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Free Tax filing for Canadians individuals: Review of StudioTax Software canada >> Articles and Features >> This Article

Tax season is upon us and Canadian residents and all who earned money must file a Tax and Benefit Return for individuals by April 30 or June 15 (for self employed individuals) and their spouses or common-law partners. Here is a review of FREE StudioTax software that can be used for Individual tax filing in Canada.
Most salaried individuals might have already received their Tax slips (T4, T5 etc) from their employers, banks and other financial institutions. If you are ready to file taxes, Canadian government has made it really convenient to send your returns electronically using NETFILE There are several benefits to using Netfile, including

  • Faster refund
  • Even faster using direct deposit
  • Convenient Internet filing with instant acknowledgement
  • No need to send your receipts
  • Access Code available on-line

As per Canada's Revenue Agency (CRA) "the NETFILE transmission service is open from February 11, 2008, until September 30, 2008, for the electronic filing of your 2007 personal income tax and benefit return. Tax returns filed via NETFILE must first be prepared using one of the commercial tax preparation software packages or Web applications certified for NETFILE."

Review of StudioTax 2007

After review of several  CRA certified software for individuals, I used StudioTax 2007 this year as it is available for FREE download and use (and not just FREE Trial, mind you: It is a freeware software). As per their website "you don't have to guess what version you need or afford; only one fully functional version is available for all at the affordable cost of $0.00/return!" This I think is a really great deal! Argument in favor of using a FREE software like StudioTax:

  • Preparing taxes with a booklet, a pile of receipts and pay stubs and a blank tax form can be a confusing and frustrating experience. However, spending hours waiting at Walmart, mall or supermarket to turn in your tax slips to a guy/lady with a computer, have them use the software without a personal touch or additional advice is worse than doing it yourself (?!)
  • Caveat: However, if you can afford it, a top-notch tax service can gently guide you through the process of preparing your taxes and offer financial and tax advice. Tax services reach far beyond just basic tax preparation and reach towards tax strategy and financial planning.
  • Tax Software generally provide benefits, including:
    • Online filing
    • Provincial forms
    • Error and deduction checks
    • Imports information from popular accounting programs
    • Full-text publications

Macintosh Compatible Tax Software

Macintosh users often times find it harder to find free software to use for various tasks they are trying to accomplish. Finding software to do ones taxes is no different. Turbotax offers mac tax software for free, and you don't even have to download anything. Just use any of these three browsers: Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, log on, and be guided through doing your taxes, like a GPS! Turbotax enables you to find every deduction you deserve and guarantees your maximum refund and 100% accuracy with free support. Millions of Canadians use Turbotax because it's easy and affordable...even for Mac users!

My personal experience using StudioTax 2007 this year:

  • Easy to install on a computer, especially if one has a high-speed dialup.
  • StudioTax certified with the Canada Revenue Agency for use with NETFILE. I was able to use my NETFILE code to upload the ".TAX" file generated by the software.CRA has confirmed acceptance of my returns!
  • If you prefer, you can print and post the tax returns to CRA too (this is an advantage if you don't have a NETFILE code.

Caveat and restrictions. Following are the restrictions (some from StudioTax website):

  • StudioTax is made available for individuals who prepare their own tax returns, or returns for a small number of relatives and friends only.
  • StudioTax is distributed using a flexible licensing model. No license key or registration is required to download, install and use StudioTax. After you use StudioTax and you find it useful, the authors ask that you take the time to make a modest monetary contribution toward the support of this product.
  • The Quebec provincial tax is not yet supported. This does not prevent you from using Netfile to file your federal tax.
  • StudioTax can handle most of the tax situations. However, 2007 version contains some restrictions that may prevent you from using StudioTax to prepare your tax return. The following is the list of StudioTax restrictions:
    • Form T1219-ON Ontario - Minimum Tax Carryover;
    • Form T1139 - Reconciliation of 2006 Business Income for Tax Purposes;

    Form T1273 STATEMENT A - Harmonized CAIS Program Information and Statement of Farming Activities for Individuals;

Blogger comments on the StudioTax

[Caveat on the writeup: this is not tax advice. The opinions in the article are that of the author and not an official endorsement or advertisement of a product]


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