Online Tax Services with CompleteTax St. John's NL
St. John's, NL
St. John's, NL
St. John's, NL
Online Tax Services with CompleteTax
The creator of CompleteTax, CCH Incorporated, primarily makes tax software for businesses, but its online service for the "little guy" is more blah than razzle-dazzle. While the $39 price (for one federal and state return) is decent, CompleteTax's mediocre interface, lack of detailed tax answers, and botched details make it difficult to recommend.
As a case in point, snowbirds should note that CompleteTax, unlike the other services, does not do part-year resident tax returns. However, the personal information section of the questionnaire does group multiple questions onto each screen, which cuts back on excess clicking. And even though the design and interface won't win any awards, CompleteTax's questionnaires guided us to worksheets resembling IRS forms. The Dependents questionnaire also gave us the right answers.
We liked the interview section for self-employed taxpayers, which separated questions for vehicle expenses and depreciable assets, and, unlike other programs, determined up front the long-distance phone tax credit for our business with a separate phone line. But we found CompleteTax's deductions section to be sorely lacking: It doesn't list all itemizable deductions, so we couldn't see everything we could deduct. Also, the service didn't state that some expenses needed to be greater than a certain percentage of income to qualify as deductions.
Help is solid enough--many terms we didn't understand were hyperlinked to explanations, and the list of "Frequent Questions" accompanying each worksheet were mostly relevant to the subject at hand. There are also some "help me" links for various tax questions (for example, "Who qualifies as a dependent?"), but the ones we tried didn't always provide all the information we needed to make an informed decision on how to answer.
CompleteTax also provides a checklist of sections that are complete, incomplete, and still to be started. Yet clicking on a section marked as incomplete didn't get us to specific screens with unanswered questions. We invariably had to scroll through the first few screens of each section.
Also, we learned the hard way that you must always click the "Form Complete" box at the end of every screen to ensure that CompleteTax saves your data. We missed doing that once, which made our tax-return amount suspiciously higher than other programs' calculations and had us going back through every screen to find out where we'd missed entering numbers.
Finally, for all the information we entered, CompleteTax didn't tell us what exactly produced tax breaks. Unlike most services, it doesn't have a refund-tracking feature to show you how much you're getting back based on the data entered up to that point. And when you first click on "Review Return," you must fill out superfluous information about e-filing financial details before you can actually look over the results.Vanessa Richardson