10 Best Tax Software for Tax Preparers no Efin Required (2024)

Successfully running a tax preparation business requires top-notch software to optimize productivity during busy season. However, most pro-level tax programs mandate upfront IRS EFIN registration to e-file returns. Preparers without an EFIN need capable DIY-friendly software supporting custom engagements and collab while avoiding e-file limitations.

This post explores 10 leading tax solutions accessible to preparers without an EFIN based on return capabilities, accuracy, support services, mobile readiness, portals, and overall value helping serve clients smoothly. Any unenrolled preparers can leverage these tools to grow their business while avoiding IRS red tape.

What software do tax filers use?

Here is a table summarizing the pros and cons of the top tax software options for preparers without an EFIN:

SoftwareProsCons
TaxSlayer ProAffordable flat-fee; robust interview processPrint-only; no e-file or bank products
CrossLink ProfessionalAny form/schedule; diagnostic checking; client portalRequires printing returns
TaxAct ProWide form support; payroll imports; accuracy reviewsLacks e-file capability
TaxWise ProExpert preparation; guided interview; mobile appsPrint-only returns; costly state add-ons
Drake Tax ProCustomizable process; plain English guidancePrint-only returns; expensive state options
SimpleTaxStraightforward interviews; free federal filingCanada-only; no U.S. support
inDineroIntegrates bookkeeping and tax prepRequires third-party tax engine subscription
FileYourTaxesUnlimited FREE federal prep and printPay per state return; no e-file
TaxSlayer Pro WebTaxSlayer quality online; lower cost entryLacks e-file; pay per state return
TurboTax Tax Pro ReviewTrusted TurboTax engine; accuracy reviewsPrint-only returns; no e-file or bank products
  1. TaxSlayer Pro

TaxSlayer Pro provides one of the most popular and affordable tax prep solutions accessible without an EFIN. Users can prepare and print unlimited federal returns including supporting schedules at a flat low cost. Integrations with payroll providers like QuickBooks facilitate W-2 imports.

TaxSlayer’s guided interview style wizard simplifies entering client data. Hundreds of audit risk checks improve accuracy. Client collaboration portals enable smooth hand-offs. While lacking e-file, TaxSlayer Pro gives unenrolled preparers stellar DIY tax prep power.

  1. CrossLink Professional

CrossLink Professional offers full-featured yet affordable tax software for unenrolled preparers. It allows completing any form or schedule within an unlimited number of returns for clients. Imports from PDFs and payroll systems quicken data population. A diagnostic feature highlights suspect entries to improve accuracy.

Collaboration portals facilitate client hand-off and communication. Mobile apps enable working remotely. Support packages assist preparers as needed. While print-only, CrossLink brings serious tax prep capabilities without requiring an EFIN.

  1. TaxAct Pro

TaxAct Pro provides an affordable tax preparation solution usable without IRS enrollment. Users can complete, print, and share any number of returns with supporting forms. Accuracy reviews prevent errors that could draw audits. Questionnaires simplify gathering client data.

Seamless payroll imports accelerate return completion. Client collaboration portals enable smooth hand-off. Advisory services provide guidance when needed. Though print-only, TaxAct Pro gives unenrolled preparers a top brand DIY tax solution.

  1. TaxWise Pro

TaxWise Pro enables unlimited expert-level 1040 return preparation without IRS registration. Its guided interview format simplifies data collection. Answers trigger logical related questions and advice to prevent missed deductions. Custom monitoring rules identify suspect entries.

A client portal allows collaborative review and document hand-off. Mobile apps enable on-the-go preparation. Only printing federal returns limits the package. But for savvy DIY tax pros, TaxWise Pro provides accuracy and usability.

  1. Drake Tax Pro

Drake Software offers their tax preparation program Drake Tax Pro to preparers without an EFIN at an affordable one-time cost. It allows completing, reviewing, printing, and sharing an unlimited number of federal returns. State packages are also available a la carte.

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Data imports from PDFs and Excel quicken preparation. Drake’s plain English guidance helps identify deductions while improving accuracy. Diagnostics uncover errors and missed tax savings opportunities. The customizable workflow suits any preparer’s approach.

  1. SimpleTax

SimpleTax provides an affordable DIY tax solution for Canadian personal returns. Its interview-style interface guides preparers through return completion in a straightforward question-answer flow. Auto-fill features leverage past returns to quicken the process.

Built-in tips and explanations aid data input. Instant federal and provincial calculations enable previewing owed amounts. Users can print, download, or save returns locally. SimpleTax delivers capable north-of-the-border tax prep without registration requirements.

  1. inDinero

inDinero offers an integrated tax prep and filing solution designed for bookkeepers and independent accountants including unenrolled preparers. Core features like categorized transaction support, auto-categorization, and profit/loss reporting streamline getting client tax documents organized.

inDinero integrates directly with tax engines like TaxAct to enable completing client returns within the platform, then printing for handoff. Advisory services provide tax preparation guidance. For managing both books and taxes, inDinero provides an integrated solution.

  1. FileYourTaxes

FileYourTaxes provides a direct-to-consumer tax filing solution usable by unenrolled preparers to serve clients. Its guided interview format makes capturing client data simple. Support for 60+ forms handles any filing situation. Built-in calculators ensure maximizing deductions.

Unlimited FREE federal return preparation and print capabilities offer unbeatable value for self-employed preparers. Pay per state returns offering flexibility. Detailed accuracy checks improve correctness. For unlimited expert DIY filing, FileYourTaxes delivers.

  1. TaxSlayer Pro Web

TaxSlayer Pro Web offers another package providing TaxSlayer’s premium preparation features fully online with lower upfront investment. The guided interviews support any form or schedule while optimizing accuracy. Questionnaires simplify data gathering. Deduction guidance prevents leaving money on the table.

Unlimited federal returns allow serving any client volume while print-ready PDFs enable delivery without e-filing. Support options provide assistance. TaxSlayer Pro Web brings proven tax prep quality in DIY online form.

  1. TurboTax Tax Pro Review

TurboTax Tax Pro Review software allows unenrolled preparers to leverage the widely-trusted TurboTax engine and expertise to serve clients minus e-filing limitations. The expert-level guided preparation handles any form or situation. Optimized interviews simplify capturing all tax details.

Multi-user licenses allow staff collaboration under one subscription. Client review portals enable seamless handoff. Accuracy checks prevent errors. While print-only, TurboTax Tax Pro Review brings premium software minus IRS red tape.

FAQs

Can I prepare taxes without an EFIN? Yes, you can prepare taxes without an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN), but you will need to partner with a tax professional or tax preparation firm that has an EFIN to electronically file tax returns.

How many returns can I file without an EFIN? You cannot electronically file any returns without an EFIN. If you prepare taxes without an EFIN, you would have to rely on paper filing methods.

Can tax preparers use TurboTax? Yes, tax preparers can use TurboTax, but it’s more commonly used by individuals and not typically considered professional tax preparation software. Tax preparers often use specialized professional tax software for their clients.

What software do tax filers use? Professional tax preparers typically use specialized software such as Drake Tax, ProSeries, TaxAct Professional, or UltraTax CS for tax preparation. Individuals often use commercial tax software like TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer, or FreeTaxUSA.

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Can I use someone else’s EFIN? No, you cannot use someone else’s EFIN without proper authorization. Using someone else’s EFIN without permission is illegal and can lead to penalties.

Can I file taxes with just a PTIN? No, a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is required for tax preparers to legally prepare tax returns, but you also need an EFIN to electronically file returns.

Can I get an EFIN online? Yes, you can apply for an EFIN online through the IRS e-Services website. However, there is an application process, and approval is not automatic.

How much does an EFIN cost? Obtaining an EFIN from the IRS is typically free of charge. There are no direct fees associated with acquiring an EFIN.

What are the best professional tax software? The best professional tax software can vary depending on your specific needs, but some popular options include Drake Tax, ProSeries, UltraTax CS, TaxAct Professional, and Intuit ProConnect Tax Online.

What is the best software for making tax digital? Making Tax Digital (MTD) is a UK-specific initiative. Software options for MTD compliance include QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, and FreeAgent, among others.

What is an example of do-it-yourself tax software? An example of do-it-yourself tax software includes TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer, TaxAct, and FreeTaxUSA.

How long does it take to get approved for an EFIN? The time it takes to get approved for an EFIN can vary, but it typically takes several weeks to a few months from the time you submit your application.

Can I get an EFIN with bad credit? Credit history is not typically a factor in obtaining an EFIN, so having bad credit should not affect your eligibility.

Do I have to renew my EFIN number every year? Yes, you must renew your EFIN every year to maintain your ability to electronically file tax returns.

How much does an IRS PTIN cost? As of my knowledge cutoff date in September 2021, the IRS charges a fee for obtaining or renewing a PTIN. The fee varied depending on the year. Please check the IRS website for the most current fee information.

What can an unenrolled tax preparer do? Unenrolled tax preparers can prepare tax returns but have limitations on representing clients before the IRS. They cannot represent clients in audits or appeals, for example.

What is the difference between PTIN and EFIN? A Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) is required for tax preparers and allows them to prepare tax returns. An Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) is necessary to electronically file tax returns with the IRS.

Does the EFIN number expire? No, the EFIN itself does not expire, but you must renew your eligibility each year.

What is EFIN TurboTax? EFIN is not specific to TurboTax. EFIN stands for Electronic Filing Identification Number, which is required for tax professionals who want to electronically file tax returns on behalf of their clients. TurboTax is a popular commercial tax preparation software used by individuals.

Do I have to get a new EFIN if I change my business name? If you change your business name, you may need to update your EFIN information with the IRS, but you generally don’t need to obtain a new EFIN unless your business structure changes significantly.

What do all tax return preparers need? Tax return preparers need a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to legally prepare tax returns and may also need an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) to electronically file returns.

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What happens when you report a tax preparer to the IRS? When you report a tax preparer to the IRS, the IRS may investigate the reported issues, and if they find violations or misconduct, they can take enforcement actions, including penalties or sanctions against the tax preparer.

Who cannot file taxes electronically? Most taxpayers can file their taxes electronically. However, some exceptions include individuals with certain types of income or complex tax situations that cannot be accommodated through electronic filing.

How many returns can you file with H&R Block software? The number of returns you can file with H&R Block software depends on the specific version of the software you purchase. Different versions have different limitations.

How many returns can I file with TaxSlayer? The number of returns you can file with TaxSlayer depends on the edition of the software you use. TaxSlayer offers various packages with different limits.

How many tax returns can go to one account? The number of tax returns that can be filed under one account may vary depending on the tax software provider and the specific terms of your software license.

How much is TurboTax vs. a tax preparer? The cost of TurboTax versus a tax preparer can vary significantly depending on your tax situation and the complexity of your return. TurboTax is generally more cost-effective for simple tax returns, while a tax preparer’s fees can vary based on their expertise and the complexity of your taxes.

Who cannot use TurboTax? TurboTax can be used by most individual taxpayers. However, it may not be suitable for very complex tax situations or certain specialized tax needs, in which case you might need to consult with a professional tax advisor.

Is FreeTaxUSA better than TurboTax? The preference between FreeTaxUSA and TurboTax depends on your specific needs and the complexity of your tax situation. Both have their merits, with FreeTaxUSA generally being more cost-effective.

What is the best tax preparation service? The best tax preparation service depends on your individual tax situation and preferences. Popular options include TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxSlayer, and TaxAct.

Which is better TaxSlayer or TurboTax? The choice between TaxSlayer and TurboTax depends on your specific needs and the features you prioritize. Both are reputable tax software providers, and the better option for you will depend on your individual tax situation.

What is the cheapest tax software? The cheapest tax software can vary from year to year and depends on the specific version and promotions available at the time. Some options for affordable tax software include FreeTaxUSA and TaxSlayer Simply Free.

Conclusion

Preparers who avoid IRS oversight through an EFIN can still access premium tax preparation software like TaxSlayer Pro, Drake Tax, and TaxAct to run their business smoothly during tax season. Affordable solutions like SimpleTax and FileYourTaxes maximize value. Any unenrolled preparers can arm themselves with capable tax prep technology to serve client needs while avoiding burdensome regulation.

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