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T1 tax planners

We’ve been considering moving from Profile to TaxCycle. However, one of the features we use extensively is the tax planner. What we like about it is that we can make adjustments on the planner itself, and it shows the marginal tax rates for wages, dividends, and capital gains.

When I look at TaxCycle, I see that you can create a new tax return and set it as a planner. However, it would appear that all the data needs to be entered as if you are preparing a return (so multiple screens versus one screen). Also, the summary only shows the effective tax rate.

What I’m wondering is, what are other users using for tax planning (if at all)? Is there a more efficient way of entering the income, deductions, etc., or do you go into individual slips to put in your projections?

Thanks.

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This may not work for the first year after a switch from Profile since you are dealing with two different programs. Once you carry forward the file and set it as a planner, you can just go to any slip and right click on the highlighted cell and select update plan values from prior year. if you want to try it out, make a new 2014 file in Taxcycle, and add a couple slips and then save it. Then try to carry forward the values for your planning file.

It will then bring in the prior year numbers for your plan.

I was trying to get a screen shot; however, I cannot capture the right click menu to show you

This brings me to an idea for an enhancement, maybe add a option for a new 2015 planner carry forward right here to simplify the planning option. It could carry forward the planning values, and set the drop down to planner.

Possibly consider adding the option to save the planner and training files in a different directory as well.

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I like that… and all the pieces are already in place – we just have to hook them all together!

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@dave

James is right… I can build on what he said with three additional points:

  1. Before you can “Update Plan Values” (which copies the 2014 values into 2015 return), the 2014 file needs to be saved on disk. So if you just carryforward a 2014 file without first saving the 2014 T1 on disk, the feature is not available. (not a real-world problem, but it sometimes catches me when I’m playing with the feature)
  2. You can right click anywhere in the return to get the “Update Plan Values” option.
  3. Once you’ve done the planning, using the full power of the 2015 T1, you can use one of the 2 Year Summaries as a nice proforma presentation, comparing the 2015 forecast to the 2014 actuals.

Best,

~ Cameron

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We’ve added a new carry forward and plan option. This will be in the next release.

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I have to agree with Dave. I am converting to TaxCycle because I am taking over a practice that has been using TaxCycle and it is just too much work to go back to Profile as there isn’t an easy conversion back.

I am actually considering buying a copy of the Profile T1 software JUST to get the planner.

The carry forward option is ok, but a quick and dirty entry screen (like what profile has) is very handy. It is also very useful to do ad-hoc scenarios in client meetings and for new clients that you don’t have a soft file for yet.

A potential work around that I see is to set up a ‘tax plan’ client file with the basics filled in so all you have to do is add in the details that you want.

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I get what you are looking for. The one page planner page that profile has. Taxcycle does not have one of those; however, maybe they should consider something like that as an option to the full planning option they currently have. they could work in tandem depending on how detailed you wanted to be.

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I just want confirmation from the Taxcycle staff that there is NO plan to have a 1 page tax planner similar to what Profile has. I will be buying one copy of the T1 software from Profile just for the planner. Special pricing ends on Friday.

Thanks

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@Michelle

We are going to consider adding a one page planning again in April 2016. We’ve had a few requests, but not an overwhelming demand for the one page planner. Lots of clients like what we’re doing now - the side by side comparison is a nice bonus for the current approach.

Just to be clear, this is not a promise to do one. We are going to wait until we see what tax changes the new Liberal government has in mind. There is a chance that we will be forced to do a one page planner if the changes are too drastic.

~ Cameron

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Are you sure you do not mean forced to hold off preparing the one page planner for a while?

If you want to have use of a planner for the first year without entering the history, it makes sense to have a version of profile for one year since Taxcycle would not carry forward numbers from profile for planning purposes; therefore, if @Cameron gets the one page planner done by next fall, you would be seamlessly able to continue where you left off using Taxcycle instead of Profile for the end of 2016 beginning of 2017.

No… I mean we may have to create a one page planner. If the way taxes get calculated is restructured (ie: it needs a new set of forms instead of just rate updates), it may be more expedient to create a one page planner than to try to use our current system.

Either way, we won’t provide much in the way of planning until we know Trudeau’s plans in more detail (ie: legislation is introduced).

Ok, got it.

Cameron, I do not know how hard this is to do, but, if you were able to override amount on any of the summary pages, that could likely solve the ‘one page planner’ issue…

I agree that something like this may be what we are looking for. When we are sitting down with a client and doing tax planning, flipping around from screen to screen isn’t appealing. This is the biggest issue with us switching to TaxCycle.

@dave

Are you editing the plan while you present it to your client?

I do not use plans that often; however, I have to admit, the one page from profile was nice. It allowed you to discuss the effects of different incomes with the client when they are across the desk. It was very easy to update numbers for discussion purposes.

The Taxcyle planner would be good for dealing with farmers at year end when we are trying to determine the taxable income so they can go purchase fuel and fertilizer before December 31.

Personally, I would prefer the single page setup for the discussion I do have with clients since it occurs while I am reviewing the current year return so having the one page planner i the current year file is better.

@Cameron

The short answer is yes.

We use the planners in a couple of ways. With all our corporate clients for whom we do their personal taxes as well, we do a planner to include with their corporate year end package. That one is created while we do our file prep and we usually don’t change it. However, sometimes when we meet a client and go over draft statements, the discussion leads to possible changes in the plan and we update it with the client.

The other way we use it is if a client drops in and wants to discuss a current or future tax year (like the farmer James mentioned, or how much RRSP should I buy, how much tax will I owe if I sell my quota, etc). Then we are creating a new planner and editing with the client present.

We would also really like a one page planner similar to Profile’s. Everyone in the office missed it when we switched last year.