This is for all the Canadians out there who haven't filed taxes yet. The usual disclaimers apply - I am not an accountant, lawyer, or a certain famous monopoly icon. This was inspired by someone I used to work with who never did his own taxes - despite having only one T4 to enter, ever.
I've used several different tax prep software over the years I've been in Canada - HR Block, TurboTax, probably a few others - and have been mostly OK with them. I'd settled on HR Block for the last several years strictly because it imported my last years crap without trouble (since I'd done it with them before). This year however my account wouldn't work so I decided to poke around at new software and I found what is, in my opinion, the best one out there for Canada.
Enter simpletax.ca - This is an incredibly well designed online tax prep package.
It's simple, easy to use and very clear about what it is doing and why. It makes entering in deductions incredibly simple. For example - You have transit passes you can deduct - which form do you need? Just type in transit pass in the search box and it brings up the boxes you need. Each box has a popup that describes what value goes in it and what it means - and on the side you can see it calculating your amount due/refund in real time. Other software I've used has required you to know which form you needed to fill out - or at the very least which category they think it's under. I've missed out on deductions before because I couldn't find a place for them.
It handles spouse/dependent returns and, like most programs, will calculate and optimize your return with the others to maximize deductions (IE, transferring spousal credits, etc one way or the other to offset taxes).
Also of interest - it works perfectly on a tablet (in fact it was designed to work well on tablets). It's built around an iPad sized tablet but I had no issues with it on my 7" android tablet.
And of note this year regarding Netfile and the CRA - you no longer need a Netfile access code. You also no longer need to download a file and submit it on the CRA website - the tax software can submit it directly to the CRA. Just click submit and you are done!
I feel like there is something I'm missing.. hmm..
Oh right! It's pay what you want to file. Want to file for free? Ok! Want to kick them some money? Great! Some programs out there will let you file for free if you are under a certain income - but this will let you do as many tax returns as you want (subject to Netfile restrictions - which is 20 per person I believe) for as much or as little as you want to pay.
I hope this helps! I don't have any ties to Simpletax - but I was really pleased with using it this year for my moderately complicated tax profile (3 T4s, a T4a, 3 T2202As, RRSPs, etc etc).
And as a side note.. WOOOOO POSTING PRIVILEGES! Thank you for the opportunity! I thought I'd make my first post something
interesting useful (maybe (hopefully)).