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The Best Tax Return Software in Canada

Written by Jessica Steer
When it comes to doing your own taxes you basically have two options: you can do them yourself or you can get them done by a tax professional. That choice is up to you. It is important to remember that taxes will look different for everyone and there will be different requirements to follow, so if you choose to do them yourself you want to be sure you are doing them correctly. On top of that you want to make sure that you are either getting the largest refund you can get, or pay the least amount of income tax, whichever situation applies to you. This is where using a tax software can be helpful, for a low to no cost they can help you do your taxes accurately and efficiently.
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    Tax Software That You Can Choose From in Canada

    In Canada there are quite a few different tax software to choose from. The cost of this software will depend on the type of taxes you are filing. For example, if you just have a standard T4 to file, that is going to be the cheapest. If you have your own business, your taxes are going to be a bit more complicated and more expensive. The more you need to claim, then the more complex your taxes become and the more they cost.

    Let’s take a look at the different types of software available and see what may work best for your individual tax situation.

    Turbo Tax

    TurboTax is a great option for a tax software, like most of the other software available, it is CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) certified and it is easy to use. Depending on what you are filing, the cost will range anywhere from $0 up to $120.

    TurboTax provides step by step instructions and, if you have a paid version, it imports your tax information from previous years. They also have assist and review versions for both standard returns and business returns. You can also have one of their tax experts go over your final return before you file it. Throughout the software, it also allows you to look for over 400 credits and tax deductions to help you save money. While it can be the most expensive option at $120, that is usually for business returns which can cost significantly more when you go to a tax professional.

    H&R Block

    The online tax software is a bit cheaper. The cost ranges from $0-$29.99. Like turbo tax, H&R Block online tax software is also CRA certified, but it is also a NETFILE certified tax software. Depending on the version of this software you choose, you can get tech support and tax tips throughout the process to help you make the most of your return. You can even get audit protection and digital return storage.

    If you don’t want to file your return through their online tax filing services, you can take it to any H&R Block branch after you have completed it. You can then get it filed there and you can have a tax professional take a look at your return before you file.


    SimpleTax is another software that is CRA certified. If you don’t know the name SimpleTax, you may know of this software as Weathsimple Tax since the name was recently changed. Unlike, H&R Block and TurboTax, this software isn’t available on Android devices. That being said, it is completely free and has a 100% accuracy agreement.

    As far as free software goes, they have a few more options than most other free software. There are also no stipulations on who this software is free for. No matter your total family income, you do not have to pay unless you would like to make a donation. SimpleTax also has free customer support, an RRSP calculator and partial auto-fill returns. Their search box helps you add expenses easily and, since they have a 100% guarantee, if a mistake is made by them and you have to pay a penalty, you will be reimbursed.

    Overall, for a free tax filing software, this is a great option to file your tax return. Especially if your return is simple and straightforward. That being said, you can do any kind of return with this software. While it is free, they do give you an option to pay any amount you like once you complete your return. Overall, SimpleTax is a great way to do your taxes online.


    StudioTax, is also a free tax return software that is also CRA certified, while this software is available to most, it is not available to Quebec residents on the Mac version. While it is different from SimpleTax, an internet connection is not needed to use it. While StudioTax is free, it’s only free to those with an income less than $20,000, for everyone else it is $15.

    You can also download this software on your mobile device. This gives you easy access to all your returns. On a single license you can process up to 10 returns in 1 tax year, all at a low cost.


    This is another great option if you are looking for free tax software. Like most tax software, it is also CRA certified, just like the others we have mentioned, and you can store up to 9 years worth of income tax returns. That being said, the free version isn’t available to everyone. You must be:

    • A student
    • Have a simple return
    • An income of less than $20,000 per year
    • A first time filer

    As a paying customer, the cost is only $19.99 then $12 plus tax for a spouse. That being said, UFile is great because it allows you to use CRA’s ReFile service, if your return is the same as the previous year. Of course, this only works if you used UFile the previous year as well. Whether you use the free or paid version, UFile is another great way to get your taxes done affordably and efficiently.

    Best Tax Software for Small Businesses

    If you are a small business and want to do your taxes yourself, you may be wondering which of the software above would be your best choice. Well, while all of these software are great, the most recommended for those who have a small business is TurboTax.

    This is because TurboTax helps you every step of the way. They have a specific TurboTax version for small businesses and you can have an expert go over your tax return before you file it if you choose. TurboTax is transparent throughout the whole process and alerts you to where you could save more money or of any potential issues throughout your return.

    While TurboTax is more expensive than other software, they do offer an accuracy and maximum refund guarantee. That and the fact that they are so user friendly, they are a great way for small businesses to get their taxes done affordably.

    Best Tax Software for Professionals

    Best tax software in Canada for professionals is a toss up between SimpleTax and TurboTax. While both of these software have similar features, SimpleTax doesn’t support certain programs for farmers or certain corporate returns.

    If you don’t need any of those features then SimpleTax is a great option for you. If you do then you may be better off using TurboTax. While you may need to pay for the version of TurboTax that you need, you will get an accurate return and it will be saved for you to go back and look at if you need to.

    Best Tax Software for Accountants

    If you choose to use an accountant to do your tax return instead of doing it yourself, it is likely that they are using a different software than the ones above. One of the most popular is Taxprep. Not only does this software help tax professionals help to get you the best return possible, it has diagnostics, built in audit review and over 2,400 diagnostic and audit checks.

    While this software is much different from the ones that allow you to do the taxes yourself, it focuses on helping the accountant to get you as accurate as possible. Since accountants are aware of the vast amount of tax rules out there, this software doesn’t need to focus so hard on guidance as it does on accuracy.

    Best Free Tax Software

    It’s no surprise that the best free income tax software is SimpleTax. We have already gone over the positives of that software. A close second to this is UFile. For most users, UFile is free. Especially if you have a simple return of one T4. In a case like this, UFile is a great choice to do your return in a simple and affordable way.

    The main difference between these two software is that UFile allows for business taxes and SimpleTax only allows for employment taxes. That being said, SimpleTax is free or by donation for all returns and UFile does charge for some employment returns and all business income returns.

    TurboTax Vs. UFile

    In a lot of ways, these two software are very similar. That being said, depending on the type of return you file, UFile can end up being more expensive than Turbotax or vice versa. It's all based on your individual tax situation. TurboTax will also give you a refund with their 100% accuracy policy. UFile has there Triple Guarantee Policy. The details are listed in their user agreement.

    With UFile, you can keep up to 9 years worth of tax returns. This is ideal because the CRA says you should keep your tax records for 7 to 9 years, just in case of an audit. TurboTax only stores the previous year's tax returns.

    The thing with TurboTax is that you can pay a bit extra to have your return reviewed by a tax professional. This is ideal for more complex tax returns. It isn’t always necessary for everyone though. UFile is also an extremely accurate service and has its own positives. It allows you to ReFILE if you have the same return as last year, it also has autofill.

    In themselves, they both are great software, it just depends on your individual tax needs on which software will fit you better. Generally, the prices are reasonable for both so whichever you choose, you still aren’t spending a fortune to get your taxes completed.

    TurboTax Vs StudioTax

    When you are looking at both TurboTax and StudioTax, they both offer similar capabilities. Both of these software programs can accommodate standard returns, self employed income returns, rental income, capital gains, and anything else you find you may need to add to your return. While both of these are similar in this capacity, there are some differences.

    We already know that StudioTax is cheaper than TurboTax, but as we mentioned before, the main thing that sets TurboTax apart is that you can have a tax expert go over your return before submitting it. TurboTax also has a Q and A feature to help you get the most of your return. While StudioTax doesn’t have these features, they are also quite user friendly. Which one you choose really just depends on your preferences and what features you prefer in a software.

    SimpleTax Vs StudioTax

    While SimpleTax and StudioTax are both great software as well, there are a few key differences. The first is that SimpleTax (Wealthsimple Tax) is free for everyone, while StudioTax is only free to some. Another key difference is that you can only do personal income taxes that have employment income.

    If you have any corporate taxes to do, then StudioTax is the better option for you. Even though there is a cost, $15 isn’t much compared to what an accountant or tax professional would cost.

    Final Thoughts

    When you choose to go through the tax filing process yourself, there are a few things to consider before you choose the software. First you need to consider what kind of taxes you need to file. Do you have a standard return to file? Do you have investment income? Are you self-employed? Do you have RRSPs? Are you filing by yourself or joint with a spouse? Do you have medical expenses to claim? There are so many things to consider. Your tax filing software should be able to work with whatever your tax situation is. From there, you can figure out how much you are willing to pay to make sure your taxes are done correctly. This can avoid any unexpected fees in the future.

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