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Free income tax software options in 2019
March 12, 2019
10:25 am
Peter
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I figured it was time we posted a general article on income tax software options, so here it is for 2019!

https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/2019/03/free-canadian-income-tax-software-in-2019/

At some point in the future, I'd like to create a survey about how people file (by themselves or with help) and what software they use. Maybe next year if I can't get it going by April.

Until this year, I hadn't really been paying attention to the forum discussions on income tax filing (mostly about software). I've now created a forum specific to income tax filing (in which this post sits) and pre-populated it with some existing threads.

March 12, 2019
1:16 pm
AltaRed
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UFile has a free online option like TurboTax plus it has software (2-3 different price levels) that resides on one's PC. It should get the same profile as TurboTax. Both TurboTax and Ufile use an interview process to start the process and makes it easier to populate the data for those that are put off by the Studio Tax spreadsheet type format.

I used the predecessor to TurboTax back in the '90s but moved to UFile after I came back to Canada in 2006. Been with UFile ever since (less costly than TurboTax). The ~$20 cost for 4 returns is cost effective enough (I do 3 returns). I also use Studio Tax for what if scenarios.

March 12, 2019
1:28 pm
Doug
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We used to use UFile after Intuit bought out TaxWiz (my favourite income tax software! sf-cool) and rebranded it QuickTax Basic (later rebranded as TurboTax Basic), but ultimately switched first to GenuTax Standard (free software) for 1 year and have now been using SimpleTax for several years and love it. sf-cool

I note though that UFile Free is still only free for those with only a T4, for post-secondary students, or for low-income persons. That, to me, isn't sufficient for it to be featured.

I do think that Peter should add GenuTax Standard to this list. I found it easier to use and have a bit better user experience (UX) than Studio Tax.

I tried testing H&R Block's Tax Software the first year, but didn't trust some of the calculations and estimated tax refund, so filed with GenuTax Standard instead. It might've improved since then.

I noted the article had a different author other than Peter. Peter, have you started accepting articles from third party authors who pay you to publish them on the site?

Cheers,
Doug

March 12, 2019
1:33 pm
Peter
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I don't accept sponsored articles. The editorial independence of this site is supremely important to me. I paid for the article (although I did the editing) because it's a topic I wanted this site to have as a general primer.

As part of the edit I removed UFile because of its limitations on the free option. I also accepted that the article was bound to be more so a useful listing rather than a comprehensive review that tried to rank or compare the options.

I've had an open call for writers (although nobody has wanted the complicated setup with putting their own AdSense ads) since this site started and would be very happy to consider more topics!

March 12, 2019
2:42 pm
Doug
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Peter said
I don't accept sponsored articles. The editorial independence of this site is supremely important to me. I paid for the article (although I did the editing) because it's a topic I wanted this site to have as a general primer.

As part of the edit I removed UFile because of its limitations on the free option. I also accepted that the article was bound to be more so a useful listing rather than a comprehensive review that tried to rank or compare the options.

I've had an open call for writers (although nobody has wanted the complicated setup with putting their own AdSense ads) since this site started and would be very happy to consider more topics!  

I can't right now as I'm too busy, but I'd be happy to write occasional articles on personal finance and investing related articles for free in the future, Peter. I'll retain the copyright to them, but license them to you to reprint for commercial purposes and I would not ask for any payment of any kind.

Cheers,
Doug

March 12, 2019
2:50 pm
Peter
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Thanks Doug, that's very nice.

March 12, 2019
3:40 pm
Save2Retire@55
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Thanks Peter. Great work.

I used TurboTax and loved the auto download and upload between the software and CRA.
Already got my refund. Free of charge and very easy.

I don't like online based solutions as I don't want my data to be saved in their database. With software like TurboTax I don't have to worry about this fact as all data is securely encrypted while being transferred.

March 12, 2019
4:13 pm
Briguy
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Great work Peter !! Would be nice to also have an article comparing paid tax software too ! A few years ago I tried a few out ( I think Studiotax, Simple Tax, Tax Freeway, Genutax , HR Block, but not Turbotax ) and found Ufile to be the best for me. I'm too lazy to go through that exercise again, but it's free to try out all the different company's online tax preparation software, you just can't file unless you pay.

March 13, 2019
6:22 pm
SavingIsGood
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Always used 'turbo tax' 20 returns, or Pro. It used to be 'quick tax' or similar before somebody bought somebody or whatever.
Do not use 'wizard' but manually enter all forms.
Never used and will never use on-line stuff. My privacy is paramount.

If you are Getting refund that means you provided interest free loan to Justin and his trips around the world; and supported all other utterly useless politicians.

Please write your comments in the forum.