2020 may have been a difficult year, but the 2020 tax season doesn’t have to be. Our Pre-Tax Season Checklist series will make sure you feel prepared for a productive and profitable tax season. Each week, we’ll break our checklist down into manageable sections, making it easier for you to stay stress-free as you organize and prepare.
For the second week of our checklist series, we’ll focus on getting time-sensitive IRS, state, and bank tasks completed. While these tasks are usually simple, getting them done early will help you avoid any processing delays.
IRS and State Requirements Checklist
- 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 2020
Software and Bank Products Checklist
- Purchase or renew 2020 TaxSlayer Pro Software
- Update your company information in Account Hub
- Schedule your New User Training Webinar in Account Hub (new customers only)
- Read and sign the Data Conversion Agreement in Account Hub (new customers only)
- Consider offering ancillary products and bank products to your clients
- Fill out and submit bank product applications in Account Hub
- Opt in to offer ancillary products in Account Hub
IRS and State Requirements
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, you’ll need to apply for an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN) for each office location. The EFIN application process takes approximately 6 weeks to complete, so get started today!
Apply for or renew your PTIN
Preparer Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) must be renewed each year. Create or log into your IRS PTIN account to obtain or renew a PTIN. PTIN renewal usually takes just 10 minutes to complete, but you’ll be glad to have it out of the way early.
Update your e-Services Account and obtain your IRS Tracking Number
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. Be sure to log into your IRS e-services account as soon as possible. Delays accessing your e-services account could result in stressful delays setting up your tax software.
Familiarize yourself with your state’s e-filing requirements for tax professionals
Some states have their own requirements for tax professionals or their own laws regarding tax bank products. Make sure you know your state’s guidelines well before tax season begins.
Familiarize yourself with state and federal tax changes for 2020
While federal changes this year are relatively minor, there are still a few important topics you’ll want to know about. For example, you’ll want to review how unemployment income is taxed and read up on the Consolidated Appropriations Act. We also have additional resources regarding COVID-19 and information on this year’s changes to Form 1040.
Software and Bank Products
Purchase or renew 2020 TaxSlayer Pro Software
This step is easy but crucial. Purchasing your software well before tax season will give you time to explore it before the busy season begins. If you still need to purchase or renew, you can compare software here or get in touch with our sales team.
Schedule your New User Online Webinar Training
If you are a new customer to TaxSlayer Pro, be sure to register for our free new user training webinar. You’ll learn everything from software installation to electronic filing, and you’ll have an opportunity for live Q&A with the instructor. Be sure to register soon – after the limited time offer, the webinar’s price jumps to $75.
Read and sign the Data Conversion Agreement in Account Hub
New TaxSlayer Pro users will also need to convert data from their old software company. Fortunately, we make this process simple and straightforward. After you sign the Data Conversion Agreement in Account Hub, a member of our Technical Support Team will contact you to retrieve the needed files from your prior year’s program.
Update your company information in Account Hub
After logging into the Account Hub in your TaxSlayer Pro software, make sure you update your company information and your IRS EFIN Tracking Number.
Consider offering Ancillary Products and Bank Products to your clients
Bank products help your business and allow your clients to get their refund as fast as possible. Tax bank products also allow your client to have their preparer fees taken directly out of their refund. We also offer product partnerships that directly benefit your client with identity theft and audit protection. You can learn more about selling bank products and ancillary products in our tax preparer training videos. Have more questions? Get in touch with our sales team at (888) 420-1040.
Fill out and submit bank product applications in Account Hub
Once you decide which bank products are the best fit for you and your clients, you’ll need to complete the bank application inside of Account Hub.
Opt in to offer Ancillary Products in Account Hub
If you would like to offer Ancillary Products, you can opt-in while completing your bank product application. If you plan to charge an additional amount for ancillary products and/or order marketing materials for the products, you can do so in the ancillary products section of your bank application.
Checking off these items will lay the cornerstones for a successful tax season. You’ll be legally ready to file and equipped with software and products that help you best serve your clients.