Tax software

Best Free Tax Filing Software in Canada

In Canada, more people are seeing the benefits of filing their tax returns online. Some of the reasons include ease, convenience as well as efficiency, no small feat for the tax filing software available in Canada. 84% of Canadians filed their taxes electronically in 2016 and the number keeps on growing. Before you find out the best tax software, you need to use these parameters when you shop for your tax software.

NETFILE Certification

If there’s one thing to check for above all else, it is that the software you purchase is CRA approved. If you purchase software, that’s not NETFILE Certified, you may have to print out your tax paperwork manually and send them by mail, which will increase the time that it takes to get your refund.

Cost

Although there is free tax filing software in the market, some of them have paid features. A few tax programs offer a tiered system with increased functionality when you upgrade your package.

Security

A tax filing software is useless if it can’t protect your personal information from hackers and fraudsters. Security is one feature that’s even more crucial than CRA Certification. It’s better to purchase a paid tax software that guarantees your data security than a free version you aren’t sure about.

Now you know the three core criteria for downloading a free tax software, let’s look at the contenders.

Turbo Tax

  • CRA Certified
  • Price is C$0.00 up to C$59.00
  • Data encryption

Turbo tax comes with added features such as automatic importation of previous tax info, auto-fill function, and an express notice of Assessment. It is a software from the stables of Intuit, a major player in the FinTech industry. They equip the software with all the functions you’d expect in any high-end tax filing software. It also has add-ons for audit protection and expert review. Turbo tax uses a TLS encryption that is well known in the US and Canada.

Studio Tax

  • CRA Certified
  • Price is C$0.00
  • No data encryption

Its true data security is a top priority for any tax software, but with studio tax, you need not worry about that. It is basic downloadable software that doesn’t store your info on third-party servers. Your financial information lives only on your PC. Studio Tax is truly free, and the downside to that is there aren’t lots of features to drool about. However, you can import your details from the last tax season if you’ve used the software before.

Simple Tax

  • CRA Certified
  • Price is C$0.00
  • Data Encryption

Simple Tax is a tax software that’s not only NETFILE Certified, it’s also NETFILE Quebec CERTIFIED. Amongst all the free software, it is the one that offers the best value for CS0.00. Simple Tax has auto-filling and refining features to make your task easier. It also comes with express notice of assessment, and a tutorial mode that helps you to understand which tax forms to fill. The software encrypts your data to safeguard your information. You can also opt for its two-factor authentication to give you an extra layer of data protection. If your tax returns are simple, and you need a free software, you should consider Simple Tax.

UFile

  • CRA Certified
  • Price is C$0.00 up to C$19.99
  • Data Encryption

Although UFile has no add-ons, it’s still a tax software that you can be proud to have. Some of its features include auto pension splitting, auto-filling, and refiling. You can also import previous tax information to save your time. The data encryption level is top-notch, and it doesn’t trick you to make in-app purchases. Students and Canadians in the low-income bracket can enjoy free tax returns. And if you decide to pay for the software, the premium fee is C$19.99, making it easily affordable for the average Canuck.

Final Thoughts

All the software mentioned above has its strengths and weaknesses. The only way to know which software works best for you is to try each one out. As tax-filing software continues to get better, you can expect more Canadians to quit offline filing and start making their tax payments online.

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