TaxWise Review – Simple and Intuitive
TaxWise tax preparation software is one of the best-selling products on the market for those who are interested in preparing tax returns on a professional basis. While the company doesn’t offer a consumer-level product at present, many professionals may be interested in the product, which is easy to use, easy to update and comes with good tech support. Pricing is designed to accommodate all manner of users, from the low-volume small business to the high-volume corporation that needs to prepare thousands of returns annually. If you’re looking for a good, all-in-one package of tax preparation software, TaxWise should be near the top of your short list.
TaxWise Tax Software Overview
TaxWise is offered in several packages to suit the needs of their users based on the volume of returns produced. The TaxWise ProFiling package is best for small companies handling personal returns, while the TaxWise Power package is designed for those handling returns for small businesses as well as individual. Both packages include the ability to file both Federal and state returns. Software is available for local installation or you can use the TaxWise Online software, which is based in the cloud and is always up to date with the most current version of the software. For those on a budget, just starting out, or those who simply don’t handle a lot of returns, there’s also the TaxWise Pay-Per-Return package, which has a low initial fee ($249 base) plus an additional fee of $20-$35 per return.
Users have the ability to fill out forms by either entering data directly or by using an interview-style method, where the software asks questions and you provide answers by entering data. A refund monitor appears at the top of the screen to show in-progress refund updates for customers with 1040 income. A menu tree provides easy access to all forms and schedules associated with a particular return, but a tab also provides access to all available forms.
Features used most often in TaxWise are prominently displayed, giving users easy access to those portions of the software that they’ll use the most frequently. A monitor that keeps track of tasks that have not yet been completed is also visible, making it easy for users to keep track of where they are in a particular return.
In-program Taxwise tech support is good, with right-click menu options, a help utility incorporated into the program, and a user guide. Outside of the software, users can find tech support online, where additional documentation is available. Phone support is also available during business hours, and the tech support is U.S.-based. The online TaxWise University offers additional tutorials, audio recordings, videos and interactive lessons covering use of the program as well as tax preparation in general.
TaxWise software is optimized to minimize paperwork; the software includes the ability to scan and import a number of popular documents, including W2, 1099 and 1098. These are saved as PDF files and can easily be imported into the software, which also includes the ability to make notations and comments.
Basic depreciation functions are incorporated into the TaxWise software, including 20 pre-calculated methods that include exchanges, trade ins and more. A “what if” function is also built in; this allows users to investigate potential tax situations to see how they might be resolved. The system includes good diagnostics that will alert users to potential errors or other problems regarding returns. The software also includes an invoicing system, allowing users to not only fill out their clients’ returns but also to provide a method of billing for those returns.
Pricing for TaxWise software is comparable to other commercial tax preparation software packages. The TaxWise Pay-Per-Return version is the least expensive; as we write, it was priced at $249, though an additional $300 deposit was required to cover fees for the first fifteen or so returns. Additional returns require a per-return fee. Prices for the TaxWise ProFiling or TaxWise Power packages start in the low four figures, currently ranging up to about $2500 or so. A few additional options are available; you should consult with the TaxWise Website for the particulars and pricing.
All in all, TaxWise is a good product for the small to medium-sized business that needs an all-in-one solution to handle returns and billing for clients with both Federal and state tax filing needs. Of course, like all tax software, TaxWise only knows what you tell it. It isn’t magic and can’t know everything. As such, while TaxWise will help you file your returns, it won’t help you save money. For that, you need a method of concentrating on tax strategy.
U.S. tax code is complex; so much so that few people truly understand it. There are literally thousands of ways you can save money and legitimately take deductions from your income to save money on taxes, but even the best tax preparation software doesn’t know about all of them. Most software packages can handle such deductions, but only if you know to tell it about them.
Few taxpayers realize that they’re likely paying too much in taxes every year, because they’re not taking advantages of the deductions they could be taking but don’t know about. The secret to keeping up isn’t to spend all of your time reading the tax codes, either. The secret is to find a way of keeping abreast of money-saving tips that you can put to use, but doing so in a way that isn’t confusing, or complicated but is instead presented in plain English, and not taxese or legalese.
If you know how you could be saving money, then you can tell your tax software how to make use of the deductions and you’re good to go. Any tax software is only as good as the information that you supply to it, and if you know ways of saving money and deductions that you could be taking that aren’t in the standard formulas, most software, including TaxWise, can probably handle that.
The key is that you know which deductions you could be taking. It’s not that hard.