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Free income tax software options in 2021 (2020 tax year)
January 18, 2021
6:01 am
dommm
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Scruge said
CRA web page listing all certified free or pay-what-you-want software. All are online-only.
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/netfile-overview/certified-software-netfile-program.html  

Great link, thanks!!

January 18, 2021
8:30 am
Oscar
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StudioTax 2020 is now available...

https://www.studiotax.com/home.html

January 18, 2021
8:56 am
pooreva
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I understand you CANNOT file your taxes without license but can you USE it at all without paying?
Turbotax requires you to HAVE and enter license even before program starts.

January 18, 2021
8:57 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?  

Just heard back from Simple Tax support:

"We'll have the 2020 returns available late January 2021. The CRA will release the new forms at that time as well.

NETFILE opens February 22nd, 2021. You cannot file a 2020 tax return before then.

We also have our updated tax calculator, which will help you see what the tax payable for the year is: https://simpletax.ca/calculator

Please let me know if you have any more questions, I'm happy to help!"

January 18, 2021
4:35 pm
Bill
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Here's the current info re getting a (free!) return for paper filers (I apologize for infecting this thread with subversive activity info!):

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/income-tax-benefit-return-paper.html

January 18, 2021
6:43 pm
Oscar
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I went online to order a paper copy and wasn't surprised but a bit ticked off to see that both a telephone number and an email address has to be supplied to have a paper tax package mailed out. A name , address and postal code just isn't enough info to get it to your door .

https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/cjcf/fpos-scfp/pub/rdr?request_locale=en_CA

January 18, 2021
7:01 pm
Bill
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Oscar, this is the first year they've asked for email address. I have an extra email address or two I don't really use to give out for times like this when it's required. Or I guess you could just give them a fake one. Phone number I don't care, they've already got that and I'm happy to talk to them if they want to call me.

January 18, 2021
7:23 pm
Oscar
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Bill, worried more about next year. Will probably need a Facebook , Linkedin and google account by then. Maybe 2 references as well.

January 18, 2021
7:48 pm
Loonie
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There are people out there who, for various reasons, don't have an email address. I guess the gov't isn't interested in getting their taxes! lol

January 19, 2021
6:28 am
Bill
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No luck there, 2020 T1 still has provision of email as optional.

In this case it was just so they could send an email indicating they go my order ok, I received a confirming email within a short time.

February 19, 2021
9:43 pm
Norman1
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GenuTax Standard received NETFILE certification:

… For the 2020 taxation year, NETFILE certification of GenuTax Standard from the CRA has been obtained.

February 20, 2021
6:20 am
hwyc
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Norman1 said
GenuTax Standard received NETFILE certification:

… For the 2020 taxation year, NETFILE certification of GenuTax Standard from the CRA has been obtained.

  

Think I will start trying out this year as a stand-by. Downloaded the certified version (v1.61.7720.19889) yesterday. My first impression - the interface/presentation still need work to match the other paid alternatives. For starter, it would be nice to have a "check for software updates". Looks like it stores multiple tax years per person in a single file, but there is no backup of the data file(s) between sessions.

February 22, 2021
8:38 am
pooreva
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I have few returns available (not used) from TurboTax. If anybody is interested, PM me and we can try to arrange something.

February 25, 2021
10:11 am
dommm
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Norman1 said
GenuTax Standard received NETFILE certification:

… For the 2020 taxation year, NETFILE certification of GenuTax Standard from the CRA has been obtained.

  

I cannot figure out how to save a pdf file copy of my tax return when using GenuTax. Any help in doing so would be appreciated. Thanks

February 25, 2021
10:52 am
Oscar
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pooreva said
I understand you CANNOT file your taxes without license but can you USE it at all without paying?
Turbotax requires you to HAVE and enter license even before program starts.  

You can use Studiotax to complete returns without inputting a license key.

February 26, 2021
5:13 pm
Londonguy
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dommm said

I cannot figure out how to save a pdf file copy of my tax return when using GenuTax. Any help in doing so would be appreciated. Thanks  

I don't have that particular software, but usually if you select "print to PDF" rather than your actual printer, it'll make a PDF of just about anything.

Sometimes the formatting of the end result can be a bit off depending on the source material, but it's still better than having no hard copy at all

February 27, 2021
10:21 am
Norman1
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Unfortunately, GenuTax Standard does not have built-in capability to render the return to a PDF file.

As Londonguy described, in Windows 10, one prints the return and chooses either the "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" printer to create an XPS file or the "Microsoft Print to PDF" printer to create a PDF file.

February 27, 2021
3:17 pm
Scruge
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If you're using Windows other than 10, an easy utility to make a pdf from just about any software is CutePDF (https://www.cutepdf.com/). The software installs itself as a print driver. From any software that prints, select CutePDF as the printer and it saves a pdf.

February 27, 2021
7:18 pm
Doug
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Oscar said
Why is it time Doug ?  

Hassles of maintaining multiple installations of different tax years? sf-cool

Anyway, seeing that SimpleTax has now rebranded as Wealthsimple Tax and tightly integrated with Wealthsimple, as I predicted, I can no longer recommend SimpleTax, and have moved to TurboTax Free Online.

The one annoyance with TurboTax Free Online, as far as I can tell, is you cannot print a preview of your actual draft completed income tax return. They require you to "complete" your "order," which generates a $0.00 "paid" invoice and payment receipt, but do allow you to change your return and regenerate a new draft completed income tax return, which, presumably, generates another $0.00 "paid" invoice and payment receipt.

Overall, not a bad product, nice UI, save for the multiple nags to "upgrade" to their premium service offerings.

Cheers,
Doug

February 28, 2021
7:15 am
dommm
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Londonguy said

I don't have that particular software, but usually if you select "print to PDF" rather than your actual printer, it'll make a PDF of just about anything.

Sometimes the formatting of the end result can be a bit off depending on the source material, but it's still better than having no hard copy at all  

Yes that is exactly what I always do when I want to save something as a PDF file but when I clicked onto print within the program it started printing immediately without the option to choose "print to PDF" as most other programs allow unless I missed something.

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