Welcome to the VITA/TCE Blog


Group Login: Creating and Assigning Questions

The following instructions describe how to create and assign Question Templates: (1) Login with your Group Login (2) Click Select on Group Configuration (3) Select Question Templates (4) Click on either Create Question Template or Default Question Template (5) Click Add to create the question and answer bank to assign.  Note:  You cannot re-assign any […]


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E-file Entry Checks on Alimony Paid, 2441, MFS with unknown SSN

TaxSlayer is designed to assume the return being created will be electronically filed. As you navigate through the entry pages, you must complete entries required for electronic filing. There are certain entry pages that require a SSN to proceed through the page.  In the circumstances where the SSN is not known the return will have […]


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Pro Online 2016 Return Creation

All sites have been enabled to Create Tax Returns for Tax Year 2016. Caution:  All returns prepared at the site level are considered “live” returns.  All preparers/users should continue to use the Practice Lab for training purposes. Question:  Why does the top Navigation Bar still display Practice Lab when I am in a Live return? […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab Update Alert: January 18, 2017 — Complete

Update 7:10 AM — You may experience a brief disruption of service over the next 15 minutes as we deploy an efile update in preparation for electronic filing Update 5:35 AM – Complete Update included changes to: Medical and Dental Expenses – Schedule A Moving Expenses Sales Tax Taxes Paid 1040 View Alignment Please check […]


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17 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Final Stress Test Reminder: January 17, 2017 1:00 PM EST (Closed)

2:00 PM EST – The testing window is now closed.  Thank you for taking the time out of your day to participate in our stress test.  Your participation over the past three weeks has given us an opportunity to optimize various areas.  We will leave the Stress Test Survey open for the next 24 hours. […]


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17 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Pro Online/Practice Lab Update Notification: January 17

Update:  Custom Credits issue resolve. We will be putting the Site and the returns in maintenance mode at 5:00 AM to apply  a series of application updates.  This process will take between 30 and 45 minutes.   Blog Posted 1/16/2017  6:23 PM EST


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16 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Group Login: Assigning Security Templates

(1) Login with your Group Login (2) Click Select on Group Configuration (3) Click Select on Security Templates You will see the security templates setup at the site level for the sites in your group.  It is important to note that you cannot assign these to other locations. (4) Click Add and create Security Templates […]


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1040 View Misaligned Numbers

Scenario: The information on the 1040 view is aligned properly and makes it difficult to see totals or click entries to navigate to the Entry forms Example: An alternative solution is to click the Summary View button This will display the same information a collapsed summary view.  You can then click the Show Details link […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Occupation Field in Basic Information

We made a change to make the Taxpayer/Spouse occupation fields on the Basic Information a required entry.  This will prevent you having to go back and add it for the numerous states that require it to pass e-file validation. Blog Posted 01/14/2017  11:33 AM EST  


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Pro Online: Assigned Custom Credits –Resolved 1/17

We have received several reports of Assigned Custom Credits displaying at your site under Configuration>>Custom Credits. Note:  If you have a Multi Site or Relational Group Admin Login, please do not assign Custom Credits until further notice.  If you have already assigned custom credits, we would like for you to login and remove the check mark […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Interest and Dividends Misalignment (IE)

Impact:  Users access the sites using Internet Explorer Scenario:  The Interest and Dividends entry pages are misaligned causing a portion of the words to be cut off. This does not impact the tax calculations based on the information entered. Interest Entry Page via Internet Explorer (The box numbers are still visible that correspond to the […]


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Practice Lab: Surprise 5 Questions

We are working to remove the five additional questions displaying on the Practice Lab.  They are marked as required.  To move off the screen, you need to pick a random answer. Blog Post 01/13/2017  11:48 AM EST


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13 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Pro Online/Practice Lab: Verbiage Changes on Entry Forms

The following verbiage changes were made to Entry Form to give more guidance and clarity during return prep: Form 8853:  Now reflects Box 1 instead of Box 2 IRA Deduction:  Verbiage added to assist in reporting excess contributions on Form 5329 Other Income: Updated descriptions of what types of income can be reported Form 1116: On screen […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Update Alert January 13

Update 6:15 AM — Complete We will put the site and returns in maintenance mode beginning at 6 AM EST for an update to the application.   Blog Posted 01/12/2017  10:00 PM EST


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12 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Form 8965 Exemptions

The exemption list has now been updated to include Code H:  Member of tax household born, adopted or died Blog Posted 01/12/2017  6:55 PM EST


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Practice Lab/Pro Online 2016: Entry Form Corrections

The following Entry Form Corrections have been made: If reporting a Code W in Box 12 of the W-2, and then adding Form 8889 with no additional entries other than the data that carried from Box 12 of the W-2, Code W the application was rendering an endless loop.  This no longer occurs Form 8853 […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Substitute W-2

The following entries are now being saved: How did you determine the amounts on Substitute W-2 Explain your efforts to Obtain Form W-2 Blog Posted 01/12/2017  6:45 PM EST


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Car & Mileage Entry Alignment

The alignment of Business, Commuting and Other mileage entry fields has been corrected Blog Posted 01/12/2017  6:38 PM EST


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Practice Lab/Pro Online 2016: Public Safety Office Checkbox

Please note that there is a new Retired Public Safety Office checkbox on the Simplified General Rule Worksheet.  Adding the ability to make the selection is part 1 of a 2 part enhancement.  Part 2 of the enhancement will be to carry the PSO exclusion to the 1040.   Note:  Once both pieces are in […]


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Pro Online 2016: Start New Return Activation Date

We will be activating Start New Return on Wednesday, January 18th.  We (the IRS and TaxSlayer) want to ensure that all volunteers participating in Tuesday’s stress test are preparing all practice returns in Practice Lab 2016. Note:  All returns created at the site level will be considered live returns. Question:  Can the front line TaxSlayer […]


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Pro Online: Preparer Menu Error (Updated 5:08 PM EST)

Update:  We are still working on a resolution:  This appears to be sporadically impacting users that are creating their Practice Lab Account.   Scenario: Adding a New Preparer and clicking Continue after entering the applicable information.  The application takes longer than normal to load and renders a server error.  Once the error is rendered, the […]


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Follow Up Stress Test: Tuesday, January 17th 1:00 PM EST

What?  We want to invite you to participate in a follow up stress test on the TaxSlayer Online Software. The goal of the stress test will be to stretch the boundaries of the software system and give us an opportunity to test the changes we implemented based on the results from Phase I and Phase II.  The […]


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Practice Lab: Frequently Asked Questions

The following blog links have detailed information about the top questions we are receiving in support. Where to I enter Tax-Exempt Interest? Entering Tax-Exempt Interest Where do I enter Direct Deposit Information? Entering Direct Deposit Information The 8888 is not available in the Practice Lab, how will I complete it? Entering Split Refunds with Form […]


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IRS News Essentials: Monitor your EFIN

Safeguarding Taxpayer Data: Monitor Your EFIN for Suspicious Activity Identity thieves increasingly target tax professionals. A thief who breaches the data of one tax return preparer can gain hundreds or thousands of taxpayers’ data. One way you can monitor for suspicious activity is to check how many federal tax returns have been filed with your […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab Update Alert: January 12th

We will put the site and returns in maintenance mode beginning at 6 AM EST for a series of updates to the application and updated calculations. The misalignment issues with the 1040 view and telephone numbers should be resolved after this push. Blog Post:  01/11/2017  8:46 PM EST  


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11 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

1040 View: Misaligned Items – Resolved

Updated 1/12/2017  6:45 PM EST — Resolved There are some misaligned items on the 1040 view.  When you click the links, they do take you to the appropriate entry forms.   The PDF also generates the correct data aligned properly Below is an example of the issue We are working to resolve


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Pro Online: Changing the Default Security Code

Question:  What are the requirements for the Security Code? Answer:  Minimum of three characters Question:  Are security codes case sensitive? Answer:  Yes Note:  Make sure you give the security code to the preparers as part of the login credentials when you set them up as new users or if you change the code after the […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab Update Alert: Wednesday, January 11th

Update 8:04 AM EST: Now that preparers are receiving their login credentials from their site Admin, we have added new wording to the Practice Lab Dialog box when they try to login to the Practice Lab with their production site credentials.  Below is an example of the new message. The 1099-MISC now contains the line […]


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10 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Pro Online: Adding 1099-MISC Income to an existing Schedule C

Scenario:  A schedule C has already been created for the taxpayer or spouse and you want to add additional income to the existing schedule C. Example of existing Schedule C assigned to the Taxpayer Next:  Add a 1099-Misc for the Taxpayer with a $ value in Box 7:  non employee compensation and click Contine You […]


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Pro Online Practice Lab: Update Alert

8:00 AM EST: Searching by SSN for a group login or a user than has more than 500 preparers is now allowed Search by Taxpayer and Preparer Full name has been changed to allow for search by first name or last name We will be deploying an update on Tuesday, January 10th at 6:00 AM […]


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09 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Master Print Sets

The print sets delivered on behalf of the IRS has been modified to include the 1040A and 1040EZ.  The printed 1040 series forms will be reflective of the 1040 form calculated from the data entered by the preparer. Please review this link to create site level or group level print sets if you want to add to or restrict […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Due Diligence Checklist (Updated)

Question:  When does the Due Diligence Checklist Load? Answer:  The checklist loads when the tax return includes the following credits: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Child Tax Credit (CTC) American Opportunities Tax Credit (AOTC) The Due Diligence checklist is not transmitted to the IRS with the electronic file for returns prepared in the VITA/TCE program. […]


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Pro Online: Creating Consents

Navigate to Configuration and click Select on Consent Forms. Any assigned Consents will be displayed in the Assigned Consent Forms section.  These cannot be edited or reassigned. Creating a New Consent: Click Add Enter the Consent Form Name.  This is the title that will print at the top of the form Enter a Description:  This is […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Multiple Ways to Print a Return

Question:  If I try to print print from the Summary/Print page and receive a “time out” message, how can I print my return? Answer:  There are two other alternatives to print the return: Click E-file in the left navigation bar.  Once you have completed the e-file page, you can select a print set option from […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016 States

We are in the process of making states available throughout the afternoon. The PDF will indicate if the form is not approved for printing. The following states are still waiting e-file approval: Georgia Individual E-file Indiana Individual E-File Kansas Individual E-file Louisiana individual E-file Maine Individual E-File Massachusetts Individual E-file Minnesota Individual E-file Mississippi Individual […]


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Inclement Weather Watch – January 6 – January 7 (updated)

Updated 3:14 PM EST:  Due to the current weather outlook, we are making the following changes to our support hours: Telephone and Chat support will be Unavailable Friday, January 6, 2017:  10 PM – Midnight EST Saturday, January 7, 2017:  Delayed opening at 10 AM EST We will continue to monitor Support Email We are […]


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06 Jan 17 Kim Manuel
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Stress Test Phase II Reminder: Monday, January 9th 1:00 PM EST

What?  We want to invite you to participate in phase II of our volunteer driven stress test on the TaxSlayer Online Software. The goal of the stress test will be to stretch the boundaries of the software system.  This will give us the opportunity to make any necessary optimizations prior to the peak of the filing season. […]


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06 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

IRS News Essentials: IRS Warn of Refund Delays

IRS and Partners Look to Start of 2017 Tax Season; Encourage use of IRS.gov and e-File; Warn of Refund Delays IRS YouTube Videos When Will I Get My Refund: English | Spanish Claiming EITC or ACTC? Your Refund May Be Delayed: English WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and partners from the states and tax […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab: Change password Feature — RESOLVED

Update:  resolved  6:00 AM EST Problem:  The change password feature is currently not working as designed. Symptom:  If you change your password, the system is not recognizing your new password. Solution:  We have resolved the issue, but due to the significant number of training classes being conducted this afternoon we will be pushing the solution […]


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IRS News Essentials: Secure your Office/Site

Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – Secure Your Office Tax professionals can help protect taxpayer data by looking around their own offices. It’s more important than ever that tax professionals take aggressive steps to protect taxpayer information. Securing office space is as important as securing computers. In assessing how secure your office is, consider these questions: Are […]


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ROTH Distribution, Code Q Entry in TaxSlayer Pro Online

If you have a 1099-R for a ROTH Distribution with Code Q marked in Box 7, to carry this figure to Line 15a of Form 1040, you must check the IRA/SEP/Simple box as shown below. Also make sure the taxable amount in Box 2a is blank. An enhancement is being made to the software and […]


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Practice Lab/Pro Online 2016: Changes to 8880 Calculation

Previous Behavior:  If the taxpayer was under the age of 18 and met the other qualifications the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit was calculating. Solution:  The taxpayer’s age has been added as a qualifying factor to prevent an erroneous credit. Blog posted 01/03/2017  5:54 PM EST


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: 8863 Qualifying Questions

Previous Behavior:  The qualifying questions were not automatically displaying the next question until you selected the continue button Resolution:  As qualifying questions are answered, the next question will auto-appear if the return still qualifies for the credit. Blog Posted 01/03/2017  5:51 PM EST


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Dependents Modified AGI (ACA)

The Dependents’ Modified AGI (if filing requirement page) now displays for all insurance selections (no insurance, private insurance or marketplace insurance) Previous Behavior:  The page only appeared if the selection was made of purchasing health insurance through the marketplace. Current Issue:  The Dependent MAGI entry is not carrying to the SRP worksheet.  We will resolve […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: 1040NR Additional Forms

We have added the following forms to the 1040NR Form 8288-A: US Tax Withheld Form 8840: Closer Connection Exception Statement Form 8805: Foreign Partner’s Information Statement Form 1042-S: Foreign Person’s US Income Subject to Withholding Form 8854: Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement Form SSA-1042’s: Social Security Benefit Statement Form RRB-1042’s: Tax Statement Form 8843: Statement […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Capital Gains/Loss Multiple Code Selection

The Capital Gains and Loss menu now allows for multiple codes to be selected which will carry to Form 8949. Note:  We still have a few more adjustments to make to this feature that will prevent the check boxes from being removed when you edit the transaction. Blog Posted 01/03/2017  5:31 PM EST


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Pro Online/Practice Lab 2016: Affordability Exemption

The following page has been added to the Healthcare Questionnaire.  The application will take into consideration the amount you enter for the Lowest Cost Bronze Plan Premium and the Second Lowest Cost Silver Plan Premium to help you more easily determine if the taxpayer qualifies for the affordability exemption. You can obtain the premium amounts […]


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Stress Test Phase 1: Start time 1:00 PM EST — End Time 2:00 PM EST

Update 2:00 PM EST:  This concludes phase I of the stress test.  Thank you all so much for your participation.  Please take a few moments to complete our stress test survey.  We will be closing the survey at 5:00 PM EST.  You all created 6,370 returns in the span of an hour, Congratulations!! Stress Test […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Cash Gifts to Charity

Problem:  When I click Begin on Cash Gifts to Charity, nothing happens: Reason:  The application is loading this page slow.  It is taking approximately 1 minute to load the entry page.  Note:  Once it is loaded the information saves quickly and adding an additional item loads in the normal expected time. Resolution:  We are determining […]


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Pro Online 2015: Erroneous E-file Error — Resolved 1/5 10:22 PM EST

Update:  Resolved The resolution will only stop it from happening. To “fix” the ones that received the error you will need to go into personal info and save it again. Problem:  The following error is preventing me from completing the return in Practice Lab 2015 Resolution:  We are working to resolve the error so you will […]


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Site in Maintenance Mode — Resolved

Update 9:20 AM EST:  The site is out of maintenance mode.  We will be posting a list of items that were deployed later this afternoon. ~~ Original Blog Post~~~ We have put the site in maintenance mode to resolve the real-time calculation issue. Blog posted 1/2/2017  8:31 AM EST


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Practice Lab 2016: Real Time Calculations — Resolved

Updated 1/2/2017: 9:20 AM EST — Resolved ~~ Original Post~~ The real time calculations are not currently rendering a result. Symptom:  Opening a return displays the Calculating Return without displaying the 1040 view What can I do? Click on Basic Info in an existing return and then go to the federal section.  The return will […]


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Pro Online: Ad Hoc Sites

Ad Hoc Site Scenario: Site has a “main” site and also has one or more “ad hoc” site . The main site has an EFIN and SIDN (Snnnnnnn01) Ad Hoc site #1 has its own SIDN (Snnnnnnn02) because the IRS wants the returns prepared at the ad hoc site to report under the correct SIDN. […]


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02 Jan 17 Kim Manuel

2016 Schedule A – Medical and Dental Expense Issue

There is a current issue that we are aware of and working to resolve. When entering Medical and Dental expenses using the “Supporting Statement” entry method, the entries are not being included in the overall itemized calculation and not carrying to the 1040 accordingly. The “Support Statement” entry method is highlighted in the below screenshot. […]


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30 Dec 16 Craig Smith

How to Report the PSO exclusion in TaxSlayer Pro Online

To take the Retired Public Safety Offer deduction for up to $3,000 you will need to reduce the amount in box 2a of the applicable 1099-R by the amount of the deduction. Once you have continued out of the 1099-R, you can go to Nontaxable Distributions and check the box for the PSO exclusion.   […]


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30 Dec 16 Craig Smith

Where to Report amounts from 1099-DIV, Box 11?

A common question we are beginning to see in the Support Squad is where to report amounts found in box 11 of a 1099-DIV for Specified Private Activity Bond Interest. To report this particular 1099-DIV amount, go into the “Other Taxes” menu of the Federal Section and access the Alternative Minimum Tax menu. There will […]


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30 Dec 16 Craig Smith

Desktop: What URLS to make as trusted sites

You will need to make sure and have the following URLs as trusted sites to complete all communications with TaxSlayer Pro and also to receive all communications from TaxSlayer.   https://vita.taxslayerpro.com https://vita.taxslayerpro.com/protran/2016/TransmissionService.svc https://protran.taxslayerpro.com/updates/UpdateService.svc https://www.taxstatusnow.com/ https://services.taxslayerpro.com http://downloads.taxslayer.com/   Blog Posted 12/29/2016  8:05 AM EST


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Desktop: Error updating non-internet Computers

Problem:  Cannot recall the update on computers not connected to the Internet Solution:  You will need to complete the following steps one time when transferring and recalling the updates on computers without internet access:   Download and install the latest update Transfer Updates Copy the following three files from the program root of the updated […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Health Coverage Exemption Page

Scenario:  I select “No” to the question:  Do you have a marketplace-issued certificate for this exemption?  I then select an exemption type from the drop down list. Problem:  The health Coverage Exemption type displays Certificate rather than the exemption code Solution:  This is a display issue and will be resolved in an application update.   […]


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Pro Online: Pre-defined Security Templates

The following default security templates are available to assign to preparers. ADMINISTRATOR SUPERUSER PREPARER CURRENT YEARS PREPARER ALL YEARS SETUP MANAGER INTERVIEWER REVIEWER EFILE MANAGER Question:  Can I see the default Security templates under my site Security Template Settings? Answer:  No.  The default Security Templates and any assigned security templates are displayed for selection when you […]


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Relational Admin (RA): Your Welcome Page

You have received your login credentials for your Relational Admin group account.  This also requires the use of a Relational EFIN and the appropriate 7216 Consents.  We will be assigning the appropriate Reporting Consent that will be required to be completed for the purpose of electronic filing. You will have access to Group Menu Client Search […]


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Pro Online: Creating Usernames for your Preparers

Question:  What is the maximum number of characters allowed when I am creating a username for my preparer? Answer:  30 Question:  Can the username be alpha-numeric and also contain special characters. Answer:  Yes, the same special characters that are used when creating a password. Example of a 30 character username:  Kim@somewhere!123thirtylong123


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Pro Online: Taxable Scholarships

Question:  Where do I enter taxable scholarships? Answer:  Navigate to the Federal Section of the return Select Income and Enter Myself Select Begin or Edit on Other Income This will display the Less Common Income Menu Select Begin on Other Compensation Select Begin on Scholarships and Grants


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Multi Site Admin (MSA): Your Welcome Page

You have received your login credentials for your Multi-Site Admin group account.  This allows you to create configurable items and assign them to the sites that are listed under your MSA group. You will have access to Group Configuration when you login. Click Select to access the Configuration Menu.  The items located on the Configuration […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Taxpayer Profiles

The Practice Lab 2016 is currently not rendering the appropriate entry forms when you select a taxpayer profile.  You are being taken to the Quick File page after completing the personal information. Clicking Continue will take you to the Income Menu where you can start entering data.


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IRS Quick Alert: Possible Phishing Scam

The IRS is issuing this alert to warn e-Services account holders of an uptick in a previously reported scam designed to capture usernames and passwords. If you receive and unsolicited email you suspect could be a scam, please forward it unopened to phishing@irs.gov. If e-services users have already clicked on the fake logo and provided […]


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Pro Online: Capital Loss Carryover

Question:  Where do I enter Capital Loss Carryover Answer:  Navigate to the Schedule D Capital Gains Menu.  You can do this by selecting the appropriate line from the 1040 View, Select Schedule D from the Income Menu, or enter Schedule D in the Forms Search Select Begin on the Other Capital Gains Data line Enter […]


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IRS News Essentials: Safeguarding Taxpayer Data

Safeguarding Taxpayer Data – How to Get Started Tax professionals must safeguard taxpayer data by law. It is also critical to tax preparers’ business success. Protect your clients and yourself by taking a few common sense steps. You can seek advice from security consultants or insurance companies. IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data, also offers […]


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Pro Online/Practice Lab: Printing (Update)

  Selecting any print set from either the client list or from the e-file page is not including the 8879 in the PDF . We are working to resolve this. Blog Posted 12/21/2016  8:38 AM EST


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Multi Site/Relational Groups: Making Changes

Question:  If I need to make a change to something that I have already assigned to someone else, how do I that? Answer:  Once you make and save the change from the Group Admin login, it is effective at the assigned site level immediately.  For example: If I add a new question, it shows up […]


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Save the Date: Volunteer Driven Stress Test

What?  We want to invite you to participate in a  two phased volunteer driven stress test on the TaxSlayer Online Software. The goal of the stress test will be to stretch the boundaries of the software system.  This will give us the opportunity to make any necessary optimizations prior to the peak of the filing season. When? […]


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Desktop: Opening without prompting for Username

Scenario:  When opening the 2016 program for the first time today on some computers, the Tax Program Service is not restarting after automatic updates. The result is the program opening without prompting for a username. The preparer will be logged in as a blank preparer with no role assigned. Work around: Close the program and re-open […]


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AOL email Accounts and Site Activation Emails

If you are using AOL as your email provider, we have been noticing a pattern of unusually high request to resend the site and user activation emails.  Please make sure you add support@support.vita.taxslayerpro.com as a safe sender.   Blog Posted 12/15/2016 5;37 PM EST


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Pro Online 2016 Enhancements Video

The following link is now available on the left navigation bar in the Practice Lab and your Pro Online site. Click here to view the video


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15 Dec 16 Kim Manuel

Pro Online: December 15th Update Changes

The following changes were made to the application this morning Users that have access to Configuration can now view the Print Master templates assigned to the site Users that have the ability to add/edit the Preparer Menu can now select the Prepares NY Returns option and enter Volunteer Tax Preparer from the drop down menu […]


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Pro Online: Creating New Returns at your Site

Once your site has activated its Pro Online account, you will have the option to Create Tax Year 2015 returns.  We have made a change that will allow you to enter the full  SSN (it no longer defaults the 4th and 5th digit to 00) We will be activating the Start New Return feature for […]


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Release Notes

We have added a new Release Notes feature to the left navigation bar.  This is where you will find detailed release information for application updates, federal updates and state updates.  This information is available to all volunteers that log into the site. This will open a separate window.  Below is an example of the page […]


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Pro Online: Office Setup Definitions

Print Preparer Signture on 1040 — Not applicable Print Firm Information on Cover Page — Not applicable Disable Third Party Designee Prefill — Applicable: Needs to be selected to prevent the preparer information from filling in as the third party designee Require taxpayer signatures prior to efile — Not applicable, forces preparers to have the taxpayer/spouse use the built-in […]


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Desktop User Guides — Resolved

Update:  12/14/2016 10:41 AM —  All desktop users were shipped a printed copy of the desktop user guide on Tuesday, 12/13 ~~Original Blog ~~ The package you will be receiving contains the Pro Online User guide rather than the Desktop User Guide.  We are shipping out your Desktop User Guide today.  Sorry for the confusion […]


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Desktop: Conversion Menu inside TaxSlayer Pro — Activated 12/22

We currently have the desktop menu to upload the conversions hidden.  We are in the process of enhancing the environment where the files are uploaded and converted.  These changes will optimize the conversion process.  Once this is complete, we will update the application to expose the conversion menu.


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IRS News Essentials: IRS, Partners Add New Safeguard for 2017

IRS, Partners Add New Safeguard for 2017; Ask for Your Help to Combat Identity Theft Building on the successes of last year, the IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry are enacting a series of new initiatives for 2017. These initiatives will better protect you from identity theft and refund fraud. However, we need […]


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IRS News Essentials: 2017 Filing Season

Issue Number:    IR-2016-167 Inside This Issue 2017 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 23 for Nation’s Taxpayers, Tax Returns due April 18 WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the nation’s tax season will begin Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and reminded taxpayers claiming certain tax credits to expect a longer wait for refunds. The IRS […]


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Practice Lab 2016: ACA Months Insured Error — RESOLVED

Updated 12/12/2016 7:00 AM — Resolved   Scenario:  Select No that to the question “Was your entire household insured for all 12 months of 2016?” and select a number less than 12. When you click Continue, you receive the following error message page.  Click Log Back In to return to the Practice Lab Welcome page.   […]


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10 Dec 16 Kim Manuel

Pro Online: Creating Security Templates — Resolved

Update 12/9  6:15 AM EST — Resolved   Scenario:  You receive the following error when clicking Continue while creating a Security Template: Reason:  This error is occurring due to security changes deployed this morning Solution:  We will resolve in an update to the application     Posted 12/8/2016  2:07 PM EST


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08 Dec 16 Kim Manuel

Pro Online: Change Password on First Login — RESOLVED

Update:  12/9/2016 6:16 AM EST — Resolved Note:  This does not impact Practice Lab Users Each user that is created at a site is required to change their password on initial login.  Due to some new security changes we deployed this morning, the created users at the site level will receive the following error Invalid […]


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08 Dec 16 Kim Manuel

Practice Lab 2016: Other Adjustments

Other Adjustments is now visible Posted 12/8/2016  7:50 AM EST


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Pro Online 2016: User Interface Changes

We have rolled out some User Interface Changes this morning to enhance the flexibility of selecting items: (1)  You can now click on the line associated with a checkbox to make a selection.  This will utilize your browser rather than a registered font (2) The bars on the Menu items can be clicked to navigate […]


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Practice Lab: Username and Password Recovery – Updated Info

Update 12/8/2016  4:13 PM EST The password resets and username emails come from the following email address:  Note this is different than the information in our user guides: From: vita.taxslayerpro.com ~~  Original Blog Post ~~ The Username and Password Recovery features are now fully operational and sending the appropriate emails.   Posted: 12/8/2016 6:53 AM […]


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IRS Newswire: What should taxpayer’s Keep?

Tax Preparedness Series: Tax Records – What to Keep Note to Editor: This is the fifth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season. WASHINGTON – As tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service has information for taxpayers who wonder how long to keep tax returns and […]


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IRS Newswire: Recognize Phishing Scams

IRS, Security Summit Partners Remind Taxpayers to Recognize Phishing Scams WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners cautioned taxpayers today to avoid identity theft by watching for phishing scams that can increase around the tax season.   The IRS, state tax agencies and the tax industry – all partners in the fight […]


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Pro Online: 1040X Training video and Mini Guide

Click here to review the 1040X Training video and download the corresponding mini guide


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Pro Online: Site Activation Tips

The attached document was written by a VITA volunteer in the St Louis area that is responsible for setting up multiple sites.  The document is based on his user experience and includes tips that may help you navigate through the process. Click here to view the Site Activation Tips Document


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Desktop: Helpful Links

The following links will allow you to download additional information in preparation for tax season.  These documents will also be on the Training CD that you will be receiving. Click here for information on transmitting for multiple EFINs/locations Click here for information on the desktop to desktop conversion process


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IRS Newswire: Security

IRS, Security Summit Partners, Remind Taxpayers to Protect Themselves Online WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service, the states and the tax industry today urged taxpayers to take steps to protect themselves online to help in the fight against identity theft. Scammers, hackers and identity thieves are looking to steal taxpayers’ personal information and ultimately their money. […]


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IRS e-News: VITA Recruitment: Spread the Word

Do you know anyone who would make an excellent volunteer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program?  The IRS is recruiting and would appreciate your help in spreading the word. Learn more about the program by watching this new YouTube video.


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IRS News Release: New Online Tool

IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Account Information IR-2016-155, Dec. 1, 2016 WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service announced today the launch of an online application that will assist taxpayers with straightforward balance inquiries in a safe, easy and convenient way. This new and secure tool, available on IRS.gov allows taxpayers […]


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TaxSlayer Pro Online: How to assign a Default Security Template

You may be wondering how to assign a default security template to a user at your site. If you have reviewed the TaxSlayer Pro Online User Guide, page 20, you may know the default security templates are only assignable when adding a user/preparer at your site. The TaxSlayer Pro Online User Guide can be accessed […]


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04 Dec 16 Craig Smith

Real Time Calculations: Explanation of how they work

Real time calculations run independently of the tax application.  The feature is designed to allow the preparer to continue working if the tax calculation stops rendering results.  While this rarely happens, below is a description of what you an expect if the real time calculations stops rendering results: Symptom:  Opening a return displays the “Calculating […]


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Desktop: Office Identifier

Purpose:  The Office Identifier is a number generated by TaxSlayer.  This is a Vendor Control Number required for electronic filing.  The field must be present in the-e-file for acceptance.  The goal is for the IRS to validate the number in the e-file with the number uploaded by the software vendor. Question:  Where is this located? […]


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Pro Online: Office Identifier

Purpose:  The Office Identifier is a number generated by TaxSlayer and imported into a field in ERO Setup.  This is a Vendor Control Number required for electronic filing.  The field must be present in the-e-file for acceptance.  The goal is for the IRS to validate the number in the e-file with the number uploaded by […]


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Pro Online Login Security Code

Site Administrators:  The default security code is located under the site name and address on the activation email you received.  You will need to give the security code to the preparers that you are setting up. Preparers/Users:  If you received login credentials from your site administrator you should have received the following at a minimum: […]


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Update on IRS e-Services

Issue Number:  “SPECIAL EDITION” Over the next five weeks, the IRS will send letters to certain e-Services product users who must either go online or call the e-Services e-Help Desk to validate their identities. These letters will go to those users who can access the Transcript Delivery Service and who have been active within the […]


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Introducing the VITA/TCE Springboard

VITA/TCE Springboard Purpose:  Landing page that gives you access to the following: Pro Online Login page (Available after site activation) Practice Lab VITA/TCE Blog (A great source for breaking news and Frequently Asked Questions) My Account (available for administrators who have created user accounts) Knowledge Base Once you have activated your site and/or created your […]


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Changing the PIN for the Administrator Login Credentials

Problem:  I entered a PIN other than 98765 when I was setting up my administrator account during my site activation.  How do I change it? Solution: When you login to the site with your login credentials, password and security code, you should see a Configuration line on your Welcome Page.  You can access the site by […]


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Practice Lab 2015: Medical and Dental Expense Page — RESOLVED

Update 12/02:  This has been resolved ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ Scenario:  Enter data on the Medical and Dental Expense page and click Continue Problem:  The data is immediately removed and the page is displayed again with no data Solution:  We are working on a resolution. Workaround:  The following work around was submitted by one […]


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19 Nov 16 Kim Manuel

Relational EFIN holders: What to expect

The email with the web link is to activate your site.  It IS NOT the username that  you will use to create configurable items to assign to the other sites  you are responsible for setting up or run group reports. You will be getting an email from the regular VITA support email address with your […]


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Multi-Site Administrators: What to expect

The email with the web link is to activate your site.  It IS NOT the username that  you will use to create configurable items to assign to the other sites  you are responsible for setting up. You will be getting an email from the regular VITA support email address with your group login and default […]


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Activating your Pro Online Site — Updated 11/29 12:47 PM

We have started sending out Site Activation links based on the orders we have received.  The emails will go to the email address entered for the site during the ordering process. Each Pro Online site will be sent (2) Emails 01/13/2017 Update:  Once you have activated your site, you can easily access it from the VITA/TCE Springboard […]


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Security Template Definitions

The following PDF lists the options available in TaxSlayer Pro Online Security Templates.   The program will be delivered with 8 pre-defined security templates. Click Here to view definitions  


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Practice Lab 2016: Additions to the EIN Database

We have added the following forms to the EIN Database for TaxSlayer 2016: W-2G 2441 The EIN Database now covers the following forms: W-2 W-2G 1099-G (Unemployment Compensation) 1099-MISC 1099-R RRB-1099-R 2441


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Practice Lab 2016: Carry Forward Feature

Scenario: You may encounter two new things. Solution:  We are working on bypassing these two screens (1) You will get the following page indicating Important Messages.  When you get this page click “Continue” (2) You may encounter the Pull Carry Forward Screen.  Because the Practice lab is one big company with 40,000+ users, it is […]


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Practice Lab: Guest Book — Update

Update November 18: We have removed all of the guestbooks to allow a smoother training experience until we can deploy a permanent resolution. ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ We have removed the Guestbook from the 4 pre-recorded webinars under Section 6 until we can resolve the reported concerns about not being able to type in […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Changes in W-2 Behavior

Changing the wages in Box 1 now automatically changes the amounts in boxes 3 and 5 (as well as recalculating boxes 4 and 6) Added a visible cursor placement as you move through Box 13 to help determine the active box


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Resident State Return (Change in when it loads) — LIVE

Update November 17: This feature is now live in Practice Lab 2015.  You will also see it in Practice Lab 2016 as we start turning states. ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ Purpose:  Load and calculate the basic state resident return as the federal return is being input.  The preparer will see the federal and the […]


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TaxSlayer 2016 User Guides

The TaxSlayer 2016 User Guides are now available to download.  Each site will also receive (1) printed user guide based on the software placed during the ordering system.  Please note that login credentials will not be received with the user guide.  Information on login credentials will be posted at a later time. Click Here to […]


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Selecting a Taxpayer Profile

Question:  How do I select a Taxpayer Profile? Answer:  Click on the Profile Title to make a selection.  This will turn the words bold and darken the surrounding bubble. In the example below the Basic (No Profile) is active.  To select a different profile, click on the Profile Title Line (outlined below)  


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Pro Online: IRS IP PIN

Question:  Where do I enter the IRS IP PIN? Answer:  Navigate to the Federal Section of the return in the left navigation panel.  Select Miscellaneous Form from the top menu bar. Click Begin on the IRS Identification PIN menu bar The application will list all persons on the return.  Enter the PIN and click Continue […]


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Practice Lab 2016: Medical and Dental Expenses Page — RESOLVED

Updated 12/02 — Resolved ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ The supporting items feature that we added to the Medical and Dental expenses page are causing this page to save “slowly”. The information will save.  We are working to resolve the slowness concerns.


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New IRA Self-Certification Procedure

Revenue Procedure 2016-47 provides a taxpayers the ability to make a written certification to a plan administrator or an IRA trustee that a contribution satisfies the conditions in Section 3.02 of this revenue procedure. This self-certification has the effects described in Section 3.04 of this revenue procedure. Since this is an election the taxpayer must […]


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Practice Lab 2015: Real Time Calculations – RESOLVED

Update 1:23 PM — Resolved ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ The real time calculations are not currently rendering a result. Symptom:  Opening a return displays the Calculating Return without displaying the 1040 view What can I do? Click on Basic Info in an existing return and then go to the federal section.  The return will […]


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Office IP Whitelist

Purpose:  This feature allows the site administrator to add the IP address(es) used at the location to the system.  The application will then verify the IP address during user login.  If the user/preparer is logging in from an IP address not associated with the site, a login failure will occur preventing the user/preparer from logging […]


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Tax Year 2015: Medical and Dental Expenses page — Resolved

Update 11/17/2017  10:00 AM EST — Resolved ~~ Original Post ~~~ Problem:  The Medical and Dental Expenses page is generating an error which prevents information from being entered. Scenario 1:  Enter Medical and Dental Expenses in the Forms Search Box and select “Go to Medical and Dental Expenses” Scenario 2:  Click Select on the Medical […]


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Practice Lab: Prior Years — Resolved

Update: 7:59 AM EST Prior Years are no longer visible on the Practice Lab ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ The following prior years are currently displaying on the Welcome Page Selecting these years will result in a server error.  We are in the process of hiding these options.


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Practice Lab: Status Update (Nov 17, 2016)

Update Nov 17 2:01 PM EST The 1040 View has been updated to reflect 2016 Update Nov 15 4:24 PM EST  Printing and/or displaying from inside the return has been enabled. Update 4:57 PM EST Practice Lab 2016 is now available.  Please note the following: Printing and/or displaying a PDF has not been enabled (Print from inside […]


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Creating New Returns: Practice Lab 2015

Question:  How do I create new returns in Practice Lab 2015 Answer:  Select Tax Year 2015 menu item from the Welcome Page.  Then select the Create Prior Year button.  This will bring up the Start New Return dialog box.    


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Form 8889: Practice Problems from Pub 4942 — Resolved

Update 11/29:  This has been resolved ~~ Original Blog Post ~~ Scenario:  Practice Lab 2016 –  Entering the data for the Health Savings Accounts (HSA) is carrying to Form 8889, but not carrying to 1040 Line 25 This impacts completing the following returns: Andrew T Nobel James and Dianne Calhoun Resolution:  This calculation issue will be […]


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13 Nov 16 Kim Manuel

Adding Local/City Forms to a Return

When the Local/City forms that are supported by TaxSlayer are delivered, the State Section will display a Localities option on the State grid. Click the Localities button   The local/city forms supported by the application will be displayed in a menu similar to the other menus in the application.  Below is an example of Ohio local […]


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View and Print Return in Spanish

Viewing and printing returns in Spanish is determined at the return level. Select the drop down arrow next to the taxpayer’s name and then select Si hablo Espanol? Select Espanol The screen will display in Spanish The forms will also print in Spanish.  There is currently an issue with the Spanish print utilizing the wrong year […]


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Retired Public Safety Officer Deduction

To take the Retired Public Safety Offer deduction for up to $3000 you will need to reduce the amount in box 2a of the 1099-R by the amount of the deduction.  Click Continue once the 1099-R is complete. Select Begin on the Nontaxable Distributions Line   Select the PSO Exception Currently, if you need to use […]


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Return Tags are now more Visible

The return tags that are associated with the return  will be visible when you hover over the tag icon in the client list.  


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Review Returns List

We have added the following items to the Review Returns list to help manage the review process more easily for those using the built-in review process (i.e. Marking returns “Ready for Review”) Notes Return Tags Printing Note:  The Review Process is not available in the Practice Lab


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Printing Notes

Purpose:  We added the ability for the preparer to either print or export the notes entered with the return.  This can be used to give to the taxpayer and/or the Quality Review person.   There will be two options for printing notes (1) Print the note from the Client Search list (2) Add to a […]


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Reactivating Returns: New Feature

Purpose: Preparer starts a return with a SSN that was previously deactivated/deleted They will get the following screen Note:  This is site specific and is not available in the Practice Lab. Selecting Reactivate will retain all of the information that was previously in the deactivated/deleted return and will open to the Summary page Selecting Remove […]


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1040NR: Where do I Start?

The 1040NR/1040NR EZ selection will be made at the point of selecting a Filing Status after the roll out of Taxslayer 2016.   We will be creating detailed training material on return navigation.   You will see this change over the next few weeks as we move through e-file testing with the IRS. The below […]


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Taxpayer Profiles

Purpose:  Make Taxpayer Profile options more visible when creating a new return. The Available and Assigned Taxpayer Profiles will be displayed to the preparer prior to entering the SSN.  We have also made it more clear when a profile has been selected. Definitions: Available Taxpayer Profile= Profiles created at the site level Basic (No Profile) […]


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Managing Users just got Easier!

Purpose:  We have added three new features to help manage users: (1) The ability to easily mark a preparer inactive and/or active from the Preparer(s) Menu. (2) The Ability to mark all preparers inactive and/or active from the Preparer(s) Menu “Flip Active Status” (3) A visual display of the email address to help assist the site […]


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Custom Credits: New Administrator Feature — Updated

Custom Credits is designed to allow the site to track up to 10 entries that allow the prepare to “free fill” the entry with a numeric value in the e-file section of the return.   Custom Credit Requirements: List up to 10 Custom Credits Custom Credit Description – Max Characters (45) Can mark the Custom […]


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Entry Form Wording Changes

The following wording changes have been made via volunteer request: Changes to Tax Exempt Interest Screen and Interest and Dividend Menu Changes to Health Insurance Questionnaire Screens:   Changes to 1099-SSA screens Changes to Other Screens


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IRS Warns Tax Professionals of New e-Services Email Scam

IRS Newswire: Issue Number:    IR-2016-145 WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today issued an urgent alert to tax professionals who use IRS e-services to beware of an email asking them to update their accounts and directing them to a fake website. The subject line for the fraudulent email is “Security Awareness for Tax Professionals.” The “From” line […]


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blog-congratulations

Practice Lab: We applaud your participation

Your TaxSlayer support squad applauds your participation in the Practice Lab.  We rolled out Practice Lab 2015 in May with very high hopes that it would be embraced by a significantly large number of users.  It is really hard to define what “significantly large” means, but I want to share some SIGNIFICANTLY LARGE stats with you. […]


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IRS, Security Summit Partners Expand Identity Theft Safeguards for 2017 Filing Season, Build on 2016 Successes

IRS Newswire: Issue Number:    IR-2016-144 WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and industry partners today finalized plans for 2017 to improve identity theft protections for individual and business taxpayers after making significant inroads this year against fraudulent returns. Public and private sector leaders announced today that their collective efforts through the Security Summit initiative […]


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Form 1116: Foreign Tax Credit

TaxSlayer 2016 will allow you to complete the long Form 1116 (for those certified appropriately) Navigate to Form 1116 Rather than entering $300 or $600 for MFJ, click the Go to Form 1116 button to bring up the Foreign Tax Credit Menu Click Begin to compete each section  


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Medical and Dental Expenses Entry Form (Schedule A)

Coming Soon!! We have added the ability to create a list of items on the Medical and Dental Expense Entry page for Schedule A. Click the Blue box to the right of the entry box: In the example, I clicked the box on the Amount paid to the doctors/dentists line: Enter the data and click […]


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New Law Sets Jan. 31 W-2 Filing Deadline; Some Refunds Delayed Until Feb. 15

IRS Special Edition Tax Tip A new federal law moves up the W-2 filing deadline for employers and small businesses to Jan. 31. The new law makes it easier for the IRS to find and stop refund fraud. It also delays some taxpayer refunds. Those taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional […]


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Entering Tax-Exempt Interest

Navigate to the Interest and Dividends landing page.  You can do this one of the following ways: Enter 1099-INT in the Forms Search box From the Federal Section, select Income >> select Enter Myself >>  select Begin on the Interest and Dividend line Click the amount entry on Line 8b from the 1040 View located […]


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Best Practice: Adding more than 4 entries for W-2 Box 12

Generally a W-2 only has need for 4 entries in Box 12.  Occasionally you will need more.  When faced with this situation, you can follow this simple solution: Add the first four entries to the original W-2 Add a second W-2 with the same employer ID (the program will ask you if you are sure […]


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Practice Lab: Top Question of the Day 10/24/2016

We have received several emails today stating that Practice Lab 2015 will not be available after November 9th. This is NOT accurate.  It is true, we will be delivering Practice Lab 2016 in early November (prior to 11/15), however, when Practice Lab 2015 will remain available.  You will access it both versions of the Practice lab […]


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Quick Alert: 1040 Modernized e-File (1040 MeF) Production Shutdown and Cutover

All times shown in this communication are Eastern Time Zone. To ensure that all Form 1040 tax returns e-filed through the Modernized e-File (MeF) system are processed timely, this year’s 1040 MeF Production shutdown/cutover and acknowledgment retrieval schedule has been established. It is imperative that everyone adhere to the schedule shown below. 1040 MeF Production […]


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TaxSlayer 2016 Password Requirement

All users (Both Pro Online and Desktop) will be required to change their password the first time they login to the application. The password requirements for TaxSlayer 2016 will be as follows: Minimum of 8 characters At least 1 uppercase Letter At least 1 lowercase letter At least 1 number At least 1 Special Character Note: […]


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Prepararer/User Email Addresses within a Site

We have added the email address assigned to the Preparer/User to the Preparer(s) Menu screen.  This will allow the site administrator or any user with a security template that has Add/Edit Preparers enabled to quickly search for the preparer by the email address established during setup and to quickly view the email addresses. Q:  Why do […]


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Making preparers Active/Inactive

We have added the ability for the site administrator to easily mark a preparer/user inactive or active from the Preparer(s) Menu in Configuration.  This will allow the site administrator or any user with a security template that has Add/Edit Preparers enabled to quickly activate or deactivate a preparer without having to Edit the Preparer/User. Instructions […]


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Username Report

The Username report allows the site administrator the ability to run a report of the users that have been created a the site.  The username will report display the following information Username Full Name = Name of the preparer as entered in the Preparer Menu Security Template = Displays the Security Template assigned to the […]


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TY 2017 VITA/TCE Hotline

The VITA/TCE Hotline is operational from mid-January through April.  The VITA/TCE hotline allows volunteers to clarify tax law when site references are not clear.   Partners/Sites can also find tax help is available online through the Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov, www.irs.gov/ita. The ITA tool is a tax law resource that takes you through […]


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17 Oct 16 Kim Manuel

Quick Alert: Update on IRS e-Services and Secure Access

The IRS issued the following Quick Alert 10/14/2016: To ensure a smooth transition, the IRS has decided to delay the October 24 date for requiring e-services users to re-register and validate their identities through Secure Access authentication. In the next few weeks, the IRS plans to have discussions with key stakeholders affected by the e-services […]


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Automatic updates for Desktop

TaxSlayer Pro Desktop automatically updates the first time you open the application each day (Internet required).  You can configure the states that you want to receive automatic updates for. Select Updates from the Main Menu Select Configure Updates from the Internet Update Utility Menu Select the State(s) you want to receive automatic updates for.


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Adding dependents to the return

With TaxSlayer, all dependents are entered from the same entry page.  The dependents can also be entered in any order the preparer chooses to enter them. Dependent Entry Screen in TaxSlayer Pro Online: Dependent Entry Screen in TaxSlayer Pro Desktop:    


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Client Return History

TaxSlayer tracks the following items when the preparer Saves and Exits the return via the E-file section: Username = This will be the user that was logged in at the time of the Save and Exit Log Time = Date and Time of the Save and Exit Preparer = The User/Preparer that the return is assigned […]


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Practice Lab 2016 Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Will there be a different URL for Practice Lab 2016? Answer:  No, you will use the same URL that you are currently using to access the Practice Lab   Question:  Will I need to create a new user account for Practice Lab 2016? Answer:  No, you will continue to use your created Practice Lab […]


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Entering Split Refunds with Form 8888 – Updated 11/07/2016

Updated:  November 7, 2016  Update #1:  Changed the screenshot to reflect the addition of the Account Type field. Update #2: Changed the screenshot to reflect changes made to the Savings Bond Section If your site utilizes Form 8888, select that option in Office Setup.  TaxSlayer Pro Online always displays the option for split refunds to […]


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Coming Soon: Changes to Custom Questions

We have made the following changes that will be effective with the delivery of TaxSlayer 2016: Questions:  The number of characters have been extended to 100 Answers:  The number of characters have been extended to 100 Answers per Question:  The number of answers per question is now unlimited (an answer bank is still required for […]


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Inactivity Timeout Messaging – Updated 11/04/2016

Updated 11/04/2016 The IRS Security Summit has changed their guidance from a 15 minute inactivity time out to a 30 minute inactivity time out requirement. After 27 minutes of inactivity in a return, the following dialog box will be displayed. This will be effective in TaxSlayer Pro Online 2016


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Determining what Returns a User/Preparer can View

Determining if a user/preparer can only see their own returns or see all returns prepared at the site is determined at the user level. The below example is the portion of User JimSample that allows them to see all returns prepared at the site.   The below example is the portion of a User JerrySample that […]


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TaxSlayer Recorded Webinars

Get ready for tax season by watching our recorded webinars.  Check out the attachment tab to download the webinar agenda, training guide, ready to use PPT, and a Q & A document that list all of the questions and answers we received during the live webinars. Webinar 1:  Login and Configuration Webinar 2: Return Preparation […]


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IRS Now Accepting ITIN Renewal Applications

IR-2016-129, Oct. 6, 2016 WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers affected by recent changes involving the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program that they can now begin submitting their ITIN renewal applications to the IRS. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 passed by Congress and signed into law […]


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06 Oct 16 Kim Manuel

Site Identification Number (SIDN)

In an effort to drastically reduce the number of unmatched SIDNs entered due to typographical errors, the SIDN for sites will be embedded in the Pro Online application based on the software order for online users. For desktop users, the site administrator must double key the SIDN for validation purposes. The site administrator does not have to […]


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New Federal Tax Law May Affect Some Refunds Filed in Early 2017

The Internal Revenue Service has announced initial plans for processing tax returns involving the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit during the opening weeks of the 2017 filing season. The IRS is sharing the information now to help the tax community prepare for the 2017 season, and plans are being made for […]


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Making Custom Questions Required

The site administrator has the ability to make a custom question required.  The question will be required to be answered prior to creating the electronic file. Below is an example of how the site administrator marks a question required in Pro Online: Below is an example of on screen reminders in Pro Online:   Note: […]


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Adding an Unlimited Number of Custom Questions

Each site can add an unlimited number of custom questions and corresponding answer bank.  The software will be delivered with four pre-defined questions and answer banks.  These questions cannot be edited or deleted at the site level. All questions and answers will be reflected in easy to read reports for the sites to analyze the […]


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How do I access Prior Year Returns in Pro Desktop?

TaxSlayer will deliver the current year and three prior year installs for all sites placing an order for the TaxSlayer Pro Desktop software. Each year will be installed and will be accessed by clicking on a  year specific icon.


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How do I access Prior Year Applications in Pro Online?

The site administrator controls whether or not a preparer has the ability to prepare prior year returns.  If the preparer has a Security Template that enables prior year returns, they will access the prior years from their Welcome Page. The Preparer will login to one URL and have access to the current year application and […]


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Can I Switch Between Entry Methods?

Yes.  You have the ability to switch between the different entry methods without losing previously entered data.  Preparers have the following data entry options available to them: 1040 View — Allows the preparer to work down the 1040 form to access the entry forms. Enter Myself — Use the menu driven methodology to access the […]


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What Browsers are compatible with Pro Online?

TaxSlayer Pro Online is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer Chrome Safari Edge Firefox Note: We recommend that you have the latest version of the browser.


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What Browsers does the Practice Lab Support?

The Practice Lab is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer Chrome Safari Edge Firefox Note: We recommend that you have the latest version of the browser.  


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Additional Taxpayer Profiles

We have added additional Taxpayer Profiles to the Practice Lab.  The following profiles can now be selected when you expand Available Taxpayer Profiles when starting a new return. Sample: Retirement Profile:  This is a sample of how a retirement profile may flow.  This profile will automatically display the following input screens after the personal information […]


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Threshold for Tax Year 2016

The low-to-moderate income threshold for FY 2017, Tax Year 2016, is $ 54,000. The threshold is based on tax year 2016 EITC AGI limits as shown below: Earned income and adjusted gross income (AGI) must each be less than: $47,955 ($53,505 if Married Filing Jointly) with three or more qualifying children $44,648 ($50,198 if Married Filing […]


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What is myRA?

The Department of Treasury is promoting and offering myRA, “an Easy Way to Help Tax Filers Save”.  Through the use of Form 8888, when filing your tax return, you can use the direct deposit option to deposit a portion or all of your federal into your myRA account. To take advantage of myRA come tax […]


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04 Oct 16 Kim Manuel

Practice Lab

The Practice Lab is to designed for preparing tax returns to practice what you  learned in Link & Learn Taxes. We recommend that you use the problems and exercises contained in Publication 4491 W, VITA/TCE Workbook, Comprehensive Problems and Practice Exercises. These problems and exercises were specifically designed to cover the types of tax returns that VITA/TCE […]


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W-2: How do I change Social Security and Medicare Wages?

How do I change the Social Security and Medicare wages on the W-2? The W-2 is designed to be a heads down “key it as you see it” entry form.  Simply select the entry box and change the data.  When you exit the field, the applicable Social Security Tax or Medicare Tax will recalculate. Note:  The […]


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NYTPRIN Exclusion Code

How do I enter the NYTPRIN Exclusion Code to remove the State Validation Error? The NYTPRIN Exemption will not be available in the Practice Lab, however, site administrators will have access to assign the required information to preparers when TaxSlayer 2016 is delivered in November. At this time, you will not be able to mark a […]


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Entering Direct Deposit Information

Where do I enter Direct Deposit Information? You will enter direct deposit information in the e-file section of the return. If the return has a refund, you will select Direct Deposit from the Federal Return Type drop down list. You will then be prompted to enter the RTN and DAN.  


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1040 View

How do I enter tax return information from the 1040? You can access the 1040 view by selecting the Summary/Print option located on the left navigation bar. This will allow you to click the line and go to the entry point for that particular line.  In the example below if you click on Line 7, […]


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Quality Alert Central

Quality Site Requirement Alerts (QSRA) and Volunteer Tax Alerts (VTA) will be posted to the Quality Alerts section.  This will allow you to have the most up to date communications from the IRS.


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Message Center

What is the purpose of the Message Center? The message center has two purposes: (1) A one way communication between TaxSlayer and the sites.  The one way communication allows TaxSlayer to send out important notifications and software tips based on the type of inquiries we are getting through our support staff. (2) Allow a communication channel […]


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IRS and Security Summit Partners Warn of Fake Tax Bill Emails

The Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners today issued an alert to taxpayers and tax professionals to be on guard against fake emails purporting to contain an IRS tax bill related to the Affordable Care Act.


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Welcome to the VITA/TCE Blog

We are pleased to launch our VITA/TCE blog.  This is going to be a great resource for you as you are making the transition to TaxSlayer.  We are very pleased to have the privilege of providing software for you to use to service your taxpayers.


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20 Sep 16 Kim Manuel