I have been using TaxWiz for filing our tax returns for many years and this year, decided to test-drive QuickTax. Both the software products are from the Intuit Canada (famous for the Quicken personal finance software) stable. TaxWiz, which retails for $19.95, is much cheaper compared to QuickTax (costs $39.95). Here are my impressions on using QuickTax:

  1. It was pleasantly surprising to find that QuickTax was able to import the previous year’s tax file generated by TaxWiz, saving me the hassle of having to re-enter personal information like address, SIN number and other information like RRSP contribution room.
  2. I was annoyed to see ads in many of the tax screens. For instance, the RRSP information screen features ads from CI Funds. Despite its lower cost, I don’t recall seeing ads in TaxWiz in the previous years.
  3. Entering T4 information into TaxWiz was much easier. The TaxWiz T4 screen looked much like the T4 slip received from employers, so it was much easier to enter data. In QuickTax, I had to find the appropriate box to fill the numbers. It is not a big deal, but there is a greater chance of making a mistake.
  4. I was struck by how similar QuickTax and TaxWiz are. Both have forms that look like the CRA’s tax package. Personally, I liked TaxWiz’s method of showing the gross income, taxable income and refund summary in the status bar.

Bottom line: QuickTax claims to be Canada’s best selling software, but I cannot say that it justifies the higher price, when TaxWiz can accomplish pretty much the same thing. This year, TaxWiz is an even better deal, as it is $5 cheaper. Next year, I am going back to using TaxWiz and I’ll save the $20 difference.

This article has 13 comments

  1. Sarkis A. Hakopdjanian

    In your list of other financial bloggers, I came accross an interesting post by “The Frugal Canadian” that I think you’d enjoy. A few posts ago, she rated and provided her personal thoughts on several different taxing software. Her personal favorite is called Tax Freeway, which is the most cost effective, and supposedly, has unlimited filing. The software can be found at http://www.taxfreeway.ca

  2. Canadian Capitalist

    Sarkis: Thanks for pointing it out. Here is the exhaustive review from Frugal Canadian.

  3. Any thoughts on “QuickTaxWeb”. I have to assume its similar to QuickTax (but online)…

    It’s cheaper than QuickTax – plus RBC Customers (which I believe you are one) get a 25% discount.

    DHP

  4. Thanks for the pointer to Tax Freeway. I just downloaded it, and am fairly impressed by two things:
    1) You can download & install the application without paying for it. This allows you to try it out, and decide if it meets your needs.
    2) The .X05 file it saves is XML-based: you don’t have to worry about your tax info being stored in an opaque format.

    Given that my family’s tax needs are fairly straight-forward, I think we’ll purchase this app. From the looks of it, they also don’t have any sort of annoying ‘activation’ functionality, which is a nice bonus.

  5. Canadian Capitalist

    dhphelp: I don’t like any tax application where the returns are stored on some remote server and not on my PC. It is probably secure but I am not willing to take the risk.

    On the security topic, I wonder why none of the tax applications have a “lockdown” mode, so that when taxes are done, the file is password encrypted.

  6. Canadian Capitalist

    Tom: I am going to download Tax Freeway and give it a whirl, though I’ve already purchased QuickTax. Thank you for your feedback.

  7. I am also ready to change software packages this year. I have been a loyal QuickTax user for over 6 years, and have reordered this years version. During my customer service call to check on the status of the order, I asked the simple question, “How much for the additional 20 returns this year?” Thinking it as similar to previous years. My shock $10.00 a return with no group pricing, ie 20 returns $200.00. Needless to say I was shocked…. Asking for other options, I was advised to by the 100 return package for $249.00. I need 24 returns to do my families taxes, not 100. I guess I will give Tax Freeway a try. Can you import the personal info from QuickTax?

  8. I was reading this review and noted this product was not noted. Free to download, print and NetFile.

    http://www.studiotax.com/en/home.htm

  9. Wendell Nichols

    I installed quick tax on a win2k machine (one of my home machines) and the activation failed once or twice before it worked. No big deal. Now I’m going to visit my son at university and I want to do his taxes while I’m there.
    I tried to install quicktax on my notebook (it says I can install on two computers) but the activation fails! It tells me that I can “fill in and fax a form and they will get back to me in 3 buisness days”! Unacceptable. I will be back in three days. It was nice to read this article because I didn’t know about taxwiz. I will try it next year because I’ve had it with quicktax registration. This is the second year I’ve been screwed out of legitimate useage of their product.
    wcn

  10. QuickTaxWeb is a great product. If you use this link you can use it for 25% off the original price.

    http://www.quicktaxweb.ca/intuitemployee

  11. I regret my purchase of Intuit Quicktaxweb. It turns out that it does not support any of the T1 schedules. When I called their support line which directs me to a call center in India, the woman on the other end provided absolutely no help at all as she knew nothing about what I was talking about. After wasting 20 minutes of my time, all I got was a confirmation that quicktaxweb does not provide T1 schedules 3 which I already knew. When I demanded a refund or credit to apply towards the purchase of quicktax for windows which supports T1 schedule 3, all I got from them was “we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

    To hell with Intuit. They have perpetually lost me as a customer for their shameful product and service.

    I am going with Ufile which claims that it supports T1 schedule 3.

  12. I made a cash purchase of Quicktax 2007, having read that Taxwiz [which I had used for the poast number of years] was no longer being offered.

    I have registered my strong objection to INTUIT’s collection of personal information in order to install the program and have also expressed my displeasure with the built in “buy these other products” pop-ups as one completes the “interview process”.

    I strongly recomend to anyone who: a) values their privacy and; b) who feels that a purchased product should not be laced with advertising; avoid QuickTax 2007!

  13. Myron, I feel your pain.

    This is the first time I’ve used QuickTax (I used the online version), and so far, the website has been fine, but overall I have had a terrible experience. When working on two returns together (as in the case of spouses), the website does not allow one to upgrade to business for one and not the other. Yet, it does not make this clear until it is time to print and file, at which point I had put quite a bit of time and effort into doing our taxes. When I phoned the call centre, the woman was utterly unhelpful. I eventually managed to speak with a supervisor about the situation, and he advised me to pay for two business returns, then to phone back and he would refund me the difference. I was skeptical, but he was persuasive, so I did it. Of course, when I phoned back, he was “out of the office” and no one else could provide the refund. At this point I feel angry, cheated, lied to, and conned. QuickTax had the potential to gain a customer for life (based on using the software, I liked it), but instead they’ve chosen to lose one. I wonder how many people they con into paying the extra money – it must add up for them to be worth losing customers over.