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CT600 (Full) form filler

CT600 (Full) form filler

I complete around 35 CT600s per year, but most of them are extremely simple and probably take no more than about 20 minutes. I use Steven Tuckwell's CTPro, which does the job fine -- user friendly, inexpensive and adequate for most of my purposes.

The problem is that CTPro will only handle a CT600 (Short). Occasionally I need to file a full CT600: either because the company only has rental income, or is an investment company, or, in the most recent case has not commenced trading but has foreign-exchange gains. I am reluctant to present clients, particularly larger clients, with hand completed forms as they look unprofessional. I could invest in a more sophisticated program, and indeed looked closely at Digita's, but my feeling was that I'd probably need a couple of days at least to get up to speed properly, which is about as much time as I spend on CT 600s in a year. Also of course there is the question of added costs when CTPro handles 95% of my clients more than adequately.

There was a company which used to provide a program called HotDocs which provided a free CT600 form filler, but as far as I can see from googling it it no longer exists. Another possibility is online filing, but I have never registered for that, have a form that needs to be submitted urgently and I gather the registration process could take a week or more. Anyone know where I could find a form filler, or have another solution?

bc

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15th Oct 2008 17:27

Digita
I've been using Digita for three years and I think it's fantastic. I don't know whether they have changed the property rental bit since you used it but everything seems straight forward now.

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By Anonymous
15th Oct 2008 13:20

Fastax .pdf CT600
I have used the Fastax CT600 which is a .pdf format document that computes the liability from data directly typed onto the form.

The version that I had was a full CT600 - not the short one that I would have preferred - the exact opposite problem that you have !

http://taxcalc.fasttax.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=51

The advantage of Fastax products is that they are quick to get to grips with - no hidden horrors or extensive training required unlike the software products of some larger suppliers.

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15th Oct 2008 11:59

Hmm
This was some time ago now, and I don't remember all the details, but the problem was not so much in posting the rental income but with the program's default assumption that the company was conducting a trade and that rental income entries were adjustments to trading profit. I doubt there would have been any problem with a trading company which had some incidental property rental receipts. A solution was found with the aid of Digita's support people which in retrospect probably seemed simple enough, but was counterintuitive when trying to solve the problem logically. An earlier willingness to contact support would no doubt have reduced the amount of time I wasted, but by then I was fed up of calling them and determined to find my own solution. Except of course I couldn't!

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15th Oct 2008 11:44

Digita
I've never used the trial so I haven't had that problem.
I've not used property rental income in Digita although I do have a client who has to give me information and once he does I will use the property income section. It's simply a list of income and expenses. I don't see anything complicated at all. Two days seems a very long time to be spent on sorting out problems.
I'm sure if you had a word with their sales people they'd be able to ensure you have an easier time.
I have all Digita's major software and it saves me an incredible amount of time.

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15th Oct 2008 10:19

Thanks
Thank you for your help.

It's useful to have the HotDocs connection again. I'd failed to find it by googling and assumed they had gone out of business.

As far as Digita is concerned, I tried their CT program and my experience was not positive. I had various teething problems with the set up, entirely owing to inadequacies in what was supplied to me - passwords not properly set and so on. I must have had at least ten phone calls to support to try to sort these out, and some of the emailed solutions were not entirely straight forward to a non-techie like me. I was told that these problems arose because I was using the trial version and would not have occurred if I already had a full subscription, but that seems to defeat the point of a trial period.

I tested the program for a small company with property rental income. This is exactly why I wanted it -- because CTPro didn't cope with a company that needed a full CT600. I found that while Digita could cope, the inputs were extremely counterintuitive for a non-trading company. Again I had to resort to support (after ages trying to make sense of the thing) and a return that should have taken no more than 45 minutes ended up taking several hours. Considering that in the first year, even with a substantial discount on the price, Digita was going to be about four times as expensive as CTPro, this did not seem a good deal. More importantly I calculated that I had spent 15-20 hours sorting out these initial teething problems, without any confidence that I wasn't going to identify more if I took on the program for all my clients. This is about as much time as I spend on CT600s in a normal year, so I had already reduced my recovery rate on this kind of work by about half.

Despite the negative comments above, I'm not completely negative about Digita. Support was friendly and helpful and properly apologetic about my experience, and I think the program would be user-friendly enough once the initial time was spent. No doubt I was unlucky with my teething problems, and unusual in attempting a nontrading company for my first return.


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14th Oct 2008 18:35

Is it worth it?
You can get Digita's software for very little cost and it won't take long to learn to use it. You can take a two hour online training course. What I do with Digita's Accounts Production, Corporation Tax and Company Secretarial is to have a list of what has to be considered and I can rush through it very quickly. Personal Tax is so easy I don't even bother with a list. You'll spend longer looking for something easier than you will learning Digita's!

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