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Tax filer or Tax Calc 2021?

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I am currently setting up my practice and undecided as to whether to use  Tax Filer  or TaxCalc for my submissions. I have read the many threads and just wanted to get peoples latested views on the products.

Tax filer is obviously appealing as it is much more affordable when starting up, however people seem to have concern over the potential lack of investment in the product since bought by IRIS....is this materialising? I have read that tax filer doesnt appear to easily handle superdeduction, is this correct? Does Taxfiler have the ability to electronically approve/sign the returns? 

Does anyone have a small practice with TaxCalc? Is the additional cost justified by functionality? The products seem very similar from the walk through so any information people have on the benefits would be appreciated. 

Replies (21)

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By AdamMurphy
06th Oct 2021 10:32

I use Taxfiler for my small practice and it certainly hasn't been left alone by IRIS which is encouraging.
Taxcalc has got more and more bigger with extra modules and it's clear their direction is that they are after the medium and large practices now

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
Tornado
By Tornado
06th Oct 2021 10:50

I have used TaxCalc for some time and find that it does the job of preparing and submitting Tax Returns very well. I also use their VAT Filer Bridging software and will probably use the upcoming bridging software for MTD for ITSA, if and when that is required. I will also probably be moving over to use their AML module which integrates with other modules in the suite.
I am mostly impressed with support and although it can take a while to get though to someone, they usually fix a problem there and then with remote support. To be fair, the vast majority of problems I encounter these days are due to HMRC and not the TaxCalc software.
I do not worry too much about the cost as efficient and easy to use software such as TaxCalc saves hours of wasted time trying to deal with problems that other (cheaper) software may create, and easily pays for itself this way.

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Replying to Tornado:
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By Cazzie B
06th Oct 2021 12:15

Totally agree with the above

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Replying to Tornado:
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By AdamMurphy
06th Oct 2021 12:24

I’ve never had any problems with Taxfiler

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Slim
By Slim
06th Oct 2021 10:46

I don't like taxfiler and I'm looking to move, I used TaxCalc and while it was ok it didn't blow me away, it also has some pretty poor reviews on trust pilot.

On that topic I tried to leave a review for taxfiler and it got deleted.

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By GR
06th Oct 2021 10:52

I went for BTC when I first started out rather than TaxCalc.
The BTC software is pretty slick, and it is very easy to quickly do limited company accounts, corporation tax and iXBRL them to HMRC.
I learnt how to use BTC off their YouTube videos, i.e. no training required. This and price was one of the main reasons I chose them.
On the few occasions where I did need support. Their support team is excellent and gets back to you same day and resolves the issue.
It can be annoying to use BTC sometimes when there is a £1 rounding error on the balance sheet!!!
I haven't had to do any super deduction calculations yet on BTC. Although I am sure it will be quick and easy, and if not, I will just view their YouTube channel or contact support.
I believe they also limit their annual price rises to a maximum of 5% (which is comforting to know, rather than getting a large unexpected price rise).
I may ditch BTC in the future and go to TaxFiler though as I am nearing my maximum number of licences and don't want to pay a huge amount extra just to get 1 or 2 extra licences. Alternatively, I may just submit using Xero or FreeAgent.

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Replying to GR:
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By AdamMurphy
06th Oct 2021 12:47

Has the interface changed yet? When I trialled it, it was very Windows 95-esque

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By rmillaree
06th Oct 2021 14:11

"Has the interface changed yet? When I trialled it, it was very Windows 95-esque"

We have been using since 2015/16 and the look hasnt changed so i suspect it does on an initial glance look dated - it is well thought out though once you get used to it everything is super easy to do. So the dated look isnt an issue for me

Note i know for sure they have plans to do fully online product very very soon and might be ramping of the features /look at that time so watch that space. There is currently a version that stores data online but that only works for stored data so isnt full online thingy(i think)

ref btc we are 100% happy

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Replying to GR:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
06th Oct 2021 13:20

TaxCalc annoys with rounding re accountsproduction, but it does have within this and the tax module its idiot prompts so not much of an issue.

The other thing I do like is b/fwd last year re dormants and the relatively recent last year posting sheet with nominals used last year on the chart to post this year's TB, avoids me posting to the wrong nominal as some nominal headings prepare more than once in the chart of accounts (Admin, distribution etc)

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Replying to GR:
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By rmillaree
06th Oct 2021 15:03

ref btc
"I haven't had to do any super deduction calculations yet on BTC. Although I am sure it will be quick and easy, and if not, I will just view their YouTube channel or contact support."
Yep its there - it works and is super easy - although slightly hidden away if you
dontknow where to look - quick call or email to btc and they will provide full details of how to find.

"I may ditch BTC in the future and go to TaxFiler though as I am nearing my maximum number of licences and don't want to pay a huge amount extra just to get 1 or 2 extra licences."
From memory i think maximum number of licences is different from maximum number if users so you may get away with more users as long as all are not logged in together - we got double digit users and the extra cost per user is very reasonable i must say compared to the standard fare (dont mention acountancy manager where user 2 doubles the cost)

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By DKB-Sheffield
06th Oct 2021 11:08

Hi

I use both! I use...

Taxfiler: for the simpler client (most sole traders/ partnerships and most smaller limited companies). It's simple to use (based on a fixed TB), cost effective and completely cloud based - which is a bonus! It doesn't have an integrated 'signable' function, but does link into Iris OpenSpace. Not sure about the superdeduction as I've not had any relevant claims yet but, I'd be very surprised if this is not available in the software.

Taxcalc: for a handful of clients (I only have a low-level subscription) who require bespoke accounts/
CT - split revenue streams, more specific headings (e.g. capitalised R&D), additional accounts disclosures, additional CT computation disclosures etc. Taxcalc has an e-signing facility (although it is paid for on a 'per envelope' basis and is provided by a 3rd party) and it can be cloud-hosted (for an additional fee).

In summary, Taxcalc is more 'feature rich' but it depends whether you (or you client base) actually need those features to justify the up-front subscription fee!

Incidentally, Taxfiler have recently contacted me (I suppose this was communicated to the masses) suggesting that they are looking at an "Accounts Plus" package with more features (and customisation). If and when this will occur, I have no idea!

Regarding 'being forgotten', I have seen no evidence of Taxfiler being thrust onto a back burner by Iris - yet. The fees have increased but I still think it's exceptionally good value as it includes 'everything' I need for the vast majority of clients. I've been using Taxfiler for 10 or 11 years (before accounts production was added) and am still satisfied with the product.

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Replying to DKB-Sheffield:
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By EJW2
06th Oct 2021 14:38

Can I ask how you handle 64-8 for your taxfiler clients? do they have an equivalent feature to taxcalc, which auto populates?

Also for client approvals of the tax return/accounts - do you just do physical signature or an external esignature product? It doesn't look like there is a way to send it to the client for approval from taxfiler directly which I believe Taxcalc does...

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By slgskyeung
06th Oct 2021 11:56

I've used Taxfiler to file a superdeduction for one of my clients and that was fine, no problem at all.

Taxfiler does all that I need it for and although inflexible, I do like the simplicity. Overall, generally happy with it.

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By Calculatorboy
07th Oct 2021 00:42

Taxcalc is better in my opinion , just wish they'd fix simple stuff like SBA wdv/ unexpired residue in manual CA worksheets, it's not rocket science

Ps at least they sorted the seiss errors , I remember thinking ffs

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Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
14th Oct 2021 11:04

I am a sole practitioner who uses Taxcalc. Straightforward for what I use it for, but all the add-ons are a bit expensive.

Support is good, and when I wanted to downgrade my licence during Covid the sales adviser said it wasn't possible (despite the fact that you can upgrade at any time!).

So I sent a complaint e-mail to the MD, who, not only phoned me in person, but also got the issue sorted. I can't imagine anyone at Iris doing that! And yes, I have used Iris in the past and wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

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By Tomazaan
14th Oct 2021 12:04

I am another sole practitioner who uses TaxCalc. I am very happy with it and prepare tax returns for individuals, trusts, partnerships and companies (although only a few of the latter two). I use its accounting function to prepare the accounts for the two companies for which I act and everything generally just works and information feeds from one part of the system to another.
I have no experience of Taxfiler.

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Replying to Tomazaan:
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By 4b4
15th Oct 2021 07:25

Tomazaan wrote:

I am another sole practitioner who uses TaxCalc. I am very happy with it and prepare tax returns for individuals, trusts, partnerships and companies (although only a few of the latter two). I use its accounting function to prepare the accounts for the two companies for which I act and everything generally just works and information feeds from one part of the system to another.
I have no experience of Taxfiler.

Exactly the same from me (with 15 companies)!

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By Hut15
14th Oct 2021 12:17

We're in the process of moving from Keytime (also owned by IRIS, but desktop not cloud) to Taxfiler. We are a small 2 partner practice and cost was definitely part of that decision. The decline in customer service from Keytime was another factor, and wanting to go cloud-based was a third.
I find the fixed TB a bit of a pain. I've already had one sole trader complain about there not being enough detail in the P&L for her and while I haven't swapped her back to KT I will be considering that aspect before I take the plunge with any of my more complicated clients. My gut feeling, though, is most clients are happy to get detail from QB/Xero and for most sole trades and FRS105s TF is fine.
I found using it very simple - I plunged straight in without reading the manuals and found it to be intuitive to navigate. Generally very pleased and I plan to shrink our usage of KT to a minimum.

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By Sue Murby
20th Oct 2021 15:28

Many years ago I used software produced by a Scottish company which was excellent. I forget the name. They were taken over by Iris who kept it going for a few years and then stopped and I switched to Iris' own software. I found this to be worse than my original software and switched to Taxcalc. I have found Taxcalc to be very good, as is the support service.

Being of a certain age I spent years completing tax returns manually and think that the time saved is worth the cost for each client. It works out at a little under £6 per client. I don't think that's expensive.

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Replying to Sue Murby:
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By rmillaree
20th Oct 2021 16:48

Many years ago I used software produced by a Scottish company which was excellent.

that will be drummohr - i still have that installed on my computer to access oldtax returns - i may possibly be the last persoan on the planet still running this software :)

"and I switched to Iris' own software. I found this to be worse than my original software and switched to Taxcalc. I have found Taxcalc to be very good, as is the support service."
Snap - it was that 3 weeks into the tax year they couldnt upload client data - the filing feature wasnt working and when names did eventualy come in it was only initial fisrt name letters.
One phonecall to btc and one excel export of the drummohr stuff and btc had our full client database up and running within 2 hours ready to file returns - i know everyone who continued to use the fancy new product released by iris hated it - i think it may have been discontinued.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By Sue Murby
20th Oct 2021 18:20

You're right - it was Drummohr. I thought it had disappeared completely.

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