Monday, January 10, 2011

QuickTax Becomes TurboTax

A new year brings us ever closer to the dreaded tax filing deadline. A visible change this year is that QuickTax has been renamed TurboTax in Canada. This aligns the names between the Canadian and U.S. products. However, there seems to be little change other than the name.

I’ve used QuickTax for years and familiarity has kept me coming back. Once again this year the comparison chart designed to help customers decide which of the 5 versions they need makes it seem like investors need at least the third level product (“Premier”, $69.99+tax this year). However, I’ve always used the second level (“Standard”, $39.99+tax this year).

According to the comparison chart, I’d be missing out on extra guidance for investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, employee stock plans, rental properties, and calculation of capital gains and losses. From experience in past years I can say that it’s been possible to declare investment gains and losses without this extra guidance.

17 comments:

  1. I also noticed you could do pretty much everything with the standard package, so not much need to upgrade.

    FYI - Costco has the standard TurboTax for $36.79

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  2. @Echo: I guess we'll never know what we're missing. Thanks for the tip on the lower price at Costco.

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  3. This smells like a conflict of interest. The cheaper packages have an interest in being unhelpful in the areas covered by the more expensive packages. I'd rather know that once I pay these guys, they'll do their best for me.

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  4. @Patrick: I agree that the conflict exists, but I haven't seen much evidence that the lesser packages are unhelpful. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what the higher packages could offer that would be of benefit to me over what the Standard package has. Of course, this could change in any given year.

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  5. I usually use StudioTax and verify with ufile. Doesn't cost anything to run the numbers, only to print. Not sure if it's ethical to use ufile as verification, never intending to purchase. I sent the StudioTax guy a cheque last year after using it for several years.

    I didn't know that Quicktax Basic contained the same functionality as the higher levels. Always assumed you had to buy a higher package to report capital gains.

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  6. @Gene: I never thought of using another tax package to check the first one. Or if someone suggested it, I've forgotten.

    The "Standard" version (2nd least expensive) definitely allows you to report capital gains. I've never used the "Basic" version (least expensive).

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  7. @Michael: I agree, I've used QuickTax for years and it has served me well. I guess mine is more of a theoretical complaint than an actual one.

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  8. I have used the standard version for years and easily report investment income, capital gains and losses, transfers from my student children as well as my T2125 form for my small business. The advertising would have you believe that I have to buy the most expensive version. Not sure what additinal functionality that would give me aside from being able to file more than the standard 8 returns.

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  9. We have used QuickTax for a few years now, and no issues until the last tax year when it allowed us to report an error. Subsequently we received a huge fine. "Guaranteed 100% accurate" per web site. "Have you ever tried to contact QuickTax?? Not easy, impossible by phone. Followed instructions to a tee and registered-post all info required. Nearly 8 weeks have past and we have heard nothing.

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  10. @Gene - would Studio tax allow you to report capital gain and can i forward the data file to the following year?

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  11. TurboTax site claimed that you should use Premier version if you "Have rental income & investments to include with your tax return"
    a few comment mentioned that standard version can be included in the return. can anyone please confirm if i can use std version to report capital gain/loss.
    Thx

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  12. @Anonymous: To the anonymous commenter who has had difficulty contacting QuickTax (now TurboTax), I'm afraid that I haven't had any reason to contact them about problems. Perhaps a tax specialist might be able to comment on whether you are likely to succeed with a claim against the QuickTax warranty.

    @Nattasit: I can tell you that I've used the Standard version of QuickTax to report capital gains for many years.

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  13. @Anonymous,

    Yes, you can report capital gains. Also, I do believe you can import data from the previous year's file, though it might just be basics like name, address, SIN. I don't recall if it carries forward things like RRSP room or capital losses.

    If you aren't sure if you want to use it, I recommend using one of the free online trials and then entering that data into StudioTax to see how it handles various situations.

    The author of the software claims it's more secure, since it doesn't collect your data on a website. I'm not too concerned about a data breach at ufile or Quicktax, but he does have a point that the data you enter never leaves your computer.

    Generally, you will be able to netfile, though, as long as you are eligible.

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  14. @ anonymous. This is Geoff from the TurboTax team. We absolutely do have 100% accurate calculations, and that is guaranteed. As we state on our website, if you pay a penalty or interest because of a TurboTax (or last year QuickTax) calculation error, we will reimburse you the penalty and interest. Ref: http://turbotax.intuit.ca/tax-software/guarantees.jsp

    To you second point, I have no explanation as to why you’ve waited a ridiculously long time for a response to your inquiry. We typically respond the same day. If you contact me directly with your name and contact information, I’ll get it sorted for you immediately.
    My contact info is listed here: http://www.intuit.ca/about-intuit-canada/intuit-news.jsp


    Cheers,

    Geoff

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  15. @Geoff: Thanks for the offer to look into the anonymous commenter's issue. Hopefully, he or she will take you up on it.

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  16. You can also get the Rebate to cover the QuickTax cost from Norton if you buy the AntiVirus and the Tax program together. Bit of a pain with the paperwork though. Cheers.

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