Online Tax Software vs. Desktop Tax Software

Benefits of Online Tax Software

Online tax prep software┬ácan be used on any computer – Mac or PC

Online tax software auto updates and is self-maintaining

Acknowledgments automatically applied

No need to back up files since they are stored in the cloud

Functionally similar to desktop versions

Fluid movement between software years

Several preparer roles

Has interview mode

Can go back and forth between interview and form modes


Drawbacks of Online Tax Software

Must have internet access

Subject to server outages

Must be taken offline by developers to update

Corporate modules not available online yet (beta testing forthcoming)

Not all hotkeys work on online tax software

Different browsers have slightly different interaction and support


Benefits of Desktop Tax Software

Can prepare regardless of internet connectivity

Includes corporate and specialty modules

Can use regular keyboard hotkeys (ctrl + C, etc.)

Desktop tax software have an interview mode

Internal security is 100% in your control


Drawbacks of Desktop Tax Software

Must have internet in order to send returns

Must backup files for restoral purposes

Program must be manually updated regularly

Desktop tax software can only be used on computers that have the program installed

Back and forth between interview and form modes not advised


Questions to ask yourself to determine which platform may be best for your office?

Where will you be preparing tax on your software? Will you be traveling much? Will you be in an office setting?

How many people will be using the program? Do you need to limit the level of authority of some preparers?

Will your office be preparing corporate or specialty tax returns?


If you would like to speak to a team member about the different tax software options or to request a demo, feel free to call us at (866) 357-2052.

Posted: September 29, 2016

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