Discussion:Intuit tax Online

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> Intuit tax Online

April15 (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2011
Has anyone seen Intuit's online tax filing for $9.99 per return. Looks and feels like Lacerte in a different format- Demo looked great. Has the Lacerte feel for a fraction of the price. It's been around 2-3 years & looks great and cheap. Any comments?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2011
Is it for consumers or tax professionals?

April15 (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2011
tax pros- I was using Lacerte for 15 years & use Drake for my small practice, but they don't compare to Lacerte. This online filing has practically everything Lacerte has .

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

November 23, 2011
Really, $9.99, when they charge over $50 for a business return and over $40 for individual? There must be other fees in there.

April15 (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2011
a block of 100 individual returns for $999.free e file-unlimited states. Corps & partnerships are $25 each

MEMCPA (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
I've been looking at it due to the price. My observations:

+ While discussing another matter with an Intuit employee, he mentioned that it uses the "Lacerte engine"

- No organizer option. Only an issue for the 5% who complete them.

- No import from Excel.

- No Estate and Gift

- No K-1 transfer

- Cannot customize like you can the desktop version (eg client status and printing)

- My biggest question is that since they house the data, will I be able to convert to a non-Intuit product in the future.

If I use it, I will also need to get Lacerte for a few 1040's and my estate and gift returns.

If anyone wants to try it, you can create an account at no cost and play with the demo returns.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

November 24, 2011
"they house the data" This is the part that I would pay the most attention to.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
How do you access this program?

Dennis (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
Prepare client tax returns anytime, anywhere starting at $9.99 each!

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
I don't see where there is an option to print the return so you have a hard copy of it. The page that shows the results of the data entry, doesn't have the graphics of IRS forms, but something like from a word processing program or spreadsheet program. Does it have a print capability? Does it actually have the forms in the program? That part seems kind of weird.

April15 (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
MEMCPA- They will give you a free license to process the returns they don't cover- (990 & 706)with Lacerte.

The k-1 tranfer, excel transfer & organizer is not such a big deal.

They said the data WILL BE convbertable to a different software if you decide to switch.

My big question is do they jack up price in acouple of years as they add more features to it & use it as a web based program.

April15 (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
Actionbsns- Yes you can print the return or specific pages as a PDF. Look at the demo

It seems a bit too true to be so cheap, especially if they are competing against themselves

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
I went back to the tutorial and went through it more carefully and I did see the sample returns and see that it can be printed. It is amazingly like La Certe. If others have taken a look, it might be good to list things that you find missing. Some of those things might be critical in nature to the way someone might prepare taxes, or they might be more of an inconvenience.

The check marks are missing from this program, I use them when reviewing a return leaving green marks showing I checked a particular item. I also like the feature where I can click on a line in the tax return and it will automatically take me to the data entry, it's particularly helpful for a couple of items for which I can never remember the screen I need. That said, this program would save me about $3,000 in software costs. I'm weighing the pros and cons and would be interested in reading what others might have to say. I'm a little concerned about using "The Cloud" as well. I'm still not sure I like that, but it would allow me to work at home on a computer other than the one in my office.

April15 (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2011
What are you concerned with The Cloud?encryption?

MEMCPA (talk|edits) said:

26 November 2011
April15 - Thanks for the info on Lacerte and conversion.

If the k-1 transfer or excel transfer is a big deal or not depends on your client base. It is an issue for me.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

26 November 2011
It looks like it could benefit many small volume preparers.

Wmcohen (talk|edits) said:

26 November 2011
Agree with Cathy and it also looks good for relatively simple returns. May try doing complicated returns on Lacerte and easier returns on intuit tax online. The format for the online program data entry appears nearly identical to lacerte so the learning curve should not be too stressful.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

27 November 2011
April 15, this thread is more a discussion of the pros and cons of the new on-line tax prep software than it is of using the Cloud technology. You might go to this thread to pick up and continue the pros and cons of using the Cloud. In fact, it's been about a year since people have been posting and it might even be a good idea to hear of people's experiences and see if opinions have changed: http://www.taxalmanac.org/index.php/Discussion:Anyone_heard_of_Cloud_Servers%3F.

I kind of like Wmcohen's suggestion to use the new program for easier returns and La Certe for more complicated ones. I would give me a chance to try it out before making a final commitment and still save me some money. Often the simpler returns are also the ones that are the least profitable, so paying less for the software wouldn't really hurt my feelings too much.

TrudyEA (talk|edits) said:

28 November 2011
I'm a long-time Lacerte user, and have been testing out Intuit Tax Online. I love that it uses Lacerte input screens, so there should be very little in the way of a learning curve there. The main reservation I have about the software is that it is MUCH SLOWER than using Lacerte since it's internet based rather than residing on your own computer. You spend a lot of time waiting for screens to load. A sales rep told me that speed could be improved by clearing your cache, but I'm guessing it will still be slow.

I was told that they would refund my Lacerte REP license fee if I signed up for the 20 return bundle ($299), and that I could still use Lacerte REP for those returns where I needed Excel upload, etc. (In those cases, you'd pay the usual REP processing fee.) Not having to pay the full REP processing & EFile fees for simpler returns would result in quite a bit of savings.

As someone else mentioned, there is no organizer built into the program, you can't customize the output, and I noticed that there is no slip sheet for the Client Copy of your tax returns. I would be interested in hearing about other limitations that anyone's seen with this program besides those already mentioned.

Wmcohen (talk|edits) said:

28 November 2011
There is no invoice function, which is useful for accumulating time and presenting the client with the various schedules and forms prepared. Also, there is no editing allowed for the client letter-the program uses a canned letter.

April15 (talk|edits) said:

29 November 2011
You also can't print separate forms such as an E file packet for client to sign or extension package- You have to print a pdf and then print each page separatley.

Natalie (talk|edits) said:

November 29, 2011
Wait a minute. One can purchase a 20-return bundle for $299 and then use the regular software on a per-return basis for the REP fee? Are there still e-file fees under this option?

TrudyEA (talk|edits) said:

30 November 2011
Yes, I was told that they would waive the Lacerte license fee (or refund it since I've already paid), but that I'd still have access to the program. Any returns filed through Lacerte REP would be subject to regular per-return fees + efile fee.

So my understanding is that you'd have pretty much the same upfront cost: $299 (+ tax?) for ITO vs. $320 + tax & delivery for Lacerte. But each tax return you filed using ITO instead of Lacerte would result in a savings equal to the normal REP + efile fee, because those are included in ITO. (In return for the cost savings, you get the aggravation of waiting for screens to load, plus all the limitations previously mentioned.) By the way, there are also 50-return and 100-return bundles at a lower cost per return.

My sales rep seems to be pushing me to sign up prior to month end, so am not sure if the waiving of Lacerte license fee is a time-sensitive deal. I'd encourage you to call and ask.

EAinIL (talk|edits) said:

1 December 2011
I have used this software for 1040 preparation for the last two tax seasons. My personal practice is very small so the price was right.

There were noticeable improvements from 2009 to 2010. There were also noticeable improvements from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2010 tax season. With that being said, I am looking at other software solutions for the upcoming year.

My biggest gripe BY FAR was the unannounced unavailability of the software due to updates being installed. There were a number of times during the tax season when I would receive notice that the software would be unavailable due to the installation of updates. Fine. My problem was that there were at least 5 or 6 other times when I went to log in to work on some returns and I couldn't use the software due to the fact that it was being updated. This caused an immense amount of frustration on my part.

This is the reason why I'm looking at other solutions.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

2 December 2011
Trudy, I'm curious if you have proceeded with canceling your Lacerte subscription and signing on for one of the bundles. I spoke with Intuit on Wednesday and asked them about this program, mentioned that someone I know was planning to cancel Lacerte, sign on for a bundled package with the Cloud program and continue using Lacerte for certain returns. The sales rep said yes, all of that is available. I asked her if she could put it in an e-mail to me and gave her my e-mail address. She had to get approval from someone to do so, she said, but didn't see a problem doing so. It's two days later and I don't have an e-mail from them. Just curious how it worked for you. I'm hesitant to cancel my subscription and then find out there was some little thing that wasn't clear. If I purchase a 20 return bundle for easy 1040's I'll save about $700 with this program which isn't as spectacular as when I first saw it and figured I'd save about $3,000. When you really take a look at the pricing, you have to buy a larger bundle to save the larger amount.

TrudyEA (talk|edits) said:

6 December 2011
Hi Actionbsns, I apologize for not answering sooner... is there a way to get an email notification when someone posts?

Last Wednesday Nov. 30 I went ahead and purchased the 20 return bundle, and I also talked to the folks at Lacerte (separate department!) about processing a refund for the REP license. I've already been charged the $299 for ITO (no sales tax) and just received another CD1 for Lacerte in the mail today. I guess this is because it was included in the bundle, although I told them that I already had a copy. I have not seen the Lacerte refund yet, although to be fair they said it would take about 5 business days. I'll keep you posted!

Tonymontana (talk|edits) said:

10 October 2013
Does anyone have any updates on using ITO?

Does anyone use it to prepare more than 250 returns?

I've been playing around with it and works fine in practice. I just wonder how well it works in real life situations.

SoCaTaxGuy (talk|edits) said:

29 October 2013
Intuit Tax Online (ITO) is going to have an webinar of their new software.


May give you some ideas - I didn't view that webinar, but I can relate my experience.

If you have 250 clients, the client manager only displays about 5 clients at a time. To avoid having to scroll through your client list, you can select the letter of the last name and then start scrolling.

If you like doing speed entry, ITO is probably not your bag of tea. Being in the middle of a Schedule C and realizing that you have to scroll down somewhere to find the Depreciation form is aggravating. Most software products just have a link to deprec and it takes you there.

I use pricing that depends on which forms are used. Does the client need a Schedule C? If so, they are charged differently from the 1040-A filer. ITO does not appear to have pricing built in to their software. I don't use Quickbooks, but I *suppose* there is a tie in to use that. If so, you might also consider that you would need to acquire Quickbooks too.

I spent a considerable amount to have a logo. ITO doesn't allow for a customized title page, as a result the output from ITO is very generic looking.

ITO doesn't appear to have any tie-ins to alternate methods of getting a refund. By this I mean a bank product.

KRHCO (talk|edits) said:

30 October 2013
My experience is different from that of SoCaTaxGuy. I attend the webinar today and I use ITO and Lacerte.

For the upcoming 2013 tax season, the user interface will be more like that of Lacerte. The engine that runs ITO is the Lacerte engine, but ITO is not as powerful as Lacerte. It is not a replacement for Lacerte. One of the questions concerned oil and gas. They admitted that ITO may not be the best product for those type of returns.

ITO will not import QB desktop data, but it will import QBO data, that feature has improved.

ITO will have an invoicing feature in 2013. Bank products will be there too for those who do those.

The depreciation comment I do not agree with. In the left hand pane, if you need depreciation just click on the link.

Diagnostics are improved. In 2013 you will click on the diagnostic, it will take you to the actual field in question. Unlike Drake.

They are working different printing options like in Lacerte.

The data is stored in geographically dispersed data centers with hot failover. They said for the 2012 season there was zero downtime.

I accidentally deleted a return in 2012. The ITO team was able to recover it for me, saving me two days of work.

Gift and Estate returns coming in 2015.

I do a fair number of multi-state returns for golfers and multi-state companies. That is the reason why I left Drake. Drake could not handle the complexity and I was not comfortable in the output nor the Drake workarounds. I asked specifically if ITO would handle complex multi-state returns, say for example entertainer, athlete, etc; and if I could leave Lacerte altogether for ITO. He said he felt confident that ITO would handle "most" of the returns, but an ITO/Lacerte combination would work.

I don't use Lacerte alone because it is not cost effective for me. I use a combination of ITO for my 1040's and "average" entities and Lacerte for the more complex returns. Not the ideal solution. Once my client base affords me the ability to purchase Lacerte, that is what I will do.

Output - beats Drake hands down. While not as comprehensive as Lacerte, it is "nice". I had one client notice the difference over his prior year return (Drake) and that of ITO. His comment was that I must be moving up.

They said that Lacerte is their flagship product and is not going anywhere. Neither is Proseries. ITO offers a cloud based solution for those who want it. It is a matter of choice.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

30 October 2013
Did ITO add the ability to create your own letters? Besides the lack of invoicing, this was another concern of mine. The deal breaker for me last year was you were dependent upon ITO's team to convert your data. I had to get new software last minute (TRX self destructed) and it took them over a week to convert. By then, I had obtained TaxWise.

I am keeping ITO as an option, especially since it is expanding to Gift and Estate (I have one for 2013 and TaxWise supports it, so I will be using it for 2013).

Hunter0008 (talk|edits) said:

20 November 2013
Looks like there's been a huge overhaul for 2013. But now it's 2 Different products. There's the old cheaper version and a newer more expensive version that allows Sch. D import, electronic invoicing and payment, and other custom print options. However, there's no per return price for the more expensive version and the packs are sold in higher volumes. Seems like the new version is strictly for mid-sized businesses.

Kinda crummy that they split into two different versions but I guess it's their way to get a few extra bucks out of people that really want those new features. Oh well.

The program overall functions pretty good. And for the price, it's hard to beat. I've been between Drake and ITO. I really like the layout and flexibility of ITO over Drake. Drake's comprehensive system is pretty great. What is encouraging is how much effort they are putting into ITO to ugprade it every year. They obviously want this program to take off.

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