Take a guess as to what our number one support question was last year.
If you guessed, “how do I open my .tax file?” you’d be correct. And it makes sense. After all, you’re downloading something to your computer—shouldn’t you be able to open it? Isn’t a .tax file kind of like a PDF?
Some intrepid people did find a way to open their .tax file (hint: it’s just an XML file), but for many others the situation quickly devolved. One person, in a panic at 2am, even threatened to reduce us to “a pile of binary rubble” over his unopenable .tax file.
We did what we could to mitigate. We expanded our help page. We added warning text to the download .tax button. We bolded the warning text. We filmed YouTube videos (shout-out to our 16 channel subscribers). But as frustrating as .tax files were, they were the only way to submit completed returns to the CRA. Until now.
This year, this is how you’ll submit your tax return to the CRA:
One click and you’re done. No downloads, no lost files, and no navigating to another website. The CRA calls this the NETFILE Web Service. We call it amazing. And with .tax files out of the way, you can now submit your return directly on an iPad; no need to find a computer to complete this last step.
So, goodbye .tax files. We won’t miss you.
Joining the NETFILE Web Service is our brand new PDF printer. Last year we relied on your browser to produce the print. This worked better for some than others. While we did manage to work out most of the browser inconsistencies by the end of the season, we wanted something more reliable in place for 2013.
So, this year we’re introducing a proper PDF printer. Our new PDFs look better, print faster, and now include tables.
Together, these two new features make SimpleTax even faster and easier to use. And there’s even more to come.