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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®.

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Now shipping 2016 Edition of Tax Preparer

Secure Order Form available on-line

The Pre-Release of the 1040 software for the 2016 filing season is now available, and the regular release is just days away. It's compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows, from Windows XP through Windows 10. To order securely on-line or just to get more details, click the starburst to the right.

Tax Extenders bill saves the 2016 filing season!

After several months of deadlock in Congress, a bill that renews retroactively to the beginning of 2015 nearly every credit and deduction that expired at the end of 2014 was passed by both houses and signed into law on December 18, just before Congress adjourned for the holidays! Furthermore, the bill makes nearly half of the expired breaks permanent, and adds enhancements to some. And the ones that weren't made permanent were extended for no less than 2 years and sometimes longer. As a result, the IRS forms for 2015 will remain very similar to the forms for 2014, and the year-end panic to pass a tax extenders bill will be much less severe in future years. See our Winter 2015 HowardNews for details.

64-bit compatibility!

For the 2016 filing season, Tax Preparer is compatible with all versions of Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, including both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and all other Windows versions as far back as Windows XP, whether 32-bit or 64-bit. Although greatly modified for 64-bit Windows, the familiar look and feel of Tax Preparer remains the same. You will have no problem installing or running our software on a new Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 computer, most of which are preloaded with a 64-bit version of Windows. However, Windows 10 may require an updated print driver or a change in default settings.

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 (for prior versions of Tax Preparer only) 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...

Winter 2015 HowardNews

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

Click Here for Winter 2015 HowardNews

Tax Extenders ... just in time! On December 18, 2015, Congress passed and the President signed a tax bill that retroactively extends almost all credits and deductions that expired at the end of 2014, which will prevent major changes in the tax forms for 2015 and huge tax increases for some taxpayers.

Paid Preparers... Mandatory registration renewal. In order to prepare returns for others for pay during 2016, you must have an IRS-issued Preparer Tax ID Number (PTIN) that is active for the 2016 filing season. You must renew it each year by December 31 preceding the start of the each season. But the procedure is easy on-line and the annual fee has been reduced to $50.

Full compatibility: 64-bit and Windows 10. Tax Preparer is fully compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit computers and with operating systems from Windows XP through Windows 10. However, you may have to update your drivers or change your settings.

For details, see the Winter 2015 issue of HowardNews.

Tax Preparer and Windows 7 and 8

(This information applies only to the software for preparing returns for tax year 2013 and earlier. All software for the 2015 filing season [tax year 2014] is 64-bit compatible so that these procedures are not required.)

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 or 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 17, 2016.