Quality site requirements
As a site coordinator, your primary job is to assure that your site meets quality standards. Then, you can begin recruiting and training your counselors. We hope that with the references noted above and the hints that follow will make your task easier. You may find the site preparation timeline helpful.
- All training returns are prepared on the Practice Lab:
- access password: TRAINPROWEB
- All production returns are prepared on:
- See the Learn TaxSlayer resource page for additional information
TSO Login Helper (version 3.04)
- If you just want one or several tabs to open, save them as your browser home pages.
- For other cases, you may wish to use the TWO Login Helper application, especially if you work at more than one site. It is only configured to work with Internet Explorer (for now).
- The TWO Login Helper application can be downloaded here . It’s in a “zip” file so you’ll have to expand the zip file before trying to install it and during the install, you will get warnings depending on your operating system version and how your permissions are set. You may have to click on a “see more” link to expose a button that allows you to continue the installation.
- If you want to add this web site as a tab, use “https://cotaxaide.org/ta/home” or you will get a certificate error notification.
Web-based Appointment System
- A web-based appointment system for Colorado is available:
- eliminates messy paper records
- allows multiple people to schedule or view your site from anywhere, anytime
- callback list for those waiting for appointment or Q&A
- track history of changes, who made the change and when
- print check-in list and ERO checklist for the day
- export your data to excel
- notes for each appointment for special needs, etc.
- search for taxpayer by name, phone or email
- multiple schedules for ad hoc or special event sites
- optional sharing and collaboration between sites
- optionally allows taxpayers to schedule their own appointments or add to callback list on-line
- limit the number of appointments available to on-line scheduling for each time period
- prevents on-line scheduling if callback list is longer than the number of available appointments
- If you’d like more info on the appointment system, you can view videos on how it works (14 min) and how you set up your site (20 min).
- If you’d like to try it out, contact Jeff Bogart to get you started.
After logging in to the production site, you will be presented with several configuration tasks with notes from the practice lab training videos as summarized below. There is no configuration setup for the practice lab.
For step-by-step details, see the AARP Setup Guide for TaxSlayer Pro Online (TSO)
- TaxSlayer Contingency Software is downloadable and resides locally on the PC, similar to the prior software. However, there are issues that make it not practical for Tax-Aide.
- DO NOT DOWNLOAD THE DESKTOP CONTINGENCY VERSION OF TAXSLAYER!!!
- Change the Login Access Code that your users will need for logging in from the default you received in the email.
- Select “Disable Third Party Designee Prefill”.
- Select “Offer 8888” options if you wish to offer multiple accounts or savings bond choices.
- Select “Display Summary using 1040 View”.
- Select “Hide Preparer Name on 1040 Print”.
- Add the details of your site address if not already present.
- The only ERO should be your site and its address.
- Individuals are not added to the ERO list, they are assigned a Security Template with the “Send return to IRS” box checked.
- Select “Default” if not already selected.
- Do not use the EIN or self-employed boxes.
- Each person must have their own user name and password. To help with uniqueness, consider adding some site info (e.g.: last 4 digits of the EFIN, a city, zip code or facility abbreviation). Practice Lab username must also be unique!
- When logging in, that user name is associated with a particular site.
- If a person is working at more than one site, they will need a specific user name for each site.
- Do not enter an SSN for a preparer. (Option is being removed in 2017)
- Click on “Pull from office” to populate the SIDN box.
- Default PIN Number should be 98765.
- Do not use the “Office Contact” or “Self Employed” boxes.
- Check the “Can view own returns only” box for preparers who will not be Quality Reviewers.
- Do not check the “Required to use Guide?” box.
- Fill in the preparer’s email, username, cell phone and an initial password.
- After the user logs in the first time, additional boxes appear to “Allow multiple accounts to use this email” and “Allow multiple accounts to use this cell phone”. Check these boxes if the person will be working at multiple sites. (New in 2017)
- Chose a security question and answer – we suggest you make it the same for all at your site. It can be changed later. (Being removed in 2017).
- Assign a security template for the person.
- ⚠ CAUTION : – do not assign a security template to the site administrator!
- Do not click on “Electronically Sign”.
Creating a new security template
- “Templates” are used in a different way in TaxSlayer – they do not refer to a “forms tree template” as in TaxWise.
- Security templates in TaxSlayer define the set of permissions that can be assigned to a user. The set of permissions is given a name which can be then assigned to each applicable user. Each user can be assigned only one security template.
- There are several pre-defined security templates which cannot be edited, but there is the ability to create your own. See the Security templates resource page for suggestions – all have been downloaded to Colorado sites.
- Pre-defined security templates do not appear in your site’s locally defined template list. They only appear in the list on the preparer setup page where you assign the template to a user.
- Profiles establish an ordered list of forms that will be next to be populated when a “Continue” button is clicked. Typical profiles might be for “Young family”, “Retired”, “Self-employed”, etc.
- It is not clear if a “Colorado” set of profiles is needed. We may need time to learn how best to use taxpayer profiles.
- Standard questions have been downloaded to all Colorado sites.
- You do need to add a question “Quality Reviewer” with answers listing each of the QR users at your site. Make it a required question.
- If you plan to move returns to a dummy username after transmitting, you may want to add a “Preparer” question with answers listing each preparer at your site. Make it a required question.
Setting up print sets
- There are several pre-defined print sets and the ability to create additional print sets.
- There is a “QR” print set that has more of the detail forms than we normally print.
- A basic Fed + CO print set has been created and set to all Colorado sites. It will likely change as we gain more experience with it.
- As we find more information, we will include it here.
- Return Status indicates where the return is in it’s journey to completion (In Progress, Review Pending, Review Approved, Review Failed, Complete, Transmitted, Denied, Accepted, Rejected, Deleted). These are set by the software as one moves through the process and are not administrable. Returns can be sorted by return status.
- Return Tags indicate reasons why a return cannot move forward tot he next Status. Suggested are:
- Attachment required
- CO only filed
- Delete this return
- Hold for information
- Hold for signature
- Out of scope
- Paper return
- QR not completed
- Taxpayer will return for QR
- QR complete, need to print and sign
- Unresolved e-file errors.
- These are determined by need and can be set up as each site wishes. There will be no default list. Returns can be sorted by return tags.
- Personal Notes (aka Taxpayer Notes, Sticky Notes) are a good way to pass informal information along to the next person in the process. Some things can be temporary (please verify medical exceptions, TP wants an extra copy for scholarship app, etc) and would typically be deleted after its use. And/or, they may be more permanent (TP has used all pension exclusion, TP first annuity date was 1/1/1955, TP has capital gains loss carryover, etc) so that information carries forward to alert the preparer next year.
- Move returns from real users to a dummy user with no permissions as soon as you can and certainly at the end of each day.
- Attachments must be in PDF format and are limited to 5 of 3MB each. If your scan is larger, try at a lower pixel rate (150 pixels/inch is adequate).
- More details on the ERO process and Tax identity theft are addressed on separate resource pages.
End of season
- Deactivate all counselors, except for one or two who may keep privileges for administration and maintenance purposes. They have no reason to access the production site and they still have their user name access to the Practice Lab.
- Move all returns to a dummy user if not already done so.
- Site Coordinator – record additional information in the volunteer portal: paper returns, amended returns, state only returns, Q&A.
- For any counselors wishing continuing education credit, make sure their PITN and signature is entered on their Form 13615 and send it to our SPEC (Lynda Sax) by April 30th.
- Celebrate all the good work done during the season!