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Find the Perfect Tax Software:Your Guide to Streamlining Your Tax Season

Feeling lost in a sea of tax software options? Don’t worry, Keystone is here to help! We know tax professionals come in all shapes and sizes, and finding the right software is key to your success.

For years, our team has been analyzing top tax software solutions. We prioritize your satisfaction, going beyond just selling you software. Our free, comprehensive guide simplifies the decision-making process specifically for tax professionals. Whether you’re a solo act or a large firm, this guide saves you valuable research time.

What's Inside the Guide:

  • Fast Facts: Easily compare the features and pricing of different software options in a handy chart.
  • Deep Dives: Get in-depth reviews of each software package, with clear breakdowns of strengths and weaknesses to help you choose wisely.
  • Unbiased Insights: Our team provides honest, objective reviews so you can make informed decisions.

Our Mission: Your Success

Our goal is to give you the tools and knowledge you need to conquer tax season. Whether you’re a tax pro newbie or a seasoned veteran, our guide is your trusted resource for boosting efficiency and productivity.

List of Professional Tax Software

Software Price Data Entry Style
Form | Interview All States Included
*No up charge All Federal Tax Form Included Unlimited 1040 E-file Corporate Returns
Add On
Olt Pro
Drake Software
Federal Direct Tax
Intuit ProSeries
CCH ProSystems fx
requires a long call with a salesman
requires a long call with a salesman

Tax Software Product Evaluation: A Comprehensive Checklist

Selecting the right tax software is essential for any tax professional. To empower you to make an informed decision, Keystone’s team has created this Tax Software Product Evaluation Checklist.

Essentials Information:

Ensure the software supports e-filing for direct electronic submissions to the IRS. It should also provide a comprehensive range of forms and schedules relevant to various tax scenarios, preparing you for diverse client situations. If you work across different states, confirm that state-specific modules are offered to address unique tax requirements. Stay organized with easy status tracking for both returns and client information. Finally, consider your team’s needs; multi-user access facilitates collaboration and efficient workflow management.

Platform Options:

Modern software caters to diverse working styles. Choose between a desktop option for traditional installation and offline access or a web-based solution accessible from any device with an internet connection, offering remote work flexibility.

Learning Curve:

A user-friendly interface is crucial. Look for a straightforward installation process and a quick learning curve to minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Clearly labeled and readily accessible settings and functions allow for intuitive navigation, minimizing the need for extensive training.

User Experience:

Beyond core functionalities, the software should enhance the overall tax preparation experience. Ideally, it should simplify electronic filing, saving you valuable time and effort. Additionally, look for software that acts as a guiding light, assisting you in selecting the correct forms and completing them accurately, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring client compliance.

Efficiency & Cost:

Time and cost are significant factors. Assess if the software offers workflow optimization to enable faster tax return completion without compromising accuracy, allowing you to handle a larger volume of clients. Additionally, consider the software’s impact on costs. Ideally, it should allow you to complete multiple returns or access various forms without incurring additional fees, keeping your costs under control and maximizing profitability.

Error Prevention:

Ensuring accuracy is paramount. Look for software with error detection tools to identify and prevent errors during tax preparation, minimizing the risk of mistakes that could delay filings or lead to penalties for your clients. Additionally, verify if the software includes completeness checks, confirming all necessary information is present and accurate, ensuring a smooth filing process and minimizing the risk of errors or rejections by the IRS.

Customer Support:

Reliable customer support is essential. Consider if the provider offers dedicated support services specifically catering to tax professionals, ensuring you have access to assistance when needed. Explore the available support channels (phone, email, online chat) and look for a readily accessible online support database or forum where you can find solutions to common issues or troubleshoot independently.

Information Security:

Tax preparation involves handling sensitive client information. Ensure the software prioritizes security by offering secure data transmission methods and secure and reliable storage for client information, protecting it from unauthorized access or breaches. Finally, look for software that supports advanced cybersecurity features like two-factor authentication, adding an extra layer of protection for your client’s data and mitigating the risk of cyber threats.

Add-on Services:

Some software may offer additional services that can enhance your business. For example, the software might allow integration with bank products to collect IRS refunds directly, potentially generating additional revenue streams for your practice.

A Word About Price Comparison

Choosing Tax Software: Finding the Right Value

Tax season approaches, and with it comes the question of selecting the right tax software. While features and functionality are essential considerations, affordability is equally important. This section will guide you through finding the perfect balance between price and value for your tax preparation needs.

Price vs. Value

While cost-efficiency matters, don't compromise quality for savings. Consider the feature difference between options. Tax software offers similar core functionalities, with variations in user experience, support, and additional features. These variations often influence pricing.

Understanding Pricing Strategies

Companies often use tiered pricing to target specific users. Budget-friendly options cater to new tax preparers and cost-conscious buyers. Mid-range software suits mid-sized offices, while premium editions target high-volume businesses with corporate clients.

High-End Features vs. Your Needs

Premium features in expensive software might not be necessary for smaller firms. Remember, you're looking for the best value – software that meets your specific needs at an affordable price.

Buying Smart: Discounts and Early Purchases

Many tax software products offer significant discounts if purchased before tax season. Consider buying early to take advantage of these savings. The prices listed here are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), and you might find them at a lower price point.


By following these tips, you can navigate the world of tax software with confidence, selecting a program that delivers the functionality you require at a price that fits your budget. Remember, the best tax software isn't just about the features; it's about finding the best value for your specific tax preparation needs.

Professional Tax Software Reviews

Keystone Tax Solutions

Price Range: $299 – $899

Summary: Keystone Tax Solutions provides cost-effective, straightforward, and precise tax preparation software tailored for tax professionals specializing in e-filing 1040s. Additionally, it offers an advanced package supporting corporate returns, positioned as the most economical corporate returns solution available.

Keystone Tax Solutions stands as a smaller contender in the tax preparation software market. Nonetheless, its product is proven to be as capable as any other on the market. Moreover, its user base is steadily expanding—Keystone Tax Software is currently utilized by over 10,000 tax preparers annually.

Personalized Service

Using a product that isn’t mega-popular has its perks, notably a more personalized brand of service for customers. Keystone Tax Solutions serves thousands of customers instead of hundreds of thousands, allowing the company to allocate more time and resources to each individual subscriber. Consequently, their support team can provide thorough assistance without being stretched thin.

Unsurprisingly, excellent customer service stands as one of the major selling points of Keystone Tax Solutions. According to reliable user reviews on platforms such as Google and, customers praise the company’s attentive approach, noting that they don’t brush off concerns and are always ready to assist with any issues.

Easy-to-Use Tax Software

Regarding the product itself, Keystone Tax Solutions receives positive feedback. The company offers user-friendly, feature-rich tax preparation software for both desktop and online platforms. Keystone Tax Solutions provides tax preparers with two modes for processing tax forms: data form entry mode and interview mode, ensuring flexibility and ease of use.

The software incorporates smart diagnostics to review processed returns and identify errors, ensuring 100% accuracy in tax form e-filings. Additional features include paperless filing, real-time progress reports, regular automatic backups, e-signature support, check printing, reports, and context-sensitive help.

Keystone Tax Solutions 1040 Online

Keystone Tax Solutions 1040 Online caters to small tax offices serving several hundred clients, offering free unlimited e-filing, support for 1040 tax forms, and all states included, along with bank product rebates. Perfect for professionals on-the-go, this online platform provides accessibility from anywhere and supports up to 10 users simultaneously.

Keystone Tax Solutions Desktop Products

Similar to the 1040 Online package, Keystone Tax Solutions Desktop requires installation on office computers but lacks mobility features. However, it supports unlimited user accounts, making it suitable for larger tax offices. Keystone Tax Solutions 1040 + Corporate, an advanced desktop solution, serves CPAs and EAs with support for 1040 and corporate returns, W-2/1099 forms, and prior year tax returns, all with unlimited user accounts.

Customer Support and Bank Products

Keystone Tax Solutions prioritizes customer support, offering year-round technical support at no additional cost. Customers can contact help agents via phone, email, or live chat, all based in the USA. Additionally, Keystone Tax Solutions provides bank product options for faster IRS refunds and additional revenue opportunities through partnerships with Refund Advantage, Refundo Bank, EPS Financial,  and TPG Santa Barbara. For customers in select states, Keystone Tax Solutions offers a FeeCollect option in compliance with local regulations.

For your information, Keystone Tax Solutions collaborates with TaxSlayer Pro for tax calculations and e-filing functions, enhancing its software with proprietary features.

Drake Tax Software

Price Range: $330 – $1,695 (desktop) / $99 per mo. + software license (online)

UltimateDR price: $999-$1,099

Summary: Drake offers packages that bundle together tax preparation software, office management tools, and (optionally) Drake accounting software. Note that in addition to each package, a subscriber still needs to purchase a Drake Tax 2020 software license to be able to e-file 2020 tax returns.

Focuses on speedy tax preparation via automatic form filling and offers multiple tax-year analysis. Plays well with Drake Accounting software.

This year, Drake Tax offers several software packages that include Drake Tax 2012-2019, Drake Tax Planner, Drake Documents, Drake Scheduler, a collection of various tax forms, all State returns, and Drake Accounting Pro 2022 (Power Bundle only).

When you purchase one of these packages, you have the option to add Drake Tax 2020 for an additional software license payment of $300 ($330 for the Pay-Per-Return version). Drake Tax 2020 adds the functionality to e-file and print 2020 tax returns.

Drake Tax Packages

In total, there are four Drake Tax software packages. Three packages offer versions of Drake on the Desktop, which has to be installed on your computer. One package is available for Drake in the Cloud, which is an online application.

Here’s a breakdown of the Drake Tax price/package options:

Power Bundle Unlimited Pay-Per-Return Cloud-Hosted
Drake on the Desktop + Drake Accounting Pro 2022
Drake on the Desktop

$675 ($23
per return)

MyTaxPrepOffiDrake in the Cloudce

$99/month per use (plus $300 for
software license)

To simplify the price breakdown, the cost of the Drake Tax 2020 software license is included in the price shown for each package. The price breakdown shown on the Drake Software website looks different because the Drake Tax 2020 license fee is listed separately there.

Drake Accounting Add-On Option

Drake Accounting Pro 2022 can be purchased as an add-on for Drake on the Desktop Unlimited or Drake on the Desktop Pay-Per-Return (PPR). The cost of the add-on is $395 for Unlimited and $495 for the PPR version.

Drake in the Cloud supports hosting for the Drake Accounting application. But take note that Drake Accounting Pro is not included in this particular package. It will need to be purchased separately at the full price of $795.

Clearly, the Power Bundle is the best-value Drake Tax package—assuming that the subscriber wants to get both Drake Tax and Drake Accounting Pro. If you only want to purchase the tax preparation software, then the other packages may appear more attractive.

Drake on the Desktop

Whatever package you choose, Drake on the Desktop will equip you with a set of various software tools. These include a digital filing cabinet for documents, a tax planner app, and a scheduler. Basically, the package includes a few office management software applications.

Drake on the Desktop also provides e-filing functionality. The software supports the following tax forms and schedules: 1040, 1040 NR, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1120H, 706, 709, 990, 1041. All standard State returns are included as well.

Drake Tax also offers 12 tax forms in the Spanish language. The supported tax forms in Spanish include W-4, W-7, 2350, and 13844.

Tax Prep Features and Tools

Drake Tax is your basic tax preparation software. It is designed to make the process of completing a return more efficient and streamlined. The software can automatically calculate a return as you fill out the data fields. You can set up shortcut keys and macros to speed up tax return data entry tasks.

One Drake Tax feature, Look Back, lets you view the prior year’s tax return data. You can easily compare it with the current year’s return. With a keyboard shortcut, you can toggle between Look Back and the current view.

DoubleCheck is the name of Drake Tax’s diagnostic tool. It can track any changes that affect verified data entry items. If DoubleCheck detects such changes, it will automatically flag the entry for review.

You can further speed up tax preparation using optional hardware add-ons. These include an e-signature pad and a 2D barcode scanner. The signature pad can simplify electronic tax filing by letting clients digitally sign returns. The barcode scanner enables importing data from W-2s or K-1s with 2D barcodes.

Drake in the Cloud

The online software package includes cloud-based hosting on the Right Networks accounting platform. Every user account receives 40 GB of cloud storage.

Using Right Networks, Drake in the Cloud can be accessed on any computer with a broadband Internet connection (1.5Mbps speed or better). Drake promises 99.95% availability of their cloud-based tax prep solution.

Drake in the Cloud supports Microsoft 365, but you must provide your own Microsoft 365 license. For an additional fee (unstated), you can add the Foxit PhantomPDF application. It is used to edit PDF files. You can also purchase and add applications that are compatible with the Right Networks accounting platform.

Customer Support and UltimateDR

If a subscriber has issues using the tax preparation software, they can get support via phone or email. The Drake web site also hosts a knowledge base of troubleshooting information.

Bank product integration does not appear to be a feature of Drake Tax at this time.

Drake Tax Software is purchasable through the official Drake Tax site. You can also purchase Drake through Keystone Tax Solution for a much lower price.

Drake is offered under the UltimateDR package at $999. This package supports unlimited e-filing of individual income tax returns. For an additional $100, you can add support for corporate returns and other features to help your tax preparation business serve corporate clients.


Price Range: $599 – $2,739 (desktop) / $299-$1,729+ (online)

Summary: TaxWise still provides distinct desktop and software based packages, with the online application specialized in the processing of individual 1040 returns. Add-ons like a mobile app are available at an extra cost.

TaxWise software provides basic tax preparation tools that can be supplemented by add-on features such as a mobile app and a refund estimator.

Comparing TaxWise with Keystone Tax Solution shows that the tax software programs offer similar features: on-premise and online application options, form-entry and interview modes, interface customization, diagnostics, online tax preparation and bank product integration.

Price Breakdown for TaxWise

With the two products sharing many similarities, customers are left to look at how their prices compare. TaxWise has fairly competitive market pricing, but it remains significantly more expensive than its Keystone Tax Solution counterpart across several categories of price and package.

Here is a quick look at the TaxWise price/package options:

Unlimited 400 Package 100 Package Pay-Per-Return
TaxWise Desktop
$648-948 ($20 per 1040)
TaxWise Online
$338 ($20 per 1040)

You might notice that the prices above are not the same as the prices listed on the Wolters Kluwer site. That’s because they have been adjusted to include the processing fees listed in the fine details of the product descriptions.

Also note that the pay-per-return package for the desktop includes an additional non-refundable $300 deposit. This gets allocated to paying fees for e-filing individual income tax forms.

TaxWise Desktop Pay-Per-Return

TaxWise Desktop’s Pay-Per-Return package supports individual Federal returns and one State return. You can purchase additional State return support. The rate is $12 per State. As for business returns, this package supports Federal and one State, with the cost for additional ones at $18 per state. Business e-filing costs $35 per return.

TaxWise Desktop supports the preparation and filing of the following tax forms: 1040, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 706, 709, 990, 5500. TaxWise Online supports 1040 filing.

Purchasing Add-On Features

Software users can shell out a little more to activate additional features. The TaxWise Mobile add-on costs an extra $399 to give you access to a mobile app which integrates with the online software. (As of this review, TaxWise Mobile does not work with the desktop software. You may check with your Wolters Kluwer sales rep to find out if this has changed.)

Adding $99 will net you a Refund Estimator. This sets up a customizable website that works like a very basic client portal. Tax preparers can direct clients to check out the website to get a quick estimate of their federal refund.

Adding $155 will activate Return Retrieval, a file backup system. The feature description on the Wolters Kluwer site is somewhat vague, but promises that tax returns of the current year and two prior years can be restored from backup via Return Retrieval. If having this safeguard matters to you, be sure to have a chat with your Wolters Kluwer sales agent to learn more about how it works.

A Strategic Approach

It’s a little funny that a tax software product so simple and straightforward should offer all these complicated pricing, packaging and add-on options. TaxWise feels like it is stretching itself a bit far to accommodate many types of tax preparation businesses. Back in 2020, TaxWise offered only three desktop packages: TaxWise Pay-Per-Return, TaxWise ProFiling and TaxWise Power (the premium package). Now, there are four.

Then again, software companies need to react to changes in technology, consumer preferences, and market realities. With 2020 having been a pivotal year in many respects, Wolter Kluwers must certainly be banking on this new approach to prove a strategically sound response.

TaxWise Software Functions

Getting back to the tax software itself, TaxWise indeed has a simple and straightforward look and feel. Maybe not exactly a “jump into it” ease of use, but you get a relatively short learning curve to deal with. Main functions are navigated via the dashboard, from which you can get to the tax returns, the e-filing area, text and email messaging, and the digital reports.

TaxWise offers both standard tax form entry and interview mode. The interview mode provides guide questions for a new user or new tax preparer working to complete a tax form. It assists one in filling out the tax information correctly without skipping anything of importance. The diagnostics tool adds an extra layer of accuracy checking to prevent errors that may result in rejected e-filings.

Help and Support

A number of help and support options are packaged into your TaxWise subscription. The CCH® AnswerConnect Mini Package provides reference materials. It lets users access the U.S. Master Tax Guide and primary sources. TaxWise subscribers can also browse the TaxWise Online Education Video Library. All kinds of tutorial and training videos can be explored to expand users’ understanding of the software and the tax preparation process.

Customer support is available via a Solution Center on the Wolters Kluwer web site. The center hosts a troubleshooting knowledge base and “ask the community” section. You can also chat with a virtual representative or call the customer support desk.

Bank Products and Language Support

TaxWise offers bank product integration with the following partners: Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG), 3Fund, Republic Bank, Refund Advantage and EPS.

As for Spanish language support: TaxWise provides over 60 forms and schedules in Spanish. Bilingual customer support is available.


Price Range: $599 – $2,739 (desktop) / $299-$1,729+ (online)

Summary: CrossLink software is pitched at high-volume retail tax preparation businesses. Its flagship product is CrossLink 1040 Desktop. An online software version is available, but its web documentation is limited—you will need to try the demo to learn its features.

CrossLink markets itself as a professional software solution for high-volume tax return preparation. It is available on desktop and online platforms. The flagship desktop version, CrossLink 1040, is designed for processing individual income tax returns.

If you want to prepare business returns, you have several options. You can purchase CrossLink 1040 Pay-Per-Return (PPR) and add on CrossLink Business Pay-Per-Return. Alternatively, you can purchase CrossLink 1040 Desktop and CrossLink Business as a joint package.

As of this review, a joint package featuring CrossLink 1040 Online and CrossLink Business appears to be unavailable. You can try contacting CrossLink directly to see if there has been any update.

Price Breakdown for CrossLink

The following chart will help you understand the various CrossLink price/package options.

Unlimited Pay-Per-Return PPR + Business Pay-Per-Return Standard
CrossLink 1040 Desktop
$349 (includes first 5 returns, $40 per Federal individual return, $35 per State individual return)
$898 ($65 per Federal business return, $60 per State business return)
CrossLink 1040 Desktop + CrossLink Business
$2,095 ($35 per Federal business return, $0 per State business return)
CrossLink 1040 Online
$349 (includes first 5 returns, $40 per Federal individual return, $35 per State individual return)

The chart includes price adjustments made to reflect the true costs of each package. The prices shown on the CrossLink web site will differ because the various costs are listed separately.

For example, the price of CrossLink 1040 PPR + Business PPR on the vendor’s site shows the price of the Business PPR add-on. But the actual price includes the price of CrossLink 1040 PPR as well as the add-on.

The CrossLink Business packages require you to pre-purchase CrossLink 1040 Desktop. So the price on the chart above reflects the price of the 1040 desktop software in addition to the business tax software.

CrossLink 1040 Desktop

CrossLink 1040 features an attractive interface that should appeal to the tech inclined. The desktop program needs to be installed on a computer with a Windows 8 or Windows 10 operating system.


It provides the usual set of digital tools for tax preparation. The software aims to increase the efficiency of tax return processing while maintaining a high degree of accuracy. The CrossLink diagnostics tool is called Point-and-Shoot Error Correction™. It conveniently leads you straight to data entry errors to ensure you won’t end up with an unacceptable return.


If you have an EFIN, you can use the program for e-filing. CrossLink provides a Work-In-Progress Screen that allows instant status checks on e-filed returns. You will be able to view IRS acknowledgements and rejections soon after they take place.

CrossLink 1040 supports automatic tax calculators that can handle all states, all city tax returns and home-based business filing for Schedules A, C, E, F, and K-1, plus Forms 2106 and 4835.

CrossLink Business

CrossLink Business is available in a joint package with the 1040 desktop software. This professional tax solution works to streamline the process of calculating tax forms for your corporate clients. It is meant to be used by tax offices that handle high volumes of returns.

One nifty feature is the project management dashboard for accessing multi-office tax preparation tasks. You can set up sub-sites that can all be supervised from a single location. You can view all returns processed to help your tax preparation business maintain quality assurance.

The software supports data entry via electronic signature pads and handheld scanners. You can scan tax documents and associate them with a specific client’s tax return. This can make it easier for you to run a paper-light or paperless office.

CrossLink Business also features QuickBooks and Xero integration.

CrossLink 1040 Online

The online version of Crosslink 1040 is described as both “simple” and “powerful”—it is marketed to both new tax preparers and established tax offices. CrossLink emphasizes the scalability of its online software. It promises to support a tax business as it grows from a single office to a multi-office company.

CrossLink 1040 Online can be used on various devices that have broadband Internet access. You can use the software on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

The CrossLink web site does not provide too many details about the online software’s features. You should check out the CrossLink 1040 Online demo to learn more about what the product can do. The demo is available on the product page on the vendor’s site.

Mobile Apps, Bank Products and Tech Support

If you subscribe to a CrossLink package, you get free access to a couple of mobile apps for iPhones or Android phones. One is a Taxpayer mobile app that is meant to be used by your clients. One is an ERO app that you can use for tax office management.

CrossLink supports the Santa Barbara TPG family of bank products.

The company provides technical support through phone, fax and email. The official website provides various product and training videos (these are hosted on YouTube).

Intuit ProSeries

Price Range: $539 – $2,602 (desktop) / pay-per-return (online)
Summary: ProSeries Basic is restricted to 1040s only, which feels too limiting given the product’s price point. ProSeries Professional supports individual and business returns. Cloud hosting is available as an add-on to ProSeries Professional for an additional fee.

Intuit is a well-known company in the accounting world. It is best known for its QuickBooks software, a widely-used application among accounting offices. Intuit ProSeries includes a data transfer feature for QuickBooks offices. The question remains: does this feature set ProSeries apart from other professional tax software options?


Simply put, a tax pro will be able to transfer data directly from the QuickBooks desktop program to the ProSeries desktop version. Someone using QB Online will be able to transfer data to the ProSeries online version. In both cases, a data verification process remains necessary—and that verification process can take a fair amount of time. By itself, the data transfer feature is not enough to place ProSeries ahead of other tax software options.


ProSeries Basic vs ProSeries Professional

Intuit ProSeries comes in two desktop-only versions, ProSeries Basic and ProSeries Professional. A cloud hosting service is available to ProSeries Professional subscribers for an additional fee. The service is not offered to ProSeries Basic users.


ProSeries Basic is quite limited (as detailed below). Tax preparers will get more out of ProSeries Professional, which offers QuickBooks data transfers, support for multi-user access and a Schedule K-1 import feature. Both ProSeries versions support tax return e-filing if you have a registered EFIN.


ProSeries Basic only provides Form 1040 filing. Most tax preparers will find this inadequate for servicing the needs of a diverse clientele. Indeed, almost one-third of ProSeries Basic customers (29%) singled out its lack of forms as a serious inconvenience, according to a 2017 CPA Journal survey. As many as 207 survey respondents said that they switched from ProSeries to a different taxes software for professional purposes—with the majority going to UltraTax or Drake.


One key deciding factor for any purchaser is value for price. With an MSRP of $865, ProSeries Basic offers less compared to many tax preparation solutions at a similar (or lower) price point. For example, Keystone Tax Solution 1040 + Corporate supports 1040s and corporate forms at the price of $888.

Price Breakdown for Intuit ProSeries

The following price/package chart shows the flagship ProSeries offerings (a couple of specialized offerings are omitted, as their prices are not given).
Basic 20 Basic 50  50Basic Unlimited Pay-Per-Return 1040 Complete
ProSeries Basic
ProSeries Professional
$566 ($49 per 1040, $46 per State return)
$2,732 ($49 per 1040, $46 per State return)
CrossLink 1040 Online
$23.98-$47.48 per 1040, $29.98-$58.98 per business return (variable pricing based on volume)

ProSeries Basic 20 lets you file up to 20 returns (1040 only). Basic 50 lets you file up to 50. If you go over these limits, you will pay $49 per Form 1040 filed. In addition, the fine print says this: “A one-time annual pay-per-return license fee of $566 is applied if no unlimited bundles or modules are licensed in conjunction with a pay-per-return order.”


ProConnect Tax Online is a cloud-based tax preparation platform. Users pay per e-filed return, with the price varying depending on the volume of returns. If you plan to e-file over 300 forms in a single tax year, you may be eligible for special pricing—call Intuit customer service to discuss it.

ProSeries Professional at a Glance

ProSeries Professional is a tax preparation solution that includes support for 3,500 tax forms and schedules. It is available in four software packages, including Pay-Per-Return (which charges $49 per 1040/1040 NR filing and $46 per state return) and 1040 Complete (allowing unlimited 1040 returns but charging $49 per 1040 NR return and $46 per state return).


Two of the ProSeries Professional packages, Choice 200 and Power Tax Library, are not priced on the Intuit web site. You have to call an 844 number and speak with a sales representative about the pricing of these options. For your information, ProSeries Choice 200 is offered only to new customers.

Add-Ons for ProSeries Professional

ProSeries Network Sharing is available as an add-on to ProSeries Professional (but not Basic). Getting it will update your ProSeries subscription to the network version. This will enable file sharing and synchronization for all users of your ProSeries subscription. Essentially, the Network Sharing feature enables multi-user access to your ProSeries application.


As previously noted, a cloud hosting service can be added to your ProSeries Professional account. If you get this add-on, you will have to pay a monthly subscription to use it. Once you purchase it, you will automatically be charged the subscription fee every month unless you call customer service to cancel it.


The actual subscription price of the cloud service is not stated on the Intuit website. You need to call Intuit customer service or request an online consultation to initiate a discussion on the subscription pricing.

ProConnect Tax Online

Intuit provides a cloud-based professional tax preparer software option. ProConnect Tax Online is accessible via any standard web browser. According to customer reviews on TrustRadius, ProConnect demonstrates accuracy and ease of use, but the software has a clunky interface and it is not a good fit for processing a high volume of returns.


ProConnect lets you use the software and pay per return e-filed. You have a choice of several pay-per-return packages, which charge variably depending on volume of returns. ProConnect offers packages for individual returns and for business returns.

Tech Support and Bank Products

ProSeries subscribers enjoy access to Intuit’s reliable help and support resources. The official Intuit website hosts a Customer Help Center. You can check it out to find useful information about ProSeries. It provides FAQs, knowledge articles and ProSeries tutorial videos. You can also request help from a live community of ProSeries users.


Telephone, email and chat support options are also available, with customer support costs bundled into the ProSeries software pricing.


Intuit ProSeries supports bank products from the following partners: Santa Barbara Tax Products Group and Refund Advantage!

TaxSlayer Pro

Price Range: $1,195 – $1,495 (desktop) / $1,395 (online)
Summary: TaxSlayer Pro Classic and Web software would be best suited for Form 1040 filing. For a more comprehensive corporate tax solution, you want to get TaxSlayer Pro Premium for desktop or the Corporate add-on for Web.
TaxSlayer Pro hasn’t seen many changes since last year. The packages and prices are still the same. The professional tax software is available in three versions: Classic, Premium and Web. All three versions include free unlimited 1040 e-filing for tax preparers with an EFIN.

Here are the TaxSlayer Pro packages and prices in a simple chart:

TaxSlayer Pro Classic TaxSlayer Pro Premium TaxSlayer Pro Web

TaxSlayer also offers the Pro Web + Corporate package. TaxSlayer Pro Web alone works better for individual tax return filing. Getting the Corporate add-on will provide you with corporate tax return preparation software. Pricing is not stated. You need to call a sales rep to discuss your Pro Web + Corporate package and how it will be priced.

TaxSlayer Pro on the Desktop

TaxSlayer Pro Classic is software for the tax preparer who files a lot of individual tax forms. It includes support for unlimited Form 1040 processing and free unlimited e-filing. All State returns are included. Classic also supports the following forms: 706, 709, 990, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120-S, 5500


Other features of TaxSlayer Pro Classic include online bank integration, cloud-based reporting, multiple user access, a client retention database and an IRS refund estimation tool.

TaxSlayer Pro Premium offers the same features as Classic, and also includes corporate tax software. Basically, this package is for the tax preparer who needs more advanced software tools that can help you deal with the special needs of corporate tax returns.

Premium adds paperless office solutions. You can scan and save documents as digital files. You can export and save tax returns in the PDF file format. Other features include TaxesToGo® mobile app support, digital signature support, tax return status checking and a client portal app. Clients can use the mobile app or the client portal to securely send electronic documents to your tax practice.

Premium also provides an adpack with printable media you can brand with your company name—promotional handouts, direct mail templates and promotional e-mail templates.

TaxSlayer Pro on the Cloud

TaxSlayer Pro Web is a cloud-based application that has the same features as Premium, except it does not include corporate tax software. It supports e-filing, web bank integration, cloud-based reporting, multiple user access, refund estimation, paperless office solutions, TaxesToGo® Mobile App support, digital signature support, tax return status checking and a client portal app.

This version is ideal for tax pros who work remotely, or who require more mobility. TaxSlayer Pro Web works in your browser. You can access it anywhere as long as you have a broadband internet connection.

Tech Support and Bank Products

The TaxSlayer Pro website hosts a searchable information base with solutions to problems related to their desktop and cloud-based software. Customers can also check out instructional videos and help articles, or access complimentary email and live phone support.

TaxSlayer Pro supports several bank products, including Republic Bank, EPS Tax, Refund Advantage, Santa Barbara TPG and Refundo.

TaxAct Professional Edition

Price Range: $140 – $1,600 (desktop)

Summary: TaxAct Professional Edition provides desktop solutions that include a 1040 Bundle for filing individual federal returns. To file business returns, you can purchase the Complete Bundle. It does not offer an online software version.

TaxAct used to emphasize its scalable pricing coupled with its low-cost Pay-Per-Return version of its Professional Edition. The current TaxAct website has no mention of the Pay-Per-Return e-filing option. It appears to highlight its TaxAct Professional bundles.

It looks like TaxAct is adjusting its product offerings, or at least making changes to its marketing strategy. Either way, it is a little unclear whether the prior year’s Pay-Per-Return version is still an available option. Under that Pay Per Return option, users paid $15 for every e-filed federal return and $35 per state.

If you want to go with the PPR version, you will have to call a TaxAct sales agent to find out what they can offer.

Price Breakdown of the TaxAct Professional Edition Bundles

Here are the TaxSlayer Pro packages and prices in a simple chart:

Bundle Enterprise Bundle
BundleEnterprise Bundle1040 Edition
Complete Edition (1040, 1041, Business & 990)

You can also purchase Professional Federal Editions. This will add support for an unlimited number of 2021 Federal tax forms. Each Federal return must be purchased separately at $150 per Federal Edition. Available forms include 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S and 990.

State returns are not included with the Professional Federal Editions and must be purchased separately. Available 2021 State Editions include 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120 and 1120S. The price of each State Edition is $35.

Features of TaxAct Professional Edition

If you have used TaxAct Professional Edition before, the current iteration will be very familiar. It offers the usual e-filing, tax planning tools, professional report tools and a client manager.

Software Assistants make it easy to figure out what to do. The Assistants guide the user through the tax return data entry process. You can get help from a topics assistant and a stock assistant. An import wizard provides a tool to quickly transfer data from a different software application.

1040 Bundle vs Complete Bundle

The TaxAct 1040 Bundle gives you unlimited 1040 Federal return e-filing. The bundle also includes all State 1040s. The base 1040 Bundle limits you to a single user license, but you can purchase a 1040 Enterprise Bundle that adds multi-user networking, online data backup and an optional cloud storage service for your files.

Both 1040 Bundles are geared toward tax pros who file a high volume of 1040 returns. The tax preparer who needs to file other types of tax returns will have two options. One option is to purchase Professional Federal Editions as they are needed. Purchasing a Federal Edition adds support to your choice of the following forms: 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 990

Another option is to purchase the Complete Bundle. It supports unlimited e-filing of 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120S, 1120 and 990 Federal returns along with all State returns. Again, the base bundle limits you to a single user license.

The Complete Enterprise Bundle will give you multi-user networking, online data backup and an optional cloud storage solution.

Tech Support and Bank Products

Technical support is available through phone and email. Customers can also consult a tax pro knowledge base hosted on the TaxAct website.

TaxAct Professional features bank product integration with the Republic Bank refund transfer program.

Olt Pro

Price Range: $749 (desktop) / $399-$649 (online)

Summary: Olt Pro started out as a cloud-based tax preparation solution, but now it also offers desktop software. It could stand to be more user-friendly. Not ideal for high volumes of corporate returns.

Olt Pro started out as a web-based tax preparation platform. It has also developed a desktop version with similar capabilities. If you have been using Olt Pro, you will find that it has not changed greatly compared to last year. This goes for both the online and desktop applications.

You can choose between three different Olt Pro plans:

Olt Pro 25 Return Olt Pro Web Olt Pro Desktop

Olt Pro 25 Return

Olt Pro 25 Return is available as a web application only. This product is best suited for tax preparers who handle a low volume of returns. It will only allow you to register up to 25 e-filings with the IRS.

Olt Pro 25 supports individual 1040, 1040NR, 1120, 1120S, 1065, 1041, 2290, 990, 720 and 8849 filing along with all state tax returns. E-filing is free.

With this plan, you also get free customer support and a multi-user setup. Olt Pro 25 Return certainly has attractive features. But the limit on returns is too restrictive for most tax practices, and makes it difficult to expand your client base. It is up to you to decide whether this undercuts its value for your tax office.

Olt Pro Web

The flagship product appears to be Olt Pro Web. As the name suggests, it is a web-only application. You get the same functionality as Olt Pro 25 Return, with the addition of support for unlimited returns. You also get business and corporate tax forms under this plan.

Olt Pro Web has a fast working interface with a clean, spare UI. While this minimalist interface is quick-loading, it appears to be lacking in guidance features. During the data entry process in form mode, you can be presented with a large number of options. It can be confusing to a new tax preparer. If you are a seasoned tax pro, this might not be an issue.

Overall, this web-based tax preparation software is fast and feature-heavy, but can be confusing and awkward to use. It could stand to be more user-friendly.

Olt Pro Desktop

Olt Pro Desktop is, of course, the desktop version of Olt Pro Web, though it does add several helpful features. These include corporate income tax filing, data backup (to your computer), networking capability and a document manager. It can only be installed on Windows computers.

The desktop software gives users a choice of data entry modes. It offers the usual direct data entry mode. Users can also opt to use Olt Pro Desktop’s interview mode. This mode can assist tax pros with conducting client consultations. It can guide them on getting all the information they need. And afterwards, enter that info into the correct data fields on the client’s tax return.

One question is, why does the web application lack so many of the features that come with the desktop software? It is possible that Olt Pro, which started out as a web-based solution, has a large number of Olt Pro Web users. Perhaps the company needs to make its desktop product comparatively more appealing.

Another question is, why does the data backup feature store the backup in your computer? It would be better to employ a cloud-based backup solution. This seems like an odd choice for a company that began as a web application provider.

Other Services

Customer service includes toll-free phone support, remote support (online), and email support. Olt Pro also provides access to a web-hosted knowledge base with answers to various tax questions.

Olt Pro’s website shows that all products include support for bank products. But the bank product providers are not specified.


Price Range: $597 – $4,485 (desktop only)

Summary: Tax professionals software that provides a large number of IRS forms and schedules including most business tax forms. It lacks an online application. Best suited for tax pros who require regular access to a wide variety of tax forms.

ATX by Wolters Kluwer is a fairly pricey but feature-loaded professional tax software solution. It is probably best suited to a large tax preparation firm that caters to big corporate clients.

One of its top features is support for a comprehensive tax form library. Subscribers can access around 6,000 tax compliance forms, including most business returns. Along with the tax pro library, ATX provides a couple of research resources for finding information quickly. These include the U.S. Master Tax Guide and the CCH® AnswerConnect service (different services are tied to different packages).

Price Breakdown for ATX Tax Software Packages

Here’s a chart showing the price/package options for ATX professional tax software:

ATX Pay–Per–Return System ATX 1040 ATX MAX ATX Total Tax Office ATX Advantage
$674 ($32 per individual return, $57 per business return)
$839 (with 75 free e-filings, then $5.50 per return)
$1,929 (with 75 free e-filings, then $5.50 per return + pay-per-return for business)
$2,869 (with 75 free e-filings, then $5.50 per return + pay-per-return for business)
$4,699 (with 75 free e-filings, then $5.50 per return + pay-per-return for business)

The Wolters Kluwer web site does not appear to specify the rates for filing returns under the Pay–Per–Return option. The prices shown in the chart reflect the PPR filing costs from last year.

Also, note that the base price for the ATX Pay–Per–Return System is $629. But subscribers also need to pay a processing fee of $45. That is reflected in the price on the chart.

Optional Add-On Features

The ATX Advantage package is the only one that already includes the following features:

  • Advanced Calculations and Compliance ($549 value)
  • Enhanced Asset Management ($350 value)
  • Concierge Care
  • Conversion Services

Subscribers of other packages can purchase either of the first two features as an add-on. As you can see, it costs $549 to add on Advanced Calculations and Compliance and $350 to add on Enhanced Asset Management.

Return Retrieval is another purchasable add-on. This provides a secure backup solution to guard against the loss of client files. Something that every high-volume tax practice really needs to have. Subscribers can get this add-on for the price of $155.

ATX 1040 Overview

ATX 1040 is the most affordable option if the PPR version is no longer available. This package is limited to three States and 75 free e-filings.

The software has a forms-based interface that is easy to use. You also get in-line help options on the tax form entry screen. And ATX provides two alternative ways for filling out the electronic tax form. Users can choose the direct entry method or the interview method, a feature added to the software last year.

ATX 1040 comes with a research tool, CCH® AnswerConnect Primary Sources. Note that it is not as comprehensive as the research tools included in the higher-priced software packages.

Other features include E-Signature support, payroll compliance reporting and the Check Return Track diagnostics tool for returns.

Other ATX Packages

ATX Max is the company’s most popular package. This ATX software version includes all state and federal returns along with unlimited free e-filing. Overall it has the same features you will find in ATX 1040. But for its research tool, ATX Max carries the CCH® AnswerConnect Prime Package.

ATX Total Tax Office offers almost the same bundle of features as ATX Max. The primary difference is the inclusion of the most comprehensive research tool option, the CCH® AnswerConnect Expert Package.

ATX Advantage is the same, but also includes concierge care and conversion services. Enhanced Asset Management and Advanced Calculations and Compliance come with this package⁠—no need to purchase them as add-ons.

You Should Also Know…

ATX customers can call a tech support line or email for help and information. Subscribers are not charged additional fees for customer support.

One thing ATX is lacking is an online or mobile version of their professional tax software. You will be tied to a desktop if you go with ATX.


Price Range: $495 – $1,095 (online)

Summary: Cloud-based system suitable for virtual tax offices. Also handy for in-person consultations with clients. No corresponding desktop application available.

From the start, MyTAXPrepOffice has been pitched at remote teams working together as a virtual office. It offers a cloud-based tax preparation app that runs in your web browser. Users can access their MyTAXPrepOffice account from a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device.

If you’re wondering whether they offer a desktop-based application… well, no. Fortunately, you can set the tax software to offline mode, allowing you to work on a project even when you can’t access an online connection. When you do get a connection, MyTAXPrepOffice will sync with the cloud. This will update your project with the changes you made in offline mode.

Given the shift to virtual office setups driven by the pandemic response, MyTAXPrepOffice is in a good position to answer the needs of today’s remote workers. Though it is not alone in this. UltimateTax, Olt Pro and other applications are also viable options for a virtual tax office.

Price Breakdown for MyTAXPrepOffice

MyTAXPrepOffice only offers three plans:

Individual Pro Essential Plan Unlimited Plan

Individual Pro gives you a single user account and 5GB of cloud storage. It supports free unlimited e-filing (individual 1040s only), Federal and all States included. Other features include a client portal and a signature app.

The price is attractive, but the plan is fairly limited. If you want to file business returns, you would have to go with the Essential or Unlimited Plan.

Essential Plan vs Unlimited Plan

These two plans are very similar, although one is clearly aimed at small to medium businesses, and the other to a fairly large tax practice.

Essential Plan includes the features of Individual Pro, and adds support for business returns. It can be used to prepare the following tax forms: 1065, 1120, 1120S, 1041, 990, 706 and 709

Note that the Essential Plan is good for only two users and 10GB of storage. You can add extra users at $20 per account, and extra storage for $20 per 5GB.

The Unlimited Plan has the same features, plus it includes unlimited user accounts and unlimited cloud storage. MyTAXPrepOffice touts the Unlimited Plan as a multi-office management solution. It is well suited to a company running multiple teams of remote workers.

Features of MyTAXPrepOffice Web Software

MyTAXPrepOffice uses a dashboard that displays widgets that perform various actions. You can configure the dashboard to display only the widgets you want. Available widgets include Recent Returns, E-File Summary, E-File Status, Rejected Summary, News Summary, Financial Products and Appointment List. You can also customize the dashboard layout and the color settings to match your preferences.

The Instant Form View feature lets you and your client both view the form in real time. The client will be able to see what you see, including data entries on their tax return and other such changes. If you set up a client portal with MyTAXPrepOffice, you can ask your clients to send you documents via the portal. This provides a more secure way of obtaining client files and information.

MyTAXPrepOffice users can fill tax forms using a direct data entry mode. They can also choose to use an interview mode. While you are in the process of preparing a return, you can consult the Guide Me feature. It provides help information that explains specific form requirements in detail.

Other Services

MyTAXPrepOffice provides technical and training resources on its website. It hosts daily live webinars as well as a library of instructional videos.

Customers can seek assistance in several ways, including phone, email and chat support.

MyTAXPrepOffice supports the following integrated bank products: EPS Navigator, Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG) and Refund Advantage.

Tech Support and Bank Products

ProSeries subscribers enjoy access to Intuit’s reliable help and support resources. The official Intuit website hosts a Customer Help Center. You can check it out to find useful information about ProSeries. It provides FAQs, knowledge articles and ProSeries tutorial videos. You can also request help from a live community of ProSeries users.


Telephone, email and chat support options are also available, with customer support costs bundled into the ProSeries software pricing.


Intuit ProSeries supports bank products from the following partners: Santa Barbara Tax Products Group and Refund Advantage!

UltraTax CS

Price Range: $2,500 for the Express version, must request a quote for the standard version

Summary: Powerful tax preparation software best used in combination with other CS Professional suite programs. After your initial purchase, expect annual price increases when you renew (at least for the express plan).

UltraTax CS is standalone software, but it also happens to belong to the Thomson Reuters CS Professional family of applications. While it can be used on its own, it provides better value if you are using CS Professional Suite or other Thomson Reuters products.

The tax prep software integrates smoothly with the other applications, which also include Onvio cloud software, Checkpoint tax resources and ONESOURCE corporate tax compliance solutions.

UltraTax CS can be a good option for a tax office that processes a high volume of returns—in the hundreds or higher. Thomson Reuters used to offer the UltraTax CS Express 250 plan for small tax practices that will file 250 or fewer returns. As of this review, it has been replaced by the new UltraTax CS Express 100, which limits users to 100 individual 1040 returns—and which is priced the same ($2,500) as the 250 plan.

Price Breakdown for UltraTax CS

The Thomas Reuters website only shows two options for UltraTax CS plans:

UltraTax CS Express 100 UltraTax CS Express
Must request quote

Important note: The price of $2,500 for UltraTax CS Express 100 is only the initial price for when you first license the software. As Thomas Reuters further specifies, “The initial purchase price will be subject to standard annual price increases upon renewal.”

Furthermore, according to the fine print about the UltraTax CS Express 100 plan: “This offer is available to new tax software customers and for non-current UltraTax CS customers only.”

The Thomas Reuters web site does not give a price for the UltraTax CS Express plan. You need to request a quote by submitting an online form and waiting to hear from a sales agent.

UltraTax CS Express 100

Let’s take a look at what you get with the UltraTax CS Express 100 plan. If you are eligible to get this plan, you can use the software to file up to 100 individual 1040 returns a year. It is also possible to file up to 25 business returns of these types: 990, 1120, 1065, 1041

These are hard limits. According to the Thomas Reuters site, if you want to exceed these limits, you will need to speak to a sales agent to discuss plan upgrade options.

UltraTax CS Express 100 provides support for up to 10 States. It is a single-user plan. It does not work with Virtual Office CS, a Thomson Reuters cloud-based accounting platform.

On your initial purchase you can receive the UltraTax Navigation training course, which is included with the software purchase. The course will be given during your onboarding process.

UltraTax CS Express

The original UltraTax CS professional tax software is the more popular option. It supports unlimited e-filing and unlimited users. According to the Thomas Reuters site, it includes all State returns and all applicable tax forms. What that means is, UltraTax CS supports the following forms: 706, 709, 990, 1040, 1041, 1120, 1120C, 1120S and 5500, plus FinCEN Form 114

The tax preparation software relies on a form-based data entry mode for completing returns. This process is supported by built-in diagnostics. Preparers can also access the Help and How-to Center from any program screen.

There is no set price for UltraTax CS. You need to request a quote via online form submission. The price will vary depending on the number of users and choice of software deployment options. The software can be installed on a workstation, hosted on a cloud via Virtual Office CS or leased as a SaaS solution.

CS Professional Suite

UltraTax CS gains more functionality if it is used with the CS Professional family of products. Previously, Thomas Reuters offered multiple software products that included Accounting CS, Accounting CS Payroll, FileCabinet CS, Fixed Assets CS, NetClient CS, Planner CS, Practice CS and Workpapers CS.

Now they have streamlined it to CS Professional Suite, Onvio cloud software, Checkpoint and ONESOURCE. Virtual Office CS, a cloud-based accounting platform, can be used with UltraTax CS.

Using UltraTax CS with CS Professional Suite can help you achieve a variety of work objectives. For example, better document management and storage. Better paperless office support. Enhanced practice management. This is not really the place to go into the various possibilities. You can read the CS Professional Suite if you are interested in learning more.

Other Services

UltraTax CS does not have a dedicated mobile app. You can, however, use NetClient CS Mobile to view all client tax returns on your smartphone.

Subscribers can get free telephone support or request information via email or fax.

UltraTax CS does not appear to offer bank product integration.

CCH ProSystem fx Tax

Price Range: Up-market software, must request quote as price varies depending on modules acquired.

Summary: High-end tax pro solution priced at a premium. Delivers greater functionality when integrated with other CCH ProSystem fx Suite applications. Price not stated—you must request a quote, as price varies depending on modules acquired.

Wolters Kluwer offers a whole suite of CCH ProSystem fx software products. This review will focus on CCH ProSystem fx Tax. It is a highly automated tax compliance system combined with an office manager. It aims to maximize speed and efficiency while maintaining general ease of use.

CCH ProSystem fx Tax software professional services run as an on-premise installation. If you prefer to use an online application, you could consider CCH Axcess Tax. While it is technically a separate product, CCH Axcess Tax offers the same functionality, more or less. And it is a cloud-based application available via online access from anywhere.

Pricing and Support

Wolters Kluwer does not give a set price for CCH ProSystem fx Tax or CCH Axcess Tax. It appears that the price can vary depending on the number of users and the specific modules obtained. Subscribers can purchase modules individually or bundled together. Available modules include Individual, Partnership, Corporation, Exempt Organization, Estate and Gift, Fiduciary and Employee Benefit Plan.

CCH ProSystem fx Tax customers who need tax information or technical support can call for assistance or chat with a virtual representative. They can also access an online knowledge base where they can search for help info and look up product release notes.

Overview of the Software

CCH ProSystem fx Tax is certainly a robust software solution. It supports e-filing for thousands of calculating forms and schedules. These include federal, state, city and county returns. Among others, the software supports Forms 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 990, and 5500.

Automatic calculations make return processing fast and efficient. Form eligibility can be checked via diagnostics, which flags any errors and omissions.

The software includes a tool to check the e-file status of a return. It also supports checking the e-file status from a mobile device.

The main interface of CCH ProSystem fx Tax provides quick access to the software tools, including the client list, return list, search box and a handy toolbar. Users can customize the toolbar, adding or removing buttons until they have the configuration they prefer.

Software Integrations

CCH ProSystem fx Tax is a good choice for the user who wants to get the other CCH ProSystem fx Suite applications. You can use them together to create various synergies that can enhance your tax office workflow—particularly a digital workflow.

For example, you can use CCH ProSystem fx Scan with CCH ProSystem fx Tax to achieve effective 1040/1041 data import from scanned documents.

Your tax practice can store client information, electronic workpapers and other information using CCH ProSystem fx Document. You can do intensive research via access to the Wolters Kluwer knowledge base using CCH IntelliConnect.

Other suite applications include CCH Axcess Workstream, CCH KnowledgeConnect, CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, CCH ProSystem fx Planning and CCH ProSystem fx Practice Management software.

CCH Axcess Tax

CCH Axcess Tax is natively linked to CCH IntelliConnect. That allows users to easily research a topic without leaving their current tax return project.

According to Wolters Kluwer, CCH Axcess Tax has the capacity to work with many cloud-based third-party applications. You can also add support for related software, including CCH Axcess Document, CCH Axcess Workstream, CCH Axcess Practice and a Client Portal.

Federal Direct Tax

Price Range: $299 – $2,499

Summary: Offers tax business partnership packages that include cloud-based tax software along with various tax office resources. These can help with marketing and research.

Federal Direct Tax sells service packages for running a tax preparation business. Every package will include cloud-hosted software for tax professionals. It will also be bundled with a number of resources: technical support, tax preparer training and IRS registration assistance.

If your main interest is the software… basically, you can expect to get the usual tax preparation toolset. The interface is fairly easy to use, especially in interview mode. This “easy interview module” will guide you in filling the data fields on a tax return. Or you can turn it off and directly enter info on the tax forms.

The software supports tax return e-filing and you can track the e-file status of a return in real time. Users can enjoy unlimited Federal and State filing. The Quick Tax Estimator will speedily calculate a client’s refund estimate.

Price Breakdown for Federal Direct Tax

Federal Direct Tax offers four partnership packages at different price tiers.

Quick Start Package Silver Package Gold Package Platinum Package

Each partnership package includes the same professional tax software. The main difference is in the included tax resources and services.

The Quick Start and Silver packages do have limitations. They include all individual forms and schedules, and no more. The Gold package also includes all individual State returns, plus a multi-year filing program (up to 3 prior tax years).

Platinum, the costliest package, comes with all individual and business State returns, as well as individual and corporate returns. It supports Forms 1040, 1065, 1120, 1041, 990, 706 and more. You also get a more expansive multi-year filing program (up to 5 prior tax years)

Included Resources and Services

The key selling point of Federal Direct Tax is the bundling of software with tax office assistance. The company has an in-house team of tax professionals and IRS Enrolled Agents who can provide support for tax research and tax return preparation.

The Quick Start package is quite basic. You’ll get IRS registration assistance, year-round tax support and technical support, a 6-step training course on tax preparation and a one-on-one software orientation. As they go up in price, the packages add a lot more.

Silver also includes tax office marketing resources to help you attract clients.

Gold adds backup and recovery services—something vital to every tax practice. According to Federal Direct Tax, the Gold package is the most popular partnership they sell.

Platinum offers enhanced marketing programs and an immigrant tax filing program (which includes training and support). This is also the only partnership package which includes both desktop and web-based software for tax preparers.

Other Services

Technical support is available over the phone. This can be coupled with a browser-based HelpDesk app that shares your screen with the support technician.
Bank product integration is not available, but you can make use of rapid tax refund options. You can offer your clients as much as $2,500 as an advance on their IRS refunds.

What you need to know

Professional Tax Software Recommendations at a Glance

Keystone Tax Solution cloud based tax software can’t be beat on value for price. It’s highly affordable and user friendly, especially for tax preparers managing a low volume of returns. The software is incredibly easy to use and navigate, making it a good option for those newly entering the tax preparation scene.

Your options include Keystone Tax Solution Online 1040, Olt Pro Web, MyTAXPrepOffice Essential and TaxSlayer Pro Web. Keystone Tax Solution is the most affordable choice among all these. TaxSlayer is best for tax prep of individual income tax returns. It has only limited support for corporate returns (call them for further details).

Keystone Tax Solution Desktop 1040+ Corporate is definitely the most affordable software designed for corporate tax preparation. It gives you unlimited corporate return e-filing. If for some reason you feel it is not for you, try TaxSlayer Pro Premium or TaxAct Professional Complete.

Try Keystone Tax Solution 1040 Unlimited or Drake Tax Software Unlimited (available via the UltimateDR package at an unbeatable price). They both offer unlimited e-filing and a host of other great features for a competitive price. Another possible option is the ATX 1040 Package, although it is limited to three state returns and 75 free e-filings. That might be enough for a new firm, but it is something worth careful consideration.

TaxWise features comprehensive Spanish language support, having over 60 forms and schedules available in Spanish. Customers can expect bilingual tech support services. Keystone Tax Solution also has Spanish forms available on all product versions. You can apply the user-friendly interview mode in assisting your Spanish-speaking clients to fill data entry fields

The solution you are looking for is either the Thomson Reuters CS Professional Suite (which includes UltraTax CS) or the CCH ProSystem fx Suite. These are high-end software solutions and are priced accordingly. One possible third option is Lacerte Tax, not reviewed here. This is an Intuit software product similar to ProSeries. Lacerte Tax has native integration with QuickBooks, SmartVault, Intuit Link and Bloomberg BNA Tax Planner Bridge.

Cutting Edge Tax Software Designed for Tax Professionals

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