7 Tools for the Modern Tax Practitioner – Tax Authorities

Innovative technology is transforming the business world faster than ever. From day-to-day solutions of the Zoom or Calendly variety, to accounting tools that enhance the invoicing experience, to highly sophisticated document search and analysis tools, there seems to be software to take care of every aspect. of the work of a professional, whatever the sector – including tax specialists.

When it comes to software for tax professionals, there are some well-known tools that the majority of tax professionals already use. Law firm management tools like PracticePanther for tax lawyers, or robust accounting software like Intuit, for example.

However, the world of technology is changing rapidly and new innovative tools are constantly emerging. Knowing about these tools, their benefits, and how to use them can ultimately make you a more productive and efficient tax professional who can deliver an enhanced and sophisticated experience to their clients. Adopting the right tools early on can also give you a distinct competitive advantage.

Let’s take a look at 7 tools you should consider adding to your techstack because of the impact they can have on your tax practice.

Blue J tax

Blue J Tax is North America’s leading provider of predictive analytics tools for tax outcomes. The platform hosts a suite of AI-powered tools that help tax practitioners tax planning, research and analysis. The platform optimizes tax professionals’ workflow by increasing their research efficiency, providing data-driven insights to validate their instincts, and dramatically reducing non-billable research time. Let’s take a look at these individual features.

Predictions

One of Blue J’s most impressive features is Predictions, an AI-powered tool that allows users to predict the outcome of their case should it ever go to court. Based on a dynamic questionnaire filled with a particular fact scenario, the tool makes a prediction with an accurate level of confidence, allowing users to test scenarios by changing individual factors and observe how the level confidence of the result changes.

Predictions uses a machine learning algorithm trained on all relevant cases, carefully assembled by an in-house team and ranked by factors. In the hands of a tax planner, this feature helps build a tax strategy with precisely quantifiable risk. A litigant, on the other hand, gains valuable insight into where to focus their arguments the most.

Decision research

Decision Search works hand in hand with Predictions. Decision Search takes case law research to an entirely new level, eliminating the need for tedious Boolean searches in this area of ​​law. Blue J structures data from cases relating to a particular tax issue in such a way that the body of jurisprudence can be filtered by the result and the presence of any relevant factors, giving the searcher a quick and effortless way to find the precedent they need. Hours of research are literally reduced to minutes.

Analysis of the law

For tax matters governed by law, Blue J has two additional tools. The platform hosts tax code as well as regulations with the innovative ability to save selected sections in a workspace, hiding, highlighting and annotating them to bring out the relevant passages for a particular case. . The team also curated Blue J Folios, which are pre-populated workspaces with relevant sections on common tax issues, as well as the most relevant case law and IRS guidance.

Blue J-Chart

In 2021, Blue J Tax launched its diagramming tool for tax professionals, providing tax professionals with an easy and intuitive way to create their diagrams. Blue J Diagramming eliminates the tedious process, typically undertaken in PowerPoint, of showing complex entity structures and a plethora of steps in a transaction in a way that is clear, professional, and ready to be shared with clients.

The forms, labels and headers needed by tax professionals are all available on the platform. It reduces the manual effort of adding and placing text and information, and avoids design inconsistencies across the team. A tax practitioner can save all important entity information directly in the tool, with the added option of exporting all information to a PDF. Thanks to these exciting features, Blue J Diagramming allows tax professionals to create their diagrams several times faster than any other current solution.

TaxesToGo

TaxSlayer Pro launched a mobile app in 2017, TaxesToGo, which allows tax professionals to connect with their clients on the go. Taxpayers can upload their documents by taking a photo of the document with their mobile device. When they photograph and upload their driver’s license, the app can automatically populate the documents with the customer’s personal information. The app also makes it easy to ask and answer questions about tax documents, and once everything is settled and the tax professional has prepared the return, the client can add their signature directly in the app.

SecurelyID

SecurelyID is monitoring software that can be integrated with TaxSlayer Pro that helps taxpayers in a variety of ways with identity theft, which is of particular concern in the tax context. Tax-related identity theft occurs when a third party obtains a taxpayer’s social security number or other identifying information in order to file a tax return, claiming a fraudulent refund. SecurelyID monitors the internet for sensitive customer information, alerting customers when suspicious activity is detected, and offers restoration expertise and million dollar insurance in cases where identity theft occurs. is produced despite all precautions, to name just a few of its services. Tax professionals who can offer the services of SecurelyID with their own expertise may well stand out and attract more clients.

AgileLaw

AgileLaw has been around for a decade, helping litigants organize their exhibits and make them accessible to all parties involved in a deposition. When preparing a deposition, the system can be used to generate exposure stamps, automatically maintaining the correct order and numbering up to date. The filing lawyer can bookmark and annotate the document by inserting questions about passages that require special attention. These annotations will remain hidden when the document is presented to the witness.

During the deposition itself, the litigant need not sift through hundreds of pages in a brief, performed simultaneously by all parties attempting to gain access to the same exhibit. AgileLaw enables lead counsel to securely share documents with all parties, including witnesses. The system allows synchronization with the witness’s view, so that the lawyer knows at all times what the witness is looking at. The witness may also be allowed to annotate a document, such as marking a particular passage on a key document. However, the clean version of the exhibit is not lost, as the system automatically generates a clean, annotated copy. AgileLaw is a cloud-based system, which means that new documents can be added to the ad-hoc filing, with just one click, if a document turns out that the lawyer had not planned to add it. to use must be included.

enQ

Less sophisticated than some of the AI-powered tools mentioned, enQ is a handy tool. It’s a legit game-changer for anyone who can’t be bothered to wait for hours in a phone queue (essentially, every tax professional). enQ allows its customers to call an IRS agent and cut their wait time by 90%!

Here’s how enQ works: the user would call the enQ number, enter a PIN, and take the place in the queue the service reserved for them, waiting only a few minutes. Time is money, and waiting seems to drain mental resources as much, if not more, than financial resources. So it may be worth spending an extra dollar to avoid this experience routinely, especially if contacting the IRS is a regular part of your practice.

Chore tax planning

Corvee, formerly AccountingTax.com, changed its name in 2020 and now incorporates tax practice management, client collaboration, and tax planning services. Most recently, in March 2022, Corvee added state and local tax planning to its software, allowing its customers to calculate estimated federal and state tax savings.

The platform is now a one-stop-shop for tax practitioners with smart AI features. Corvee allows tax professionals to send clients engagement letters, including sample questionnaires, to obtain all relevant information from them; access AI tools that extract relevant information from scanned tax documents and perform automated calculations; and send and receive alerts when deadlines are approaching – just to name a few of the benefits.

Adopt technological innovation

This is not an exhaustive list, but a spotlight on some awesome tools that can really support your tax practice. Especially with the emergence of AI, much of the manual work can now be automated. This allows you to focus less on repetitive or time-consuming tasks, and more on retrieving and analyzing valuable data, and delivering even more meaningful insights to customers.

There is also a competitive advantage in keeping up to date with the latest tools and adopting the right ones. When you can work more efficiently, provide more accurate information to customers, save yourself hours of effort and stress, customers notice. They see that you provide the most sophisticated level of service they can expect, while competing companies lag behind. This can mean more loyal customers and more referrals to support your business growth.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

About Debra D. Johnson

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