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Why does Lacerte not transfer/rollforward driver's license data?

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Level 3

All this "feature" does is require me to open the prior year version of Lacerte and re-enter this data.  What is the rationale I'm missing for Lacerte to not transfer this data over?  Lacerte transfers basically everything else, so leaving this out seems ridiculous.

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Level 15

My hunch is there are at least a couple reasons:

  • that is part of the data that needs to be verified to ascertain a taxpayer's identity;
  • driver's license will expire after a certain period;
  • taxpayers should generally apply for a new license when they relocate to a different state; and
  • the number will change when a new license is issued.
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Still an AllStar
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Level 3

Your response is exactly what my original thoughts were, and is very much appreciated.  Here's my commentary to our hunches as to why Lacerte won't roll the data forward:

  • that is part of the data that needs to be verified to ascertain a taxpayer's identity;

Seeing as how I already have this data in the PY program, I have already ascertained the taxpayer's identity.  Transferring the data to the CY program only saves me from having to manually retrieve it from the PY program.

  • driver's license will expire after a certain period;

At which time I can verify the data with my client and update and/or change this (none of which requires me to manually enter the data again).

  • taxpayers should generally apply for a new license when they relocate to a different state;

At which time I would ask for new data from the client, seeing as how their DL would obviously change.

  • the number will change when a new license is issued.

Not in most states.  Most states keep the same DL number when a new license is issued.  Only the expiry date changes.

Lacerte could do me a solid and not make me go get data that I've already taken time to collect from the PY program.

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Level 15

I don't disagree with you at all.  Lots of times, things they do are not very Intuit(ive).

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Still an AllStar
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Level 11

@itonewbie 

Lots of times the things the software vendors do are required by the Software Police. I don't think many states required DL data, so it's certainly not an IRS requirement. But give some bureaucrat in the state capital a chance to mandate a program "improvement," and what do you expect?  

Also, you may be the only preparer in your office.  But in some places, there are 20.  If George did the return last year, how does Greta even know she's dealing with the same person?  Of course, the answer to that is that in most states, she doesn't.  

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Level 15

@BobKamman  Not sure how you interpreted my response as being related to what states require (or not).  I simply said "that is part of the data that needs to be verified to ascertain a taxpayer's identity".  Indeed, ERO's are required to verify the identity of taxpayers not known to them with two forms of identification and driver's license could be one of those.  Once these get on the system, we routinely update them (not that everyone must) to keep them current.

I'm no stranger to working in large offices and, in fact, in international firms with teams in different parts of the world at the management level.  Any decent professional practice would have processes and procedures in place, as part of their multi-level review, to ensure proper due diligence and standards for QA as well as audit trail are enforced and adhered to.  Alarm bells should ring, from a professional practice standpoint, if Greta doesn't know what George did last year.

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Still an AllStar
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Level 11

@itonewbie " Any decent professional practice would have processes and procedures in place,"

They aren't making the rules for you.  They're making the rules for lots of other people.

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Level 3

Another way to think about this: What if Lacerte took the same position on any other data point in the program, say, bank account information?

Sure, I'm supposed to verify this info every year.  I absolutely do.  But it's not helpful for Lacerte to intentionally not transfer this data, only to make me manually enter it again, just so they can say that I'm supposed to verify this data anyway, so why transfer it.

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Level 10

I've heard (so file this under "things I read on the Internet that might not be true") that there is pressure from certain states regarding the information that they allow the software to carry over from year to year.  There is also pressure from the participants of the annual "security summit" to prevent information from carrying over (like it used to).

Software developers have different responses to this (I think most/all of them participate in the security summits).  Drake has been very transparent about it.  When they carry over information they use the rules from the most limiting state.  So if I transfer a return with a MD return, they will transfer the bank info but force me to verify it.  If I transfer a return with a MD return and a VA non-resident return, they will NOT transfer the bank info (because VA does not "allow" it).

Some of the inconsistencies I've seen when transferring/not transferring:

Bank info
License info
State ID # on W-2/1099s
Locality code (state returns)

When I was running both Drake and ProSeries they would each blame different "dehancements" on the security summit / state requirements.  So clearly they have some leeway in how they interpret these suggestions from the taxing authorities.

Rick

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Level 12

If I remember correctly, ProSeries carries it forward from year to year.

At least it does in my state.  I have stuck in the back of my mind that a Moderator had told us some states don't want it to transfer, so those states don't.  But for all I know, I imagined that.   🙂

My State does not require that information (and the IRS does not require it), so I never enter it.

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Level 11
Level 11

ProSeries does carry it forward, but you have to check a box to verify, if left unchecked you get error

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