Cloud-Based Tax Preparation Software: The Future of Tax Filing

Mar 7, 2023

Tax software is an invaluable tool for anyone who needs to file their taxes each year. It helps users quickly and easily enter their financial information and e-file their federal and state tax returns. There are several highly recommended options available, from online versions that work through a web browser to apps for cell phones and tablets. 

Many of the best tax software options come with features like automated calculations, data imports, and in-depth guidance on deductions, credits, and other paperwork. They also provide helpful advice from certified public accountants in case users need more assistance with complex matters. 

Ultimately, tax software can be an effective way to maximize your refund or minimize your liability while remaining compliant with all applicable laws. 

What is Cloud-Based Tax Preparation Software?

Cloud- based tax preparation software is a tool for companies, organizations, and individuals to simplify the otherwise arduous task of filing taxes. This software enhances efficiency by automating various tax preparation processes, including collecting and organizing financial data, calculating taxes owed, and filing returns. 

By leveraging this type of software, businesses and individuals can spend significantly less time and effort preparing year-end taxes compared to manually completing the process. Tax preparation software also helps to ensure accuracy by reducing the potential for human error, resulting in greater confidence that returns are being filed correctly.

Cloud-based services can take advantage of advanced security measures such as encryption and two-factor authentication in order to protect sensitive data from malicious actors. Furthermore, these services are typically updated automatically and can be accessed from any compatible device with an internet connection. 

Ultimately, it is up to each individual taxpayer to decide which tax preparation program is best for them depending on their needs and preferences; however, for many taxpayers looking for convenience and added security benefits, filing their taxes over the cloud may be the preferred option.

Cloud-Based vs. Traditional Tax Software

When filing your return, one has the choice of using desktop or cloud based tax preparation software, both of which are designed to assist individuals with completing and submitting their taxes. 

Traditional tax software is extremely helpful for individuals or businesses looking to accurately and efficiently file income, corporate and other relevant tax returns. It allows users to benefit from a comprehensive and intuitive system that assists with the entire filing process. 

Not only does it help guide users through the tax forms, but it uses sophisticated algorithms to automatically calculate taxes owed, saving considerable time and effort. Tax software can be acquired in retail format as well as via online services which offer Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models. This provides users with the convenience of accessing their tax information anytime, anywhere, without having to install a physical box version. 

Additionally, its secure cloud storage capabilities ensure sensitive data remains safe and private; giving users peace of mind that their finances are secure. All in all, tax software provides a comprehensive package of features tailored towards making filing taxes as simple and stressless as possible.

However, cloud-based tax software is the superior choice. This software offers users more accessibility, convenience, and security than traditional desktop tax software. By using cloud-based solutions, data can be readily accessed from any device with an internet connection. 

This eliminates the need to install software on individual computers and the hassle of transferring data between machines via email or USB drive. Additionally, cloud-based services allow for faster updates that keep financial information current with less effort. 

Cloud-Based vs. Traditional Tax Software


Cloud tax software also keeps sensitive data secure by encrypting it and storing it in remote servers that are managed by a trusted third party. Overall, cloud tax solutions provide a more efficient and secure way to manage financial records quickly and easily.

How Cloud-Based Tax Preparation Software Works

This type of software is an asset for taxpayers in simplifying the tax preparation process. It provides a user-friendly interface that enables users to quickly and accurately prepare their tax returns without needing an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of the tax system. 

Tax software can generate a variety of reports, such as itemized deductions, income summary sheets, and expense tracking logs – all designed to help those filing taxes make sure they take full advantage of the deductions and credits available to them. 

Furthermore, many online tax programs are now offering features that allow you to electronically file your return directly with the IRS or state agencies, making it even more convenient for taxpayers. 

By using special features like e-filing extensions and direct deposit options, preparing taxes has never been easier! Some other features of this type of software include the following:

  • Electronic filing: Tax software programs are designed to securely submit your tax return to the IRS electronically, minimizing the risk of errors and speeding up the processing time frame. 
  • Long-term storage: Many tax software programs offer cloud-based storage of your tax returns for several years, allowing you to access them quickly when needed instead of having to track them down each time. 
  • State returns: Most tax software offers an option to file state taxes as well as federal. This makes it easier to keep all your taxes organized in one place, rather than having to switch between different programs or forms.
  • Diagnostics: Tax software can detect if you failed to provide important information and won’t let you file your return until the errors are corrected, such as providing a valid Social Security number. 
  • Support: Most tax software comes with some kind of customer support, like a “Help” function, live chat or library of common tax laws. 
  • Credit and deduction suggestions: Tax software can suggest credits and deductions that you may qualify for, but you have to research and decide whether they are actually applicable.

Types of Cloud-Based Interface Tax Preparation Software

Interview-based tax software is a popular choice for many consumers due to its ease of use. This type of software helps simplify the tax filing process by offering a user-friendly question and answer format in place of manually entering data into specific locations on a return. 

With interview-based tax software, users are not required to have an in-depth understanding of the locations where information should be reported. Instead, the program will guide them through the process and automatically fill in the correct details in the appropriate places. 

Form-based tax software offers a more comprehensive approach to completing returns, as it replicates the appearance and layout of various official forms and documents. Unlike interview-based programs, form-based software requires users to input information directly from their own documents into designated boxes. 

This approach provides an accurate representation of a taxpayer’s return and allows them to take advantage of detailed information such as deductions and credits that may otherwise be overlooked.

Types of Cloud-Based Interface Tax Preparation Software


Benefits of Cloud-Based Tax Preparation Software

With cloud tax programs, users can access countless benefits. Below, we will list some of the most notable benefits of utilizing cloud-based tax software. 


Cloud-based tax software grants users the ability to access their accounts from anywhere, at any time. This offers a great deal of flexibility and freedom for those who need to prepare and file taxes in a timely manner. 

With this type of technology, accounting teams can access current financial information, real-time analytics and share documents with other staff members without being confined to their office space. 

As an added bonus, cloud-based software eliminates the need to purchase separate programs – everything is stored right in one place! This makes it easier to collaborate with colleagues remotely and ensures that everyone has access to the most up-to-date data available.


Cloud accounting offers increased safety for businesses, as long as the necessary procedures are employed to ensure that data remains secure. All staff should have password protection measures in place and actively avoid leaving computers logged in and unattended when it is not in use. 

In addition, administrators should ensure that access control features are used to limit each individual or team’s access only to the parts of the system that relate to their job tasks or responsibilities. 

Through these practices, companies can be sure that their data remains safe and secure within cloud accounting systems.


The absence of a prolonged setup and installation process can be incredibly beneficial when using cloud-based accounting software. Not only will you save valuable time, but money as well. 

By not having to purchase traditional software installed on computers, accountants avoid additional expenses related to ongoing maintenance and upgrades that are typically required. 

The provider handles all of the software development internally, so you simply pay for access to use their services. This is an ideal solution for those looking for a cost-effective way to keep their accounts in order.


Desktop-based softwares provides comprehensive, intuitive workflows designed to make preparing and filing tax returns as quickly and easily as possible. These tools feature user-friendly graphical interfaces with helpful prompts and visual cues that make navigating their features a breeze. 

Many of these programs offer unlimited customer support, so users can access tech assistance whenever they need it. With the right software, completing client returns has never been simpler.

Real-time Collaboration

Cloud-based tax software can offer businesses an array of advantages in terms of integration. Through a shared central database all software systems are able to function seamlessly, which significantly simplifies the tax preparation process. 

Cloud-based tax software


Moreover, with continued growth app integrations become available to further enhance and automate workflows across almost every area of the business. As a result, cloud tax software can enable companies to streamline their internal processes while ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Top Cloud-Based Tax Preparation Software

When it comes to choosing a cloud-based tax preparation software, there are countless options to choose from. However, making this decision shouldnt be taken lightly. Below, we will go over all the various tax preparation options available. 

1. UltimateTax Online

UltimateTax has been providing reliable tax preparation software solutions to professionals for more than a decade. This robust platform offers users a wide range of features and options to suit the needs of any individual or business. It provides comprehensive security measures with multiple layers of encryption to safeguard sensitive data and ensure confidentiality. 

The intuitive user interface comes with easy-to-use tools, making it simple for users to customize their filing options and quickly complete their taxes. It’s safe to say there won’t be any mistakes made when choosing UltimtaeTax for your cloud-based tax needs. 

UltimateTax also offers detailed guidance and tutorials for those unfamiliar with the software, ensuring that everyone can benefit from its web based features without difficulty.

UltimateTax Online


2. Bonsai

Bonsai is the perfect all-in-one business management and financial solution designed to help small businesses, self-employed professionals and freelancers run their operations seamlessly. 

With its integrated features, Bonsai automates activities such as submitting proposals, electronically signing contracts, creating and managing invoices, tracking time and tasks, monitoring projects and managing finances. All of this can be done effortlessly in one place. 

Bonsai also helps you easily collaborate with your team members and clients with its intuitive collaboration tools. Additionally, the platform offers hundreds of free prebuilt templates for contracts, agreements, proposals, invoices, intake forms among others which makes it easier to create documents quickly. 

3. Drake Tax

Drake Tax is a powerful software that helps tax preparers and accountants rapidly process returns for their clients. Its streamlined features enable users to work faster and more efficiently, so they can devote more time to what really matters – managing client relationships and growing the business. 

With Drake Tax, calculations and the entire return are readily accessible with just one click, while verification markers allow users to quickly flag items for review if any changes are made. Data entry is simpler too, with shortcut keys and macros reducing keystrokes. 

What’s more, Drake Tax automatically passes data from the federal return to applicable state and city forms – but users have the option of overriding this feature as needed. Lastly, Drake Tax generates state and city returns when necessary, making it an incredibly comprehensive tool for tax professionals.

4. Vertex

Vertex software is a comprehensive global indirect tax solution for companies, providing powerful pre-built integrations to core business applications. This software helps organizations with their tax determination, compliance, and reporting, as well as document and data management needs. 

Tax departments can rely on Vertex’s tax process acumen and technology innovation to reduce audit exposure and free up time to focus on more value-adding activities for their company. 

The platform allows users to conveniently access the insights needed for accurate risk assessment and planning in one unified system, optimizing the entire indirect tax process.

5. TaxFiler

TaxFiler is a revolutionary cloud-based accountancy and taxation software, designed for busy accountants. Their subscription package enables accountants to accurately prepare and submit statutory accounts, tax returns and MTD VAT returns for companies, partnerships, individuals and trusts. The powerful suite has been recognised as an award-winning solution and is used by thousands of practices across the UK. 

This program makes it easy and convenient to prepare final accounts from the trial balance stage with our simple manual entry or import options. 

6. Lacerte

Tackle even the most complex of tax returns with ease and confidence, thanks to support for a wide variety of tax forms such as 1040, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120S, 706, 709, 990, and 5500. Automatic calculations for depreciation, amortization and debt forgiveness ensure accuracy and efficiency when filing taxes. 

With this software you can get access to all the relevant guidance you need at any point during your workflow with just a click – no need to interrupt your process. Data entry has never been easier with direct access to all forms as well as a flat worksheet-based design. 

Easily keep track of any missing client data with online request capability – saving an average of 23 minutes! Automatically import partnership, S-Corp and fiduciary tax data directly into individual returns for added convenience.

7. KPMG Spark

KPMG Spark offers an online bookkeeping service that is designed to make taking care of your business’s finances easier and worry-free. Their team of experienced in-house bookkeepers will handle all the hard work, so you can focus on what matters most – growing your business.

 They will also securely link your accounts, credit cards, and other payment services like Paypal, Square, and more to automatically send data directly to our bookkeepers. From there their team will take over and make sure that everything is updated properly, payroll is taken care of on time, and taxes are filed correctly. 

KPMG Spark


With KPMG Spark you can rest assured that the tedious task of managing your finances is in good hands.

8. TaxWise

TaxWise simplifies the entire e-filing and payment process from start to finish. It provides a digital storage solution for your clients’ documents and a wide range of affordable banking products. 

TaxWise makes filing returns quick and easy, even for less experienced users, with inbuilt error diagnostic tools that detect and link to forms needing correction. The “What if?” feature allows you to assess various tax scenarios for your clients and save them for reference. 

TaxWise’s planning and advisory tools provide helpful advice on deductions or capital investments, while comprehensive Spanish features enable you to expand your staff and client base.

9. Corvee Tax Planning

Corvee is a leader in providing tax, accounting and financial advisory firms with the ability to make informed decisions for their clients while growing their firms. Their flagship product, Corvee Tax Planning software, gives users access to an intuitive and sophisticated platform that enables high-level tax savings calculations, proactive and strategic tax plans, as well as streamlined client collaboration. 

In previous years, Corvee has earned numerous accolades for its groundbreaking work; including being named one of Accounting Today’s Top New Products of 2021, reaching Finalist status in the 2021 CPA Practice Advisor’s Technology Innovation Awards, and most recently being featured on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies.

10. TaxSlayer Pro

TaxSlayer Pro is the ideal professional tax software solution for tax preparers. With this intuitive program, you can easily create 1040 federal, state and local tax returns in less than a minute. And it’s free of additional fees, so you can get your clients their refund quickly and get paid sooner. 

They partner with many of the top banks in the industry to make signing up for our services quick and hassle-free. With reliable software, efficient support team and integrated banking products are just a few of the reasons why customers value this online software. 

Plus, TaxSlayer Pro Web is accessible from any device with an internet connection, meaning you can work on returns no matter where your business takes you. 

TaxSlayer Pro



If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of preparing your taxes, let UltimateTax’s cloud based tax preparation software give you the assistance you need. Our comprehensive offerings are designed to suit anyone’s level of experience with tax preparation. Whether you’re an expert or a newcomer to filing taxes, we’ve got a product to fit your needs. 

Our straightforward cloud-based software will take new preparers through each step of the process with ease, while our enterprise options provide advanced features for those already familiar with tax regulations. 

And no matter which option you choose, you can trust that the highest quality is always ensured through our secure data protection measures. With UltimateTax, your finances remain safe and organized so you feel confident in your tax filing.

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