HowardSoft
TEXT SIZE:
P.O. Box 8432
La Jolla, CA 92038-8432
phone: (858) 454-0121
e-mail: support@howardsoft.com
Home Page Products e-file HowardNews Ordering Downloads Help

Quick Tour Starts Here

If you're new to HowardSoft...

... get ready for fully-automated, interactive, and integrated -- not limited by the IRS forms. We're independent, accurate, knowledgeable, and responsive, but we don't charge an arm and a leg for it! To find out more, start with a Quick Tour of our flagship products, Tax Preparer® and Real Estate Analyzer®.

NOW SHIPPING 2014 Edition!

The first regular release of Tax Preparer for the 2014 filing season (for tax year 2013 returns) is now available. It includes the 2014 Tax Forms Guide and, for Standard and Premium Levels, a broad range of IRS documents relevant to Form 1040 tax returns for 2013. However, see the notice below concerning the IRS's announced postponement of the start of processing of returns received.


Click Here to Order

Get Ready for 2014!

IRS delays start of 2014 tax season ... but not HowardSoft!

The IRS has announced a January 31, 2014 start for the upcoming tax season. As explained in IRS Newswire IR-2013-100, the delay from their planned original January 21 start date is a result of the 16-day government shutdown in October. (January 21 was already later than normal in order to accommodate changes to their software for additional fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.) The delay affects both e-file and paper returns. e-file returns will be rejected if filed before that date and paper returns will be held for processing until that date.

But we at HowardSoft had no shutdown, and we are well on our way to an updated program because the tax bill passed on New Year's Day 2013 already covers 2013, including the extension of the Bush tax cuts and most popular credits. In addition, the IRS has aleady released most forms that are built into Tax Preparer, in spite of the government shutdown. So you can order now and be rest assured that you'll get the most complete Tax Preparer ever by the time the IRS is ready to process returns.

Are you ready for 2014 yet? If not, just click the starburst to the right to get started. (You can still order software for the 2013 filing season too, for amended returns you need to file, by clicking the same starburst.)

Click the starburst to access our secure, on-line Order Forms for both the current and next tax season.


TIPS for paid preparers: Get the scoop on mandatory e-file and mandatory registration in HowardNews.

TIPS for Windows 7 an 8: Learn how to avert compatibility issues with Windows 7 and 8 below.


Why e-file?

Many paid tax preparers will be required to e-file in 2012, as we explain in our latest issue of HowardNews. However, even if you aren't required to e-file, there are plenty of other reasons to e-file in 2012 and order now:

  • Improved accuracy and compliance. IRS checks return for errors and compliance before it is accepted for filing, so you can correct it before you file it, minimizing embarrassing IRS notices to clients.
  • Proof of filing date and time. IRS acknowledges every transmission, and first transmission of return counts as filing time even when return isn't accepted for filing until days later. No more postmarks required.
  • Proof of receipt by IRS. IRS sends acknowledgment once return passes their checks, giving proof of receipt and acceptance. No more 'lost' returns.
  • Faster refunds. Eliminates manual handling of paper returns, so return is processed immediately once accepted for e-file.
  • Increased customer base. Heavy IRS marketing of e-file causes customers to look for e-file providers, so you'll keep old clients and get new ones.
  • Minimized learning time during tax season. Learn now to avoid critical delays later. It's easy with Tax Preparer, but learning the interface with the IRS can take some time.

And HowardSoft's uniquely personal customer service is always there to help you learn the e-file process and correct any rejected returns.


Hot Topics...

Summer/Fall 2011 HowardNews


See an overview below, or click here for the complete newsletter.


Click Here for Summer/Fall 2011 HowardNews

Time is running out for paid preparers. Mandatory e-file and mandatory registration are now in full force, so you should understand the rules and get prepared now because IRS approvals can be slow. You'll need this software to e-file any returns with Tax Preparer.

Mandatory e-fle 101. The popular belief that those who prepare more than 10 returns in 2012 will be required to e-file them all is a gross overstatement of the facts. In this issue we break down the final regulations so you can determine whether or not you are required to e-file returns. And even if you are theoretically required to e-file all returns, we explain which returns you can or must file on paper instead, and what you must include when filing those returns.

Mandatory registration 101. Unlike the e-file requirements, the registration requirements are absolute. No matter how few returns you prepare for pay, you must register with the IRS. Your active PTIN (preparer tax id number) is proof that your registration is active, but it now expires every year. You must now renew annually for a $64.95 per year fee. Even CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents are subject to this requirement. In this issue, we explain the regulations and give you information on the background checks, competency testing, and continuing education requirements that will be phased in over the next two years.

New to e-file. If you haven't e-filed in the past, we provide guidance on the IRS application process, what you must purchase from HowardSoft, and how e-file works with Tax Preparer.


For details, see the Summer/Fall 2011 issue of HowardNews.

Tax Preparer and Windows 7 and 8

Good News! You can run Tax Preparer on all versions of Windows 7 and 8, but some versions of Windows 7 and all versions of Windows 8 may require you to install additional software.

  • 32-bit Windows 7: No additional software required. Install and run Tax Preparer as you would with any other software.
  • 64-bit Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate: First, install Microsoft's Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode, which you can download for free from Microsoft Virtual PC web page. Next, open XP Mode and install Tax Preparer. You can then start and run Tax Preparer from your Windows 7 desktop like any other Windows 7 program.
  • 64-bit Windows 7 Home: First, you must upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. Microsoft no longer allows you to purchase the upgrade on-line, so you must purchase the upgrade from a 3rd-party. You can generally find a 64-bit Windows 7 Professional Upgrade at ebay.com or amazon.com for less than $150. Once you have upgraded, you can follow the procedures in the preceding bullet. (If you have a licensed version of 32-bit Windows XP, there is also a free alternative involving a 3rd-party program called Virtual Box, but the installation is less friendly and the result is less seamlessly integrated with Windows 7.)
  • Windows 8: You will have to install a virtual PC program on your computer, such as Virtual Box, that can run a 32-bit Windows XP operating system within it's program. Once you install Windows XP within the Virtual PC program, you will be able to install and run Tax Preparer within the Virtual PC window. (Unfortunately, Microsoft chose to drop the convenient Windows XP Mode from Windows 8!)

Tax Forms and More

Click Here to see What's New.

We offer three levels for each Tax Preparer software package:

Click a level above for a list of features and forms built-in and fully-automated for that level. And to make sure you're not left behind at the beginning of the tax season, click here to ORDER ON-LINE.

Get Ready for e-file

e-file is included with Standard and Premium Level CD-ROMs, but you must:

Except for unusual limitations imposed by the IRS, you can now e-file most returns ... even when the data does not fit on the IRS paper forms!

This web site last updated January 27, 2014.