Top Timesaving Tips from TaxAct Professional

By Lisa Rhatigan

Congratulations, you've made it to the home stretch of tax season! The next few weeks may be some of the most hectic of the season, but TaxAct is here to help. Here are a few timesavers to help maximize your productivity and efficiency in TaxAct Preparer's Editions.

Tip #1: Need fast answers? Go to the Answer Center!

The Answer Center is the best source for the fastest answers to your technical and tax questions. Just enter the topic you need help with and the Answer Center will compile a list of information from a number of expert sources:

  • TaxAct FAQs
  • TaxAct TaxTutor Guidance
  • IRS Instructions

The Answer Center is accessible through the Q&A interview in TaxAct Preparer's Editions:

  1. Open a client return and click the Q&A button in the menu.
  2. On the bottom right of the screen, enter a word or term related to the topic you need help with. Click the blue Go button.

In the above screenshot, also note the links above the Answer Center for Popular Help Topics, TaxTutor Guidance, and IRS Form Instructions. Those links will take you to information specific to the interview question on that screen.

Tip #2: Access form instructions in a single click

Want to access Federal or State form instructions without losing your place?

From the forms view, click the icon with the exclamation mark in a yellow circle to open form instructions.

From the Q&A interview, click IRS Form Instructions on the right side of the screen above the Answer Center. (Link appears as State Form Instruction in the State Q&A.)

Tip #3: Need a client's prior year AGI/PIN? Use the Practitioner PIN method

The Practitioner PIN can take the place of a taxpayer's Prior Year PIN, Prior Year AGI, or IRS-issued EF PIN. While the Practitioner PIN method still requires a Self-Select PIN, it allows you to create the Self-Select PIN. For more information about the Practitioner PIN method, refer to this IRS FAQ or IRS Publication 1345 (pages 19 to 21).

To avoid entering your Practitioner PIN each time you e-file a return, enter your PIN in Master Information in TaxAct.

  1. In the main menu, click Preparer. Select Master Information, then Preparers.
  2. In the Preparer Master Information pop-up window, click the "Preparers" tab, then Edit next to your name.
  3. In the Edit Preparer Information window, click the "Electronic Filing Info" tab.
  4. In the PIN Type dropdown menu, select "Practitioner PIN (Form 8879)".
  5. In the next row, enter your Practitioner PIN, which can be any five digits except all zeros.
  6. Click OK.

Tip #4: How to contact TaxAct Professional Support Specialists

For the fastest answers, search the Answer Center or go to taxactprofessional.com/support.

If you still can't find the answer, click Help in the main menu, then Technical Support for additional resources and our contact information.

About Lisa Rhatigan

Lisa is Vice President of Business-to-Business Marketing at TaxAct. Prior to joining TaxAct, Lisa was a principal in a business development consulting firm that helped CPA firms and other professional service firms grow their businesses.

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