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FTax - any improvement on HMRC software?

I have recently purchased the personal edition of FTax to evaluate it.
Ftax is basically a PDF version of the tax return with software in the background doing calcs etc.

From an initial review it does not really seem to add much (anything??) in addition to the HMRC online software.

Does anyone else have any views on this?

It is cheap in comparison to other tax software but I can't help wondering if it would be a false economy


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I think it is an improvement

I've used FTax for a couple of years now and I think there are some benefits over the HMRC online software: -

As long as you have the client's UTR number, you can file a return. You can (as far as I am aware) only use the HMRC software if you are authorised to act for a client - i.e. they have dealt with the 64-8 correctly, which HMRC often seem incapable of doing.The HMRC software asks questions that are not required to complete the return - date of birth for example - but you cannot proceed without answering the question.I found it a real pain to complete some of the questions on the HMRC. They require an answer (yes or no) from a drop down menu, but when using FTax (or completing the return by hand) you just leave the box blank.Having completed manual forms for several years, I find it easier to use FTax, which as you say is the actual return but on a computer instead of on paper, rather than HMRC's software the layout of which is very different from the actual return.I have found it easier to pass the actual return completion and online filing to a junior member of staff with FTax.You only have to go online for a short period of time with FTax. This is not so with HMRC software and we have certainly had more problems submitting returns using HMRC software than we have found with FTax.

Whilst these advantages may not be significant, I do think there are advantages over the HMRC software and I certainly don't see FTax as a false economy.

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Good answer...

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Big Improvement on HMRC

We use FTax and have for many years now, we like the fact it is simple and easy to use which makes it ultra fast.

I  have a discount code you can use, I think it gets you a 10% discount:



Holden Associates
A Blog for Small Business

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Seems perfect for filing Partnerships imo.

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Ftax Discount


Ftax are currently offering 25% discount on all our tax products purchased by end of Monday 16th November. please call 0113 350 8772 (option 1) or visit our website for more information.

Many Thanks


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For budget versions

For budget version of Tax Software try out TaxCalc and Keytime. Compare this with the Ftax. You will come to ypur own conclusions on ease of use.  You should also bear in mind proper support provided when needed.  Aslo needn to think about the backup procedures and backup format.

You are probably correct in your assumption about false economy. 

Both Keytime and TaxCalc will let you trial their software without parting with money.

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For budget versions try

For budget vesrsion try Key Time and TaxCalc. Both will let you try out their software without parting with any money. This includes telephone support as well.

You will than be able to judge ease of use, sophistication and support.

This will enable you to answer your thoughts on 'false economy'.

No matter how computer literate you are at times you will need telephone support. Ftax DO NOT provide telephone support during office hours or otherwise.

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Some other Pros and Cons

I concur with the first reply, from Stephen Kendrew and would add….

PROS – Very rapid response from Ftax to queries via email; Simple to pre-populate one year’s return from previous year’s return.

CONS – Could do with better instructions (especially during first year as a user); the pre-population goes wrong when box numbers change from year to year (as they did from 08 to 09); I always hit F8 and select one page per screen (speeds up scrolling between pages) but it always reverts to less-than-a-page per screen when you go back to first page;  may be me, but I haven’t found p’ship data can be extracted into partners’ SATRs very reliably.


That said, I’m sticking with Ftax for as long as their charges & response times remain attractive.

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each to his/her own

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That's good, must be a new policy - hastily introduced?  Step in the right direction.   

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Keith Samuels

I purchased ftax as a single user in July. In December I started to complete the form and naively thought that all would happily work. Error messages galore which when asking for support received statement such as "follow the instructions". After some 6/7 attempts and further unhelpful responses from ftax I found that the issue I was using was corrupt and full of bugs. Having downloaded the latest version some 20 modifications on I am now faced with starting again or should I ditch the whole thing and use the HMRC download? Time is getting short.

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Ditch it.

i had horrendous problmes with Ftax. Although i purchased an agent's version, they would not give me telephone support. Email support was something wrong with acrobat, use previous version of acrobat. Done that other error messages - no support. Please to speak with somebody just fell on deaf ears. Whilst all this was going on, client became increasingly concerned.

Ditched  Ftax, bought Digita and problem solved.

For simpler returns for the first time this year used HMRC software - without any problmes.  The only problem  is that the client must be on your online authorised list. Mnor inconvenience.



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Ftax telephone support
Ftax does offer telephone support during office hours.

Phone 0113 350 8772

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. If ever anyone does have a problem it can almost always be solved by addressing the following:

1/ Use the latest version of Ftax
2/ Use the latest version of Adobe Reader
3/ Comply with the Special Notice displayed when the SA100 is first opened.

Ftax also offer 24 hour email support (although if you email during the night I may not answer until the morning).
Feel free to email me on Christmas day at [email protected]. We have a large technical team on hand during the day, but just me in the evenings, weekends, and holidays. I have been manning the Blackberry for 7 years now :-(


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Selective telephone support?

Ftax's telephone supoort must be very selective.  just a couple of points:-

Did use the latest version of Adobe, but was specifically told to downgrade adboe if I wanted to use Ftax.

Downgraded to adobe -still probelms (different one)

Telephone support not available during OFFICE HOURS. This must be a new service-must be a step in the right direction.

Emailed Ftax and pleaded to speak with support on the phone. No such luck.



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Works for us

We have been using FTax since the 2005 tax returns and have found it easy, simple and fast to use.

For the price it has to be the best no thrills product out there.

We have always used email support as it is easier for us, and we have always found responses very quick, personally I do email Richard direct on his email address not sure if this makes these reponses any quicker.


Holden Associates
Small Business Blog


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I purchased this software as an individual.  It sounds like some people have had satisfactory results but I personally found it appalling.  In short, I could not get it to work properly.  FTax Support says that if you email them they should get back to you in the hour.  For me it took 4 hours and the responses were completely disinterested in my problem, a good example of a business that simply does not care for its customers.  I have still not received any real assistance from them and am seeking a full refund.  I would definitely NOT recommend.

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