Tax software proves taxing to some readers

Since I wrote about QuickTax problems a few years ago, I now get complaints from people using the newer version of the software, now called TurboTax.

Intuit is happy to get the feedback and propose solutions. Sometimes, it takes a few emails to make the company see what a customer is complaining about.

Rather than keep this to myself, I’m opening up the correspondence to my faithful readers. Please feel free to add comments about any tax software you use.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

27 thoughts on “Tax software proves taxing to some readers”

  1. I quit using Quicktax in 2004 when for 2 years in a row the price went up.

    I have used Ufile for the last 6 years, without issue.

    I can do 8 returns and install it on 2 computers for $19.99, which can also be used by self-employed people too.

  2. I don’t understand why anyone would buy TurboTax. You can download Studio Tax ( for free and it’s CRA and netfile certified.

  3. I was wondering if anyone was going to mention StudioTax, which by chance I came upon a few years ago when I decided to get away from doing paper returns and was looking at all the available options.

    So kudos to Greg for bringing it up. It has worked well for my wife and I. While we file separately, the two returns are linked, so pension income splitting can be input, reviewed and maximized.

    Just to be clear, while the download/use is totally free, there is a voluntary pay option and if you do decide to use their software and are pleased with the experience, I strongly suggest you at least pay something when you Netfile if you are financially able.

    The nice thing about doing it this way – if you don’t like StudioTax and don’t file , you are not out of pocket and can then purchase something else.

  4. I used Quick Tax (Turbo Tax) last year. Never again. My tax return was supposed to be free because I didn’t earn any income. But Quick Tax charged my credit card twice – for my husband’s return and mine. When I called Customer Service (India) to get a refund, I was told they were unable to issue a credit. They were literally incapable of doing so.

    I persisted and nagged Customer Service. Eventually I received an email that stated (and I quote/cut & paste):

    “I have checked your records and found that you were charged for 2 returns on 21st April.I would like to inform you that you get charged twice if you create two returns and your household income is more than $20,000(Not Individual) as you stated that your net income is $3 so It could be possible that when you combine your & your sposes income, it comes out to be more than $20,000, thats the reason why you see 2 charges.”

    I did NOT combine our incomes. I was left holding the bag and forced to pay for my individual return. Needless to say, I was livid. If I’d known they were going to charge me, I would have filed my return the old-fashioned way – pen and paper.

  5. Just to be clear, while the download/use is totally free, there is a voluntary pay option and if you do decide to use their software and are pleased with the experience, I strongly suggest you at least pay something when you Netfile if you are financially able.

  6. Our family has been using Netfile since its inception, and have always been very satisfied with both the software and the process.
    However, since it would seem that the taxpayer is doing a lot of the preliminary data entry work for Revenue Canada (currently known as the CRA), would it not make sense for Netfilers to be able to deduct the cost of the annual tax filing software?

    (BTW, has anyone tried the audio reCAPTACHA for submitting comments? Totally unintelligible!)

  7. We used Turbo Tax this year and found it very easy to use.

    It was the first time we filed our own income tax return and found the process easier than expected.

    As to font size, it was no problem.

  8. I’ve used for about 5 years now with great success, but became stymied with one particular thing this year when trying to input data for the child fitness tax credit.

    I was NOT able to get the required form to open in either my or my spouse’s return, only to discover after much digging that the data must be entered on our CHILDREN’S returns, and only then did the required form magically appear on my return.

    The Ufile help pages were virtually useless – they simply referred to the page over and over again, but gave no indication HOW to open the form or where the data needed to actually go in order to cause the form to automatically open.

  9. I’ve been using Quick/Turbo Tax for several years now and am happy with it.

    There was a discount offered through the online banking services of some of the major Canadian banks this year. 20% if I recall. I took advantage of that and successfully completed returns for myself and my spouse for $30 (taxes in).

    I’ve never had to contact Intuit’s customer service, so I can’t comment on that. The fact that I haven’t had to contact customer service means something, though.

    I’m happy with TurboTax. I will explore StudioTax as an option next year, but will have to be very impressed to pass on having my data forwarded with TurboTax.

  10. In my opinion, this software is not perfect, but it is the best product in Canada when it comes to producing complete tax returns and in a timely manner.

    It sure beats paying $100+ to get one done.

  11. Ellen, hi, since you are interested in TurboTax, I wanted to let you know I’ve created a student workbook for high school students/teachers to use to learn about how tax works.

    TurboTax Online can be accessed for free, and I’ve worked out a way for students to access it anonymously using a group email the teacher creates, plus a fake name and SIN #.

    See my website for the 11-minute video that explains to teachers how to access TurboTax Online repeatedly (you have to clear cookies) and how this workbook works. Please pass it on.

    I’ve suggested to teachers that if they do use my workbook in their classes, I’d be happy if they paid a subscription fee of $39.95 for the year for all their students, but they are free to try it first for free.

    Several teachers have already paid me the subscription fee after I presented the idea at the Business Education teachers PD in October in BC.

    It is truly pathetic that the most our education IRPs require in BC is a simple paycheque, a simple T4 and a simple single T1.

    Unless someone goes on to study tax, there is no other public education available — other than the CRA website, which is at best pathetic, as their education module requires your name and reason for visiting and then keeps cycling you out to ask you again.

    As well, the CRA website is only set up for Ontario, and in BC the teachers want to teach about BC, as would any teacher in a province/territory.

    The way I’ve set this up is with BC examples, but there is no reason not to use an Ontario address and the Ontario information will of course be utilized automatically.

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