Discussion:Tax Planning using Lacerte Tax Planner

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> Tax Planning using Lacerte Tax Planner


Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2007
Can anyone offer some guidance in the best way to use the Tax Planner? I've entered some numbers for one of my client's, but the numbers I'm getting are wacky. I figure it's pretty much GIGO. I tried entering the quarterly figures for the S-Corps, (each spouse has their own) and the wages to date. I get a very large tax liability that I'm reasonably sure is inaccurate. So what is the best way to start doing someone's tax planning on a quarterly basis? Also, how do I add a state? Hawaii has to go in as a generic state, but when I enter the data, nothing happens.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

May 19, 2007
I found the best way is to export the client data out of Lacerte, then use that as the skeleton to do the plan for the next year.

Also, when I first started using Tax Planner, I would continue to also do the plan my old way then compare the results. You need to get about 5 or 6 under your belt before you can start relying on it.

Now I love it! I can whip out a plan in about half hour or less.

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2007
I agree with Paul. I have been using the tax planner for a number of years now and it really does work well. My only complaint is that the program does not allow one to make any adjustments to the exemptions for alt min. Sure under current law the exemption amount has not changed but will by y/e - and Lacerte does not allow this to be overridden. Causes the actual tax liability to be overstated in my opinion.

I suggest you do your own and play with if for a while and once you get the hang of it - it is worth every cent they charge for this part of the program.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

May 19, 2007
The way I do it using ProSeries Pro is to save the current year client's file with a different file name and then change the numbers to equal the estimated amounts for the next year. This method is quick, easy, and free.

Vbcpa (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2007
deback - why don't you simply use the taxplanner form that's part of each clients tax forms? It provides current year info and allows you to create 3 different scenerios for future years....except proseries has the same problem with alt/min calcs as lacerte - You mentioned... and free....do you do a pay per return option? I pay for the entire program so I'm not sure how pay per return works.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

19 May 2007
Agree about the planner in ProSeries, and as I noted in earlier posts, I used the 2005 version this year when the AMT/State Refund came up as an error. I also employ the planner in Tax Tools, which is good for plotting Esimated taxes for those who compute quarterly, like a partner in a law firm who provides his draw and we base the estimate on that. I print and keep copy which really helps when I have to do the 2210AI worksheet at the end of the year.

I would agree that creating a new client works better if you want to do calculations such as stock gains....more or less do a new tax return using 2007 figures and then using the planner to plot different scenarios.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

May 19, 2007
Action, Also keep an eye on the Diagnostics tab at the bottom of the screen. Any diagnostics that show that you have overridden a calculated field should be investigated. 99% of the time an overridden field means you did your input in the wrong place. It's a pain in the neck at first, but force yourself to do it right and it will become easy very soon.

Michael, I have been debating that exact issue with myself. What happens if Congress does not extend the 2006 exemption level to 2007, and I do the tax projection assuming they would? I think it would be best to do it based on the current law, and then let my client get a refund if Congress does make this change.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

20 May 2007
I'm going into my office in just a little while and will be tweaking the client that I have started in Tax Planner. I initially brought in the tax plan I did last year, but Paul, you seem to indicate I should bring in the Lacerte file for last year's taxes. Will that activate Hawaii as a state? I'm having problems getting that to work. At this point we obviously have only one quarter of data. My goal with this client and half a dozen others is to be sure they are on track for taxes through the year. Any suggestions on the best way to approace that? Simply multiply by four probably won't work because of they way they earn income and spend for COGS, income right now is a little distorted on the high side. I really want this to work and want to be able to include this as a revenue source, so all of your help is greatly appreciated.

BTW, we leave tomorrow for Russia, will be gone for two weeks. I say good by in Russian, but I can pronounce but no way spell it. I'm still working on please and thank you, I can do a fair job pronouncing them, but rememering them is another issue. Anyway, I will probably bring this thread to the fore front in a couple weeks again.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

21 May 2007
Never used the tax planner in ProSeries. I always just overwrote the prior year and was careful not to save the file. I'll look for the tax planner. Thanks!

Michaelstar (talk|edits) said:

21 May 2007
Paul - I do agree with you as if we were to assume the exemption would increase and did not, I would be providing estimated tax payments to client that would be short. It would be nice to be able to run a side projection including what we think the exemptions will change to just to see what the diff might be without having to manually calculate it.

I have yet to get the hang of how to fix the manually overridden field that the diagnostics at the bottom of the screen highlights.

Actionbsns (talk|edits) said:

8 September 2007
OK, now we have a lot information into the tax planner and the FED is working, but the state part is still not working. When I try to add a state I get a message to load the state, how do I do that? Went to the website, but there is no mention of this issue there. BTW, they now want $395 as a licensing fee for this as well as the tax program, then Pay Per Use.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

September 9, 2007
Actionbsns, Sorry. I got nothing for you. We have a full license, and our state (CA) works. Time to call tech support.

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