Creating a tax return in TaxSlayer Pro is simple. To assist your preparation of a Form 1040 return, review the IRS Instructions for Form 1040. Follow the steps below to create a tax return in TaxSlayer Pro.
Step 1 – From the Main Menu of TaxSlayer Pro, select Tax Returns. A notice about IRC 7216 regulations will display, and if you are offering bank products you will have the opportunity to print the Consent To Use for your client to sign. Select Yes to print the consent form.
Step 2 – Key in the SSN of the Primary taxpayer and press Enter. You will be asked if you want to create a new return. Select Yes.
Step 3 – Select the appropriate filing status. Note: If this is a 1040NR return, you must make the filing selection from this menu. A 1040 cannot be changed after the fact to a 1040NR.
Step 4 – Personal Information Entry Menu – Enter the primary taxpayer's personal information and, if needed, the spouse's information in the fields provided. Included is space to enter the primary taxpayer's SSN a second time as a check for accuracy. If you are a TaxSlayer Pro Premium subscriber, be sure to enter the taxpayer's e-mail address if you anticipate e-mailing a copy of the return.
Step 5 – After entering personal information, you will be taken to the Name & Address Menu. In this menu you can correct anything entered so far as well as:
- indicate that the primary taxpayer or spouse is blind;
- indicate that the primary taxpayer or spouse is deceased, the date of death, and if the other spouse is filing as a surviving spouse;
- indicate that the primary taxpayer or spouse is a student;
- indicate that the primary taxpayer or spouse is a dependent on another return;
- indicate their SSN is not valid for Earned Income Credit purposes;
- enter their driver's license information if desired (not required on federal returns but required on some state returns as well as on bank applications);
- enter the primary taxpayer's or spouse's IRS Identity Protection PIN;
- indicate if the primary taxpayer or spouse wishes to contribute to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund;
- indicate that the address is the taxpayer's military address.
Step 6 – Dependent Information – After exiting the Name & Address Menu, you will be asked if you would like to enter dependents. Select Yes to begin entering dependent information. Select New and enter the personal information of the first dependent. If the taxpayer paid qualifying dependent care expenses, enter the amount when prompted.
You will also be asked due diligence questions related to the Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit, and Other Dependent Tax Credit. Answer each question as appropriate.
At the Dependent Information Menu, you can review and edit the information already entered as well as:
- indicate that the dependent is a student and the name of the school;
- indicate that the dependent is disabled and detail the nature of the disability;
- enter dependent due diligence notes;
- indicate that the dependent's SSN is not valid for EIC purposes;
- indicate that this child is not a dependent but qualifies for the Child Tax Credit or Other Dependent Credit, as appropriate;
- indicate that this dependent is married and, if so, whether or not they are filing their own MFJ return;
- enter their IRS Identity Protection PIN.
To enter additional dependents, select New again and enter the information for the next dependent.
If any dependent's information included an amount paid to child care providers, you will be given the opportunity to enter the provider information after exiting the Dependent Information Menu. You can enter the information at this time or enter it later in the Form 2441 menu.
Step 7 - You will be queried two questions related to health care.
- The first question asks if the everyone on the return had qualifying health care coverage for the entire year. If any individual on the return lacked qualifying coverage for one month or more, select No. Otherwise, select Yes.
- The second question asks if anyone on the return enrolled in a health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov or on a state exchange. If anyone did enroll in such insurance, even if it was for only one month, select Yes. (If they did enroll in such insurance, they should have received a Form 1095-A from the provider after the end of the year.)
If everything up to now is correct, exit the Personal Information Menu.
Step 8 – Next you will be prompted to enter W-2s. To enter a W-2 select New. Enter the W-2 information into the W-2 menu. Once complete, press the Enter key to exit. Select New to enter a second W-2 or select Exit if finished. When you exit the W-2 menu, you will be in the Income Menu. If the return includes additional forms of income, select the applicable menu and enter the required information.
Step 9 – When all items of income have been entered, exit the menu. If the taxpayer is eligible for EIC, the program will prompt you to answer due diligence questions from the EIC checklist. After answering the questions and if the taxpayer qualifies, the program will calculate EIC.
Step 10 – After completing the EIC checklist, you will be directed to the 1040 Main Menu. From the 1040 Main Menu there are multiple ways to navigate through the tax return:
- Select one of the menus from the left-hand side of the program to jump to a particular section of the return;
- Select the Form Finder on the left-hand side of the screen to locate a particular form, schedule, or worksheet by number or topic;
- Click directly on the line or check box on the screen in the 1040 as well as Schedules 1 through 6. Scroll down the screen to see all the schedules.
Step 11 – When all entries have been made on the tax return, you can mark the return for electronic filing if desired. For more information regarding electronic filing, see the article on Transmitting Electronic Returns. To exit the return without marking the return for electronic filing, press enter or select the Exit button.
AT this point, you can create any state returns that are needed by selecting State Return from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Select the desired state and when prompted indicate the filing status. Information from the federal return will pull into the state return. The state return will need to be marked for electronic filing if you wish to e-file it.
Step 12 – Exiting the 1040 brings you to the Receipt Menu. This menu displays an overview of the calculated fees. In this menu you can:
- view and edit the invoice;
- record the client's payment;
- show the client a breakdown of their estimated first check if they applied for a bank product;
- indicate for your records, as well as for Premium subscribers for PaperCut e-mail, if the return is being e-mailed to the client or being picked up in paper form;
- indicate any Return Status Tags, if they have been configured;
- indicate any Referrals, i.e., how this client was referred to you, if desired;
- select Edit Client's Return to go back to the return if you accidentally exited the return and wish to continue working on it.
When you are finished in the Receipt Menu, select Exit. You will be asked “Are You Ready to Mark the Return as Completed?” Answer No if the return is not complete. Answer Yes to mark the return complete and exit back to the TaxSlayer Pro Main Menu.
Note that a return can still be edited after it is marked Complete, however a return cannot be reverted to being "Incomplete". By marking a return Complete it is now in the e-File Transmission Table, ready to be transmitted, if it is also marked for e-file. If you are uncertain about whether or not you are finished with a return, answer No to the question regarding marking the return complete to avoid it being inadvertently transmitted.
NOTE: This is a guide on creating a Form 1040 - US Individual Income Tax Return in the TaxSlayer Pro program. This is not intended as tax advice.