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Free income tax software options in 2021 (2020 tax year)
January 8, 2021
11:39 am
canadian.100
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savemoresaveoften said
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.  

All your personal information and your SIN are already online on the CRA database. You can sign in to see all this info under "My Account". (cra.gc.ca)

January 8, 2021
11:47 am
Norman1
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topgun said
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.

The various TurboTax editions are not the same. However, the differences are not quite what the Intuit marketing suggests. That kind of marketing and high prices were why I avoided TurboTax in the past.

The marketing suggests that one had to buy the $74.99 TurboTax Premier edition to file a return with, for example, investment income and capital gains. I think some people figured out that wasn't the case really.

What one gets with the Premier edition is extra screens and documentation to help one report investment income and capital gains. But, with the lower priced editions, people reported that they could still access "Schedule 3" to report capital gains and the "Statement of investment income, carrying charges, and interest expenses" in the Worksheet to report investment.

Kind of like paying extra for a car that has a bright lighted circle around the ignition key switch to show the driver where to insert the key. If one knows what to look for, one can figure out where the ignition key goes without paying for that option.

January 8, 2021
12:59 pm
savemoresaveoften
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canadian.100 said

All your personal information and your SIN are already online on the CRA database. You can sign in to see all this info under "My Account". (cra.gc.ca)  

I know. If CRA is hacked and my personal data leaked is one thing I cant avoid. But uploading my info to a 3rd party online income tax return to save a few dollars is a big No No for me, and that I have full control over. And I am more tech saavy than most regardless of age 🙂

January 8, 2021
2:23 pm
capnukr
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Has anyone ever tried using online software for corporate returns? I have a holding company with just GICs and stocks in it, not an active company. Seems ridiculous to pay $4000/yr for an accountant to do it when the only transactions are gic T5's and calculating capital gains on sold stocks. Anybody have any lower cost options?
For the record i also like SimpleTax. Have used four years and very easy to do, far better than a paper return.

January 8, 2021
3:05 pm
Norman1
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Corporate returns are different. It's not the T1 General return. It is a T2 Corporate return.

You'll need something like TaxTron Corporate for Windows for around $100.

January 8, 2021
4:28 pm
MG
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capnukr said
Has anyone ever tried using online software for corporate returns?   

I actually download free copies of both FutureTaxT2 and T2Express for my Corporation's tax return. I put the numbers into both softwares to make sure I get the same answer in both and then I key into "fillable" PDF copies of the T2 and related forms from the CRA website. So I end up mailing in a hard copy and usually get my NOA within 6 weeks to 3 months time. And all for free other than postage. The only issue is that you must feel comfortable putting together your own financial statements (Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Retained Earnings). Maybe you should shop around for a cheaper accountant?

January 8, 2021
5:14 pm
capnukr
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Thanks for the info to both of you. I've always done my personal return and am pretty comfortable with that but given the volume of transactions in my business I've always used an accountant. But now that I've sold it and just have my holding company, this seems like a great option. Thanks again!

January 10, 2021
5:07 pm
COIN
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Whew! Studiotax still works on Windows 7.

Question: What happens to the prior years' tax return that were done with XP? Can I transfer them to Windows 7 and throw the old computer out?

January 11, 2021
9:27 am
Doug
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COIN said

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

Yep! 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

January 11, 2021
9:29 am
Doug
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canadian.100 said

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.  

Nope, it will. That's just marketing lingo to upsell you to premium product. If SimpleTax can do it, TurboTax Free Online can do it. sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

January 11, 2021
9:30 am
Doug
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Norman1 said

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  

So? Who cares? It's time to move away from software-based products and maintaining multiple installations for each tax year.

Cheers,
Doug

January 11, 2021
12:38 pm
Oscar
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Why is it time Doug ?

January 16, 2021
11:12 am
Dennis
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COIN said
Whew! Studiotax still works on Windows 7.

Question: What happens to the prior years' tax return that were done with XP? Can I transfer them to Windows 7 and throw the old computer out?  

Good for you. Not so good to mac user. They ditched El Capitan. Double punch to me. sf-frown I was long time satisfied user but have to find alternative this year.

January 16, 2021
12:15 pm
Dennis
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I tried to use SimpleTax but it seems latest year I can find is "2019 tax return". This year, we need 2020 tax return?

January 16, 2021
12:45 pm
BillieBob
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Dennis said

Good for you. Not so good to mac user. They ditched El Capitan. Double punch to me. sf-frown I was long time satisfied user but have to find alternative this year.  

TaxFreeway has both Windows and Mac versions. I have used the Mac version since 2007. I am self-employed, therefore not a totally straightforward return and it works fine for me.

It is standalone software, not Cloud based. Everything will reside on your computer. It is not free - $14.95 for up to 20 returns. A beta version of the 2020 software is available now to download for free to try out. Because it is beta, the Netfile and Print features are not enabled. It will work with El Capitan.

Screen-Shot-2021-01-16-at-3.35.06-PM.png

January 16, 2021
4:35 pm
Bobbyjet11
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Dennis said
I tried to use SimpleTax but it seems latest year I can find is "2019 tax return". This year, we need 2020 tax return?  

If I recall correctly, Simple Tax is usually a bit slow to update to the latest year. Keep checking.

January 17, 2021
10:27 am
Scruge
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topgun said
I have used the Cantax, Quicktax and Turbotax programs over 3 decades. The price is about $40 including tax for years. Yes at one time I did 3 returns. Myself and parents. Now I do one return. A great program. Worth the money.  

Same boat here, too. Turbo Tax 2019 box listed only Windows 10 & 8 operating systems but it did work on Windows 7 with a recurring nag popup about 2019 being the last year TT will work on Windows 7. TT website has no info about 2020 operating system requirements.

Both my kids, who used Turbo Tax previously, used SimpleTax in 2019. They said it was easier than TT with a similar interview process. SimpleTax requests a donation on filing but a donation is not required to file. SimpleTax has previous years available so I think I will re-do my 2019 return & compare it to TT.

January 17, 2021
11:34 am
Bobbyjet11
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Dennis said
I tried to use SimpleTax but it seems latest year I can find is "2019 tax return". This year, we need 2020 tax return?  

I emailed Simple Tax asking the same question. Will post when I get a reply.

January 17, 2021
11:48 am
Scruge
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January 17, 2021
12:13 pm
Dennis
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Bobbyjet11 said

If I recall correctly, Simple Tax is usually a bit slow to update to the latest year. Keep checking.  

I think you are right. I found that Turbotax web (free) is not ready either.

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