Canada’s taxation system is flexible in that its taxpayers can use certified tax software to prepare and submit their returns to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) all from the comfort of their homes. Tax Chopper is one such software program approved for Canadian taxpayers to prepare their income tax returns blurb and submit them directly to the CRA.
This article will evaluate Tax chopper, its features, pricing, and its pros and cons.
What is Tax Chopper?
Tax Chopper is an online tax return preparation software designed for Canadian taxpayers by CuteTax Inc. Up until March 2009, Tax Chopper was known as CuteTax Online.
The CRA certifies online tax software programs every year before taxpayers can use them to file their returns. Tax chopper is NETFILE-certified, which means it is safe to use.
The software is compatible with most devices and operating systems. It is web-hosted, which means that you can access your information (returns) anywhere and anywhere.
Tax Chopper allows self-employment business reporting. If you use Tax Chopper, you can prepare your tax returns from 2002 upwards and return until 2012 must be printed and mailed due to the CRA NETFILE system limitations.
Anyone can use Tax Chopper as long as they are eligible to file their returns through NETFILE and they are not filing provincial returns in Quebec. To use Tax Chopper, you will need to verify your eligibility, and then you will have to create a Tax Chopper account.
Features of Tax Chopper
Tax Chopper offers a wide range of tax preparation services and other related services. Below are some of its features:
- Integrated Family Return
With Tax Chopper, you can prepare up to 15 returns for your family using one account irrespective of your income, location, or how complicated your taxes are.
- Joint Investment Account
You can share a joint account income or capital gains with another person, and you will only be required to enter the information once.
- Joint Business Reporting
More than one person can share business activities on Tax Chopper.
- Self-Employment Business Reporting
Tax Chopper supports self-employment business reporting, including business, commission, rental, professional, fishing, and farming businesses.
- Cross-Province Transfer
Location isn’t a barrier for TAX Chopper. If you and your spouse or other dependants live in different provinces in a tax year, Tax Chopper will apply rules specific and precisely to each one of you.
- Optimal Pension Splitting
Tax Chopper stands out with this feature as it is the only software that predicts the exact best splitting amount (split payment) for pensioners. This gives them the maximum total tax refund.
- Prepare Returns for New Immigrants
Tax Chopper helps with the preparation and submission of returns for new immigrants in Canada.
- 2D Barcode Printing
The CRA authorizes 2D barcode printing for tax software programs yearly. The 2D barcode printing allows users of tax software to file their returns on paper to do so. Tax Chopper receives this authorization annually, and as a user, all you need to do is activate the 2D barcode printing before you print your return. The CRA will then scan the barcode instead of manually processing the return.
- Faster Refunds & Maximum Refund
Filing your returns with NETFILE allows you to receive your refund as soon as possible. You can also get your service fee refunded in full if you find out that the tax chopper has not given the maximum refund or the least balance due to your returns after you pay.
- Account Download and Upload
You can download your file from the Tax Chopper server and store your desktop account. This will, however, remove your account from the server. Not to worry, the next time you want to log in to the server, all you have to do is upload your file and carry on with your taxes.
- Carry Your Claims Forward
Tax Chopper allows you to get your profile and carry your unused claims from the previous years forward as long as you used the software in the last year.
- Print Real Tax Forms
With Tax Chopper, you can download printable Adobe PDF files with your data on the forms. You can print these forms and keep them for future reference.
- Ease of Use
Tax Chopper is easy to use and is situation-oriented (it lets you focus on important information on your tax returns rather than filling them line by line). It is also swift and only takes some minutes to finish your return.
- Security and Privacy
Your data is safe and secure with Tax chopper, and in compliance with the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), your privacy is assured. You can also delete your information from Tax Chopper’s server at any time.
Tax Chopper offers its users free year-round support even after filing.
Tax Chopper is supported by most devices and operating systems and is compatible with major browsers. You can prepare and submit your tax returns online.
Overtime, Tax Chopper has adjusted its features and services in compliance with adjustments in tax laws. As of 2020, below are some of the new features and services Tax Chopper offers;
- Certain employment expenses for those who worked from home due to COVID-19 may be claimed based on supporting documents (T2200s and receipts).
- You will now need to enter a NetFile access code if you are filing your return electronically before you can file it. You won’t need an access code if you are filing your tax return for the first time.
- Up until the 2024 tax year, you may be eligible to claim a non-refundable tax credit for expenses you paid in each tax year from 2020 for a digital news subscription with a qualified Canadian journalism organization.
- You may claim the Canada Training Credit (CTC), a refundable credit that is 50% of your tuition fees paid or your credit limit, whichever of the two is lesser.
- Donations and gifts: For contributions made to registered journalism organizations, you may be able to claim a non-refundable tax credit.
- You can declare amounts from COVID-19 payments made by federal, provincial, or territorial governments if the payments are taxable by entering the slips you receive. If you also need to make repayment on some benefits, Tax Chopper will automatically calculate the payment for you.
- You can participate in the Home Buyer’s Plan under certain conditions.
Tax Chopper Provincial Tax Changes
There are also some provincial tax changes. The provinces include;
In Alberta, the tuition and education tax credits and the investor tax credit have been discontinued, though you can claim unused amounts carried forward from previous years.
Seniors in Manitoba received payments of CA$200 from Manitoba Finance in May/June of 2020. If you (as a senior in Manitoba) didn’t receive this payment, you could claim it on your 2020 income tax return.
- Newfoundland and Labrador
Although it was temporary, the deficit reduction levy has been discontinued as of the 31st of December, 2019.
From the 1st of January, 2020, Saskatchewan made available three new non-refundable tax credits to eligible volunteers (The volunteer firefighter’s amount, Search and rescue volunteer’s amount and Volunteer emergency medical first responder’s amount).
The labour-sponsored venture capital corporation tax credit in Yukon has been discontinued.
Tax Chopper Pricing
With Tax Chopper, you only pay when you are ready to file your tax. You can try the software for free before deciding to pay. You’re required to make a yearly payment to continue using the tax chopper software. The regular pricing for Tax Chopper is in the table below.
Number of Tax Returns
3 to 5 returns
6 to 15 returns
The prices above include GST/HST (Goods Sales Tax/ Harmonized Sales Tax). You can qualify for the discounted package prices if you prepare all your returns for a single account tax year. Tax Chopper is free for use if you are:
- A full-time student who spent six or more months in school in a tax year
- A newcomer to Canada in a tax year
- A single/divorced/widowed/separated at the end of a tax year and your total income is less than $25,000
- A married/living common-law at the end of a tax year and the sum of you and your spouse or partner’s total income is less than $32,000
Pros of Tax Chopper
- Tax Chopper is easy to use
- It is web-hosted
- It is free for certain people.
- It comes with a 2D barcode printing authorization.
- Exceptional services for pensioners
- It takes into account changes in federal and provincial tax laws.
- Excellent customer support services
Cons of Tax Chopper
- People in Quebec can’t use tax Chopper at the end of a tax year.
- It can be pricey if you are filing only one or two returns.
Alternatives for Tax Chopper
Some alternatives to Tax Chopper software include;
- Simple Tax
- Turbo Tax
- H&R Block
However, some of this software may not be verified, so you must ensure that you have NETFILE certification for the tax year you want to use them.
Tax Chopper is an online tax software program that is easy to use and makes tax returns preparation convenient and stress-free for its users. It has many advantages against a few cons, making it arguably one of Canada’s best tax software.