Editing/Cloning Templates for a new tax year

Each year we clone then make some changes to the client letter template to remove some paragraphs and edit others. I’m guessing that we can not apply those changes to all tax years because each year there are some changes that don’t apply to other tax years (i.e. climate action incentive moving to quarterly payments).
However, there are some changes we’d like to apply to all letters. For example, we have removed the tax preparer’s name. We’ve also created a PDF version with a logo and a printable version that we print on letterhead.
Is there a way to apply some changes (i.e. what I’ve explained above) to all T1 Modules but not all changes (i.e. changes in paragraph info)?

Hi, welcome!

I think you are correct, you can’t apply your changes to the body of the letter to all years because of the differences from year to year. I think the magic you are looking for will be found in “snippets”. Snippet Templates - TaxCycle

What I have done in the past to have different versions of the letter for print and for PDF is:

  • Clone the “Letterhead” snippet twice. Name one “Letterhead - Print” and name the other “Letterhead - PDF”. In the PDF one I put my logo, and in the other one it only has the information I need for a PDF letter that I don’t need in a print letter. Make the new snippets available in all modules, and all years.
  • Then clone the CLetter twice, and name them “CLetter - Print” and “CLetter - PDF”. The first line most letters is the code {{> Letterheard }}, and I just add the “- Print” or “- PDF” inside the curly brackets and the letters then print with the different letterheads.

And because I’ve made the snippet available in all modules and all years it doesn’t matter what module the letter is in it will find the snippet. So I can use the same {{>Letterhead - PDF}} code to create a PDF letter template in any module.

You can have different closings doing the same thing but with the “Closing” snippet.

You still have to edit the letters a bit, but a lot less than having to recreate the letterhead in each letter!

@Elizabeth may have some other ideas for you. She is quite amazing with the templates. I also recommend watching her template webinars each year. I’m a power template user and she still teaches me new things every year!

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Hi @shcody! (And thanks @jglass for the lovely shout-out.) Definitely making use of the snippets is the way to go.

Definitely take a look at the Letterhead and Closing snippets and then apply them to all years. Yes, each year, you may need to go back and add the newest years to the template properties, but I believer those are the two places where we refer to the preparer name.

If there are other areas where you think we should make some changes to make it easier to customize the client letter, please let me know. Sometimes the best ideas (like snippets) have come from these ideas.

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I do the same as @shcody. I tweak the template letters each year.
I do the same as @jglass. I use snippets.

In addition, I use the following methodology:

  1. Leave the original template letter the same.
  2. Create a copy of the original template letter as my start point for each year. I call this the base template name + copy.
  3. I open another instance of Taxcycle. I compare the current year template with my prior year edited template.
  4. I compare this template copy
  5. I modify the current year copy as needed.
  6. I make notes about what I did.
  7. I take a snapshot of what I did.
  8. I rarely make the edit in a hurry. Each time I have done so I have regretted it because I mess something up. So, I try to review and test the edits several times.
  9. Sometimes I create several versions with different names (ie copy 2, 3, 4 or add description) and keep testing them until satisfied.
  10. Good notes. Copies of the templates with codes and explanations plus an image in a notebook is key to recovery and improvement.

I love the templates.
I much prefer the codes, snippets, and how TaxCycle approaches letter templates to ProFile, especially when migrating computers.
Templates continue to be a challenge each year.
Bit by bit I am getting and faster at tweaking and maintenance.
Some letters which are not tax data but client situation specific I am adding into my tax/bookkeeping/client practice app or email auto responder because it is much easier that starting a template from scratch, automating, tracking, and managing.
I use Pixie, 17Hats, and ConvertKit.
I am pondering which custom codes to use in TaxCycle to let me know that I need to initiate one of these letters.
I am pondering how to use tags in my other apps to match the TaxCycle custom codes.

Thank you, @jglass ! This is very helpful and your instructions are very clear! I have been to and have watched again @Elizabeth 's webinars and have much to learn!

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Thank you! Again, very helpful!