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Income Tax Software Discussion & Recommendations
May 3, 2022
4:35 am
savemoresaveoften
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Alexandre said

Good point. It means, paper return could be less secure than electronically submitted: not only it'll end in CRA databases anyway, but it will be accessible by someone who has to scan/retype paper return to electronic form. Probably, an outsourced low paid job.  

All it takes is the typist to snap a few pics of the paper tax return, takes a few seconds.

In my mind, the reason to paper file vs efile quoting security being a concern is way overblown, everything is electronic these days and hackable. And the biggest scam / fraud remains the simple phone call that defraud people of $$$$$ every year.

May 3, 2022
6:07 am
bhuc
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There a lot of talk of which form of T1 return is less secure than another.
The real question is whether there is any documented proof of T1's being hacked using either Online or PC Netfiling software or hardcopy?
Once your data is in the CRA system no matter how it got there its out of everybodys control as to how safe it is and that includes the CRA !
Nothing is inpenetrable.
Cheers B

May 3, 2022
6:21 am
Alexandre
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savemoresaveoften said
All it takes is the typist to snap a few pics of the paper tax return, takes a few seconds.

I would suggest registering with CRA My Account even for those who file taxes on paper. The info that is required to impersonate you is on paper tax return. Don't let someone else use it to register, login to CRA My Account, see all your personal info and tax returns from many years, and alter your info such as direct deposit.

May 3, 2022
8:10 am
Bill
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bhuc, in my case it's not CRA but more a concern about the various software companies I might use over the years, my tax data being in their systems. And it's not a big concern, but paper filing eliminates that avenue.

May 3, 2022
10:42 am
Dean
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.

    Bill

But if you don't use the software company's Site, and only use the CD version of the software, the software company never sees your tax data.

It's the main reason many of us here only use the CD version of tax software. That way, only you and the CRA have access to your tax data.

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long, Healthy ... And Prosper! " sf-cool

May 3, 2022
10:51 am
Bill
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True, thanks - guess I didn't realize CDs sent in the mail to use in your computer is still a thing, cool!

May 3, 2022
10:57 am
savemoresaveoften
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Dean said
.

    Bill

But if you don't use the software company's Site, and only use the CD version of the software, the software company never sees your tax data.

It's the main reason many of us here only use the CD version of tax software. That way, only you and the CRA have access to your tax data.

    Dean

  

I dont see the difference using the CD version vs the download copy. Just because it is on a CD does not mean its not "secretly connected" to their server... If that is the concern, then paper form the only "secured" method so to speak...and I guess a computer that is NOT connected to the internet....

May 3, 2022
11:06 am
BlueSky
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savemoresaveoften said

I dont see the difference using the CD version vs the download copy. Just because it is on a CD does not mean its not "secretly connected" to their server... If that is the concern, then paper form the only "secured" method so to speak...  

I second that. There's CD software out there that require set up to be finalized through an Internet connection. I'm not suggesting it is specifically applying to income tax reporting discussed here, but one should be aware of the fact.

May 3, 2022
11:48 am
pooreva
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savemoresaveoften said
I dont see the difference using the CD version vs the download copy. Just because it is on a CD does not mean its not "secretly connected" to their server...  

Of course it connects to their servers. Filing with TurboTax always generates email from Intuit thanking you for using their software. But does it sends your tax data to Intuit? Nobody knows.
Still better than on-line entering slips and filing.

May 3, 2022
12:38 pm
Alexandre
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On TurboTax Web site, there are 7,500 people who commented on their free online tax filing service. The one that does collect and send all your info to Intuit.
Most reviews are positive. Tells me people don't care.

But, why should they?

After you shared everything about your professional life on LinkedIn, personal life on Facebook, made fool of yourself once or twice on Twitter, uploaded all photos including very personal ones "to the cloud," pay for everything with credit/debit card, had government and private businesses read all your (e)mail correspondence and review your browser favorites, had them watch feed from your and your neighbors security cameras - you are still concerned about privacy while filing taxes?

How quaint.

May 3, 2022
4:33 pm
Dean
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Bill said

True, thanks - guess I didn't realize CDs sent in the mail to use in your computer is still a thing, cool!  

I get my Income Tax software (e.g. TurboTax) on CD's, 'off the shelf' in retail stores.

    Dean

P.S.
FWIW ... I don't store my tax data (or any other critical info)
on my computer. I store them on encrypted USB memory
sticks. It's more secure that way.

sf-cool " Live Long, Healthy ... And Prosper! " sf-cool

May 3, 2022
6:44 pm
Bill
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Oh, I understand, Dean, that makes sense.

Aside from having credit cards some of us have zero social media identity, never been to the cloud, certainly not in a security camera type neighbourhood, etc, and kinda like being quaint. But you're right, it might all be in vain.

May 4, 2022
3:47 am
RetirEd
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For me, even if things do get into the CRA computers and raided from there, I can readily prove it's not my fault.

Due to copy-protection and IP stuff, I am not aware of ANY tax software (and very little other software) that does not "phone home" when active. Many won't even start up without a connection.

Local note: Vancouver news reports a circulating scam where someone comes up and asks a mark to use their credit/debit card to pay for their cab, which refuses to take cash. Scammer pays cash, card is tapped and swapped, similar (but different) card returned to mark and then the charges begin, thousands in a few hours.

I disable contactless tap on all my cards. (Either the issuer will do that, or you can cut the little antenna wire in the card where it connects to the chip.) Without contactless enabling, the PIN must be entered each time. If that's too much trouble for you, think about what happens if you leave your passwords in your browser...
RetirEd

No social media (blocked at router), no online banking...

RetirEd

May 4, 2022
5:26 am
savemoresaveoften
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Interesting some are so opposed to the digital world. By participating on this forum, you are exposed 🙂
Everything is connected and online / cloud these days, and more so in the future. Be it ur medical record, financial record, your grocery buying habit, how much gas you fill up, that is the reality.
Yes it is a big change from 20-30 years ago, but change is good if one is open minded and embrace it.

May 4, 2022
7:55 am
bhuc
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Breaking News ... or is it for those of us that have tried TurboTax.

New York (CNN Business)Intuit, the owner of tax filing software TurboTax, has agreed to pay $141 million in a settlement with all 50 states for allegedly steering millions of low-income Americans away from free tax-filing services.

Intuit must also suspend its "free, free, free" ad campaign because it falsely lured customers with the promise of free tax preparation services, the statement added.
I tried TurboTax in 2020 but decided against using it because at every turn Intuit tried to upsell me to a paid version for what should have been a simple return.
For me this smacks of corruption and greed !
Bottom line, I will never use this product ever again.

May 4, 2022
10:56 am
Bill
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Nothing against digital, but "change is good" is a comforting falsehood (e.g. tell the people of Ukraine right now that all change is good) as the reality is there are some good changes and some bad changes, plus aspects of change that are good and some that are decidedly negative. So measured use of new things beats embracing everything wholesale, at least for many people. There's a corresponding cost to everything that its promoters like to ignore. The change from a pre-nuclear to a nuclear world has been good overall so far but about that Warren Buffet says as long as there's a tiny chance of something bad happening that means at some point it will.

May 4, 2022
12:45 pm
Norman1
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bhuc said

Intuit must also suspend its "free, free, free" ad campaign because it falsely lured customers with the promise of free tax preparation services, the statement added.
I tried TurboTax in 2020 but decided against using it because at every turn Intuit tried to upsell me to a paid version for what should have been a simple return.
For me this smacks of corruption and greed !
Bottom line, I will never use this product ever again.

I've experienced the sleaziness of Intuit's marketing and sales through their Quicken products. Intuit would disable the transaction downloads unless both the consumer and the financial institution upgrades to latest Quicken version and whatever software the financial institution used to do Quicken downloads.

The press release details what Intuit did in the US with TurboTax. They had two "free" versions of the US TurboTax and one wasn't as "free" as the other!

Intuit offers two free versions of TurboTax: an IRS Free File version meant for lower-income people and military personnel, and a commercial product called TurboTax Free Edition for people with "simple" returns.

The states said that beginning in 2016, Intuit steered customers eligible for IRS Free File into using TurboTax Free Edition, only to later tell them they needed to pay $59.99 or more to file because their returns were not simple.

I suspect something similar is happening with TurboTax in Canada. The info on their Canadian website indicates that the $19.99 downloaded TurboTax for Windows Basic software has a Forms mode that can do almost any return. However, some people have reported that the $19.99 online TurboTax Deluxe doesn't have a Forms mode and requires one upgrade to the $34.99 online TurboTax Premier if one has capital gains and dividends from investments.

May 4, 2022
1:04 pm
RetirEd
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savemoresaveoften: As a person who started using computers seriously in 1969, I readily qualify as an early adopter. I am just careful about reading fine print and watching what's being done to us.

I have no problem with touch-tone phone banking. It connects only to the financial institution I am dealing with at the moment. Do you remember my posting about Wealth One's Terms and Conditions? Many businesses changed their rules when they went on line to put all problems on the client's shoulders.

While I do use this forum, nothing in my registration or behaviour has any links to my actual identity. I registered with an E-mail account similarly disconnected. Firefox clears my stored data (all of it) with every shutdown. And I'm careful to not provide enough info to allow myself to be identified. (Except perhaps when I was using Wealth One, as they had so few English-speaking clients they may have spotted me when posting their non-reply to my comments.)

Has anyone considered that Tangerine may be using linked web data to determine its promo offers? As a non-web-using client, that may have been why I got crummy offers, or no offers at all, when others did better.

RetirEd

RetirEd

May 4, 2022
1:34 pm
Norman1
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RetirEd said

Has anyone considered that Tangerine may be using linked web data to determine its promo offers? As a non-web-using client, that may have been why I got crummy offers, or no offers at all, when others did better.

The information sharing doesn't work both ways. Google, Facebook, and Twitter know when you've visited Tangerine Bank's web site. But, Google, Facebook, and Twitter don't share what they know about you to Tangerine.

It is more likely you've missed some of the better offers because they were presented when one signs into Tangerine online banking.

I didn't receive e-mails to activate many of my Tangerine offers. I saw some of them only when I logged onto Tangerine online banking after someone was kind enough to report the offer here.

May 4, 2022
2:20 pm
COIN
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Here is one more risk. Anybody here use a cellphone? If yes, you are at risk of being hacked.

Please write your comments in the forum.