Studio Tax – Electronic Tax Return at the Right Price

by Tax Guy - Burlington Accountant on January 14, 0012 Print This Post Print This Post

Being an accountant my friends always ask me to prepare their returns for them. While, I have access to top level commercial grade tax software, the cost of these programs is out of the reach of the average Canadian (and not worth the cost for the higher income earner).

I’ve heard about many tax software programs over the years and as far as I’m concerned, if the CRA certifies them and my calculations are the same as the software then it really makes no difference who made the software. I had used TurboTax in the past because it was reasonably priced and easily obtained.

In 2008, I heard about a program called Studio Tax. I was a little sceptical because it was being touted as free. Anyway, I decided to check it out and down loaded the program and entered the tax information. The program was relatively easy and simple to use. My calculations checked out and I was satisfied that the program was suitable for a basic tax return.

The program is tailored to most personal tax situations and you should review their home page and restrictions to see if the software is right for you. If it is, then it’s priced well for the average Canadian with a few tax slips.

If you are self-employed, on commission, have rental income or significant stock trades, you should consider the value of an accountant. While users of retail software programs can input rental income, business income, capital gains and losses, they cannot replace the forward looking advice an accountant delivers.

The developers of the program are supported by Google’s Adsense ads (so Studio Tax is not what you’re looking for perhaps one of the Google ads shows something that is!) or by a donation via PayPal.

Update January 2011. Studio tax is still a great alternative to other paid software.

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.

Print This Post Print This Post


Manoj January 26, 2009 at 9:18 pm

I was skeptical when someone suggested StudioTax over QuickTax for my 2007 return. However when I started using StudioTax I was amazed at the accuracy and quality of the product, not to mention the easy to use user interface and the wonderful guides.

And of course, the price can’t be beat 😉

Keep up the good work


tax lady March 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I am an employee of the CRA, and being an employee there, we get to access ufile for free… I tried it, but not my style.
I have been using studiotax instead. I find it very user friendly, and have pointed many of my friends in the same direction. For someone with little tax knowledge, they have had no issues with the program and very few questions. Studiotax takes care of everything.
And for the amazingly low price of nothing.. you just can’t beat it.

Yoda April 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Again I was skeptical with this. Nothing is free and works well in today’s world. But I am happy to tell you that this software is very user friendly. I would recommend this to my friends and family.

thank you very much!

canbyte April 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Unfortunately, Studio Tax will only run on a relatively new PC – an unfortunate mismatch. My oldish P3/ winME would not install it properly. They picked the wrong platform. Too bad.

TootallPete December 5, 2009 at 9:03 pm

I have used QuickTax for many years in the past and decided to give StudioTax a shot for the last couple of years. The first time (2007 Tax Year), it worked flawlessly and I was very pleased and impressed with its performance.

For the 2008 tax year, I was not so impressed. The program allowed me to claim Ontario Tax Credits FOR BOTH my parents even though only ONE spouse can claim Ontario Tax Credits. I had gone through the step-by-step interview process at the beginning and told the program to “PROCESS AS A SPOUSAL RETURN”.

Unfortunately, it missed the error when I split the Property Taxes equally on both returns and it allowed the deduction FOR EACH spouse.

Now, as a result of the fundamental error, my mother has to repay over $900 plus interest. This is something the program should have caught, otherwise, why bother with the interview questions at all?

I think I’ll just stick with QuickTax next year. They guarantee their program’s accuracy.

Jason February 2, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Did you try UDoTaxes?

Tax Guy February 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

@Jason – Take alook at the Tax Software Review I posted last night!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Next post: