August 10, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (2 of 4): Tax Return Prep – Part 1





NOTES from Live Webinar Session 2



  • You don’t have to use a taxpayer profile
  • Taxpayer profile doesn’t show up on Practice Lab
  • No Admin features in Practice Lab unfortunately



  • You can use a filing status wizard if you have no clue (it gives a recommendation about what the filing status should be, but you don’t have to use it)
  • OR simply select the filing status manually



  • You can manually click into different fields or hit the “tab” key to move to the next field.
  • For birthdates, don’t use leading zeros. OR use the drop-down menu to select a date.
    • Correct date format: 9/9/1990. Incorrect: 09/09/1990
  • Do zip code first (so that the city and state information auto-populates)
  • Daytime number can be a cell phone number (whatever number they can be reached at)
  • For dependents or qualifying persons, number of months in the home is defaulted to 12 (but you can edit this)


ENTERING BASIC INCOME: Taxpayer profile (page 24)

  • Webinar took him directly to the W-2 because of the taxpayer profile he chose at the beginning of the return
  • Basic taxpayer profile he set up forced him to go through the:
    • W2
      • EIN auto-populates employer data when you enter on W2
      • Box 3 & 5 you can edit at anytime and 4 & 6 will auto-update
      • Click Continue to Save (acts as an auto-save)
    • 1099R
    • If taxpayer doesn’t need that form, scroll down to bottom and click “Cancel” button so it will take you to the next form in the profile
    • Next form was Interest Income
    • Then dividends
    • Then capital gains
    • Then SSA
  • You can add additional forms at anytime by clicking on the taxpayer’s name in the navigation bar > drop-down menu > Quick file
  • You can create a taxpayer profile at the return level


ENTERING BASIC INCOME: 1040 view (page 26)

  • Click on specific lines on the 1040 and it takes you to a specific section where you can put in the appropriate amounts

ENTERING BASIC INCOME: “Guide Me” method, like the Interview mode (page 28)

  • The Site Coordinator can apply the “Guide Me” method onto specific usernames


ENTERING BASIC INCOME: “Enter Myself” method, like the Tax Forms mode (page 29)

  • You can click around to different line items by using the “Begin” links



  • When you enter in W2 Code D, it doesn’t update Box 3 and 5 (sometimes the employer already calculates this for you)
  • Box 14 is informational for employee
  • CA SDI should be put into Box 14 (even if it was on line 19 and 20 on the physical W2) and it will carry to schedule A automatically
  • If something in Box 14 is not in the drop-down menu list, click the “Not listed here” option and enter the amount
  • State Returns are covered in next webinar
  • 1099 INT
  • Payer’s name is a required field
  • 1099 DIV
  • You can use keypad to type ‘S’ and it will update to Spouse as long as you’re clicked in the appropriate field
  • 1099 R
  • Red fields pop up as “checks and balances” so you know which fields are required
  • Has a link to simplified method that takes you to the general rule worksheet (plug in info as you have it)
  • If you added the simplified worksheet, you can delete. It will ask you to confirm that you want to delete it.
  • On all dates on any form, don’t use any leading zeros
  • HELP BUTTON at top right will allow you to send TaxSlayer an email as it comes up during your work
  • Make a “sticky note” if you know you need a specific form (those sticky notes are like reminders that pop up near end of return to remind you if you did certain things or not)
  • SSA benefits tier 1
    • If this is a taxpayer only return (single), it will only ask for taxpayer SSA (not spouse)
    • If it’s a married filing joint return, it will have the spouse SSA fields shown



  • Alimony paid, plug in 000 11 0000 as the SSN if you don’t know it. If you didn’t put in any recipient’s SSN, this return would need to be paper-filed with a supporting statement that says why this wasn’t a valid SSN.



  • Put in qualified expenses because program doesn’t need to know education institution





  • For “taxes paid” on Sch A, program will take better of the 3 (sales tax paid v etc)



  • For cash gifts for charity, there isn’t a “scratch pad” in TaxSlayer but you can use the “sticky notes” feature instead and itemize everything in there



  • Has a “compare deductions” button (which compares all entered deductions to the standard deduction which is given based on age and filing status) – useful for those taxpayers that ask why the refund amount didn’t change after entering all the deductions


FORM 2441 – child care providers (page 133)

  • Only CA childcare providers require a phone number in the field (program will flag that field if you try to continue without putting in a phone number)



  • You can switch to a different credit to see change in total refund. It saves the information as you switch between the 3 when you want to compare (lifetime v american opportunity v tuition and fees deduction)



  • When you “run diagnostics” , a warning generated doesn’t block you from creating an e-file



  • If creating an ITIN app (W7) – you have to put in the SSN as all zeros


Q & A (post-webinar with TaxSlayer rep, Craig)


Q: Will we be able to choose which mode we use?

A: You can take advantage of these different entry methods and choose which you like best:

  • 1040 view on summary print
  • “Guide Me” mode
  • Click on taxpayer’s name within left-hand navigation bar > Quick File view
  • “Enter Myself” mode


Q: Is the EIN information stored locally?

A: Yes, the EIN info that is put on W2s and 1099s is stored locally within the site’s database. So if you put in an EIN, it will auto-populate the employer information as it was last entered into the database (including any errors that the last user put in).


Q: Can you tell us more about the “taxpayer profile”?

A: When you choose a “taxpayer profile” when starting the return, it doesn’t force you to only use those tax forms — it just takes you to those forms first. There is no way to lock or default field values.


Q: Can various dates be added to the charitable contributions section?

A: There isn’t a “scratch pad.” Dates are not required for efiling. Just use the total for each different organization that was donated to within the year.


Q: If a preparer isn’t designated to transmit e-files, can they still do diagnostics?

A: Any preparer can create the e-file and thus run diagnostics for any errors.


Q: Can we default state sales tax?

A: No, it needs to be entered every time.


Q: Can you leave the column for “taxpayer, spouse, joint” blank?

A: No, it must be assigned to someone.


Q: Is there a phone number available so we can get assistance?

A: Not at this time. When TaxSlayer goes live, there will be. Right now, there is only chat.


Q: Is there any way to look at all the forms without going to the PDF?

A: Not at this time. But each main menu landing page will show the PDF of a certain section of return.


Q: Does program automatically choose Lifetime Learning over American Opportunity?

A: No. You have to actually choose Lifetime Learning from the selector box to compare against the refund amount that the American Opportunity Tax Credit provides. Then choose the credit that gives the greater option.


Q: Can you require a specific field to filled out, like the phone number? (like default it to be red)

A: The taxpayer’s phone number is already a required field. Unfortunately, you cannot default specific fields to be red.


Q: What if the taxpayer doesn’t know the info to complete the simplified method?

A: The taxpayer will need to find that info out and come back another day. The return can be saved.


Q: Are K1s supported?

A: Yes. It will be covered in Week 3 Webinar.


Q: Can I enter things directly onto the 1040 PDF?

A: The 1040 view is not for direct entry. It’s only for linking.


Q: Can we set-up multiple taxpayer profiles?

A: Yes, admins can create multiple taxpayer profiles. You might create a taxpayer profile called “Student” or “Basic” or “Advanced” or “Foreign Student.” By doing so, the tax preparer can choose the appropriate profile to start with and will force the user to go through a typical set of forms. However, the user can always add or delete forms once they’ve started using a certain taxpayer profile.


Q: Can we get a calculator so we don’t have to go to Excel?

A: Yes, click on the taxpayer’s name drop-down menu in the left-hand navigation bar. Or you can use the calculator on your computer. Or use a physical one, like your cell phone.


Q: Is there a “scratch pad” feature?

A: If you want to use a “scratch pad” for itemizing, use a “sticky note.”


Q:  Can you print the “sticky notes”?

A: You can do print screen on your own keyboard. But at the moment, no.


Q: Do you need an EIN for the institution to claim the education credit?

A: You can enter the college name and address. EIN isn’t required to get the credit.

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