Canada’s leading tax software product, QuickTax has been rebranded as TurboTax this year. Recently, I asked Intuit executives, Geoff Morgan and his colleague Cam Moore, about the name change and to provide us a rundown of what’s new this year. Here’s what I found:
- The QuickTax name was changed to reduce confusion with TurboTax and to take advantage of TurboTax advertising spilling over into Canada. The underlying software remains the same and is still being developed in Edmonton and Mississauga.
- TurboTax comes in four flavours: Basic (retails for $19.99), Standard (retails for $39.99), Premier (retails for $69.99) and Home & Business (retails for $99.99). All flavours allow users to prepare their taxes with either an interview method or directly using forms or switching back and forth between the two. The main difference between various product flavours lies in the range and sophistication of the interview process. For example, the Premier edition includes extra guidance if you sold stocks, bonds or mutual funds in 2010. But if you are comfortable preparing your taxes directly with the forms and don’t need any guidance, Basic should be sufficient for your purposes.
- You can file up to 8 returns with Basic and Standard and up to 12 returns with Premier and Home & Business.
- Two new features were introduced in TurboTax 2010: Mapping icons to provide taxpayers with a visual representation of where they are in the tax preparation process and setting flags to remind users of missing charitable donation slips, T-slips yet to receive etc. I can see the utility of the flagging feature because right now, I write down everything I need to double check and manually double check everything before netfiling.
- The new solidarity tax credit (an average of $500 tax credit per household available to Quebec taxpayers who have registered for direct deposit) is supported in TurboTax. The software also supports automatic download of Relevés from Revenu Québec.
- Features such as Life Changes Profiling, importing tax data from UFile or H&R Block, expanded support options (see What’s new in QuickTax 2009) and Audit defence ($39.99 for individuals and $49.99 for Incorporated, see What’s new in QuickTax 2008) introduced in past years are back again.
- Mac users looking for a desktop product are out of luck once again and have to make do with TurboTax Online.
- Qualifying tax payers may be able to file their taxes for free with the TurboTax Free or TurboTax Student through turbotax.ca. Military personnel who performed active duty overseas are eligible to file for free.
I haven’t had a chance to test drive TurboTax just yet, so watch for a future post on my impressions of the new features. TurboTax is available at Staples, Future Shop, Best Buy and other fine retailers. It can also be downloaded from turbotax.ca. Wal-Mart is selling TurboTax Standard for $29.97 ($10 off the retail price) until February 10, 2010.