Friday, 25 April 2008

Review: #3 (tied) H&R Block Web Software Tax Preparation

This is my 2008 review of the H&R Block web-based online tax preparation package. I rated it 8.0 out of 10, tied for 3rd with WebTax4U and AceTax. H&R is the new kid on the block this year, so to speak, as it was not on the NetFile certified list in 2007. But it may not be so new after all ... it looks like H&R simply paid uFile to rebrand its best-of-breed web application for its own use. Why are these references in the H&R Block license agreement - "AGREEMENT TO USE UFILE..." and "AUTHORIZED USE OF UFILE" and "You agree that H&R Block Canada, Inc. Dr Inc. is not required to contact you in any other manner whatsoever." Probably the lawyer doing the search and replace messed up. The colours are different but the workflow and the look and feel are identical between the two programs. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that but why pay $19.95 to H&R Block instead of $15.95 to uFile for the same thing?

The image is a screenshot of the H&R Block application.

What I Liked about H&RBlock:
  • all the same technical stuff as for uFile applies as well to H&R Block

What I Disliked:
  • to create a logon id you must give your name (uFile doesn't request this btw) but an FAQ says this info is collected to enter you into a contest for web customers. Suppose you don't want to be in the contest? Then you must write in to not be included. Or if you want to be in the contest under the "no purchase necessary" rules, all you need to do is write a 250 word essay and post it in!
  • the Privacy Policy allows H&R Block to share your information internally for other marketing purposes. You have to contact them to opt out, which is a hassle. Just let me do my darn tax return and don't bother me. Their lawyers must have carefully checked that this statement from the Privacy Policy complies with the PIPEDA law but it sure looks marginal to me: "Unless you otherwise inform us, utilizing the contact information above, visiting this Web site or using the products and services of H&R Block, you consent to the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information..." The onus seems to have reversed from the company to the customer.

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