TurboTax is the new hottest tax software to hit Canadian retail stores this winter. Havenât heard about TurboTax before? Canât believe that a new software just skyrocketed to the #1 position as the best-selling tax software in Canada? The folks at QuickTax (owned by Intuit) decided to rebrand to TurboTax. I guess they felt Quick wasnât as fast as Turbo.
QuickTax is the number one personal tax software based on aggregated retail software sales from June 2009 to June 2010. Hence why TurboTax became Canadaâs #1 best-selling tax software! The name change means nothing other than them changing their name â seriously. Customers who used QuickTax before really wonât notice a difference, there is obviously some branding change and the software will be certified by the CRA and MRQ. In a nutshell, everything stays the same besides the name.
I received two TurboTax Standard 2010 (Tax Year) software and TurboTax Premier 2010 (Tax Year) software in the mail from Intuit. They basically said review our software, play with it, use it for your taxes and give away the extra software to your readers (if we want to, which we are!). I decided Iâd get straight to it. I opened a package and took out the CD. I quickly realized I havenât opened my CD-ROM drive in a year (the last time I reviewed TurboTax). I went right away to TubroTaxâs website to see if they have an online tax program. Turns out they do and boy was I happy to see that. I knew they (Intuit) had bought Mint.com. But I am really happy they developed a TurboTax Version online.
I glanced at the computer requirements needed, it reminded me how much I hate desktop applications now.
Processor: Intel Pentium 3 or compatible
Operation Systems: Windows XP (32-bit and 64-bit) with Service Pack 2 or higher; Windows Vista (32-bit and 64-bit); Windows 7
RAM: 256 MB RAM
Monitor: 800×600 minimum resolution (1024×768 recommended) 16 bit or higher colour
Internet connection: 56kps modem (broadband connection recommended)
Third party: Adobe Reader 8 or higher (or compatible PDF reader)
CD-ROM: CD-ROM drive required for installation
Hard Drive Space: About 120 MB free
Printer: Windows-compatible printer.
EasyStepÂ© Walk Through is Awesome
I want to hate Easy Step with a passion, but I canât. The module is exactly what its name states, âEasyâ. I wanted to hate it because I donât believe Taxes are easy, they are a pain and always inconvenient. EasyStep really does make it easy and made it enjoyable to fill out my information. I personally made a game out of it, to make it more exciting (sad I know). EasySteps is an interview process which is designed to ask you serveral questions to understand best how to process your return. Most importantly it does all the work for you by you just answering the questions. It double checks the return for accuracy.
The first screen you see is the one below:
I started with a New Return but you can transfer over your 2009 return, which could save you a lot of time or you can open a 2010 return that you have been working on already (saved somewhere on your computer).
They begin EasyStep with a helpful tutorial which I did not bother reading. I have the attention span of a dog with bacon infront of it. As I quickly pressed Next, Next, Next and one more Next. I landed on an overview page I really enjoyed. I was a bit concerned Iâd be sucked into a 5 hour long interview process with a computer, till I saw the screen below.
They put everything into 5 easy steps. What I liked was they actually showed me which step I was currently in (turns out later they repeat this at each major step).
The questions are similar (I think almost exact) to the QuickTax 2009 Standard edition.
I quickly became bored of asking questions about myself and my income after 15 minutes. I knew I was almost finished my return. I saved the file and noticed a Chat With Tina Now button on the top right hand corner.
Chat With Tina
Intially I thought I was going to be speaking to a live person over Instant Messaging and I thought brilliant! Turns out my hopes and dreams of talking to a real life Tina quickly dashed. I asked the Intuit virtual Agent that I was writing a review and I was curious to know what her most common questions were. Tina quickly replied âI am designed to answer questions one sentence at a time. Could you please try rephrasing your question in one sentence?â I thought, crap she is quick. I rephrased it asking what her most common question is. She replies âI’m sorry. I did not understand that. Could you please ask your question again using different terms?â At this point, I realized she is just a dummy program script that could not possibly help me.
I thought Iâd ask a simple question. Like âWhat is a tax return?â, Tina quickly replies âMy apologies. I don’t quite understand your question. Can you try rephrasing it in a different way?â. Obviously, this is a pretty simple question that a program should easily be able to scrape up an answer. I was pretty disappointed in Tina and ignored her afterwards. We were officially divorced.
I think most platforms in order to be successful need to be able to be cross platform compatible. TurboTax Basic, Standard, Premier and Home & Business all provide an import function. They allow you to import a .U09 tax files from UFile or H&R Block. You can also import your QuickTax 2009 information. Iâd like to see the platform be able to import competitor forms. Though, I could see some competitors creating a fuzz over this. I do believe it would be beneficial for the industry and most importantly the consumer in the end.
The fact that they provide this import function is really beneficial in itself. Maybe in 2011 they will add in more financial institutions.
Bring on the deductions! They promote that they have over 400 possible deductions and credits possible for you to collect. Personally, I didnât have close to that number. They are promoting the total number and most people wonât get close to that number. That being said, I do like the fact that they walk you through each question (if it pertains to you). The deductions are updated to the recent Canadian Tax Laws. You donât need to worry about making a âmistakeâ unless you do it on purpose. Which we advise you donât! Just tell the program the truth, donât lie. The program is designed to get you the highest refund for you within the law.
That is why they help you throughout the entire process. They have a ton of resources on the side of every question to help you understand the question further. TurboTax is trying its best to help you the consumer get the most back from the government within the law. They provide an awesome list of possible deductions that are easy to answer. Just answer the truth!
Pros: The system is easy to use.
- Simple, basic and to the point.
- Gets you the best possible refund within the law.
- The âRefund tickerâ is an awesome feature that shows you how much you are refunded.
Cons: Not many
- I dislike âChat with Tinaâ a lot
- The program is on a CD, wouldnât be surprised in 4 years if they didnât sell a cd version anymore.
TurboTax Standard 2010 is a great piece of software for the average Canadian to use. It does exactly what most Canadians need and even automatically submits there form through Netfile. The program is designed to be simple & to the point and it does just that. Donât do your Canadian Taxes this year without TurboTax 2010.
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