HowardSoft
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phone: (858) 454-0121
e-mail: support@howardsoft.com
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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®.

Click Here to Order

Now shipping 2016 Edition of Tax Preparer

Secure Order Form available on-line


Even though the regular tax season has ended, you can still order all Tax Preparer products for the current filing season. All products are 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, just click the starburst.


'Early Bird' Order Form also on-line:
20% OFF through June 30, 2016

If you want to get your 2017 settled now, you can do it at a big discount if you order now. Thanks to the wide-reaching year-end tax bill in 2015, the next tax season promises to be an unusually smooth one. Unlike most recent years, the laws for 2016 are already set and do not depend on another last-minute, year-end tax bill that retroactively reinstates expired tax breaks. Just click the same starburst, and you can take advantage of an unusual discount for an unusual tax season to come.

The BIG news in Sping 2016 issue of HowardNews:

Next tax season promises to be unusually smooth!


Stability for 2016. The passage of a panic-driven tax bill at the end of 2015 may not have seemed like big news to most people, but it will have a huge impact on the next filing season. It broke the pattern of annual year-end tax bills by making the most popular of the chronically expiring tax breaks permanent and, for those not made permanent, renewed them though the end of the 2016 tax year at the minimum. As a result, the tax laws for 2016 are changed very little from those for 2015, with no room for year-end surprises.

How it all affects Tax Preparer. Because the IRS will not have to wait until the end of the year for retroactive reinstatement of expired credits this year, they will be able to give us advance drafts that are uncharacteristically accurate and timely. That will eliminate the habitual time crunch at the end of this year and the start of next year for us to complete our software. We therefore expect a smooth tax season next year with timely, reliable, accurate, and automated software for both us and the IRS.

e-file matures with speed and accuracy. After years of growing pains, the current tax season showed that the IRS's e-file program has finally matured. The format of e-file returns is now stable and very few returns are now ineligible for e-file. But the most significant change seen by preparers is the speed with which they give feedback on submitted returns. Acknowledgements that tell you whether a return has been rejected or accepted is now give within a matter of hours rather than a matter of days. You can now e-file returns and correct them the same day if they have been rejected!

See our Spring 2016 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 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 April 30, 2016.