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Use Prep for taxes to map and export your clients’ tax info

by Intuit Updated 6 months ago

Learn how to use Prep for taxes to review, adjust, map, and export your client’s QuickBooks Online accounts to get ready for tax season.

Prep for taxes is a tool in QuickBooks Online Accountant lets you review a client’s accounts from a single dashboard. It's very similar to a trial balance. You can use it for any clients who use QuickBooks Online. After you review your client's accounts, Prep for taxes automatically export accounts to the proper lines on tax forms. You can export the mapped tax forms to ProConnect Tax Online (or as a CSV) to get a headstart on your clients' tax returns.

Note: If you don't want to map and export your client's info, here's how to start a brand new tax return for them from QuickBooks Online Accountant.

Step 1: Open Prep for taxes

Each client has their own dedicated Prep for taxes page. There are two ways to get to Prep for taxes:
If you're in QuickBooks Online Accountant:

  1. Go to the Clients tab.
  2. Find your client and select Prep for taxes from the Actions column.

If you’re working in a client’s QuickBooks Online account:

  1. Select the Accountant Tools dropdown.
  2. Select Prep for taxes.

Step 2: Review your client’s accounts

Start your work in the Review & adjust tab. Your client’s annual Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Reports are side-by-side so you can make quick comparisons. You’ll also see last year’s totals, account differences, and any adjusting entries you’ve made.

To dive into a specific account:

  1. Expand the list of accounts.
  2. Select the account total from the column for the current year.
  3. Review the transactions in the account.

Step 3: Make adjusting journal entries

Prep for taxes makes it easy to record adjusting journal entries if needed. These lets you adjust transaction totals without changing the original record. To make an adjusting journal entry while you're on the Review & adjust tab:

  1. Expand the list of accounts.
  2. Find the account you want to adjust.
  3. From the Actions column, select Make adjustment.

 You can attach notes and documents to keep track of work on individual accounts as needed:

  1. From the Actions column, select the small arrow ▼ icon.
  2. Select Add attachment or Add note.

 Icons appear next to each account for easy reference.

 Change the accounting method view

You can toggle between accounting method views to make your review easier. This won’t affect your client’s settings or view in QuickBooks Online.

  1. Select the pencil icon at the top.
  2. Toggle between Cash basis and Accrual basis.

Review the Change List

The Change List in the Review & adjust tab acts as an audit log. Every time someone makes a change in Prep for taxes, it appears on this list.

To approve these changes so QuickBooks applies them, select Accept changes.

Step 4: Map accounts to tax forms

After reviewing your client’s accounts, you’ll assign them to specific lines on tax forms.

  1. Go to the Tax Mapping tab.
  2. Select Edit ✎ next to the form name.
  3. Select the appropriate tax form for your client.
Important: Edits don’t carry over to different forms. If you change forms in the middle of mapping accounts, you’ll need to make edits again on the new form.

Prep for taxes automatically assigns most accounts to tax lines. Any unassigned accounts appear in the “We found unmapped accounts” section. Simply select Assign tax line and move them to the correct tax line.

Review each tax line. If you need to reassign an account to a different tax line:

  1. Find the account on the tax form.
  2. Select Edit ✎ to edit.
  3. Choose the correct tax line.

Step 5: Export the mapped tax forms

When you’re ready to export, select the Choose tax option dropdown. Then one of the following  paths to get the data into ProConnect Tax Online:

  • If you already started a tax return for your client in ProConnect Tax Online before starting work in Prep for taxes, select Update existing return.
    Important: This will overwrite any existing info you already entered into ProConnect.
  • If you finished work in Prep for taxes before starting a tax return in ProConnect, select Create new return. This creates a new return in ProConnect.

ProConnect uses the tax forms you mapped to fill out tax return fields. Make sure everything exported correctly. Then complete your client’s return in ProConnect.

Download a CSV for other tax preparation software

The downloadable CSV file is formatted for Lacerte tax preparation software. But you can edit the CSV to work for other programs:

  1. Select Tax options, then Export CSV button.
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