August 3, 2016 – TaxSlayer Webinar (1 of 4): Configuration / Set-up






  • This webinar was all about showing what the coordinators will eventually get access to sometime in November (when the real software rolls out)
  • Customer support refers to themselves as “TaxSlayer Support Squad” (more fun than Customer Support Rep)


LOGGING IN (page 4)

  • Preparers will have to reset their password upon first login.
  • Password reqs: alphanumeric (1 letter, 1 number, minimum characters in length, case-sensitive)
  • Can’t use the exact same password as before (for security), but you can do a different variation of a previous password
  • If the user forgets their username, use the “Forgot username” link (user puts in their email address)
  • If the user forgets their password, use the “forgot password” link on the login screen (put in username and answer to security question)
  • If the user forgot their answer to the security question — security code is sent to email to reset password and is only active for 24 hours
  • Email comes from “” NOT TaxSlayer (so check spam inboxes for that)
  • Passwords expire every 90 days
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be used to keep accounts secure. Enabled if you provide a phone number.



  • Admin rights mainly in “Configuration Menu”
  • As site admin, you can give everyone same security question (if you want)
  • Site information is pre-filled for each site by TaxSlayer after we put in the IRS order for the software and we verify that all info is correct. Go ahead and update it if it’s wrong (address, phone, etc.)
  • Ignore: “sales tax percentage” and “selected bank” fields
  • Leave as “ERO Name only”
  • Third Party Designee default: blank
  • Check “Offer 8888” box (feature is turned off in Practice Lab though)
  • Default is summary print menu (1040 view, where you can link to different areas of the 1040)



  • Leave “Self-employed” unchecked



  • These allow you to create permissions inside the program for volunteers at site (i.e. what people can and cannot do)
  • You can create security templates or use the pre-defined ones, then assign them to specific preparers (assign to everyone OR be selective)
  • There are 6 pre-defined “security templates” (i.e. roles) already: admin, preparer, superuser, interviewer, quality reviewer, e-file manager
  • You CANNOT assign more than one security template to a user. So what we can do is create a security template that combines the abilities that some of the predefined roles have.
    • Example: Create a new security template and label it as “PowerUser”. Enable that security template with all the abilities that are under the pre-defined templates for preparer, interviewer, and quality reviewer. Then assign that security template to everyone you want to have all 3 of those abilities. All your other basic preparers can get assigned to the normal preparer security template.
  • Do not give power out power to “Send Tax Return” OR “Deactivate Return” (it deletes tax returns). Leave that for the Admin assigned folks.
  • You can view usernames associated with preparers at your site.



  • Put in preparer’s information (name, email)
  • Click “pull from office” to put in SIDN for preparer
  • Do not check “self-employed”
  • Cell phone number of volunteer is optional (if they provide it, this plays a role in MFA)
  • Username is unique on the platform across the country (so usernames should perhaps be generic and include site, like “uwba01”)
  • If you volunteer at 3 different sites, you have to use 3 different usernames
  • Password must be minimum of 8 characters, alphanumeric, case-sensitive
  • By default, username is marked as an “Active” username when you create it. You would have to go into preparer credentials to deactivate them.
  • Security template must be assigned to a preparer
  • Each volunteer can only have one security template.
  • So if you want a volunteer to have BOTH interviewing and preparing powers, you need to create a security template that has both of those roles.


PREP USE, now called CUSTOM QUESTIONS (page 33)

  • You can mark certain questions as required
  • You can create your own questions (UWBA has the standard question list to be included in this field – stuff that the IRS grant requires us to report on)
  • Question field = 75 characters max in length
  • Answers = 20 characters max
  • Unlimited questions



  • Can adjust what forms you want printed by creating a print set
  • You CANNOT change the order of the forms for the print set


RETURN STAGES, now called RETURN TAGS (page 40)

  • You can create these for your site (like “double-check bank account” or “need to complete” or “waiting on signature”) and assign them to returns
  • You can use more than one tag on a return (so you CAN mark it “need to complete” AND “waiting on signature”)



  • Once a return is deactivated (deleted), it cannot be reactivated
  • Only a return that is “in progress” (not “sent” or “accepted”) can be deleted



  • You can add note during the return, without closing the return
  • You can even make notes to a return outside of the return
  • Notes carry forward with return to next year
  • Create e-file shows any notes



  • Used by site admin to send messages to preparers at your site
  • You can allow responses
  • Used by TaxSlayer to get messages out to all sites


REPORTS (page 52)

  • Reports features are still being determined by IRS and TaxSlayer Core Development team at this point
  • There is a filter ability on the report generated
  • Can be exported to XLS, CSV
  • Automatic filters are placed on reports generated and exported as well



  • Allows for group configuration (set security templates, custom questions)
  • You can access information from any office or return underneath you



  • Not available inside the Practice Lab
  • Delivered with the software. It’s their desktop program.
  • In the lefthand nav bar in the real software, there is a link to “contingency software”. Click on it to download and install on computer (using InstallShield wizard). Installing is covered in 4th week of webinar series.
  • TaxSlayer does have dedicated servers just for VITA (separate servers from other customers). Multiple data centers across the Southeast.
  • Desktop software has automatic updates. As soon as you click on the icon on the Desktop, it will automatically install the updates (federal and all states).


Q & A (post-webinar with TaxSlayer rep)


Q: Is a user is logged out after a certain number of incorrect logins?

A: No.


Q: Will Site Coordinators automatically get Administrator rights when we receive the software?

A: Yes


Q: Can a preparer still access the 8888 if the box is not checked?

A: You will NOT have access UNLESS that box is checked. Then 8888 becomes available immediately.


Q: Can you a restore a return after it has been deleted?

A: No.


Q: Can you delete files that have already been e-filed, accepted, rejected?

A: No.


Q: Can the same email address be used for each username?

A: Yes


Q: Can you mass deactivate a tax site’s preparers?

A: Currently no, each preparer would have to be deactivated individually.


Webinars are being recorded. They will be made available inside the Practice Lab to be viewed at anytime.


Q: Is there an option for numbers to be the answers to questions?

A: Yes, as long as it is within 20 character. Alphanumeric is acceptable.


Q: Can answers for custom questions be locked so that preparers cannot add their own answer?

A: Yes, only people who have ability to configure custom questions (admins) have ability to change answers to custom questions.


Q: Does the master print set include all the states with 2 copies of the efile?

A: Yes. Follows 3189 guidelines. 2 copies of the 8879s. Includes all states.


Q: Will we be able to set up print sets for multiple states?

A: Yes.


Q: Does TaxSlayer have carryforward ability?

A: TaxSlayer does have ability to carryforward data in future seasons. Not for first season.


Q: Who can mark a return in progress?

A: Program changes it automatically. As soon as you create a return, TaxSlayer program marks it “in progress” automatically.


A: 7216 consent form is still being worked on


Q: Can desktop returns be accounted for in online system?

A: Online returns only track online and desktop only desktop. But you can merge the XLS afterwards.


Q: Will we have ability to do prior year and amendments?

A: Yes, when you get access to the software, you will receive current year and previous 3 tax years. Role has assigned 3 previous tax years.


Q: As an admin, do I assign an initial username and password?

A: Yes. By default, they will have to reset upon first login.


Q: What happens if internet goes down? Can you still prepare with the desktop?

A: Yes, you can still prepare, you just cannot transmit any efiles.


Q: Clarification on consent forms.

A: Yes, you can get or not get permission from a taxpayer through the software.


Q: Browser compatibility?

A: All internet browsers: Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox (not recommended), Chrome, all electronic devices (smartphone, chromebooks, tablets, apple products).


Future questions can be sent:

  1. Through the Practice Lab > Help button > Email in a question
  2. In a direct email to TaxSlayer:


IRS Q & A:

  • Security templates in TaxSlayer are the roles
  • If you have been using TaxWise Desktop, you can transfer the data into TaxSlayer Desktop.
  • You will not have access to returns prepared on online, on the desktop system. Whatever is done in desktop cannot be transferred online. You have to download all returns from the computers, then upload to the transmitting computer.
  • You can still use the consent form for drop-off.
  • Screens on Desktop are more like DOS. And you have to set up users in Desktop.
  • If you are a site that does more than 3 years back, download the years NOW that you think you might be using. Once contract ends on November 9th, you can’t download it.


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