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Taxfiler now owned by Iris - your thoughts?

What's the future?

Didn't find your answer?

Just had email saying Taxfiler delighted to be owned by Iris. I presume they would have struggled on their own without merging with someone or other.
I'm really concerned, as Iris has such a terrible reputation for high fees.
What do you think?

Replies (50)

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By Mark_NW
23rd May 2018 08:20

Just received the email now.

One word - gutted!

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By Manchester_man
23rd May 2018 08:23

Absolutely gutted.

There's no way on this earth that Iris will keep the fees at the level they are.

Looks like I'll be moving to Taxcalc.

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By carnmores
23rd May 2018 08:40

UNPRINTABLE IF CAN I WILL REFER THIS TO MONOPOLIES & MERGERS COMMISSION

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Replying to carnmores:
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By mabzden
25th May 2018 11:59

Carnmores, I remember you posting a comment a few years ago urging Iris to buy Taxfiler. When did you change your mind?

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Replying to mabzden:
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By carnmores
25th May 2018 13:20

I didnt it was Digita as i confirmed to James Reeves in an email yesterday. Huge difference and i knew someone was likely to try and buy it and i did not want Iris to have it.

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Giraffe
By Luke
23rd May 2018 08:44

Another one really quite concerned. I can’t imagine it will stay as it is n

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Tony s
By Tony S
23rd May 2018 08:50

on the plus side, I'm sure my week cant get any [***]..

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By rddunkley
23rd May 2018 08:57

I think most users will be gutted if they have had any dealings with Iris.

I can only hope they now actually realise why small practice accountants have avoided/moved away from them.

Taxfiler - you should have offered to sell out to your users... I'm sure we would have paid more ;)

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By Mr Hankey
23rd May 2018 08:58

I knew it was too good to last.

I love using Taxfiler, it has such good functionality and such good value for money. Iris software is quite the opposite, and can't imagine this is a change for the better.

If prices go up, I'll be switching provider.

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By R TURNER
23rd May 2018 09:05

Also gutted, have been using Taxfiler for last three years and I must admit it far exceeded my original expectations at a very reasonable price. Used customer services for the first time in February this year and they were outstanding.

I suppose it can only go downhill from here ?.

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Locutus of Borg
By Locutus
23rd May 2018 09:05

Disappointed to received the email.

Innovation, price and customer service of Taxfiler was better than any other tax software company that I had experienced.

Now all we can expect is price increases, lower customer service and eventual discontinuance of the product.

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By MissAccounting
23rd May 2018 09:09

Gutted.

RIP Taxfiler, you will sadly go down the route Drummohr did when they were acquired by Ir*s.

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By Cloudcounter
23rd May 2018 09:28

Same reaction as everybody else. I simply do not want to have anything to do with Iris, a horrible company to deal with.

They've taken over three products that we used and either ruined them, hiked fees or both. The last was Drummohr, which is why we are now using TaxFiler

That doesn't include the first instance, long ago, when we trialled their original accounts software and had more than a small amount of difficulty getting our money back when we closed the trial.

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By mrme89
23rd May 2018 09:38

Less support (not that you ever really needed it), little or no development, price hikes and eventual discontinuation.

Taxfiler's owners won't be bothered. They'll be sunning it up in an exotic location somewhere. Can't say I blame them. In fact, I'm quite jealous.

RIP Tax Filer.

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By Avant-Garde54
23rd May 2018 09:37

Pretty much have the same reaction as everyone else. In the past we used PTP as a simple tax product without any issues and good support. Once PTP was aquired by IRIS we noticed an immediate drop in the level of service and increased costs and after a great deal of convincing from IRIS sales we moved to the IRIS cloud product IRIS Opentax as it was sold as the future. This proved a very bad move as the product had many bugs and issues and very poor support having to leave messages with no call back and we were not surprised to hear they ceased the product last year. We moved to taxfiler as a result and have been very happy to date and we were very disappointed to hear that IRIS has swallowed up another small competitor and can only hope it doesn't lead to increased fees and reduced support as previously experienced.

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By Springfield
23rd May 2018 09:38

Terrible news!
I've previously got shot of Iris products that they've acquired from independents, after shocking service and excessive fees.
Iris - the worst software company by a distance - I've ever dealt with.

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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 09:55

Fuming and I've told them.
After 12 years with Iris (PTP) only 8 weeks ago I managed to extricate myself. Frying pan > Fire.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd May 2018 23:33

That’s some bad luck Andy

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By Ken Howard
23rd May 2018 09:50

At the first opportunity, i.e. probably next Feb/Mar inbetween tax years, I'll now be ditching Taxfiler. There's no future for it once IRIS have bought it.

I was a happy customer with Drummohr for many years. IRIS bought it and soon it was a disaster so I had to move.

I was also a happy customer with dozens of clients using Kashflow which had it's issues but was a decent system and was constantly being improved based on user feedback. IRIS bought it and have basically done nothing to improve it nor fix bugs - all they've done is increase the costs and reduce features (such as online cloud storage). I've now just about migrated all KF clients to other cheaper/better online systems.

IRIS are the death knell for popular, functional and affordable systems.

Let's hope they keep their filthy hands off Moneysoft payroll and VT accounts!

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By Ken Howard
23rd May 2018 09:52

Duplicated post deleted

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Replying to Ken Howard:
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By Springfield
23rd May 2018 10:01

Oh no! Don't give them ideas about Moneysoft & VT!

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Replying to Springfield:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
23rd May 2018 18:11

Springfield wrote:

Oh no! Don't give them ideas about Moneysoft & VT!

Shhh - don’t say it too loudly.

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By daniel_
23rd May 2018 10:04

Very sad to receive this email. Will now be looking into alternatives, perhaps Taxcalc.

It seems Taxfiler was too good, too cheap and too dangerous to the big software companies to be left unchecked. Eating the competition makes sense for Iris.

The same thing happened to 12Pay our previous payroll software. It was bought by Iris and all development stopped. We've now moved to Moneysoft for 18/19 and are much happier with it.

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Replying to daniel_:
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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 10:10

I think you've got it.

No need to worry about lack of product development. No need to worry about potential price hikes. It is doubtful that Iris will care much about these things if its principle purchasing motive is to take the product out of circulation.

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By stig247
23rd May 2018 10:07

RIP taxfiler things will mostly likely change for the worst now IRIS has it

May have to switch to taxcalc

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By neiljduncan
23rd May 2018 10:49

Totally p***ed off with this.
I am very busy at the moment, but just to get things off my chest I sent this email to the director (at the bottom of the email he foolishly asked if there were any queries to contact him- it wont make any different, but made me feel a bit better (apart from the fact I am now 1/2 hour behind!). Its a bit long winded the the very last section gives my forecast of what will happen going forward - see if you agree.

Dear James

I don’t normally bother complaining about things like this as quite frankly it makes no difference, however I feel I must ‘get this off my chest’.

We are a small practice set up 11 years ago.
My previous medium sized firm used Iris for all their software needs and although I had no comparable experience, as a user I was never happy with its functionality and whenever problems arose the support was poor. I therefore decided not to use them in our new firm when we had a choice.

We therefore chose Drumhor for all our taxation requirements.
It worked perfectly well for nearly 10 years, the price was reasonable and support always available when needed.
Iris then took over. There was no noticeable change for a few years until they decided to make it cloud based.
I accept this is the way the world was going but the transition was a nightmare and the new product very slow and clunky (which I was assured by the help line nothing to do with our IT equipment or internet connection). The way we had access to earlier years data which was not migrated was also really poor and prices went up.
Having said all that things got slightly better and it worked.
Then last year in April we found out that we were being offered the chance (at no extra cost!) to upgrade to a much fancier Iris product.
On further enquiry we found the offer was not optional as the product was ceasing completely in 12 months so we would have to move.
The migration process was very poor – we would basically have to start from scratch, but we were told that this was an advantage as it would allow us to set things up anew and create more information!
Even though they would freeze the price at our old software cost for 12 months the new product was a lot more expensive so it was obvious what was going to happen in 2 years time.

To make matters worse although the existing software was being kept live for 12 months they hadn’t got round to updating to allowing 16/17 personal returns and couldn’t tell us when it would be available so it is possible I wouldn’t be able to start 16/17 tax returns until June / July 17.

In the meantime the customer service trying to find out what was happening and to get the existing software to actually work was absolutely appalling – the worst I have ever seen from any organisation either professionally or personally. This therefore confirmed we had to get way from Iris.
After much research and talking to fellow accountants we switched to Taxfiler.
We couldn’t import any data and had to set everything up from scratch, but we found the software to be fantastic, easy to use, more functionality, support is great on the odd occasion it has been needed and only had one period of it being down in 12 months and the price was a fraction of IRIS. We have recommended it you to several other colleagues with their own small practices.

We are now doing year 2 and find it even better as not only are we used to it but the way it rolls information forward makes it a very quick process to do this years returns and we are looking forward to some great time saving this year – then we get this news.

I will guarantee the following sequence of events, although I am not sure of the timescale.

1. Investment in the product and support services will be drop.
2. We will be offered the chance to but other services from IRIS(practice management etc) that we never wanted anyway – hence why we chose Taxfiler.
3. We will be given a great deal to transfer to a better IRIS product for all our tax needs.
4. The existing tax software will cease to be operated, possibly under the guise with not being compliant with making tax digital or some other spurious excuse.
5. We will have to migrate to new software.
6. The process will be very inefficient
7. After an initial holding of prices we will have to pay the full price.
8. The full price will continue to increase
9. Support levels will decrease.

We will therefore be looking to change providers at the earliest opportunity as I would rather go through this pain with somebody else other than IRIS.
To show I am not alone in this please follow this link which has only just started today.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/taxfiler-now-owned-by-iris-y...

Regards
Neil Duncan Fca

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Replying to neiljduncan:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
23rd May 2018 15:19

Far politer than the email I sent first thing this morning.

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Replying to neiljduncan:
Giraffe
By Luke
24th May 2018 19:02

Did you get a reply?

To be fair to James Reeve I got, what appeared to be, an individual reply to my email which covered my points raised. I am still of course concerned but I was impressed by the repsonse.

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Replying to Luke:
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By carnmores
24th May 2018 19:17

so did I and I was too. I am posting about this again tomorrow

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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 10:58

Dear James
You might be delighted, but here on planet earth we are dismayed.
Love and kisses

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blue sheep
By NH
23rd May 2018 11:38

same here, very disappointed, any dealings with Iris in the past have not been good, knew it was too good to last so I am not surprised and to be honest I just didnt see how taxfiler could carry on in business with those prices

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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 11:41

The golden opportunity to give them the feedback they can't wait to hear!

"If you'd like to see Taxfiler for yourself why not come and visit us at one of these events.

Come and talk to us at Accountex 2018
Stand 346"

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By bbsltd
23rd May 2018 11:55

Just started my second tax year with Taxxfiler . The first was pretty painless but the second with the carry overs is superb .
Only had to use customer services in first week once at that was it.
Tbh taxfiler great value for money and not surprised it’s been taken over .
There is a market distinct from iris for this product and suspect they may have a tiered pay system depending on the number of returns.

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Tornado
By Tornado
23rd May 2018 12:03

I am soooo pleased that I severed all connections with IRIS this year.

2017/18 Tax Returns will be with TaxCalc and Payroll with Brightpay. (VT for Accounts).

IRIS is a mess and as a company, only seems interested in grabbing money in any way they can, which, in my case, included taking money by Direct Debit for OpenTax and then a few days later advising me that Open Tax would not be able to prepare 2016/17 Partnership or Trust Tax Returns and that no other Tax Returns could be prepared until mid May 2017!

It took nearly nine months to get a refund for the charge for non-existent software.

In addition, they sent me a proforma invoice for 2017/18 OpenTax Returns, a product that ceased to exist entirely on the 30th April 2018! Fortunately I cancelled the Direct Debit in good time

I expect the timing means that all TaxFiler users have already signed up for the current year with no opportunity to look elsewhere.

Looking at their Accounts, they have acquired dozens of small businesses/software along the way, TaxFiler is just another to add to the list.

In my view, they are simply hyping up their share value and I don't believe they care that much for the quality of their products or service.

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By SoL
23rd May 2018 13:13

This is really very bad news. Having gone through the PTP to IRIS transition, it's inevitable there will be price hikes, and heavy-handed cross marketing for the main IRIS product with a noticeable deterioration in support levels.

I think one of the first (of many) changes will be to the rolling monthly contract. IRIS will absolutely want to lock people into an extended contract, no doubt with some form of punitive penalty for early termination.

I've been with Taxfiler from very soon after they started and personally recommended them to numerous colleagues and practices. I think word of mouth has been an important part of their growth so it's disappointing they've basically sold out to the very corporate behemoth that most users were trying to get away from.

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By Connie1
23rd May 2018 13:52

Another one really dismayed by this announcement, although with hindsight it's been obvious for a few months that their eye has been off the ball. We've found a few bugs recently which took them months and months of nagging to fix, whereas in the early days they'd have had it done within 24 hours.

I guess growing pains are inevitable, and I'm sure that selling out to the highest bidder was always part of the plan - that'll be partly why the costs were so low as it ensured they got lots of firms on their books to make them look more attractive. It's just a shame they chose IRIS as their suitor.

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By paulhammett
23rd May 2018 13:55

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!
Just about the worst news imaginable.

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By ismac65
23rd May 2018 14:31

I too have expressed my disappointment (to put it mildly) that they have sold out to Iris, whose software I used in a previous life. I found it reliable but expensive and behind the curve.

I was told a couple of months back that Taxfiler full integration with Xero was 'in testing' when I enquired the other day how that testing was going I received a cryptic reply: 'It needed some changes from testing. There are some integrations that are going to be developed, and there will be some announcements at Accountex.'

Guess we know what those 'announcements' are now and where the proposed Xero integration will be going, in the bin no doubt with much else that made Taxfiler such an outstanding product.

James et al may not be bothered much now (unless they're on an earnout?) but the best reply to what they've done is to 'vote with our feet' by deserting the software as soon as practicable.

I advised him to wear some body armour for Accountex :)

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By GlobalTax
23rd May 2018 17:02

I remember talking to Paresh Patel ( one of the directors and presumably owner) who gave me a demo of taxfiler. I did ask him if he intended to sell to IRIS and he said no. However, I knew it was going to happen at somepoint since Taxfiler is a slick product one of the best on the market and is growing very rapidly .

What next for IRIS - taxcalc, BTC then virtually no competition. They will take everything then maybe a Stock listing putting more pressure on providing a better return for their shareholders then prices will start spiralling.

I hate companies like IRIS that use 0844 numbers and their website is terrible. I wondered if anyone could give me some positives with IRIS as not dealt with them directly. Surely some have had some good experience dealing with IRIS.

I will not move from taxfiler as I had moved from keytime as moving causes disruption plus IRIS may then take over that company over too.

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Replying to GlobalTax:
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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 17:19

'I wondered if anyone could give me some positives with IRIS'

Let me think, .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Nope.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
23rd May 2018 17:16

... and I should imagine Taxfiler's helpful staff will be v worried as well.

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ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
23rd May 2018 18:19

Do we know how big the cheque being carried off into the sunset is?

To be fair, if it’s FU money, how many of us can honestly say that they are THAT principled?

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By andy.partridge
23rd May 2018 18:47

I don't think anyone is saying they wouldn't have done it themselves on principle. That's a hypothetical that nobody can answer.

The deserved crap that follows from customers feeling betrayed is something I would imagine James has already factored in. Serving it up as great news, though, is comical to the point of insulting.

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Replying to andy.partridge:
ALISK
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
24th May 2018 07:55

andy.partridge wrote:

Serving it up as great news, though, is comical to the point of insulting.

What were they supposed to say? “Dear customers,
I know that you won’t like it, but we’ve sold out to the scourge of the small practice, IRIS. I know that this means service will drop, prices will increase and eventually the product will disappear all together. I know that you’ll all be very angry about this and it will cost you potentially a lot of time, energy and money to move away from IRIS, but have decided that I can live with that as they bought me off it’s not my problem.
Yours,
A new millionaire”

Don’t get me wrong, I feel sorry for anyone on TaxFiler and really hope it doesn’t happen to TaxCalc, but IRIS’ model of killing the opposition isn’t TaxFiler’s fault.

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Replying to atleastisoundknowledgable...:
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By andy.partridge
24th May 2018 17:09

Of course not.

Nor were they supposed to give the impression it was great news to a savvy client base who knows the risk of being shafted is high. It wouldn't have taken much thought to come up with something that was measured and reassuring or merely factual.

But, 'delighted to announce . . '. [***] off.

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By Myriam
24th May 2018 16:18

I was literally on the cusp of signing up, now not feeling so keen...

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By andy.partridge
25th May 2018 10:14

'I'm delighted to announce,' said the dentist, 'that I am going to have to take out all your teeth.'

'I'm delighted to announce,' said the doctor, 'that we are going to have to keep you in hospital for much longer.'

'I'm delighted to announce,' said the solicitor, 'that there we will no early resolution to your case.'

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By Stevebelton
29th May 2019 15:30

It would seem that everyone's fears have indeed materialised in that I have just had an email from Taxfiler announcing an increase in charges with effect from 1st July 2019. Admittedly Taxfiler was always a more reasonable proposition than TaxCalc but the charges I pay will double from £10 & VAT per month to £20 & VAT per month and this is also now capped at a maximum of 30 clients (I don't think it was capped before - someone may correct me). Unlimited access costs £25 & VAT per month. Looks as though I shall need to put my fees up to compensate!

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By carnmores
29th May 2019 16:04

I think I can absorb a £1.50 pa a client increase , I still absolutelly love it. I think we are getting practice manager included as well if that is the case I have no complaints at all. So far it is still the best value and easiest software to use lets jut hope that Iris don't do their usual nonsense

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Replying to carnmores:
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By carnmores
29th May 2019 16:13

of course for the non pro version the 30 client cap is typical Iris

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