Tax-preparation-software products generally received higher marks from practitioners this year than last year. That's the conclusion of a survey conducted by the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) and shared with the JofA.
A total of 977 NATP members responded to the survey, reporting their experience with the products they had used to prepare 476,000 tax returns earlier this year. Respondents prepared an average of 497 returns each.
Although NATP members assessed 26 different software packages for the survey, only 14 were included in the final report (see exhibit 1, page 39). Products that received less than 10 assessments were excluded because their results would not be statistically valid.
Users ranked tax software products from 5 (very satisfied) to 1 (very dissatisfied). Based on these rankings, users responded with satisfaction ratings averaging 3.99, up from 3.84 a year ago (see exhibit 2, page 40). The product to receive the highest score was Dunphy System's 1040 Professional Tax Prep. Interestingly, Dunphy also showed one of the biggest year-to-year improvements--rising to 4.50 this year from 3.43 last year, when the average for all the products was 3.81.
Customer support also gained. The average score in this category for the 14 products was 3.91, compared with 3.75 the year before. The product with the highest support rating was Taxslayer with a score of 4.39; it was not rated last year.
Network support mightily improved this year. The average rating rose to 3.95 from 3.07 last year, with Dunphy once again leading the pack.
More preparers offered clients the use of electronic filing this year: 89%, up from 79% last year (see exhibit 3, page 42). The survey respondents reported that 60% of their federal returns were filed this way. Some 49% charged their clients for e-filing, up a bit from 48% last year.
[EXHIBIT 3 OMITTED]
Exhibit 1: Tax Software Vendors
Vendor Tax program Address
2nd Story TaxACT 5925 Dry Creek Lane, NE,
Software Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
ATX Forms Max, Saber 52 Sweden St., P.O. Box 1040,
Caribou, ME 04736
CCH ProSystem fx 21250 Hawthorne Blvd.,
Torrance, CA 90503
Creative UItraTax 7322 Newman Blvd.,
Solutions Dexter, MI 48130
Drake Software Drake Tax Solution 235 E. Palmer St.,
Franklin, NC 28734
Dunphy Systems 1040 Professional 6740 Huntley Rd., Suite 103,
Tax Prep Columbus, OH 43229
Intuit Pro Series 6220 Greenwich Dr.,
San Diego, CA 92122
Lacerte Software Lacerte 1040 5601 Headquarters Dr.,
Tax Software Plano, TX 75024
Laser Systems TaxWorks 350 N. 400 West,
Kaysville, UT 84037
Micro Vision Tax Relief 1040 140 Fell Ct.,
Software for Windows Hauppauge, NY 11788
Orrtax Software IntelliTax 13208 NE 20th St.,
Bellevue, WA 98005
Rhodes Financial TaxSlayer 610 Ronald Reagan Dr.,
Services Evans, GA 30809
Tax$imple Tax$imple 8 Emery Ave.,
Randolph, NJ 07869
Universal TaxWise 6 Mathis Dr., NW,
Tax Systems Rome, GA 30165
Vendor Telephone Internet address
2nd Story 800-573-4287 www.taxact.com
ATX Forms 800-944-8883 www. …