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How to download and install Lacerte prep files

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Intuit

How to download and install Lacerte prep files

The prep file tells your Lacerte program what name and address to print on tax returns, as well as which products you’ve purchased. When you make changes to your firm information or add products in My Account, your prep file is updated within 24 hours. After that, you can download your updated prep file directly in Lacerte or online through My Account. Click on the program year you need to get started.

You can download and install recent prep files two ways: either directly through your Lacerte program, or online in My Account.

  1. Open the current year Lacerte program.
  2. From the Settings menu choose Update Preparer Information.
  3. Select Download Prep File.LACERTE_SETTINGS_UPDATE_PREP.jpg
  4. A status window will appear; wait for it to finish.
  5. Select Update My Program Now (Recommended), then click OK.LACERTE_PREP_INSTALL_OR_SAVE.jpg
  6. Check the box next to the tax year prep file needed and enter the data path where the program is installed (if not already generating).Install
  7. Click OK.
    • You'll be asked to set a primary password if you have a network license. Click No to ignore.
  8. Select the radio button next to I accept the agreement, and click OK.
  9. Click Yes when prompted to quit Lacerte.
  10. Open Lacerte.
  11. A prep file verification window will appear. Verify the information is correct, then click Continue.
  1. Close Lacerte.
  2. Sign in to My Account.
  3. From your dashboard, click Download Prep File for the current year file. Or click Previous Years and select Prep Zip File.
  4. Click Save, then click Open folder.
  5. Locate the prep.YY file for the tax year you need.
    • For example, to install a 2018 prep file, locate prep.18
  6. Right-click the prep.YY file, then select Copy.
  7. Browse to the installation directory, "C:\Lacerte\YYtax".
    • For example, if you're installing a prep file for the 2018 program, browse to "C:\Lacerte\18tax".
    • Create a new folder if it doesn't already exist.
  8. Right-click and Paste the prep file into the "C:\Lacerte\YYtax" folder.

  1. Sign in to My Account
  2. From your dashboard, click Previous Years.
  3. Select Older Prep Files back to 1990 (.zip).
  4. Click Save, then click Open folder.
  5. Double-click the zip file you downloaded to open it.
  6. Click Extract all.
  7. Select a destination you can easily find, like your desktop. Click Extract.
  8. Open the destination folder and locate the prep.YY file for the tax year you need.
    • For example, to install a 2004 prep file, locate prep.04
  9. Right-click the prep.YY file, then press Copy.
  10. Browse to the program installation directory, "C:\Lacerte\YYtax".
    • For example, if you're installing a prep file for the 2004 program, browse to "C:\Lacerte\04tax".
    • Create a new folder if it doesn't already exist.
  11. Right click and Paste the prep file into the "C:\Lacerte\YYtax" folder.
Starting April of 2020, The My Account team supports 5 years of prep files instead of 10. This means that Firm Information will be blank for years older than 2015. Since we now support 5 years, anything older than that will be "unlocked," meaning they won't contain any firm information and don't require any REP fees.

For example, if you need to prepare a return for Lacerte 2015 or older you would have two options to get your firm information onto the forms.

  1. You can print the return and then stamp your firm information onto it.
  2. You can print the return and then write your firm information into it.

In addition, the prior year programs will prompt the user every 10 minutes to update their prep file. This message can be ignored. You can click on the “Do not show me this again” box and close the window.

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