Provided by Drake Software

Employee Spotlight: Jennifer Dills, Vice President of Finance

Balancing the Numbers

The fall months bring colorful leaves, crisp weather, and – for tax professionals – gearing up for filing season. At Drake Software, this time of year is filled with frenetic energy: finalizing software builds, prepping for support calls, and rolling out new materials for trade shows. As everyone counts down to January, we wanted to share a little bit about some of the people who help bring you our award-winning tax preparation software.

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New Features in Drake Software

Improve Your Efficiency in 2016

For the tax industry, the months leading into January build tension in increments, like a banjo string tightening from every turn of the tuning peg. The days are filled with preparatory tasks for tax professionals and software developers alike, a constant buzz of activity that – for many – can determine the success of filing season. At a time when companies are putting the finishing touches on their tax software suites and announcing new features, it’s essential to know that your software continues to improve on efficiency and usability, while still addressing the tax, data, and technology concerns that arise year after year. Drake Software’s newest features predict even better performance than their award-winning showing in 2015.

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Turning Process to Profit

Tax preparation practices, both independent and within CPA firms, have largely been automated through the use of tools such as GruntWorx, an advanced tax workflow solution that streamlines the process of organizing and inputting basic information into the appropriate spaces on tax forms.

But there remains one area that has not been fully automated, resulting in inefficiency, excessive manual labor, and thereby lower profitability.  That is the intake process – the first client meeting to gather detailed tax information to enter into the system so that it can be organized.  In today’s age of technology there is no reason why this information is still collected by the tax professional manually during the first interview.

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Protect Yourself from Wi-Fi Hacking

The introduction of Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP), in 1999, was supposed to be a solution to the growing issue of Wi-Fi security.  At the time, Wi-Fi was seen as an alternative to the relatively high cost of wired connections, and free Wi-Fi hotspots were springing up nationwide to serve academic and business environments.

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IRS Commissioner: Budget Cuts Bad for Preparers; Tax Season Might be Delayed

“Lowest Level of Funding Since 2008”

Reinforcing sentiments from the written testimony submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee in April when speaking at the AICPA’s National Tax Conference, Commissioner Koskinen claimed the IRS budget cuts would cause issues for both taxpayers and tax preparers, since the Practitioner Priority Line would also experience extended wait times. [Read more…]

IRPAC Releases Annual Report

Suggests Improvements Cover a Variety of Topics

The Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC), which is comprised of “financial services and payroll firms, colleges and universities, and other types of businesses,” released recommendations for the IRS that include penalty relief those without access to the IRS TIN Matching Program who submit incorrect name-TIN information, improved use and archiving of FAQs, and measures to help businesses damaged by business identity theft.  

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IRS Reminds Retirees to Take Retirement Plan Distributions

On October 29, the IRS released part of their “Tax Preparedness Series” aimed at “taxpayers born before July 1, 1945,” reminding them that the deadline for required minimum distribution payments (RMD) is December 31, 2015. [Read more…]

Small Town Marketing

If you grew up “shooting the loop” every Friday night in high school, knew the names of every single person living on your block, or rode a tractor to school at least once, chances are that you grew up in a small American town.

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AFSP Deadline; Revised PTIN Application and Renewal Fee

An IRS press release addressed two important issues:

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Hosting Tax Clinics for First Responders

They are among the greatest of our local heroes – the first responders who belong to the law enforcement, fire departments, and Emergency Medical Services in communities nationwide. They are heroes and they are citizens in need of tax advice and assistance.

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