Saturday, February 21, 2009

QuickTax vs. UFile

*This is not a sponsored post*

At this time next week I will be happily entering the information from my T4 into one of the online tax preparation programs, which I have narrowed down to Ufile or Quicktax. In anticipation of this event I have already played with both programs, using the Year-to-Date column on my December pay stub.

I have filed with UFile for the past three or four years, without a hitch. Setting up my online form was simple, because they already had all my information on file from before. I had to update my address and add a couple of pages but because I am already familiar with the set-up - which hasn't changed in years - it was ok.

Setting up Quicktax is very similar to setting up UFile. The layout is quite different, which took some getting used to, but the information requested is exactly the same. In the top-left corner is a little screen that showed an ongoing balance, which was quite cool. As I entered my information throughout the form the little screen would update itself and show me what my refund was going to be. At one point it was about $200 more than what UFile had quoted, so I was almost sold on switching over. After making some adjustments the refund quoted turned out to be exactly what UFile quoted, so I knew I was on the right track.

Here's some PROS:
- After logging in, UFile opens the tax return form in a different screen, which feels more secure
- UFile has a very comprehensive left-hand sidebar that is very easy to navigate through: clicking to different points in the return is extremely simple
- UFile is WAY faster than Quicktax, speed wise. With Quicktax I felt like I was waiting too long after every entry into the form
- Quicktax has that handy little screen that shows the running balance of the refund
- Quicktax has a couple of extra features such as the RRSP Optimizer slider, which was fun to play with, as well as helpful tips for maximizing your refund (did you know that you can get a tax credit for your almost three-year-old by depositing the Child Tax Credit in a bank account in his name? Something to look into)
- UFile informed me when, playing around with RRSP contribution amounts, I had actually over-contributed (removing my urge to transfer my EF into my RRSP - it would have been too much!). Quicktax would have let me over-contribute to my heart's desire
- UFile has a handy search bar (ironically in exactly the same spot that Quicktax has the snazzy balance screen) that is actually very helpful, opening new screens of comprehensive tips (I searched for 'rrsps' and got a whole screen of helpful advice). Quicktax, as far as I could see, has only a Live Community, where much like Yahoo questions, is a Q & A amongst people using the program. I did not find this helpful at all because it was full of one-word, misspelled answers provided by other users rather than real tax advice from "experts"

The price is about the same for both programs: UFile's $15.95 vs Quicktax's $14.99. As a PC Financial customer I could have purchased Quicktax for $11.99, but I wasn't aware of the promotion until after I had already set up my registration.

Conclusion: I'm going to stick with UFile. I like the continuity of carrying my information over from year to year and not having to start all over again. Plus, it's a much much quicker program and way more detailed. Quicktax had that cool little balance update screen, and a couple of helpful suggestions at the end, but it took way too long to get through the program and every time I had to make a change to something it would make me go through the entire process over again. There might be a way to get around this but I couldn't figure it out.

Quicktax is a good program if you haven't tried an online tax preparation system in the past. Since I have already established myself with UFile without any problems, I am going to stay loyal for this year.



Seriously,
Karissa


3 comments:

  1. I too, prefer UFile. I find them very easy to use and to do comparisons of how much it would help if I put my tax credits to use this year or the next.

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  2. UFile also has a great RRSP analyzer in both its online and desktop products. It is found at the top of the RRSP input screen.

    UFile online is a less expensive alternative for families but is only $1.00 for individuals so all round it is a great deal.

    joanne

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  3. I'll go for UFile as well. Thanks for differentiating QuickTax and UFile.

    canadian tax credits

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Thanks for commenting! I will have it published as soon as I can ~ Karissa