TAXWIZ '99, for Windows

COMPUTER SOFTWARE REVIEW  

441 Words

Title: TAXWIZ '99, for Windows; Developed by Taxamatic Inc., $29.99 less a $10 mail-in
rebate
 
Reviewer, Joan Pashley: "This program fulfills its goal of 'fast, easy and accurate'."


The TAXWIZ program promises three quick and easy steps; it will personalize your return,
check it, and either print a copy for mailing or enable electronic filing.

Certifiable tax incompetents, like me, will be reassured by the familiarity of the on
screen forms. They are identical to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA).

It's easy to add lines to schedules such as "schedule 
3 supplementary" which coped with extra stock entries with a click of a button. There is
no need to draw up charts by hand when the regular form was full. 

Another feature provides a list of all forms used, directly or indirectly, by clicking on
the right mouse button. For example, if data entered from one T3 applies to both Schedule 3
and 4, a right click gives quick access to this information. 

Installation was a snap under Windows 98, and was accomplished independently by this
computer-challenged writer. The program responded promptly to data, other than a hesitation
at the end when it went ahead and calculated the provincial tax on its own initiative. 

Unlike some programs on the market, TAXWIZ provides for unlimited returns. However, the
disk is required to operate, which may limit the size of a group which plans a "joint
purchase". 

The "what if" tax planner allows different scenarios to be explored for their tax benefits.
This is particularly helpful for those deductions that are transferable to other family
members. TAXWIZ does all the number crunching and the family members see the results. 

The program was organized with simple icons and balloon help. It instilled sufficient
confidence in this user, that even when I had difficulty figuring out how to access a
feature that logic said must exist, a few minutes of exploration was generally all that
was required. Familiarity with CCRA's form numbers is an asset. 

A word of caution; this program has a number of default settings, which the user may have
to turn off. For example, if you click on "single" in the profile, the program may try to
enter a spousal amount under the non-refundable tax credit. 

Similarly, if a decision is made to use this for the children's taxes, the personal amount
supplement (line 307), and the B.C. sales tax credit must be turned off. 

The TAXWIZ web site had a traditional layout which was user friendly and politely stated
the obvious (which may not have been at all obvious if it hadn't been stated so clearly). 

The simplicity, logical layout, and familiarity of forms in TAXWIZ removes the dread and
anxiety of tax season for this tax-phob. This program fulfills its goal of "fast, easy
and accurate." 



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