1. I finally completed our tax returns and filed it through NETFILE over the weekend. As I noted before, I finally bid adieu to QuickTax and UFile didn’t cut it for me either. I gave my copy of UFile to a friend and used StudioTax for our taxes this year.
  2. Other than a few minor glitches, I am very happy with StudioTax and would continue to use it in future years. There are a few minor annoyances with StudioTax though. For instance, if you hold joint savings and investment accounts with your spouse, you’ll have to manually split the amounts in all the boxes in the T3, T5 slips etc. Also, if you receive multiple RRSP contribution slips, you’ll have to add up the contributions manually because only two boxes are available in the wizard – one for the contributions from March 2 to December 31, 2007 and the other for contributions from January 1, 2008 to February 29, 2008. While these are not major concerns, the manual calculations increase the likelihood of user error. The developers behind StudioTax said they will consider these suggestions for the next year.
  3. Many readers are reporting problems with slow support at UFile. The only way to contact UFile is through email and a response might take as long as five business days. Reader Shea noted if you’ve used UFile.ca in previous years, there is no way to import data into UFile for Windows. And I am not sure if QuickTax Web allows data to be imported into QuickTax software either.
  4. For some reason, I get a ton of complaints via email about tax software. I should clarify that we are not affiliated with any of the tax software vendors and the earlier reviews are simply my own opinions as a consumer. If you have a concern or comment, contact QuickTax and UFile directly.

This article has 21 comments

  1. With a 5-day wait at U-File, it’s no wonder people would rather complain to you 😉

  2. Until recently, I was paying an accountant to do my taxes, and in the last few years I’ve been at QuickTax’er. I’m still following one piece of advice from my accountant though, which is to always file your return on paper, rather than electronically.

    With a paper return, the CCRA has to do some data entry and, as a result, there’s a greater chance that they’ll make some processing error. If the processing error is in their favour, I can point it out and have the error corrected. However, if the error is to my benefit, then… well.. I might not get around to pointing it out… Just a thought.

  3. Canadian Capitalist

    D: I don’t think it is complaints specific to UFile. I think the following email is about QuickTax, but I’m not sure:

    “I purchased the program, but I have serious problems with it. When I get to where I have to enter T-4’s or any other sections that you have to click on, the program freezes and I have to reboot. I have no problems anywhere else or doing anything else on my computer, so I don’t know what the problem is. If I keep rebooting after a couple of hours it lets me open the page and then I’m fine until I come to the next one. I have paid for a program I can’t use and would like to know how to fix it or if there is some way I could install it on
    my daughter’s computer without having to buy the program again”.

  4. I used Quicktax and it worked fine for me, and I got my $10 rebate cheque fairly quickly too (for a change). I have a pretty hum drum tax return.

  5. FOllowing CC’s suggestion I checked out Studio Tax and found it quite sufficient so I used it. No problems but it is slightly less intuitive than Quick tax for me. I’ll continue to use studio tax as I have a great deal of appreciation for something put together that well by a couple of people.

  6. Canadian Capitalist

    Did anyone else use StudioTax this year? I’d love to hear your opinions.

  7. I used Studio tax this year. We have very simple returns, so I can only comment to that extent. The program fully me my needs, however, I was confused that I needed to select the forms I needed from a list, so next time, I’ll be sorting all the documents I receive BEFORE tackling my taxes.

    Once I went back and selected the appropriate forms, all went smoothly.


  8. No thoughts on StudioTax, but I used UFile and it worked fine. Best of all, university students like me get to file for free, so that makes the choice a bit of a no-brainer.

    One thing that worries me slightly is the data export provisions. Will I be able to get my data out of Ufile and into QuickTax next year? Somehow I doubt it.

  9. I ditched QuickTax this year and tried UFile. It met all of our needs, and we found the side-by-side comparisons between my wife’s return and my own to be enlightening.

    JeffH: Counting on a data entry error to go your way is inviting yourself to a world of hassle. First, if the error doesn’t go your way, you have the hassle of re-filing (re-assessment.) If it does go your way, chances are an internal CRA audit will find it – triggering a re-assessment, and worse, an audit of not only the year in question, but previous years. Even if you are “squeaky-clean”, the hassle involved is tremendous.

    As flawed as we sometimes feel the government/CRA may be, playing these types of games to try and “beat the system” will always come back to haunt you.

  10. I’ve read that the tax software is not compatible with Mac’s. But would be interested if anyone has tried using Quicktax with the new Bootcamp s/w which comes w. new Mac Leopard and makes Mac work like Windows. I’ve used Quicktax for many years and tho’ know that people are disappointed with some changes this year, can’t fathom switching – taxes aren’t much fun to start with!

  11. I used StudioTax and was fairly pleased. My only problem was I checked it’s figures with the online version of U-File and the CuteTax.ca free sections. U-File and CuteTax both came out to getting a refund much larger, and it took me going through studio tax line by line to find that it didn’t transfer some tuition from my spouse to me for tuition on my provincial return. If i haven’t have double checked it I would have paid far more in tax.

    Now I’m torn if I should actually pay for U-File or CuteTax just because they ended up saving me a pile of money just to double check the free studio tax. Then I think that they offer their service for free to try for a reason, and i just used the tools they offered for free anyway. So far I’ve sided with the free tools side, but have been feeling guilty . . . maybe I’ll just throw 20 bucks at a food bank and say I used free tools so that I could use the money for good, then I wouldn’t have a problem.

  12. I agree with MikeH. The reassessment is a hassle. I filed by paper last year after years of filing with Netfile and they made mistakes which they’ve just managed to fix now, ie. a whole year after I filed my taxes, with no compensation for loss of interest. That’s just unacceptable and, in my opinion, not worth it. Unfortunately for me, due to my tax situation, I don’t have the option to file by NetFile.

    I testdrove StudioTax around February and, as soon as I found a bug in the software, I stopped in my tracks, headed over to future shop and bought me a copy of UFile. The bug I experienced will not affect the vast majority of people, because it has to do with declaring foreign business income. Nevertheless, bugs are unacceptable to me when it comes to tax software. It just goes to show that the software wasn’t fully tested. It gives me the impression that it was only tested to meet the Netfile certification needs. Given that StudioTax isn’t developed by a large corporation, I’m sure I’m right about my assumptions.

    I didn’t experience a single bug with Quicktax and UFile in previous years, but to be fair, in those years I didn’t have any foreign business income and my tax situation was much simpler. It’ll be interesting to see how UFile handles it this year.

  13. I used StudioTax too. Other than having to manually pick forms out, and figuring out how to use th T2200 form on my own, I was fine with it.

    @12, Adil did you let the developers know of the bug you found? If you didn’t, how are they supposed to address it?

  14. I used Quick Tax standard again this year, and as usual had no problems. However, I also am not thrilled with the 39.95 cost and 2 return limit. I did get a little confused when I attempted to claim the $10 rebate – I had a hard time locating the rebate area, and got some contradictory feedback on whether my claim had successfully been lodged. We’ll see…
    As far as I have been able to determine, the major difference between Standard and Basic is optimizing tools like RRSP planner – all forms are included. I have always found these tools completely useless anyway (not a fan of the “borrow to invest” concept, for example) so I expect to try the 19.95 Basic version for 2008 tax year.
    I haven’t kicked the tires of StudioTax though, so may give that a whirl yet.

  15. Canadian Capitalist

    Adil: I’ll second Diane and recommend that you let the developers know about the bug.

    Traciatim: I’m sure the developers would love to hear about the problem you experienced with transferring tuition from your spouse.

    FYI, StudioTax can be contacted here: Link

  16. I’m using StudioTax as well. Some of the GUI is a little rough, but it gets the job done. My weird bug was I had to check off “Maximize RRSP” or else it assumed I didn’t want my RRSP contributions applied to this year. Other than that, it handled my T3s and t5s just fine.

  17. Leigh: I used StudioTax to complete taxes from within boot camp on my mac – no problems. In fact, I am a Windows developer by trade and so use Windows via boot camp constantly. As far as Windows is concerned your mac is just another Intel based machine.

  18. Thanks to those of you who shared your experience on paper vs. e-filing. Point taken.

  19. Just a quick addendum: UFile is not for me as it does not let me manipulate the forms and forces me to go thru the interview process – I believe this is the same complaint CC had with UFile and I totally agree. I’ll be going with StudioTax after all. I’ll just have to double check all the forms manually to ensure I’m not paying too much tax.

  20. I have been using Ufile sucessfully for the last two years. Everything was going OK this year until suddenly hitting the results tab just caused me to sit and spin – finally giving a “no return was generated for this family member” message. I even tried to pay but that just gave a script time out error. I have now put in almost all my info on two returns and am not sure what to do. I sent Ufile a message a couple of days ago but haven’t heard. Has anyone else had this type of problem.

  21. same problem as Don