Spring is here, and that means one thing: tax season is upon us. Exactly when is tax season in Canada in 2022? The deadline for filing your 2021 personal income tax return in Canada is April 30, 2022, but since that date falls on a Saturday this year, you’ll have until May 2, 2022. Luckily, filing your taxes on your own doesn’t have to be such a headache anymore. You can do just about anything from the comfort of your couch these days, and that includes filing your tax return.
The Canadian Revenue Agency has approved over three dozen certified tax software products that you can use to file your tax return electronically for tax season 2022 in Canada. Revenu Quebec has approved around 20 programs. The most difficult part is choosing which one is best for you. To get you started, we’ve rounded up some of your options to see which Canadian tax return programs you can consider to help simplify tax season 2022.
TurboTax: Best all-rounder
Intuit Canada’s TurboTax is widely considered one of the best online tax filing software options in Canada. Canadians from all walks of life swear by it, which just illustrates how versatile it is. There are online versions as well as versions for online, Android, iPhone and iPad and Windows.
TurboTax is easy to use, and the free version may be sufficient for the basics, like your employment, unemployment and pension income, RRSP contributions, dependent and student credits and COVID benefits. You can also import last year’s TurboTax info. If you need to claim donations, medical expenses and employment expenses, you’ll need the Deluxe version, which costs $19.99 per return. This version will also help you identify tax-saving opportunities.
Did you put money into the best Canadian stocks? Then you’ll likely want to look at the Premier version, which will set you back $34.99 per return. This one also covers rental property income and expenses, capital gains and losses and foreign income.
If you’re self-employed, you can choose a basic package for $44.99 per return, a package that provides help from a tax expert for $109.99 per return or one that lets a tax expert do all the work for you, for $279.99 per return.
TurboTax is among the easiest options for tax return software in Canada, but if you still find it too stressful to do it yourself, you can get an expert to file your return. The full-service packages cost between $89.99 and $179.99 per return.
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UFile: Best for students, newcomers to Canada and low-income taxpayers
Thomson Reuters is the company behind UFile. With UFile 4 Windows, a package that includes four returns with email support starts at $22.99; a package with 12 returns plus email and telephone support starts at $34.99.
The reason UFile is a top choice for many, however, is its free version. If you’re a secondary student with tuition fees, have attended school for at least a month in this past tax year, are the designated family head and are a resident of Canada, you’re eligible to use UFile for free, thanks to their partnership with the Canadian Federation of Students. This makes it one of the best international student tax return software. If you’re a newcomer to Canada and filing taxes for the first time, you can use UFile for free too. The free version is also available to taxpayers with very simple tax returns and those whose total family income is less than $20,000.
UFile is pretty straightforward to use, and if you need to pause, you can save your progress and return to it later.
Wealthsimple Tax: Best free software
SimpleTax’s Wealthsimple not only brings us one of the best finance apps for young people, but it also offers one of the best free tax return software options in Canada. Wealthsimple Tax used to be called SimpleTax, and it has online, Android and iPhone and iPad versions.
While other tax return programs have free versions, they can sometimes be rather limiting: they’re available only for straightforward tax returns or for special categories of taxpayers like students or newcomers. Wealthsimple’s free software works for any kind of tax situation, including when you’re self-employed or have income from cryptocurrency. There’s also expert help at hand via email, phone or chat.
H&R Block: Best if you need help
Like most of the best software for tax returns in Canada, H&R Block offers free and paid versions. All of these versions are good for any kind of tax scenario, and with each paid tier, you get an added level of support. It’s all this support that makes H&R Block one of our top choices. If you use the free version, you get step-by-step personalized guidance and access to an online help centre. The Assistance package at $19.99 per return adds customized tax tips along the way and unlimited phone and online chat support. The Protection package at $44.99 per return throws in unlimited priority support by phone, as well as expert guidance if you’re being audited.
Need an expert to look over your return before you file? You can get expert help from $29.99. H&R Block also offers a remote tax expert who will prepare your return for you if you send them pictures of your documents. If you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, you can meet with a tax expert in person. H&R Block has offices in all Canada’s provinces and territories except Nunavut.
StudioTax: Best for offline and for the territories
StudioTax from Ottawa-based BHOK IT Consulting comes in versions for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
This tax program isn’t online and cloud-based. Instead, you download the software and prepare your tax return offline, which makes your information more secure. For $15, you get a license to file up to 20 returns. The software comes with a help function, or you can watch their YouTube tutorials or contact their email support.
So why do we think this is the best software for Canadians living in the territories? The fact that you use the software offline is one factor, especially considering how challenging connectivity can be in the North. The other reason is that if you live in Northwest Territories, Yukon or Nunavut, you get the program for free. It’s also free for those who make less than $20,000 per year.