Complaints about tax collectors and tax software

The 2009 tax return is done. Now you’re waiting for a refund. But for some people, that refund takes a long time to come.

I did a column last week about someone who had waited more than a year for his refund. He claimed an investment loss of $75,000, which he wanted to use as a down payment on a house.

His file went nowhere until he called in the ombudsman for taxpayer rights, who can urge (but not order) the Canada Revenue Agency to treat people better and communicate with them in language they can understand.

Larry MacDonald also highlighted the taxpayers’ ombudsman last week in his Canadian Business blog.

In response to my column, I heard from someone who had waited four years for a refund. Holey moley. The CRA sure does work slowly in some cases.

Tax software isn’t a big issue any more, but I still get a few complaints. I’m posting an exchange below from a woman who expected more than QuickTax was prepared to offer and had to sort things out with an Indian call centre, at her own expense.

Once that refund arrives (if you’re lucky enough to get one), you don’t have to think about income tax for another year. Unless you’re self-employed, of course, which means you’re forced to focus on tax all year round.

Author: Ellen Roseman

Consumer advocate and personal finance author and instructor.

8 thoughts on “Complaints about tax collectors and tax software”

  1. The Intuit spokesperson did a great job of articulating their customer-first, delight-the-client philosophy, and also the technical aspects of the filing requirements.

    However, I think I missed any comment on the call centre snafu, or any offer to refund her long distance charges.

  2. @ David – good point. I’d simply wonder why a toll-free number would say please call a local (well Local to Mumbai, perhaps) phone number. Toll free is supposed to be toll free….

  3. I am in the middle of a problem with Quick Tax. They charged my credit card twice for a product when their online program made an error.

    Aside from the 5 emails and 10 phone calls, I have yet to have any resolution.

    Here’s a perfect example of their customer service: The website gives you a customer support number. When you call, it tells you to check the website for the number !!!

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