Frequently Asked Questions on
Using the "The MLM Tax Helper"
Please review the list of the most commonly asked
questions below for the answer to your question. If you still have
a question or need support,
please go to the Contact
& Support page.
List of Questions:
Before you Download Questions:
Using the Software Questions (PRO
Before you download Questions:
Q) Is this program
designed for users outside of the United
A) This program was first
designed for home-based and small internet
business owners in the United States,
following US tax law. However, it has been tested by individuals
in over 13 countries such as Canada and Australia.
They all say that is still very helpful and the
customization features make it very usable for their
Q) What do I need
on my computer to use the MLM Tax Helper software?
Is it available for Mac users?
A) The software is modeled after
a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, BUT you do not need
Excel in order to run the application. The
software uses JAVA programming which
means it works on most recent computers (Windows, Mac OS X,
Unix, Linux, etc).
It includes all the files
necessary so you will be able to use the software no
matter which of these operating systems you are using.
Although the software may run okay on earlier operating systems, it is recommended that you use it on Windows XP or later. For Mac, you must be on OS 10.4 or higher.
Q) Will the software run on Vista OR Mac Leopard?
A) Yes, the newest version (2.4.6 or higher) will run on Vista and Leopard (see below).
Q) What is the most recent version available?
A) The most current PRO version is build 2.4.6, released January 2008 (the Basic version will not be updated, and is no longer available as a purchase option). In addition to some "under the hood" computational enhancements, the following feature improvements have been added to the software:
- A "Change Year" feature, which will allow you to easily and painlessly start a new year while keeping intact all custom categories. This can be accessed from the File drop down menu.
- A transaction "Copy" feature that will allow you to more easily copy similar transactions. Just highlight the transaction you want to copy and click on the "Copy" button.
- You can now print all transactions from the "Transactions" tab, without having to use the Search feature (as before).
- The current file you are working with (along with it's file path) is now identified in the title bar.
- There are now categories for tracking business mileage for 2 vehicles instead of just one.
- It is no longer necessary to enter the year in the date field when entering transactions, only the month and day are required (the year is entered on the "Get Started" tab).
The following are known issues and the appropriate "work arounds" (when necessary):
- All operating systems:
- Once transaction data has been entered for a particular category, you should not make changes to that category name OR delete that category -- you will receive an error the next time you try to run the software. The programmer is working on a fix to prevent name changes once data has been entered. If you have made changes such as this, and are receiving a Java error message when you try to open the software, please submit a support ticket and we will arrange to help repair the .xml data file.
- A few users have reported printing issues; in all cases we have been able to produce .pdf versions of their print outs for them as long as they provided us with a copy of their .xml data file. We are working to resolve these issues as soon as possible.
- One Vista user has reported that it sometimes takes over 2 minutes for the software to open. Our programmer is looking into this, but we have not been able to replicate the issue.
- One Vista user reported the cursor would not work inside the software; the user was able to move the cursor outside the MLM software (to the desktop), clicked there, and it was fine when they went back to the sofware. Again, our programmer is looking into this, but we have not been able to replicate the issue.
- Minor graphic user interface issues, none of which affect the functionality of the software.
- The default "Save" folder for personal .xml data files is the computer's root folder -- we are trying to find out why this is not working the same as on a Windows system (where a file is created under the logged in user's Documents & Settings folder), but in the meantime it is recommended that users create a data folder with a name such as "Taxhelper data" in their Documents folder, and browse to that location to save the data file.
- When printing the annual summary from the "Year" tab, some users have had the months of July and August cut off and not printed. The workaround is to print either from the "Q3" tab (which prints all three months from the quarter, including July and August, fine) or each of the months July and August separately from their individual tabs (which also print okay).
Q) How do I upgrade to the most recent version?
A) Here are steps to upgrade (2.4.6 PRO is a free upgrade to all existing MLM Tax Helper PRO users):
- Backup your personal .xml data files, especially if you have saved them to the default location, the MLM Tax Helper Pro program folder. The files should be okay there, but it highly recommended you back them up first. If you have any questions about how the .xml files work or backing up, please review the Getting Started page.
- Download the installation package for the new version from our Download Pro page; use the username and password provided when you initially purchased the software. If you lost that info, please submit a support ticket at our support site (please indicate that you want the free upgrade, and provide the name you used when you bought the software, the approximate date, and the e-mail address if different from your current one).
- Download and install the software, carefully following the instructions on the Download page.
- Open the program by either selecting it from your Start->Programs folder (Windows) or Application folder (Mac), or by double clicking on the desktop icon.
- Open your previously saved personal .xml data file by using File->Open from the File menu; you may have to browse to your MLM Tax Helper Pro folder if you used the original default location on the previous version. If you saved your .xml file to a different folder, browse to that. You're all set to go!
Using the software questions (PRO version):
Q) I previously used
the Tax Helper Basic version. How do I import
my old data into the PRO version?
A) Please refer to the How to
Upgrade part of the Getting
Started section of the website.
Q) I have it open,
A) Refer to our Getting Started
section of the website. It walks you through the
software step-by-step so you can become a pro in
30 minutes or less.
Q) What is the #add#
A) Where you see #add#, this
represents a field where you can add in
information. This field is used for adding new
income and expense categories. Once you
enter in some text, it will create another #add# field
Q) I try and enter
something in a field and it will not let me enter
any text. What is this about?
A) The MLM Tax Helper PRO is
designed so you can enter everything
directly in the Transactions tab without needing to change any of the complex formulas.
The Transactions area is the only place that you can (and need
to) enter information. By entering the proper information in
everything else is done for you.
When you try and enter information in any other
area, protected and will not let you overwrite the
existing text. Just ignore it and realize that is
not an area you need to enter information. This
is done so the important formulas that calculate
everything are not changed and cause major problems
Q) What is "COGS"...
how do I handle retailed sales?
A) This stands for "Cost
of Goods Sold" and is where you enter the price
you paid for an item you retailed.
For example, if you paid $20 wholesale for a product and then retailed
it for $30. You would enter the $30 amount in the
"Sale" box and the $20 amount in the COGS line.
The difference is the Net Revenue from that sale.
If you not have products to "retail" directly to
customers then the Retail and
COGS lines can be left blank.
Q) What are "Processing
A) If any of your income
sources are provided by a company automatically
deducts fees from your check before you receive
it, such as "processing fees" you can enter the
Q) I accidentally deleted
some information or entered information on top of
existing info. How can I undo this?
A) Be very careful when
deleting information. If you delete a
transaction, and click OK on the confirmation
window, then that transaction is gone for
good. The only way to get it back is to either
re-enter it, or you can go to File -> Exit, and
choose to NOT save changes. However, if you do
this, you will also lose any other data you may have
entered since the last time you
If you simply mistyped something as you were
entering a transaction, you can edit it at
anytime. Click on the transaction you
want to edit so that it is highlighted. Then click on Edit. Make your
desired changes and click on Save. Your
transaction will now be updated.
Q) I want to start a
new tax year without deleting my previous year's
information. How do I do this?
A) It depends on what version you are using...
If you are not running version 2.4.6 (released January 2008) or later, I highly recommend you upgrade (free!) -- you can download and install it using the links, username and password provided when you initially purchased the software. If you lost that info, please submit a support ticket at our support site here (please indicate that you want the free upgrade, and provide the name you used when you bought the software, the approximate date, and the e-mail address if different from your current one).
New for version 2.4.6 and later is an EASY TO USE "Change Year" feature under the "File" menu! Just make sure you have saved your current file, click on "Change Year" under the "File" menu, enter the new year, and click "OK" -- you're all set! All your previous year's data will be cleared, and any custom categories that were created in the file you changed the year from will be duplicated in the new file. Please remember to save this new year's file USING SAVE AS (not just "Save"), with a new unique name as suggested on our getting started page. Now you just enter the appropriate mileage rate for the new year you are working on (48.5 cents per mile for 2007; 50.5 cents per mile for 2008), update any home office square footage numbers if necessary, and you're ready to go.
If you are running an earlier version of MLM Tax Helper Pro, what you'll want to do is:
1) First, make sure you have your original
data open. Use File -> Open to access the
2) Save this file with a year at the end of
it. For example 'MyBusiness2006.xml'
3) To start a new year, you can do one of two
things. To start with the default settings,
simply click on File -> New. If you'd like
to start a new file with all of the same income and
expense categories that you used in the previous
year, you will simply need to copy them into the
file for the new year. To do this, have the
MLM Tax Helper open with your previous year's
information. Then go to the Start menu and
Programs to launch a SECOND MLM Tax Helper
window. In the second window, save your file
with a new file name. For example,
'MyBusiness2007.xml'. Now, you can copy and
paste any customized categories you had from the
previous year into the new year's file.
Q) What is the
Percentage column on the monthly tabs?
A) The percentage column
automatically calculates for you what percentage
each individual income and expense category is
compared to your total revenue and expenses.
This helps you analyze your business to see the real
breakdown of what percentage of your income comes
from each income source, and what percentage you are
spending on each of your expenses. This can
help you either make sure that you are spending
money on the right things, and if not, then alert
you to get back on track to investing in the right
things that will help you reach your goals.
Q) What is the
"Restore Default" button on the Get
A) On the Get Started tab, in the
very lower right side of the screen you will see a
button labeled 'Restore Default'. Be VERY
careful using this button. It will reset your
income and expense categories to the default
settings that the software came with.
Q) When I try to
select an Income/Expense Category on the
transactions tab, I can not find the category that I
need. What do I do?
A) You can add in a new income or
expense category (or modify an existing one) on the
Get Started page in the software. As soon as
you add a new category, it will appear as an option
when you click on Category in the transactions
tab. A word of warning - be very careful when
removing or changing the name of an existing
category. This also will automatically be
removed or changed throughout the whole
Q) I do a search, but
the software says "No matches were
found!". What does this mean?
A) This means that, for some reason,
the software could not find any transactions
matching your search criteria. Please modify
one or more of your search criteria and try your