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Tax return software for remote working

Tax return software for remote working

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I have to leave Iris OpenTax before I have a nervous breakdown.

Anyone recommend a hosted or cloud-based provider which provides:

  • Easy migration from PTP of hundreds of clients.
  • Paper reports printable of tax returns done etc
  • Remote working capacity (hence cloud/hosted)
  • Good customer service

If you want the detail of my problems with Iris OpenTax and migration from PTP Tax Platform, then read one.  If not and you can help me with the above that would be much appreciated.

After over 10 years with PTP I was persuaded in October 2014 to take on their Iris OpenTax product, thinking it would give me more flexibility in accessing records and working when away from base.  I also thought I have given it enough time from launch for teething problems to be ironed out.

I deeply, deeply, regret making the move.  I am now looking for a hosted or cloud-based competitor.

The problems I have found with OpenTax:

1) Very slow - I have 30Mb broadband in the office asnd still I watch the progress whel grinding round. 30 seconds for some operations.

2) No facility to do a mail merge of clients.  I used to use PTP tax platform to send a letter to all clients whose records were still awaited.  Asked them and they have no plans to introduce this.

3) No facility to print out a list of tax returns done.  Old PTP Tax Platform had this.  It seems fundemental to practice management.

4) Today the pie chart which is supposed to display progress and allows you to view online the clients in a cetegory is refusing to update.  Shows me 939 tax returns to HMRC.  When I ask it to drill down to 2013/14 returns it does not change.  Figure should be under 200.  It changed a few days ago.

5) Migration to OpenTax was a disaster, due to size of practice they offered to do it for us and it ended up taking weeks! 

If you like PTP - stay with the old product, don't go to cloud.  If you have doubts look around.

Thanks for reading the woes of a long-standing and infuriated client of PTP/IRIS. (Just saved me £50 on a counselling session on the couch!)

Replies (5)

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By carnmores
25th Nov 2014 10:10

well its got to be  , email [email protected]  for migration info , i am just one happy user!

Thanks (1)
By ShirleyM
25th Nov 2014 10:16


Taxfiler may not have all the bells and whistles that you need, but it is quick, reliable, and darn good value.

We imported the client standing data ourselves. It is easy, if you can get the details into a csv file. It gives you a list of all clients, and all returns. You can sort this into any order you like.

Thanks (1)
By simon101
25th Nov 2014 21:36


You don't necessarily need to move to a cloud tax return solution to solve the requirement that you wish to work remotely.

You could use Iris / PTP / any desktop software by either having this on your own computer or network, leaving it on 24hr/day, and then using remote desktop to access this computer from wherever you are based.

Alternatively you could use someone like hosteddesktop UK to host your entire windows computer setup, so you use traditional software but can access it from anywhere and all the upgrades and backups and associated hassles are done for you.

In terms of cloud tax return software I looked out of interest, and your comments on Iris OpenTax match my own thoughts after using a demo account.  Taxfiler looked much more what I had expected from a modern cloud system and would be well worth a look.

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By delboyisok
19th Dec 2014 20:06

Iris Open Tax

Yes  - I thought this sounded like a good solution as it is pay as you go and I only have a handful of returns to submit.

But so far I have been very unimpressed with Iris Open Tax, you supposedly get allocated an account number "straight away" but Iris Open Tax's idea of straight away and mine is very diffferent.

When I tried to add the names of the authorising director Iris Open Tax sent me back to a page that was locked for editing.

So Iris Open Tax has been a very frustrating experience so far.



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Image PN
By Mr Hankey
06th Jul 2016 11:16

I tired Iris OpenTax and was sorely disappointed. It was extremely slow, unintuitive, and kept crashing. Everything I tried to do ended up being a problem, even on straightforward returns. The one feature I did like was the "pay-as-you-go" pricing, which was withdrawn several months ago.

OpenTax is now in the bin, I have since switched to Tax Filer, and absolutely love it. It is so fast, simple to use, and reasonably priced. Will definitely be staying with them, and my only regret is not switching to them sooner.

OpenTax felt like it was designed by software engineers, Tax Filer feels like it's been designed by accountants. Love it!

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