Thursday, 24 April 2008

Review: #3 (tied) AceTax Web Tax Software

This is my new 2008 review of the AceTax web-based tax preparation software package for Canadian taxes that goes along with a series of posts done last year on other online tax prep packages. I gave it a score of 8.0 out of 10, tied with WebTax4U and H&RBlock.

The image is a screenshot of this program.

What I Liked About AceTax:
  • easy and fast to register, clear and simple explanation on how to get started; pricing well explained
  • FAQ is pertinent and concise
  • the embedded help buttons go direct to the relevant CRA page for tax information
  • layout, font, formatting and colours on the screen are unobtrusive and easy to read
  • navigation from box to box by tabbing is quick and easy; the line where the entry cursor is gets highlighted to visually confirm where you are
  • the whole program works fast
  • there is a button in My Account to permanently delete all your data from AceTax once you are done should you so wish, if you are concerned about privacy or later data leaks
  • price is very good at $9.44 including GST for new customers and only $7.34 for returning customers, and free for under $25k family income
What I Disliked:
  • seems to log one out due to inactivity sooner, like after 5 minutes, than the stated 15 minutes
  • would be better to have the list of completed T-form entries on the left menu column to facilitate editing
  • needs to show a capital gains total to enable cross-check with my off-line paper records to discover any data entry errors;
  • a bit more help throughout could be useful, e.g. needs an explanation that "Number" on the capital gains entry form means number of shares
  • would help to have a running total of taxes payable or refund, e.g. to help figure out how much tuition to transfer from a child

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