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Field allocations refer to amounts displayed in data entry fields that have been allocated to the taxpayer or spouse, and/or among state modules.

Double-click a data entry field or choose Edit > Allocations to open a window in which you can allocate amounts.

Note: By default, amounts that have been allocated are displayed in bold in the main data-entry window.

Alternatives are tax plan scenarios which can include one or more years. A plan can contain any number of alternatives, and each alternative can contain any number of years.

An Annualized plan is a one-year, four-period plan that calculates federal quarterly estimated payments. Annualized plans allow you to provide different quarterly payment amounts for clients whose income is earned unevenly throughout the year (for example, a client with income from a seasonal business or with large capital gain transactions at the end of the year).

See Annualized plans overview for more information.

By default, when you create a new plan, the plan is automatically assigned to the current preparer and the preparer's preferences are applied to the new plan.

Note: To select the current preparer, choose Tools > Change Preparer, select a preparer from the drop-down list, and click OK. Or, select a preparer from the Current Preparer drop-down list in the Home Page.

When you reassign an existing plan to a preparer (by opening a plan, choosing File > Plan Information, and selecting a preparer from the Assigned to drop-down list), the plan retains the settings that were applied when the plan was created.

Auto Select is a printing option made up of standard reports chosen by Planner CS specifically for the open plan. The standard reports that print when you choose Auto Select vary depending on the data entered in the plan and the criteria set up in the preparer's print conditions.

To print using Auto Select, choose File > Print Reports, and select the Auto Select option. Planner CS will automatically print the standard reports that apply to the current plan. Click the Print Selection button to see which standard reports have been selected to print and to modify that selection if desired.

To change the criteria used by Planner CS to determine what should print when Auto Select is used, use the Print Conditions dialog.

See Printing plan data reports, graphs, and letters for more information.

When working with an Annualized plan, if the AutoSpread feature is turned on, any data that you enter spreads appropriately to the columns to the right. The AutoSpread feature spreads income and deduction amounts in such a way that assumes that the income or deductions are earned or paid evenly throughout the year. Amounts that should not vary with each column, such as the Taxpayer dependents field in the Main > Exemptions tab, will copy to each column without changing their value.

AutoSpread will not overwrite amounts you have previously entered in columns to the right.

Note: To override any amounts inserted by the AutoSpread feature and turn off the AutoSpread calculation, click the AutoSpread AutoSpread button button on the toolbar.

See Annualized plans overview for more information.

The base or first plan year is the first year in the plan. The first plan year is initially set using the New Plan dialog when creating a new plan. You can change the first plan year of an existing plan by choosing File > Plan Information.

When you change the first plan year to a later year, the data for any prior year(s) is deleted. Therefore, you may want to back up the plan's data before changing the first plan year.

See Backing up data for more information.

The main data-entry window in Planner CS includes buttons that open specific sets of tabs that contain data-entry fields.

Example of tab buttons

Buttons appear just below the toolbar in the main data-entry window. They represent broad categories of information such as main (that is, general) or income-related data. Each button (except the Activities button) contains several tabs. A black square appears on a button when data is entered in at least one of the button's tabs.

The Activities button opens the Business Activities dialog in which you enter information for Schedule C, E, and F activities.

Calculated fields are shaded. The amounts in calculated fields are automatically entered by Planner CS. If you attempt to override an amount in a calculated field, Planner CS prompts you to confirm that you want to do so and then displays the override in red. To reinstate the calculated amount, click the field (don't highlight it) and choose Edit > Delete Override or press the DELETE key.

  • Pulled fields - Green indicates that the amount in this field transfers from a specific row on a different tab. Double-click an amount in a pulled field to have Planner CS automatically take you to the tab where the data for the calculation was entered.
  • Computed fields - Dark blue indicates that the amount in this field is calculated based on amounts entered in data entry fields. (Dark blue is also used to designate carryover fields.)

Carryover fields function as data-entry fields in the first year of an alternative and as calculated fields in subsequent years. You can enter an amount in the first year of the alternative, and Planner CS automatically calculates the amount for subsequent years. The names of these fields are displayed in dark blue. If you attempt to override an amount in a subsequent year of a carryover field, Planner CS prompts you to confirm the override and then displays the overriding amount in red. To reinstate the calculated amount, click the field (don't highlight it) and choose Edit > Delete Override or press the DELETE key.

Cells are shaded different colors depending on what type of fields they are. Data entry fields are shaded white. Calculated fields are gray. Fields that are not applicable for certain years are black in the years that they do not apply.

When a client plan, report set, graph, letter template, custom report, Watch Window template, or report layout is checked out by someone in your firm, no one else can modify the item until it is checked in via the File > Restore command by the user who was using it. When an item is checked in, anyone with access to the item can modify it.

.RTF stands for Rich Text Format, and is the file format used by the Planner CS client letter writer. Choose Reports > Client Letters - .RTF to open this client letter editor.

.DOC is the file format used by Microsoft Word. If Word is installed on your computer, you can use it to create and edit client letters. Choose Reports > Client Letters - .DOC to open Microsoft Word.

Both the built-in client letter writer and Microsoft Word allow you to create standard template letters that can be used for all clients, as well as custom letters for individual clients. You can also embed plan data into your client letters and reports. The data is automatically updated when you open or close a client letter or report.

Note: When you save client letters or reports, they will be saved as part of the Planner CS proprietary file storage and, thus, cannot be edited by standard word-processing application.

See Creating client letters for more information.

The preparer specified as the current preparer is assigned to each new plan that is created, and the preparer's settings are transferred to that new plan. To select the current preparer, choose Tools > Change Preparer, select a preparer from the drop-down list, and click OK. Or, you can select a preparer from the Current Preparer drop-down list in the Home Page.

Note: You can change the preparer assigned to an existing plan at any time by opening the plan, choosing File > Plan Information, and selecting a preparer from the Assigned to drop-down list. When doing so, the plan's settings, which are based on the options specified by the current preparer at the time the plan was created, will not change.

A custom report is a report that you define in Planner CS. You select the rows you want and assemble them in the order you want. You can select rows from any federal or state tab.

For more information, see:

The names of data-entry fields are displayed in light blue, and the cells are white (not shaded). To help you identify the source of the amounts in data-entry fields, amounts are displayed in one of three colors:

  • Black - Amounts entered by you
  • Blue - Amounts calculated by Planner CS
  • Maroon - Amounts imported from UltraTax/1040 or GoSystem Tax RS

Double-click a data-entry field to open a window in which you can enter a detailed listing of descriptions and amounts.

Note: Planner CS automatically enters default amounts in certain data-entry fields, such as FICA wages in the Income > Wages tab. To replace a default amount, enter a number (including zero) in the data-entry field. To reinsert the default amount, position the cursor in the field and press DELETE on your keyboard.

The main data-entry window in Planner CS includes buttons that open specific sets of tabs that contain data-entry fields.

Example of tab buttons

Buttons appear just below the toolbar in the main data-entry window. They represent broad categories of information such as main (that is, general) or income-related data. Each button (except the Activities button) contains several tabs. A black square appears on a button when data is entered in at least one of the button's tabs.

The Activities button opens the Business Activities dialog in which you enter information for Schedule C, E, and F activities.

The main data-entry window in Planner CS includes buttons that open specific sets of tabs that contain data-entry fields.

Example of tabs

Tabs appear just below the buttons in the main data-entry window. Each tab includes data entry fields (indicated by blue field names) and calculated fields (indicated by dark blue or green field names). Planner CS calculates the amounts displayed in the calculated fields based on information entered in the data-entry fields. A black square appears on a tab when data is entered in that tab.

.DOC is the file format used by Microsoft Word. If Word is installed on your computer, you can use it to create and edit client letters. Choose Reports > Client Letters - .DOC to open Microsoft Word.

Both the built-in client letter writer and Microsoft Word allow you to create standard template letters that can be used for all clients, as well as custom letters for individual clients. You can also embed plan data into your client letters and reports. The data is automatically updated when you open or close a client letter or report.

Note: When you save client letters or reports, they will be saved as part of the Planner CS proprietary file storage and, thus, cannot be edited by standard word-processing application.

See Creating client letters for more information.

Family plan refers to a special type of plan in Planner CS with which you can analyze how the investment income of minor children will affect the parents' and the entire family's total tax liability.

To create a Family plan, mark the Family Plan checkbox in the New Plan dialog. Planner CS will create a plan with one column for the parents' information and one column each for the children's information, depending on the number specified in the Number of children field. Note that in a Family plan, you are limited to one year's information and one alternative.

Field codes represent plan data that you insert into a client letter. Because codes are used, client letters can be updated if the source data changes.

In the Client Letter window, choose View > Field Names to toggle between seeing the data item value or a code representing that data item.

Calculated fields are shaded. The amounts in calculated fields are automatically entered by Planner CS. If you attempt to override an amount in a calculated field, Planner CS prompts you to confirm that you want to do so and then displays the override in red. To reinstate the calculated amount, click the field (don't highlight it) and choose Edit > Delete Override or press the DELETE key.

  • Pulled fields - Green indicates that the amount in this field transfers from a specific row on a different tab. Double-click an amount in a pulled field to have Planner CS automatically take you to the tab where the data for the calculation was entered.
  • Computed fields - Dark blue indicates that the amount in this field is calculated based on amounts entered in data entry fields. (Dark blue is also used to designate carryover fields.)

Carryover fields function as data-entry fields in the first year of an alternative and as calculated fields in subsequent years. You can enter an amount in the first year of the alternative, and Planner CS automatically calculates the amount for subsequent years. The names of these fields are displayed in dark blue. If you attempt to override an amount in a subsequent year of a carryover field, Planner CS prompts you to confirm the override and then displays the overriding amount in red. To reinstate the calculated amount, click the field (don't highlight it) and choose Edit > Delete Override or press the DELETE key.

The names of data-entry fields are displayed in light blue, and the cells are white (not shaded). To help you identify the source of the amounts in data-entry fields, amounts are displayed in one of three colors:

  • Black - Amounts entered by you
  • Blue - Amounts calculated by Planner CS
  • Maroon - Amounts imported from UltraTax/1040 or GoSystem Tax RS

Double-click a data-entry field to open a window in which you can enter a detailed listing of descriptions and amounts. One such window is the Allocations window, in which you can also allocate amounts between the taxpayer and spouse, and/or among states.

Note: Planner CS automatically enters default amounts in certain data-entry fields, such as FICA wages in the Income > Wages tab. To replace a default amount, enter a number (including zero) in the data-entry field. To reinsert the default amount, position the cursor in the field and press DELETE on your keyboard.

The base or first plan year is the first year in the plan. The first plan year is initially set using the New Plan dialog when creating a new plan. You can change the first plan year of an existing plan by choosing File > Plan Information, or Edit > Plan Years > Add or Delete.

When you change the first plan year to a later year, the data for any prior year(s) is deleted. Therefore, you may want to back up the plan's data before changing the first plan year.

See Backing up data for more information.

In Planner CS, you can create custom graphs to visually display your data. Information on these graphs can come from any federal or state tab and can be displayed in many different graph types, such as bar, pie, and line graphs. After you create a graph, it can be used for any plan.

See the following for more information.

Import tips are messages automatically generated by Planner CS to inform you about certain calculated differences between an UltraTax/1040 tax return and the plan into which the tax return was imported. Import tips are displayed in the Import Tips dialog.

Module refers to the separate federal and state plans within Planner CS.

Notes

  • You can purchase individual licenses for all states, including the District of Columbia, that have some form of an individual income tax system, or you can purchase a single license for all available states.
  • To change modules during data entry, click the flag button for the desired federal or state module on the toolbar. If there is more than one nonresident state attached to the plan, click the drop-down list arrow next to the nonresident state flag button and select a different nonresident state.
  • Planner CS automatically transfers data from the federal module to the state module when applicable.

Pulled fields are one type of calculated field. Green indicates that the amount in this field transfers from a specific row on a different tab. Double-click an amount in a pulled field to have Planner CS automatically open the tab where the data for the calculation was entered.

The reports you print can be presented in different ways. Planner CS comes with two default report layouts (<System> and <Tax Projection>), but you can create many other different layouts as well. The layout you select from the Report Layout field in the Print dialog will apply to all standard and custom reports you print during the current print session. You can modify the default report layout or create a new layout in the Layout Designer dialog by choosing Reports > Report Layout.

See the following for more information.

A report set is a feature that helps you save time if you want to repeatedly print the same set of reports or graphs for a plan. It works much like a template by letting you pre-define the specific reports and graphs you want, in the exact collation sequence, and with the specific print options you choose. Then, whenever you want to print these specific reports and graphs, you can select the report set from the Report Set drop-down list in the Print dialog.

See Defining report sets for more information.

A custom report is a report that you define in Planner CS. You select the rows you want and assemble them in the order you want. You can select rows from any federal or state tab.

For more information, see:

Planner CS comes with an individual standard report for each federal and state tab. The reports are named with the tab names, and they show every row and cell in the tab.

Note: When you print the reports, you can modify how much information is shown. For example, you can modify the layout so the reports do not include rows with zero amounts or so the reports include only certain alternatives and years.

See Printing plan data reports, graphs, and letters for more information.

The Result Finder is a feature that automatically varies the dollar amount of a selected federal data entry field until a desired amount for a selected federal calculated field is found.

To open the Result Finder dialog, choose Tools > Result Finder.

.RTF stands for Rich Text Format, and is the file format used by the Planner CS client letter writer. Choose Reports > Client Letters - .RTF to open this client letter editor.

Both the built-in client letter writer and Microsoft Word allow you to create standard template letters that can be used for all clients, as well as custom letters for individual clients. You can also embed plan data into your client letters and reports. The data is automatically updated when you open or close a client letter or report.

Note: When you save client letters or reports, they will be saved as part of the Planner CS proprietary file storage and, thus, cannot be edited by standard word-processing application.

See Creating client letters for more information.

In a multiple-year, multiple-alternative plan, Planner CS can display the first plan year in a single column. Data amounts from the base year column will carry forward to subsequent plan years under each alternative. This is useful if you would like a year of historical data to appear in only one column in your plan.

Notes

  • To view an open plan in single base year format, choose View > Single Base Year.
  • To view a new plan in single base year format, in the New Plan dialog (accessible by choosing File > New), mark the Display single base year checkbox (which is enabled only when there are at least two years and alternatives entered in the corresponding fields, and when the Family Plan and Annualized Plan checkboxes are not marked.

Smart data entry is an option that helps expedite data entry by allowing you to automatically bypass fields in which data entry is not required.

This option can be set on a preparer basis in the Preparer Options dialog, or this option can be turned on or off during data entry by choosing Edit > Smart Data Entry, or by clicking the Smart Data Entry button in the Planner CS toolbar.

Planner CS comes with an individual standard report for each federal and state tab. The reports are named with the tab names, and they show every row and cell in the tab.

Note: When you print the reports, you can modify how much information is shown. For example, you can modify the layout so the reports do not include rows with zero amounts or so the reports include only certain alternatives and years.

See Printing plan data reports, graphs, and letters for more information.

The main data-entry window in Planner CS includes buttons that open specific sets of tabs that contain data-entry fields.

Example of tabs

Tabs appear just below the buttons in the main data-entry window. Each tab includes data entry fields (indicated by blue field names) and calculated fields (indicated by dark blue or green field names). Planner CS calculates the amounts displayed in the calculated fields based on information entered in the data-entry fields. A black square appears on a tab when data is entered in that tab.

The Tax Projection report summarizes a client's federal income tax plan, including income, deductions, taxes, payments, and more. When this report is generated, Planner CS also generates a summary report for each state attached to the plan.

When a plan, report, graph, or client letter template is being used by someone in your firm, that item may have a "lock" placed on it. This lock can be removed by the user who was using it via the Help > Clear Locks command.

The customizable Watch Window, displayed below the main data-entry window, enables you to monitor how information entered in the main data-entry window affects specific calculations in the plan. As plan data is entered, related fields in the Watch Window are automatically updated. The variables, or lines, shown in the Watch Window are saved as a Watch Window templates.

The Watch Window can be hidden or shown by choosing Tools > Watch Window > Show > [name of template]. When shown, the Watch Window appears below the main data-entry window, separated by a thin, gray line. To resize the Watch Window, click the gray line and drag it up or down.

Watch Window

Components of the Watch Window:

  • Watch Window Templates determine which lines appear in the current Watch Window. You can create your own templates or use one of the default templates. For example, use default Template A, shown above, to view the changes in adjusted gross income, taxable income, and more.
  • A Watch Line is a row in the Watch Window. To delete a Watch Line from the Watch Window, right-click the line and choose Remove from Watch Window from the context menu. To add a line to the Watch Window while you are in the main data-entry window, right-click the field you want to add and choose Watch Window > Add Line from the context menu.

Alternatives are tax plan scenarios which can include one or more years. A plan can contain any number of alternatives, and each alternative can contain any number of years.


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