Seven years ago, Rik Ketschke decided to take a new tax filing route: Instead of using an accountant, he started preparing his personal income taxes with a tax software program. It worked out so well that Ketschke, a Brentwood, Tennessee, home designer and builder, decided to find out whether he could also file his corporate taxes by using commercial software.
Ketschke called Intuit Inc., the company whose software he used for personal income taxes, to inquire about corporate tax software, using the tax form 1120S. The only software the company produced at the time was a professional series for accountants that cost around $400 each year for tax information updates.
"They agreed to send me a copy of the pro series to review," says Ketschke. "I told them I thought something like that would be great for small business. Now they have an 1120 series for the small-business owner. I don't know if it was because of my phone call or not, but I haven't used a corporate accountant in three or four years. With the software it's easy for a business owner to do his own taxes."
Which raises a question: Are tax software programs a real alternative to using an accountant for corporate tax filing?