Share this content

Taxcalc vs BTC

Taxcalc vs BTC

Didn't find your answer?

I'm considering moving tax software from Ftax, and the "next ones up" in terms of price bracket appear to be TaxCalc and BTC, so they are the ones I'm considering right now.

Ftax is basically an electronic tax return form, and you fill it in just like you would a paper one. I love it, and the support team, but the credit code issues we've been having recently have been stopping us getting work out and it's really frustrating. Dissent in the ranks mean boss lady needs to look into other options!

I've used Digita and really couldn't get on with the interface (entering loads of schedules and it magically generates the form) - I felt very out of control with it and it didn't feel logical to me - I couldn't get my head round it anmd don't want anything like it again.

So: what do you think would suit me? And in general, what do you consider to be good software?

Ideally I don't want to spend more than £500 (ex VAT). We have 3 users here in the office - 2 main and one occasional. I get the impression Taxcalc is one licence per office, and BTC seems to be priced per user (grr).

Any ideas? Really honest reviews welcome!

Replies (13)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

By Flash Gordon
26th Jul 2012 17:36

BTC gets my vote

I've used Taxcalc & swapped to BTC this year - BTC is quicker, easier and the support is miles better. For me it's a no-brainer but I'll admit I only need one licence.

Thanks (0)
Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
26th Jul 2012 17:56

What's quicker and easier?

Thanks Flash.

What's quicker and easier about BTC over Taxcalc?

I've been trying to price up BTC and it's going to be way over £500 for all the licences I'd need (I can't stand per user licences!!).

Thanks (0)
By refs8
26th Jul 2012 20:52

Just ring BTC up and chat - been with them two weeks now and mighty impressed so far.

Currently use tax assistant whilst a good product we liked BTC database and you get 10 users with BTC where as just one with tax assistant


Thanks (0)
By Flash Gordon
26th Jul 2012 21:01

It just is?!

I don't know what makes it quicker but the CT returns in particular take a fraction of the time. Press the button to import the figures from the VT ixbrl file, do any addbacks and boom, one return. Try it out and see what you think. The SA100s aren't as quick (obviously) but I still find them quicker than Taxcalc. And the support is miles better, by far.

Just give it a trial run.....

On the user licences do you have to have one per person who uses it or can you reduce it to the max who might use it at the same time? That might save you money (if its possible)

Thanks (0)
By non-sequitor
26th Jul 2012 22:52

Similar here. We moved from Absolute to BTC which was a huge improvement.

CT returns are very quick - you import basic data through the iXBRL accounts file (we use VT for this) and then adjust for any capital allowances/non-standard addbacks. Takes not more than 10 minutes from start to submission.

SA returns are a little less intuitive but you get used to it. BTC doesn't have a "facsimile" return on screen so you have to go through the sections for income/reliefs etc (it's easy enough but just a slight mental re-mapping). We have their client database module but haven't actively used this yet (we're still learning the produce) but in theory this lets you submit abbreviated accounts to Companies House through iXBRL which would save messing about with the Companies House PDF approach.

The only gripe (as stated by someone else) is the per-user licencing on the CT module. It means having to filter CT returns through one PC which is a bit of a pain (the cost of acquiring more licences just isn't worthwhile on a per client basis). Costs are competitive otherwise and support has so far, been generally good, although you do get the sense the company is pretty small in size so don't know how they would cope with a scale up in sales/demand.

Thanks (0)
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
27th Jul 2012 09:49


I really like tax calc, but it does sound like BTC has the edge on CT returns which are a bit clunky in tax calc. The main boon on tax calc is that on the SA you can switch between "form mode" which looks like the tax return and "simple step" which is a set of questions. 

The latter is great for staff who dont know the forms inside out.

There are lots of wizards and other things to make life easy, and I really like the calculator that allows you to do more or less instant tax projections which is handy for POA comps.

Not had any problems with support, albeit I havent had to ring them about anything for ages, when I have you get through to a real person who knows the software.

Thanks (0)
By MissAccounting
27th Jul 2012 10:06

Have you read the small print properly on the BTC website?  It seems to suggest that you only need a second "user" if you have multiple sites for the PM and SA solution? Only thing you would need to pay is an additional £47 per user for the CT module.  Or at least thats how it reads to me?

Give them a call though, as stated above their customer service levels are fantastic.


Edit - forgot to say Im a very happy BTC user

Thanks (0)
Should Be Working ... not playing with the car
By should_be_working
27th Jul 2012 10:21

BTC for us

We switched to BTC just this month, though from (the more expensive) Keytime so can't compare to Taxcalc. However, the CT module is excellent, being a very straightforward Excel-driven add-on and as VT users we slipped into it easily. The SA application has also done well so far - as has been said, it's not a facsimile copy, but is less clunky than Keytime and some others we looked at, which felt too much like a poorly finished Access front-end.

We will probably go for the full PM solution next year, once we've settled in with SA.

I was also impressed with BTC's service. A small issue with converting our data was dealt with with no problems, and during the evaluation period Andrew Ross kept in touch but without any hard sell.


Thanks (0)
By Marmite
27th Jul 2012 13:00

BTC -One of the best thought out pieces of software we have used

Worth every penny and far easier and quicker to use than some more expensive names in the market

Support is second to none and really seem to go the extra mile to ensure everything works OK - especially when you consider the price.



Thanks (0)
Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
27th Jul 2012 21:17

Hmm, lots of support for BTC
Thanks for the responses. BTC does seem very popular.

Ftax have said major improvements should be happeneing next week, so I will wait to see what happens there. I do really like them but I have to have the right software for my business.

The price tag of BTC still puts me off, but if TaxCalc is a bit clunky, that also puts me off. There's no point learning new software and paying (a lot) extra if I'm still not going to be 100% happy. I will wait and see...

Thanks (0)
By mm01
28th Jul 2012 08:25

Another happy BTC user here.

Give the trial a go, Im sure you wont be disappointed.

Thanks (0)
By Ftax
02nd Aug 2012 13:26

Download the latest Ftax forms


The new Ftax credit system is now fully transparent.

Download the latest forms and they will operate as they always have done, after you have logged into your Ftax Account from the form.

The new credit system enables Ftax to sell low use/ low cost options. So if you only have a few forms to file, or to top up, then it won't you cost too much. Basically, you only buy the credits you need. There are still 'unlimited use' options available as well.

You are in full control of your secure Ftax Account. Only the name and UTR are recorded to register the use of a credit. These records can be deleted if you wish, but there is no need, as everything is fully secure.

The intelligent Ftax tax forms still work exactly as they have always worked :-)  I am glad to say that even more tax agents have chosen Ftax this year.








Thanks (1)
Image is of a pin up style woman in a red dress with some of her skirt caught in the filing cabinet. She looks surprised.
By Monsoon
02nd Aug 2012 13:33


Ftax is all tickety-boo again for us :)

Richard and his team has kept in full communication with me, and we've solved the issue (which was a local one, not a general software one, I think) - thanks!

I'm a happy bunny again - and assuming there's no more dissent in the ranks, we will carry on as we were (phew!).



Thanks (0)
Share this content

Related posts