P.O. Box 8432
La Jolla, CA 92038-8432
phone: (858) 454-0121
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®.

Get Ready for 2017

Advance Order Form Now Online

Click Here to Order

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. That's because the tax bill renewed nearly all expiring breaks through the end of 2016 at the minimum, and even made several of them permanent (as we detailed in the Spring 2016 issue of HowardNews). And that translates to the earlier release of accurate advance drafts of forms from the IRS to us and more timely and trouble-free software from us to you. But to make sure you get the software as soon as it's released, you should click the starburst NOW!

The BIG news in Spring 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 have been required to e-file since 2012, as we explained in a past issue of HowardNews. However, even if you aren't required to e-file, there are plenty of other reasons to e-file:

  •   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...

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 and later filing season [tax years 2014 and later] are both 32-bit and 64-bit compatible for all recent versions of Windows 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 November 6, 2016.