesses and startups, who may need to save their extra capital for other expenses. They can use the pay-as-you-go plan with Drake tax software until they get their business up and running. Otherwise, both packages include everything you need to handle Federal tax returns and those for each of the individual states. Updates and technical support are included for both versions of Drake Tax software, as is the ability to file either manually or electronically.
Drake Tax Software has a simple and easy to use user interface that makes it easy to keep track of your clients using either an SSN or an EIN. A tabbed view makes it easy to switch between screens and full diagnostics are included to provide messages should there be something in a particular return that may cause IRS problems.
Bonus software included with the Drake tax software package includes Gruntworx, which makes it easy to import scanned documents into returns, and SecureFilePro, which makes it easy to securely share files with clients. Drake tax software is available as a standalone installation or a hosted solution, which allows for automatic updates of the software.
Tech support for Drake Tax software is available online via email and through a knowledgebase available the software’s user interface. You can also contact Drake software personnel via telephone and through the company’s Website. A full PDF manual for Drake Tax software is also available for download. These tech support options are included at no charge when you purchase Drake Tax software.
The ease of use, good tech support and variable pricing make Drake tax software a wise purchase for most small to mid-sized businesses. Even those who buy the Pay Per Return package receive the same software and tech support options as those who buy the unlimited version, so users aren’t crippled in any way.
Drake Tax Software Pros and Cons
Drake Tax Software Pros
- Affordable pricing
- Great technical support online and off
- Integration with GruntWorx allows for easy data entry and minimal paperwork
- Multiple installation options – hosted, online and desktop
- Easy to use on a network
Drake Tax Software Cons
Client Write-Up and Drake Preparer Website are included in the Unlimited package but not included in the Drake Tax software Pay Per Return package (though both are available for purchase separately.)
Of course, even the best tax software has flaws that cannot be handled through software alone. Tax software isn’t all-knowing; most packages are designed to handle the usual deductions that most people routinely take. There are options to take additional deductions, provided that you know about them in the first place. No piece of tax software can replace sound tax strategy, and it’s hard to have good tax strategy when there are tens of thousands of pages in the U.S. tax code and when there are hundreds of changes annually. Most taxpayers and even most tax professionals aren’t aware of the many ways that one can legitimately pay less on their taxes by taking advantage of the many available deductions that few people know about. Keeping up with that is a full time job.
That’s why you need access to a product that will allow you to keep up with changing tax codes and apprise you of new, legal, ways to save money on your taxes. We’re not talking about a book; that would be pointless, as changes are so common that the book would be out of date immediately. Instead, we’re talking about giving you access to a product that was designed to keep track of tax saving opportunities, to keep track of changes in tax law and to keep track of how each of these things can affect you.
It turns out that most Americans could be paying less, a lot less, in taxes if they only knew about the hundreds of ways to save that aren’t generally publicized. They’re not secrets, really; they’re just things that aren’t widely known, either by taxpayers or tax professionals. Widely known or not, these tips can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your taxes, and no piece of software, including Drake tax software, can know everything.