It’s the end of the year, and you’re probably starting to gather your sales reports and receipts to make tax season less of a burden next year. Part of your preparation may also include getting new software. When looking to purchase tax software for your business, consider these three things.
1. Includes all of the updated tax rules. It seems like there are new tax laws every year. The software you choose should factor them in. To ensure this, go for the latest edition of the software and look for copy that says, “Includes the latest filing rules,” or “just updated.” This may also be the time to purchase tax software as a download rather than a physical CD. Rules can change in an instant, and there is no guarantee that that copy you pick up at your local office store will be the latest version.
2. Ease of use. Understand who in your office will be filing for the company this year. If the person is tech and tax savvy, they may be okay with entering numbers into virtual tax forms and worksheets. If not, make sure to get software that gives you the option of answering step-by-step questions to build your tax forms instead. There are some programs that also have connections with companies and charitable organizations. Rather than having you key in tax ID numbers and company addresses, the software can pre-populate this information with the click of a button, saving you precious time. Ease of use also includes support. If you have questions about the software in the middle of filing, it’s important to have someone from the company available to help. Sigma Tax professional software is the best software our office has used. They offer tax preparation and software support, a dedicated software consultant who can answer questions, and free training for all staff members. There’s even a free demo available, so you can try before you buy.
3. Fits your budget. All of the software’s bells and whistles won’t count if you can’t afford to buy it. As you get ready to purchase tax software, make sure you not only take into consideration the price of the software download or CD but also additional fees for filing. This would be your all in cost. For example, does the software offer a yearly download of updated rules for free, or will you have to purchase the entire software package at full price again? Do they give you discounts on federal or state e-filing? If you’re a solopreneur, do you need to purchase add-ons like a review from a tax expert?