VT-2015 (and VT-2016)
Multi-App /Multi-Year version
Summer 2016 News
We are celebrating
our 30th anniversary with the completion of a major redesign of the VisualTax suite of products.
VisualTax Major Redesign
The redesign includes several enhancements over the previous issues of the VisualTax programs.
The new architecture, is the foundation for many unique time savings features that make tax preparation fast, effortless, accurate and enjoyable.
The new architecture allowed the creation of a single Multi-App / Multi-Year program called VT-2015 that allows users to prepare tax returns for T1-2015, T2-2016, TF-2015, FP-2016 and it also provides access to ALL prior years and ALL tax modules issued by VisualTax.
Starting with the 2016-2017 tax season the only product that will be offered would be the Multi-App/Multi-Year version (VT-2016).
It is recommended that you use the VT-2015 program for all tax modules, so you get familiar with it and iron-out any installation issues.
- T1: You must use the VT-2015 program now if you need to do T1 tax planning with the 2016 tax rates.
- T2: You must use the VT-2015 program now if you need to prepare T2 returns with year ends after May 31, 2016. Or better use the T2-2017 included in the VT-2016 program.
- T3: You must use the VT-2015 program now if you need to prepare T3 returns with year ends falling into 2016. Or better yet, wait for the production TF-2016 version included in the VT-2016 program.
Configuration and Data Conversion Tools
All the tools you need to migrate from the old version to the new one...
Facilities are provided to convert your current programs and current tax returns to the new DataBases.
1. Program keys and other Configuration Options
The new program, VT-2015, automatically tries to detect the program keys you already have and the Configuration options of your current programs (T1-2015, T2-2016, TF-2015 and FP-2016) and it will use them in the new Multi-App/Multi-year version. This automatic detection may fail if the installation is not properly done or shortcut keys have been removed or relocated.
Manual configuration: If you do not already have such programs installed, or such automatic detection fails, the Logon window of the VT-2015 will not show the respective application (tax module) with an activation tick.
In this case, click the RUN button on the Logon window and then click on the top menu: Help -> About and enter the program key of the tax module (application) you want to use.
Also you should enter other Configuration options, such as Preparer Name, etc. by clicking 'Configure -> General Options'
2. Arranging the layout of your new VT desktop (see item 7 below).
After you open a new or existing tax return, you can arrange the layout of your display by moving the red vertical splitters.
This allows you to divide the available display space the way you feel comfortable. See more on Item 7 below.
3. Using existing returns for the current year:
To use existing tax returns (i.e. T1-2015, T2-2016, TF-2015 and FP-2016) you must first click File-> 'Import from old data base format'
Also you can use the item File -> 'Convert data and options to MultiApp version'. This item offers more options but it may be a bit harder to use.
(Revised on: 2016/08/30)
NOTE 1: You should not (and you cannot) import data into the new format for tax years prior to T1-2015, TF-2015 and FP-2016.
(Revised on: 2016/12/19)
In the T1-2016 of VT-2016 program you should not Import data. Just use Rollover.
(Revised on: 2016/08/30)
NOTE 2: You can import T2 returns prepared with the old T2-2014, T2-2015 and T2-2016.
The T2 module of VT-2015 can process any T2 returns starting Jan 1, 2014 or later.
Simply click File -> Import , then change the folder at the top to reflect the folder you have the tax return and press the Tab key.
This refreshes the display with the tax returns of that folder.
NOTE 3: The T2 Import process will not bring in the prior year GIFI amounts.
But once you start rolling them over with the new program, the 'Prior year' GIFI amounts will be maintained automatically.
NOTE 4: You can also Rollover directly from the old folders, but it is better to Import first and do the Rollover with the new program.
For prior years tax returns simply use the 'Prior years' tab on the left side. These old years will be processed with the old program and old data format as before.
a. Data directories before importing data: The 'Import' process relies on the correct data directories entered on the Configure -> General Options -> Data Directories.
Please complete the box that is described with the caption of:
'Data Directory of the T2-2016 data prior to Multi-App version'
'Data Directory of the T1-2015 data prior to Multi-App version'
Also complete 'Last year's Data Directory'.
b. Importing the data:
The Import (or Conversion process) does not affect your existing data, but it simply reformats your old data into a new data base format and copies the new data into a new folder.
Example: T2-2016: Most users already have tax returns prepared with the T2-2016 version. The Import facility simply reads this data, converts it to the new data base format and saves the new data in the new data folders. This conversion also includes the conversion of the GIFI data into the new GIFI format.
c. Password protected returns should be un-protected prior to Import or Conversion.
Otherwise you need to enter the passwords during the importing process.
What's next after initial release?
With the new base program now in place, more features can be and will be added in coming weeks and months via Internet updates.
In our current plans:
1. T1-2015 Tax planner with 2016 expected tax rates. Scheduled for release by the end of July, 2016
2. TF-2015: 2016 tax rates for T3 tax returns falling into 2016. Scheduled for release by the end of July, 2016
3. There are several items in our to do list such as new Ribbon Interface, flexible/user configurable reports from data bases, etc. You will be informed via updates.
List of important enhancements introduced up to the summer of 2016.
1. One button does it all
T1 - Personal returns
T2 - Corporate returns
T3 -Trust Returns
T3010 - Charity Returns
T5013 - Partnership Returns
T5018 - Contract Payments
T4-T4A -T5 slips
Miscellaneous other forms
Current and Prior Years...
New Logon screen.
You only need a single button (link) in your desktop to start the Multi-App / Multi-Year composite VT program.
The Logon Screen shows below for a user who subscribes to all tax modules and Financial Planning.
The Activate box:
- If ticked, it indicates that once you click RUN you can use the corresponding tax module.
- If not ticked, it indicates that the program could not find the program key and after you click RUN you will not have access to it.
- If not ticked, but you do have a program key, click RUN and then click Help -> About and enter your program key and Save it.
Then Exit the program, run it again and the tax module will be activated from that point on.
In the screenshot below, the red colored item 'Module Status' indicates that the tax module, in this case T2 is not up to date
and you should click the Update button to download the last update available from our web site.
Option: You can un-check an 'activate' box to suppress the the use of a tax module in this work session.
But you can re-activate it next time you Run the program.
It may be useful if currently you are only doing T1 or T2 returns and you only want to see that tax module after you click RUN.
2. New integrated Multi-App / Multi-Year architecture.
Your mouse will find all your folders and files, current and prior years...
Even documents scanned with vtScan
It is just paperless by design!
You can even list and run all the archive programs, if already installed...
What has been changed?
The screen below looks almost identical to the old VisualTax, except for some small innocent details!
a. Concurrent loading of different Tax Modules: The redesign allowed the concurrent loading of different tax modules.
Now you can see on the screen shot below that the Returns listing on the left contain 2 T1 returns, one T2, one T3 and one FP, loaded concurrently.
If you click 'Prior years' it will show a list of all the VisualTax programs you have installed on that computer going back almost 30 years, as long as these programs have been installed on that machine. Click any one to run it.
b. Tax Module and Review tabsheets:
The redesign simply added these two small ears (tabsheets) on the two sides, just to listen to some special needs you may have.
- The Tax Module tabsheet is on the left side: It shows the tax modules you can concurrently use. You can click on them to switch from one tax module to the other (Or clicking the left tabsheet with the tax module names).
- The Review tabsheet is on the right hand side. It contains functions you can perform if you have a wide monitor, typically 17" or more. (Use Hide, if you have a narrow monitor).
The review mode shows the most frequently used tax summaries.
The 'Last Year' tab show the comparison between this year and last year for the current form being displayed.
The Assist mode will be added later to provide you with automatic display of help, while working on a form.
Please note that you cannot change data on the review panel.
This seamless interface did not come overnight. It is a result of a major and thoughtful architectural redesign of the programs that started a couple of years back.
It is a breakthrough in convenience of integration and speed, via an exceptionally compact design and program size. It will simplify and speed up the overall tax preparation for users who subscribe to more than one VisualTax tax preparation modules.
The operation of this composite software is highly compatible with the prior production versions, but it offers a significant set of enhancements over previous versions.
It is also the foundation and platform upon which future enhancements will be built involving special T1 and T2 studies.
3. New Data base engine
Up to now all VisualTax programs were using the Borland Data Base engine (DBF-BDE) to support the Client Data Base and other functions of the program. With the advance of MS Windows, the DBF data format may not be well supported in the future, so the redesign incorporates a new SQL data base that is more in sync with the evolution of MS windows.
Prior year programs will still use the old data base format.
4. Side by Side
Comparison of Current and Last year data
Just click 'Last Year' on the right hand side'
- Differences are highlighted
- Side by side display
- Effortless: Just click 'last year' and any form shows for both years.
- Ability to scroll them concurrently
Screenshot of the T2125:
Due to its width, you may not see the full comparison.
Scroll the bottom scrollbar to the right to see the full Business Statement compared to last year.
In real operation, you can vertically scroll them together to review any multi-page statement.
5. 'Panoramic' view of tax data on wide monitors
The screen shot shows the right hand 'Review' tabsheet in action.
Several summaries are available.
(Revised on: 2016/08/30)
For single returns you can have the Tax Summary (TaxSum) constantly shown and you can also click its line numbers to open the related schedule or form!
Or during Coupling you can have the Family Summary (FamSum) 'ON'.
Or you can have the 2-year summary (YrSum2) shown so you can see how you progress compared to last year.
Or you can have the Slip Summary (T4Sum) shown when you are entering slips
Or you can also have any form on the Review tabsheet by simply dragging it from the middle tabsheet.
Prepares with narrow monitors should simply 'Hide' the right hand panel.
The new program provides the best utilization of monitor space and it provides you with panoramic display of tax information. I addition to the concurrent display of Current / and Last year comparison, the program provides several more time savings features such as automatic display of Summaries, and or monitoring a form of your choice during preparation.
6. New Tax Preparation method using the Tax Summaries
If you have a wide monitor, you can set the program in 'Review' mode as shown above.
a. Use the TaxSummary as a Forms Menu or to help you drill down the data sources.
Example: If you click on line 101 it will open the T4 slips. You enter data on the T4 and the TaxSummary will be adjusted automatically.
You can continue for other line numbers of the summary without having a need to remember or explicitly open forms.
b. Other uses of the Review Panel:
- T1 Family Summary (FSUM): Suppose you are preparing a coupled return. You should click the Family Summary (FSUM) on the right hand Review Panel.
Now, enter data on any form : As you enter data on a T4 or T5 or T2125 you can see how the FSUM is affected and how the income is split by %, or Pension splitting is affected etc. It is great for review purposes as you are progressing in data entry
- 2 Year Tax Summary: You can also click the 2 Year Summary in the review panel to see easily if you missed something without having to load the YrSUm2 to see the comparison.
- Monitor any form: You can drag any form from the middle tabsheet to the tabsheet of the right hand panel. Simply open the form such as S7 and then drag it from the main data entry tab sheet and Drop it to the top of the Review tab sheet. Then you can see the impact on S7 or RRSP of changing income level/expenses on data entry forms.
- Use Summaries as Menus: Tax preparers can use the Review forms (such as TSUM-Tax Summary, or FSum-Family Summary or YrSum2-Two-year tax comparative summary, etc) as a menu to open up the source forms. i.e. Clicking line 101 on the TaxSum or FSum or YrSum2, it brings up the T4 slip. There are many preparers who use the TaxSum to build up the return line by line, by simply starting from the top and clicking the income lines of the TSUM or FSUM. This was not quite feasible with the old program as you had to hide the data entry form, then open the TaxSum then switch back to the data entry form.
7. Easy ways to arrange the VisualTax desktop layout:
- By dragging the vertical splitters (best way)
- Using Zoom/un-zoom buttons (+-)
- Using the 'Fit to width' button
New ways of enlarging / shrinking the display and arranging the space allocated to current year vs the review panel of last year or tax summaries.
The entire display is divided into three panels:
1. The left panel (Diagnostics and/or Forms Panel)
2. Data Entry panel where forms are opened for data entry
3. Review Panel on the right hand side (use Hide if you have a narrow monitor)
The above panels are separated by vertical splitters.
The red vertical splitters can be dragged with the mouse left or right thus enlarging or shrinking the panels and the text in them.
Even the slightest move of the middle splitter will cause a refresh of the display.
Moving the vertical splitters allows you to arrange the width of your monitor you want to allocate to each of the above panels.
The resulting layout should be your most comfortable viewing size.
The layout of your display is saved, so next time you do not need to arrange it again.
8. Provision for Overrides
Provision to override certain calculated fields. Highlight a field and press Shift F2. This allows you to change the value of a calculated field.
This feature should be used only in emergency cases and it is not recommended for normal use, as in a lot of cases it breaks the balance of interlinked schedules.
Overriden fields are shown with a red star such as * 123.56
To cancel the Override, place the mouse on the red data and press Shift F2
9. New T2 GIFI income and Balance sheet statements featuring dynamic addition of GIFI lines
The previous year's version had limited implementation of dynamically expanded forms. It is useful in some's cases. i.e. T1 had the T1135 featuring dynamically expanded table lines.
The above feature is now available in other tax modules such as in the T2 GIFI Income statements and Balance Sheet statements (S125 and S100/S101)
GIFI via Import from old T2 version: If you use File->Import from Old Data Base format, the new GIFI statements (S125 and S100) are automatically filled by the program.
GIFI via Rollover: If you Rollover to prepare next year's tax return, then the 'Last year's' column of GIFI S100 and S125 are populated automatically.
GIFI via Import from an accounting software: If you have an Accounting software that can export a GFI file, then use the GIFI Import button of S100 and S125.
10. Advanced Data
All client data are now encrypted and they are safer during transit as attachments.
Only determined hackers may be able to extract some useful data from VisualTax data files and data bases.
For additional security and privacy, you can Password protect one or more returns you prepare. (Click File -> Enter Return Password).
11. Cloud support and
It allows you to store client data on the cloud so you can get access and process returns from any computer, from any place, as long as you have Internet access.
This can be useful to geographically dispersed offices that share the same client data base. Cloud support was available last year as well.
This year we plan to enhance cloud support with vtMobile.
The vtMobile allows you to use a smart phone to view you clients on-line from any location as long as you have Internet access.
Future enhancements will allow you to see specific tax data of your clients.
12. Autofill at its best, with very comprehensive implementation.
CRA does the typing of your slips into your machine, fast and accurate..!
VT gives you full 'highlighted' comparison of values provided by CRA vs what you currently have in the tax return...