Benefits Of Using Tax Software + Giveaway!

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on February 1, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post

I published the 2010 Canadian Tax Software Review yesterday but ran into a bit of a technical glitch! I apologize to anyone who was surprised to see a “Page Not Found” error. The link to the review is now live!

Whether you are a novice or a have prepared your taxes for years, tax software will simplify the process and save you time and money.

Tax software programs are usually step-by-step and you can complete a tax return faster than on paper and in less than half of time. All provinces and territories tax returns are fully integrated (except Quebec) with the federal tax return and the tax software will pre-fill all of the additional provincial forms automatically.

A Note About Quebec Tax: Quebec has a separate tax filing system that is filed separately with Revenue Quebec. Not all tax software supports the Quebec returns. If you were a resident of Quebec, be sure to confirm whether your software includes the Quebec returns.

Software Saves Money

Most tax software cost less than to hire an accountant. In many cases, a basic return filed by an accountant can start at around $150 or more whereas you can purchase software for as little as $6.99, and in some cases free.

Some software will search for deductions and tax credits you may be entitled to and others provide analysis tools to help you maximize things such as RRSP contributions, charitable donations, or other opportunities to save taxes.

Test Scenarios

One of the biggest benefits of using software to prepare your taxes is the ability to make changes and analyze the impact. For example, you can test whether it makes sense to claim charitable donations on your return or your spouses or if you should make another RRSP contribution before the deadline.

The CRA’s EFILE Program

NETFILE is a program offered by the CRA to allow you to file your taxes over the internet. Most Canadian Tax Software (and all of the software in this review) are NETFILE certified. The certification only means that the software provider complies with the NETFILE requirements. The CRA does not review the privacy policy of the software or does it test the software for accuracy. If a mistake is made on your return, you are responsible for taking it up with the software provider.

About The Tax Guy...

Dean Paley CGA CFP is a Burlington accountant and financial planner who services individuals and business owners locally, nationally and internationally. Dean has appeared in the National Post, Toronto Star and Metro News.

To find out more, visit Dean's website Dean Paley CGA CFP or connect via Twitter @DeanPaleyCGACFP.

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{ 13 comments }

youngandthrifty February 1, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I like that tax software is easy to use, and I like how they do all the calculations for me! (no more pulling out that calculator and doing everything in pencil the ‘old school way’.) I like how I don’t have to pay $100+ to an accountant for something simple.

Ray February 2, 2010 at 1:53 am

I’ve been using myTaxExpress to file the returns for the whole family and friends for years. It’s just $6. Can’t understand why you would use anything else. Not interested in your free giveaway, unless you are willing to save me this year’s $6.

luc February 2, 2010 at 2:44 am

I used UFile online and StudioTax and got different results, for the same year! Eventually I submitted the UFile version because I paid for it, so maybe it’s more tested.
I’d like a package which will advise how to minimize tax the following years based on the behavior the previous years, for example, “invest in dividend stocks instead of regular ones because of the preferable tax”.

Jordan February 2, 2010 at 7:31 am

I’ve use GenuTax in the past, so I’d be interested in comparing it to Quicktax.

Antoine February 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

I’ve always chickened out when came the time to buy a program to do my taxes. Would this be the sign to make me change my mind? Let’s give it a go…

Maxwell February 2, 2010 at 10:51 am

I like UFile because I don’t have to pay until I am ready to submit my return. I enjoy being able to see everything before I pay. I worry about buying software and then being stuck with it because I don’t like it. I also like have a discounted family package for my wife’s small business and my son’s university tuition. Although I have never tried a software package, I would certainly be willing to use it if I won it Keep up the great work!

Dave D February 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Hit enter to soon. Sorry.

I use QuickTax.
Easy to found information.
Helpful tips.

Ken Steffler February 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I do like your blog and have passed it on to several other people to read. The best thing I like about tax software is it does all the calculations, so you don’t need to worry of an error on your part. I know one person who had an adding error and thought they were entitled to a refund. Then they got a letter from CRA about the tax owning and a penalty for not paying. Not fun!

Fanny February 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I like your article, it’s really useful.
And of course sign me in the draw.
Thanks.

Stephen Hill February 2, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’ve been using Quicktax for over 20 years. One of the benefits I really like is the carry forward of info from one year to the next that the software automatically picks up from your prior year file.
Thanks for the great blog info
Stephen

Tax Guy February 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

@Jordan, @Antione, @Maxwell, @Dave D, @Fanny, @Stephen Hill – Thanks for the comments!

@Ken Steffler – The software can make errors too. The CRA does not verify the software works correctly, only that it complies with the NETFILE filing standard.

Zee February 2, 2010 at 11:56 pm

I like the ease of being able to sync up data from bank accounts and credit cards to software like quicken, to keep track of my books year round.

codemonkey February 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

thanks. great website btw.

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