Getting your office set up and ready for tax season each year may seem like a daunting task, but if you start early and follow our weekly office setup checklist series, you’ll be sure to have everything crossed off your list well before the beginning of e-File. The full Pre-Tax Season Checklist is available on the TaxSlayer Pro Support Website, but for the checklist series, we have broken it down into manageable sections to making it easier for you to organize and prepare.
Timing is everything, so week 1 of the checklist series focuses on getting time-sensitive IRS, State and Bank tasks completed. We encourage you to get these items done early to avoid the usual processing delays that we see occur late in the year and early into the next.
In addition to completing any required applications and compliance training before their due dates, now is the time to start familiarizing yourself with tax law changes and new bank product options. A lot has changed in the tax industry since last year, mostly due to the signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but as tax season approaches, you’ll also notice big changes and many enhancements to your TaxSlayer Pro My Account, now referred to as Account Hub as well as significant differences in bank product offerings with various TaxSlayer Pro banking partners.
IRS and State Requirements
[ ] Apply for an EFIN (if applicable)
[ ] Apply for or renew your PTIN
[ ] Update your e-Services Account and obtain your EFIN tracking number
[ ] Familiarize yourself with your state’s e-filing requirements for tax professionals
[ ] Familiarize yourself with your state’s tax law changes for 2018
Software and Bank Products
[ ] Purchase or renew 2018 TaxSlayer Pro Software
[ ] Update your company information in Account Hub (My Account)
[ ] Consider offering Ancillary Products and Bank Products to your clients
[ ] Fill out and submit bank product applications in Account Hub (My Account)
[ ] Opt in to offer ancillary products in Account Hub (My Account)
[ ] Familiarize yourself with the new features in Account Hub (My Account)
[ ] Web Reports
[ ] Web Client Status
[ ] Schedule your New User Orientation in Account Hub (My Account) – new customers only
[ ] Read and sign the Data Conversion Agreement in Account Hub (My Account) – new customers only
Apply for an EFIN – If you are new to the tax preparation industry, or are a seasoned tax professional who has opened an additional location or locations, you must apply for and obtain an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) for each office location. The EFIN application process takes approximately 6 weeks to complete, so get the process started today.
Apply for or renew your PTIN – Each preparer in your office will need to obtain or renew their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Create or log into your IRS PTIN account to obtain or renew a PTIN. This process takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, but get it out of the way early so you don’t have to worry about it later.
Update your e-Services Account and obtain your EFIN Tracking Number – New for 2018, you will need your EFIN Tracking Number in order to electronically file tax returns in 2019. Log in to your IRS e-Services Account to obtain your tracking number. You’ll need this number to update your TaxSlayer Pro company information in Account Hub (My Account). It is extremely important to get logged into your IRS e-services account early. Changes to a new secure access sign in process may delay you getting access to your account.
Familiarize yourself with your state’s e-filing requirements for tax professionals – Many states are beginning to recognize the need for some kind of oversight for paid tax preparers. Some states have implemented their own registration and certification requirements. Others have enacted laws on what types of bank products and associated fees can be offered and charged for.
Familiarize yourself with your state’s tax law changes for 2018 – Will your state conform to federal tax law changes brought on by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? If so, how will the changes affect your clients? Many states have published information on their department of revenue websites concerning changes for the upcoming year. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with this information. Your clients will definitely have questions. Make sure you have the answers.
Purchase or renew 2018 TaxSlayer Pro Software – The easiest step in making sure you’re off to a great start is ensuring your software has been purchased. If you still need to purchase or renew the software, please contact our sales team at (888) 420-1040.
Update your company information in Account Hub (My Account) – After logging into your Account Hub, you will need to update your Company Information from the tab on the left side of the page. It is important for you to verify this information is still accurate and make any changes if necessary. Your IRS EFIN Tracking Number must also be entered here once it has been obtained from IRS e-Services.
Consider offering Ancillary Products and Bank Products to your clients – Tax-related bank products are a good way to help your business while helping your clients get their refund as fast as possible. Bank products also allow your client to have their preparer fees taken directly out of their refund. We also offer Ancillary Products that directly benefit your client with identity theft and audit protection. Information about ancillary products can be found by logging in to Account Hub and clicking on the Partner’s Page tab on the left side of the screen. You can also talk to our sales team if you have question. Contact them at (888) 420-1040.
Fill out and submit bank product applications in Account Hub (My Account) – If you plan to offer bank products, you will need to complete the bank application inside of Account Hub. Bank applications are located under the tab Bank Products on the left side of the page. You may complete as many applications as you want. If you decide not to offer bank products, click the Opt Out option at the bottom of the Bank Products application page.
Opt in to offer Ancillary Products in Account Hub (My Account) – If you would like to offer Ancillary Products, you can opt in while completing your bank product application. If you would like to charge an additional amount for ancillary products and/or order marketing materials for the products, you will also have the opportunity to do so in the ancillary products section of your bank application.
Familiarize yourself with the new features in Account Hub (My Account) – During the off season, My Account was updated and is now Account Hub. We have added new features to assist you throughout the tax season and encourage you to take a look around now to become familiar with the changes. If you see something new and have a question, give us a call at (706) 868-0985.
Web Reports – This reporting tool is one of the new features in Account Hub. Web Reports allow you to quickly access customized reports for all of your clients (and offices if you have a multi-office setup) in one place. For information about the reports and how to use this tool, visit our Knowledgebase Article here.
Web Client Status – Web client status is another new feature in Account Hub. This tool allows you to search the status of any e-filed return from anywhere with internet access. Web client status provides much of the same information as the utility in the program and includes items such as the Submission ID, Reject Code, and even the timestamp for each submission/acknowledgement.
Schedule your New User Orientation in Account Hub (My Account) – If you are a new customer to TaxSlayer Pro, you can schedule a new user orientation with one of our support representatives. The orientation is a one-on-one web meeting with a member of our support team to get you acclimated to the program. To sign up, log into Account Hub and click the down arrow by your username.
Read and sign the Data Conversion Agreement in Account Hub (My Account) – If you are a new customer to TaxSlayer Pro and you need to convert return data from your old software company, you will need to read and sign the conversion agreement in Account Hub. This link will be available on the Software Options tile on the main page. After signing the agreement, a member of our Technical Support Team will contact you to retrieve the needed files from your prior year program.