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Free income tax software options in 2021 (2020 tax year)
January 5, 2021
8:13 pm
Oscar
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Norman1 said
Yes, that is usually built into programs to let people print or NETFILE for free when their income is below a certain level.

  

I am sure many will qualify by next year.

January 5, 2021
8:26 pm
Norman1
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pooreva said


As many do not like Studio Tax's interface, the only option is Turbotax. Yes, it cost $35+tax but you can do 8 returns and it is very user friendly and versatile. I guess you could share cost with one/two friends or families.

The StudioTax interface is okay for those who don't have more than two of any one kind of tax slip. If one has one T4 slip for salary, two T5 slips for bank account interest, and two T3 slips for mutual funds, then one is fine.

However, if one has six T5 slips for bank account interest, the interface is crap. The T5 slip page has the boxes of one slip as one column and only two of the columns are shown at a time!

When one stretches the window horizontally, the same two columns are still shown, just with more useless whitespace to the side! Imagine upgrading to a big 50" TV and still only see the same small 20" video on the left with extra black to the right.

January 5, 2021
9:32 pm
Norman1
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TaxTron for Windows has a higher for-free limit. It's free for "returns under $31,000 total income (including seniors) or full-time students (4 months or more duration as indicated on your T2202A form)."

Otherwise, it is $12.99 for one return or $24.99 for five returns.

January 6, 2021
5:22 am
savemoresaveoften
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Norman1 said

pooreva said


As many do not like Studio Tax's interface, the only option is Turbotax. Yes, it cost $35+tax but you can do 8 returns and it is very user friendly and versatile. I guess you could share cost with one/two friends or families.

The StudioTax interface is okay for those who don't have more than two of any one kind of tax slip. If one has one T4 slip for salary, two T5 slips for bank account interest, and two T3 slips for mutual funds, then one is fine.

However, if one has six T5 slips for bank account interest, the interface is crap. The T5 slip page has the boxes of one slip as one column and only two of the columns are shown at a time!

When one stretches the window horizontally, the same two columns are still shown, just with more useless whitespace to the side! Imagine upgrading to a big 50" TV and still only see the same small 20" video on the left with extra black to the right.  

yeah I cant stand the StudioTax interface even when it is free. If anything mytaxexpress is much less well known, but their interface is very similar to the "paper version", which some may prefer. Have used it for the past 10 years and they are always quick to respond to email questions (within a day). Its not free, but very reasonable for multi returns. Keep in mind it wont "remind" you to apply for any credits that you may qualify for. Not an issue for me as I dont qualify for any except the Energy credit anyway.

January 6, 2021
5:08 pm
COIN
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I've used ST for 7 years now and gotten used to its flaws (real or imagined). I don't like the prospect of another learning curve with new software. I really like that I can work on my return offline with ST and only go online when I'm ready to file.

Question: How does one pay the $15? Credit card?

January 6, 2021
8:33 pm
Norman1
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StudioTax 2020 can be paid for by credit card, Interac e-Transfer, or cheque.

Their payment page has more details.

January 7, 2021
12:30 pm
Doug
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SimpleTax.

Failing that, TurboTax Free

Both free and unrestricted, other than the mandatory CRA limit of 20 returns that Norman identified earlier. Clean, uncomplicated UI + UX. Both just work.

Enough said. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

January 7, 2021
12:36 pm
pwr1019
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For the U-File fans
UFile (4 returns) for Windows - $13.99 with voucher valid until Jan 20th

UFile on sale for $18.99
https://secure.drtax.ca/ufileshop/2020/storespec.asp

Use voucher code UFAB89FADQ to save another $5 off.

January 7, 2021
12:38 pm
COIN
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Doug said
SimpleTax.

Failing that, TurboTax Free

Both free and unrestricted, other than the mandatory CRA limit of 20 returns that Norman identified earlier. Clean, uncomplicated UI + UX. Both just work.

Enough said. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug  

Thanks. Does one or both work on Windows 7 and can the return be done offline until ready to file?

January 7, 2021
1:47 pm
MG
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Norman1 said
StudioTax 2020 can be paid for by credit card, Interac e-Transfer, or cheque.

Their payment page has more details.  

Also paypal.

January 7, 2021
2:26 pm
canadian.100
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Doug said
SimpleTax.

Failing that, TurboTax Free

Both free and unrestricted, other than the mandatory CRA limit of 20 returns that Norman identified earlier. Clean, uncomplicated UI + UX. Both just work.

Enough said. sf-cool
Cheers,
Doug

The TurboTax website indicates the free software is for "simple" returns. So guess it will not work if you have a T-5 for Dividends or you have Capital Gains.

January 7, 2021
3:54 pm
Norman1
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Doug said
SimpleTax.

Failing that, TurboTax Free

Both free and unrestricted, other than the mandatory CRA limit of 20 returns that Norman identified earlier. Clean, uncomplicated UI + UX. Both just work.

 

COIN said

Thanks. Does one or both work on Windows 7 and can the return be done offline until ready to file?

SimpleTax is online only.

The last TurboTax Free For Windows was for tax year 2018. sf-frown

January 7, 2021
4:04 pm
Norman1
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canadian.100 said

The TurboTax website indicates the free software is for "simple" returns. So guess it will not work if you have a T-5 for Dividends or you have Capital Gains.

Never used it. But, I think TurboTax Free Online is one of the those that can handle complex returns. One will have to know what schedules to use for capital gains and T5 dividends. There will be little guidance for doing such returns unless one upgrades to one of the paid versions:

Can TurboTax Free handle any tax situation? What if I have investments or rental income?

Yes. TurboTax Free has all the forms and schedules you need to prepare and file a complete and accurate return.

January 7, 2021
9:23 pm
topgun
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Interesting. I have always paid for Turbotax. I get a downloaded program. I store the files on my computer. It has all the forms I need. I will try the Free version to determine if it is adequate.

Have a Great Day

January 7, 2021
9:33 pm
Norman1
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Yes, if one is willing to pay $19.99, $34.99, $74.99, or $119.99, the download editions of TurboTax continue to be updated and available.

Intuit Canada stopped doing the free download version of TurboTax with tax year 2018.

January 7, 2021
11:03 pm
Hmm
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pooreva said

It looks like Simpletax is web based. Sorry, I prefer standalone software, no cloud or similar nonsense NO MATER how much they claim it is secured...

So you will be doing your taxes by hand (paper return)? Good luck. I am not that smart...

As many do not like Studio Tax's interface, the only option is Turbotax. Yes, it cost $35+tax but you can do 8 returns and it is very user friendly and versatile. I guess you could share cost with one/two friends or families.  

Ha. I prefer stand-alone myself. But there's obviously some risk management here. You misunderstood. You don't need to be smart (or that smart) to carryover your figures from the electronic (stand-alone) application to the hard copy.

I will likely return to ST when CRA opens up their local drop boxes unless I get used to Genutax which is also stand-alone too. I might give them a try as well.

But make no mistake, I will not pay to file my taxes especially since there are free options and ST's interface is so awful. I already pay CRA in installments each year. Prior to ST existing, I had a colleague/friend who created a spreadsheet to mirror T1 General. I may reach out to him if necessary.

January 7, 2021
11:09 pm
Hmm
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topgun said
Interesting. I have always paid for Turbotax. I get a downloaded program. I store the files on my computer. It has all the forms I need. I will try the Free version to determine if it is adequate.  

Here's a very important caveat. I had a Turbotax account to handle my Quicken account. Last year I just wanted to compare my results with Studio Tax which because of their awful interface, my RRSP contributions and several tax slips, I didn't trust them or my input because it was very difficult and so easy to make an error.

I wanted to close/cancel my Turbotax account and it was a major PIA. I had to go through many levels and documents back and forth because Turbotax claim they must keep all my information for 7 or 10 years. Just be mindful of this should you want to use them.

January 8, 2021
9:41 am
pooreva
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Hmm said
Turbotax claim they must keep all my information for 7 or 10 years. Just be mindful of this should you want to use them.  

I do not think ANY data goes to Turbotax (Intuit) if you are using stand-alone version. I never 'registered' Turbotax even though it bugs you every time you start it up.
I do not have an account with Turbotax. The only internet communication to my best knowledge is between Turbotax and CRA when you file your return.

For 2020 Turbotax changed activation process; there is NO more 'activate by phone'. You get 16 digits (or characters) activation code and most likely you HAVE to HAVE internet to activate your copy of Turbotax. Program will not even start until you activate it. It looks like they assume everybody has internet these days...

January 8, 2021
9:56 am
topgun
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You are paying for a licence when you purchase Turbotax. Free edition and all paid editions have the same options. I am not happy using the free online edition. I like having the program and data files on my computer. If you are preparing 4 or less returns the Basic Edition @ $19.99 + tax works.

Have a Great Day

January 8, 2021
10:23 am
savemoresaveoften
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Income tax return are the most important documents in my mind (all personal info PLUS SIN number on there). For me I will rather pay to have a copy on my computer rather than do everything online. Even if they pay me to do it online, I wont.

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