Do you file your taxes early? Or do you procrastinate until the deadline is breathing down your neck? If the second option sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, according to figures from the IRS, in 2017 nearly 40 million Americans had yet to file their taxes by April 13.

h&r block logo Even in Canada, in the age of e-filing, that last-minute rush can mean a lot of tax-return traffic all at once for a company like H&R Block Canada. With 1,200 offices staffed with tax experts ready to prepare everything from personal and small business returns to corporate, farm, trucking, fishing, rental, and estate returns, H&R Block Canada has been proudly assisting Canadians wherever they are, and with whatever they need, for more than 50 years. And since 2014, it’s been delivering more and more of that assistance online.

That was the year H&R Block Canada launched its online self-serve filing application, a free service with paid upgrades built in. Thanks in part to the performance monitoring capabilities offered by the New Relic platform, the application continues to evolve and improve.

Always testing, always improving

Director of Product Development Dave Falkenberg joined H&R Block Canada in June 2014, not long after the app first launched. Going through some inevitable teething problems, it was very much a work in progress.

“We rebuilt just about everything along the way,” says Dave, “so when I inherited New Relic, I immediately began applying its monitoring to all of our test environments.”

Newly equipped with the ability to drill down into performance errors and identify problematic lines of code, the company was in a stronger position the next time the pre-deadline rush kicked in.

In the tax business, that’s crucial. “Our milestones and deadlines never move—we never get a day back,” Dave explains. “So, we’re always load testing to make sure that everything can scale appropriately. With New Relic running in both the load test environment and in production itself, it’s easy for us to get to the bottom of things.”

In other words, if Canadians anywhere in the world want to e-file their taxes with seconds to spare, H&R Block Canada is standing by, ready to help.

Boosting acceptance rate

To learn more about how the company has used New Relic to dramatically boost the acceptance rate for its customers’ e-filed returns, be sure to read the full H&R Block Canada customer case study: H&R Block Canada Provides Trouble-Free Online Tax Filing With Help From New Relic.


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B.J. Hinshaw is a freelance writer based in Northern California. View posts by .

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