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Downloads, links, and other resources...

Tax Preparer Downloads

If you're looking for recent updates or patches for Tax Preparer, you're looking in the wrong place. Instead, you must use the Check Web for Updates facility that is installed with Tax Preparer. Click Here for more information.

Adobe Acrobat Reader Downloads

All forms and publications referenced on this page are provided in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing. Links to FREE downloads for this reader are found at the bottom of this page.

e-file Application Forms

If you don't yet have an EFIN, you must apply for participation in the e-file program:

IRS e-file logo

For IRS e-file you must apply on-line at the IRS website for e-file applications. For more details on the application process and rules for e-file, see IRS Pub. 3112 (IRS e-file Application and Participation).

FTB e-file logo

California's e-file program is similar to the IRS e-file program, but has its own set of rules and specifications. It is not integrated with the IRS program in that you must transmit your California (Form 540) returns directly to California's Franchise Tax Board (FTB) rather than the IRS. However, the enrollment process is integrated with the IRS (starting with the 2008 filing season) such that you no longer have to separately enroll in the California e-file program. Instead, you are automatically enrolled in California's e-file program when you are accepted into the IRS e-file program, and the information you supply to the IRS is shared with the FTB.

Download sites for IRS, FTB, and other states

IRS links and downloads

IRS logo
  • IRS home page … for the latest news and bulletins from the IRS.
  • IRS forms, instructions, and publications. The most recent releases of most IRS forms are always available for downloading at this site in PDF format. Most forms on the IRS web site have the capability to be filled in by computer, saved to disk with your data, and printed for filing using Adobe's Acrobat Reader (below). This provides a good option for completing rarely needed forms that are not included in Tax Preparer.

California FTB links and downloads

Calif. FTB logo
  • FTB home page … for the latest news and bulletins from the FTB.
  • FTB Income Tax Forms, Instructions, and Publications. The latest versions of the most popular forms and publications are available for downloading here. Like the IRS forms, many California forms can be filled in by computer, saved to disk with your data, and printed for filing using Adobe's Acrobat Reader (below).

Links and downloads for other states

FTA logo
  • Federation of Tax Administrators has links to sites for all states, many of whom have downloadable forms available in Adobe's PDF format. Some of the forms can even be filled-in by computer and printed to paper using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Other recommended websites

  • National Association of Enrolled Agents has an excellent site that includes a wealth of tax resources for both individuals and tax practitioners ... and it's all FREE. You can even get the latest IRS regulations here much easier than you can from the IRS site!
  • AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) has a huge site covering everything from accounting standards to congressional lobbying, but we recommend a look at their section on taxation if you are a member (so you can access the tax resources for members only).
  • National Tax Association has a site that is most valuable for its links to other sites. We recommend that you click on their Sitemap link for an extensive set of links to tax news and government taxing agencies.


Adobe Acrobat logo

In order to view and print documents from HowardSoft, IRS, and FTB, you must have Adobe's Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you don't yet have it you can download a FREE copy from Adobe's web site. However, the latest version on the web site may not be your best choice:

  • Adobe Reader 7.0. This is the latest version with bells and whistles, but it it is compatible only with Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Furthermore, it consumes so much of your computer resources that many functions perform slowly unless you have a newer high-speed, high-memory computer. Download this version at Adobe Reader main page.
  • Acrobat Reader 5.1. (RECOMMENDED if you need to save an IRS form with your own filled-in data) This is the earliest version that supports the fill-in and save capability built into all new IRS forms. This capability lets you fill-in a form, print it with your data, and save it to disk complete with your data, without the need to purchase any other product to do so. It supports a wide range of platforms and consumes less than half the memory and disk space of Adobe Reader 7.0. Download this version at Adobe Reader archive page. Scroll down to the Windows section (near the end of the page), then, under the title Acrobat Reader 5.1, select Acrobat Reader 5.1--English for Windows 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP 8.6MB.
  • Acrobat Reader 4.0.5. (RECOMMENDED) This version is much faster than the newer versions, but it does not support Windows 2000, Me, or XP. It also does not support the ability to save an IRS form to disk with your data filled-in, although it does support fill-in and print. (To save the form with your data you would need to purchase Adobe Acrobat Approval.) If you use Windows 95, you will have to use this older version. Download this version at Adobe Reader archive page. Scroll down to the Windows section (near the end of the page), then, under the title Acrobat 4.0.5 Reader, select Acrobat Reader 4.0.5--English for Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0 6.8 MB.

Note that HowardSoft manuals work well with ALL versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader, with the ability to quickly find any phrase and print a hardcopy of any page. Many state agencies also supply forms in a fill-in version that allows you to complete the forms by computer using an Adobe Reader then print them for filing.