How to use Tax Planner Interactive
Note that no personal information that could identify an individual is input into the tool and no user input is saved beyond the end of each session.
'Session cookies' must be enabled - these are normally enabled by default in most of the main browsers. (Session cookies do not pose a privacy or security threat.)
The application may work in part or in full on small mobile devices such as modern smart-phones. However, it is not designed to run on a mobile device and has not been tested on this type of platform.
Tax Planner Interactive is optimised for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Chrome (or Firefox if using Mac OS), which should provide the best possible user experience. However it is tested in all the major modern browsers, which are supported as far as is practical. More about browser support.
Working with Tax Planner Interactive
Select from the menu on the home page the area where planning is required
Choose the planning that the client requires from the list of tax planning topics within the selected topic area
You will be presented with a brief summary of the suggested tax planning to deal with the client's situation. As well as identifying any key conditions which must be met for the planning to succeed, the summary also provides a context for the following stages.
After reading the summary of the proposed planning, go to the 'fact gathering' page. You will be asked a series of questions to gather the information needed to confirm that the suggested tax planning is appropriate. Every question has a 'help' link beside it. The each question's associated help text shows by default when that question appears for the first time, and can easily be re-visted at any time. The associated help text must be read before answering each question, as it includes important definitions and further guidance to help you answer accurately and correctly.
When the 'submit' button turns green, click on it to see the results of the fact gathering. If any of the answers needs to be changed, use the link provided to return to the 'fact gathering' page. Do not use your browser's back button as this will re-set the fact gathering page.
At the end of the fact gathering stage you may want to print the page. This will give you a record for your file and provide a note of the answers should they need to be re-entered at a later session.
Please note: the answers will not be saved after the session within each tax planning topic ends. They will need to be re-entered if the facts need revision at a later stage, for example after the client has been asked to confirm their accuracy.
After the fact gathering is complete and the information has been submitted, the suggested tax planning will be displayed and all the menu links will become live to help you complete the proposed planning.
A summary of the facts you have entered is provided, together with a summary of the proposal. Please print this as a record for your file.
If you decide to go ahead with the proposal, you should:
- agree the summary of the facts with the client - a downloadable and customisable letter with a summary of the facts and of the proposal is provided in the 'client summary letter' section; and
- print and follow the 'step by step guidance'
Links to forms, letters and other information sources that might be useful when implementing the planning are provided in the 'useful forms and links' section. Points to look out for are listed in the 'tips and traps' section. There is also a list of the legislation underlying the suggested planning in the 'legislation and guidance' section.
Important - using multiple browser windows or tabs
Most modern browsers enable users to view and browse a single website in several different windows or tabs. However, you are strongly advised to open and use the Tax Planner Interactive tool in only one browser window or tab at a time. By opening and attempting to use Tax Planner Interactive in multiple windows or tabs, you risk causing unpredictable behaviour and generating results which are not appropriate to your input. You may see an on-screen warning message to this effect.
(Hint: in situations where it would be helpful to be able to have Tax Planner Interactive open in two browser windows, use two separate browsers - for example Internet Explorer and Firefox)
Tax Planner Interactive uses a unique numerical identifier (UID) to identify each open instance of itself. A new UID is generated and set each time you start working in a tax planning topic. If you set a second UID by opening a second window or tab and then return to the first window, that window will no longer recognise the UID and it will show an on-screen warning message. You then have two options - either close the current (first) window and return to the second window or tab you opened, or restart the topic in the current window and disregard (close or ignore) the other window or tab.
Note that in certain circumstances you might see the warning message if you open and work with Tax Planner Interactive in a second window/tab but then close it and return to the first one. In this instance, please just restart the current (first window) topic when prompted. Interfering with the UID by manipulating the URL querystring may also cause this behaviour.
If you keep seeing the warning message when you think you shouldn't be seeing it, please contact Support on 01444 416 119 and quote the following error code: TPI-E03.
Neither the publisher nor the authors accept any responsibility or liability for errors caused as a result of attempting to use Tax Planner Interactive in multiple tabs or windows.
Parkes takes web accessibility seriously and aims to make Tax Planner Interactive as widely accessible as possible. As well as undergoing testing by real humans, all page templates and key pages have been successfully parsed for accessibility by the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool provided by WebAIM. No accessibility errors were detected during parsing.
We are always happy to receive feedback on accessibility issues.
Downloadable letters, forms and documents
Where users would benefit from being able to save and customise a document produced by Tax Planner Interactive - for example a downloadable client letter or company document - the widely-supported Microsoft Word format (.doc) is used.
If you have Word installed on your computer - or another application which supports the .doc format - then you should be able to open and edit these documents.
If you have a Microsoft Windows computer but you do not have Word installed, you can download Microsoft's free Word Viewer tool. This will enable you to view, print and copy the contents of a downloaded document, but you will not be able to edit it. (To edit the document, you will need to save it and then transfer it to another computer with suitable software installed.)
Apple users who do not have Microsoft Office for Mac installed will need to use an alternative application such as iWork Pages or OpenOffice. You can also use TextEdit.
Users with Unix based operating systems will need to use a suitable software application such as LibreOffice.
Popup calculator tools/spreadsheets
Some of the topics in Tax Planner Interactive include one or more 'pop-up' calculator tools. These are designed to facilitate certain potentially-complex or time-consuming calculations which may need to be done in the course of tax planning.
Unless it is indicated otherwise, the tools will calculate and update the output figures as you enter data.
The tools have been tested thoroughly using real-world data. Like all such tools, data entry is validated and efforts have been made to avoid errors being caused by inappropriate data input. However, a determined effort on the part of the user to 'catch out' the tools by forcing the input of inappropriate data (for example non-numerical characters) could result in unexpected behaviour and/or an error. It is the user's responsibility to ensure that any results output by the tools have not been adversely affected by inappropriate data entry. Remember - "garbage in, garbage out"!
None of the data input into any of these tools is saved, persisted, sent to the server or otherwise captured - when the tool is closed the data is lost.