Monthly Archives: April 2008

QuickTax(Web) isn’t worth your money

or the past few years I’ve been trying to use Intuit’s QuickTaxWeb to do my taxes. I say trying because it hasn’t worked for the last 2/3 years. In 2005, I noticed that they weren’t calculating tax properly on research grants that I’d been awarded. This year, their crappy web interface didn’t provide me with anywhere to enter my political contributions (thereby raising my income by about $200). Their help told me I could go back to the start of their wizardy interface and put myself into “advanced mode,” but 30 minutes of searching still hadn’t revealed that shortcut to me.

When I was using their help tool, the search stopped working due to server errors. (NullPointerExceptions – the Java equivalent of not doing a NULL check before dereferencing a pointer)

Foolishly, I decided to buy their desktop edition, on the assumption that a $19.99 desktop app would have the same functionality as a $19.99 web app. Nope – it doesn’t handle RRSPs, or other “advanced” tax issues, without using the “forms view” which is basically a glorified paper and pencil view.

Can anyone recommend a decent Canadian tax package?
6 comments Sunday, April 27, 2008


For some reason, Mayor Larry likes to keep saying Ottawa is a “world-class” city. Then again, he also liked to say that “zero means zero” (or is that 4.9?).

img_0730.JPGI suspect it will be a few more generations, a few city-wide fires, and a revolution or two until Ottawa becomes a world-class city to rival Paris. We don’t have the boulevards, landmarks, or public transit system to rival the French capitol.

About the only place we can hope to compete is with our on-street food vendors. We have two advantages: our culture accepts eating while walking and we have a large francophone population. It’s only a matter of time before some bright lad or lass at Algonquin discovers that crepes can be made and sold on the street.

“Oh! But what about beaver tails?” you say. The answer to that is simple: savory crepes. Do beaver tails have ham, tomato, feta? No. What about cheese? No. Beaver tails are a culinary dead-end. Crepes are like prokaryotes. There isn’t a gastronomic niche crepes can’t handle. Bring on a Canadian school of crepes, I say.

Sure, our city is a sprawling mess. Sure, our future transit plans are pretty much what we have now (with a little more tunnel). Sure, our city has few landmarks almost no public art. Sure, we don’t have much in the way of urban parks. But we can at least have some decent street food, dammit!