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Free Canadian income tax software

First published on February 26, 2007

Tired of paying for a program such as QuickTax / TurboTax or UFile to generate your personal income tax return every year? StudioTax is a free piece of software (donations are welcome, I’m sure) for Windows. StudioTax has apparently been around for four years. Every year so far, it has been CRA NETFILE approved.

According to the RedFlagDeals.com community (which you should check out, by the way), StudioTax should work great for most users. Try it out!

March 8, 2009 update: There are now free and student versions of TurboTax.

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50 Responses to “Free Canadian income tax software”


  1. Leah says:

    Ufile! I love it! I’ve used it as a student…I guess I won’t be able to use it anymore! I can’t compare it to the other programs, but it is great!


  2. Ann says:

    thanks!


  3. Shivaram says:

    Just trying to download. if it works shall send you a donation – thanks


  4. Peter says:

    Well, make sure you send them a donation… not me!


  5. Mary Anne says:

    I will check it out. Free is good, but you usually get what you pay for.

    Thanks for the info.


  6. Homer J says:

    Studio Tax is great. Recommended.


  7. Barry says:

    I have used Studiotax for 2 years (3 if you include this). Highly recommended.


  8. Ron says:

    StudioTax can’t be used by Quebec residents. In fact, I haven’t found any free software that bothers with Quebec. Why is that?


  9. Barry says:

    I don’t know Ron.. but the owner of Studiotax said a couple years ago he was trying to get certified. I tried doing a QC return in Studiotax and it does prepare and allow you to print the QC forms (not netfile, but in paper). That being the case, it would appear he is not too far off. Perhaps you can file those paper. I am not sure. Check it out however. And write the owner and ask him if he may get certified. He actually said on talk radio here in Ottawa last year that he planned to get certified in QC for this year. Perhaps he may…. If you do, let me know by posting here what he says.


  10. Barry says:

    Oh yeah I forgot.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_tax_preparation_software_for_personal_use

    Check this site out.. It suggests there may be a product available that allows QC returns to be filed for free.


  11. richard says:

    now i dont have a printer can i just send through web without having to mail in my t4 and printing the forms out


  12. Peter says:

    From what I know, when you use NETFILE you don't have to send anything in. You may get a notice a couple of months later asking for a supporting t-slip to verify some info.


  13. Terry says:

    Does anybody know of a way to add T-slips to Studiotax. It does not have the onw I need. (T2201)


  14. Jay says:

    my girlfriend want s to prepare taxes this year for clients. She used to use quick tax…is there any programs out there that she can use to prepare multiple returns and not have to pay….more than a one time set up…??thanx….


  15. the stick says:

    thanks just did 2006 and 2007tax,s looks good ,was fast and easy .


  16. Alfred says:

    Can you trust software to do something that important for you?


  17. TAS says:

    I was trying to do the tax return for a person who has social assistance as their income. T5007 is the statement of benefit. I couldn’t find it in studiotax, anyone know?


  18. Johanna Cardinal says:

    The only thing is, Quebec provincial income tax is not possible. I need a software that can do both. I so dislike having to pay the big bucks for Quick Tax.. any other suggestions for Quebec residents?
    Thanks.


  19. bill says:

    there is a free program on the quebec governments websight that i used last year it works fine but can only be useful for single people and does not print a tax return for mailing only for net filing. the 2008 version is not available yet but i’m sure it will be there in feb
    it’s called"electronic income tax return"


  20. James says:

    I’m trying out the 2008 tax year version and I think it’s useless. It doesn’t let you specify a fitness amount for each child. You try to put a total for all three and it creates a permanent error (tells you about it when you enter every value and doesn’t let you back at it to change it).

    The only help in the software is generic high-level stuff. Nothing to actually help you figure out how to find something particular within the software.

    I’d rather pay for software that waste my time with Studio Tax.


  21. Chris says:

    QuickTax launched two Free products today

    QuickTax Free Online Edition
    http://quicktax.intuit.ca/tax-software/personal-products/free-online-tax-preparation.jsp

    QuickTax Student Online Edition
    http://quicktax.intuit.ca/tax-software/personal-products/student-taxes.jsp


  22. SG says:

    I just tried this out to verify my own calculations (I’ve created an excel sheet I’ve been using the last few years to help me optimize my deductions). After entering stuff in the amounts were off, but I found what I hadn’t changed and it all worked out the same. I wasn’t able to enter a line 331 on the schedule 1, it kept sending me to the wrong worksheet but I was able to get around that by fudging another number. So I got the right amount but won’t be able to netfile unless I can fix that.

    The software would be better if it would help you optimize your RSP deduction.

    If you have a very simple return and few deductions, this software will work for you. But it’s still a good idea to talk to someone (expert or friend or whatever) to make sure you aren’t missing any deductions!


  23. Bill says:

    Go to the Revenue Canada, CRA website for Netfile, http://www.netfile.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

    There is a list of CRA certified Income Tax software, free and very inexpensive programs, you can download and use.

    The programs are certified by CRA, so they will do your taxes correctly. You just need to know what deductions, credits, etc., that are available for your particular tax situation.


  24. Laura says:

    Actually QuickTax has a free tax software version this year http://quicktax.intuit.ca/tax-software/personal-products/free-tax-software.jsp – and a different free version for students. I use QuickTax – it’s fast, quick, easy, and my refund is due in as little as 8 days with NETFILE. I doubt I’d ever switch.


  25. elizabeth lasaleta says:

    Thank you


  26. Rob (Oakville) says:

    I thought I would give this a try and see how close I would get to the one my accountant did. My return is very basic, my wife and 1 son. I did it according to the wizard and hers came out bang on. Mine on the other hand did not. I would have received less had I gone with the program. Having said that, I had a problem with putting my son as a dependent and could not override the line 336 to add the number 1. This could be where my discrepancy came in. It was off by $300. This was just my first attempt at using this software ever and was to see if I could save having to pay the accountant in the future. I would rather donate to the programmer. But as far as user friendly, it’s amazing. No doubt about that! So thanks Peter for posting this blog and giving us an alternative to saving and trying out this software.


  27. Herald says:

    Funny nobody mentioned an excellent software, Taxman. I have been using it since 2003. However, it doesn’t have e-File capabilities as does Studiotax. So, I switched to Studiotax in 2006. Both are fantastic!

    Taxman is found here: http://pacificcoast.net/~gthompson/

    Moreover, I get a kick out of reading the software creator’s comments. He is HILARIOUS! Just an added bonus that you can laugh at a time it is difficult to do so!


  28. Erin says:

    After inputting our data using StudioTax’s wizard, the program crashed and I had to re-enter everything again. Then tonight, when I tried opening our file again, I get a permanent error (similar to James) saying "The total of the children’s fitness amounts exceeds the maximum allowed" and then it won’t let me into the program!!! It keeps bringing up that error box. I wouldn’t recommend this program to anyone with a children’s fitness tax credit. What a waste of my time!


  29. Jason says:

    Wow, there are a lot of people shilling QuickTax. My Bank, epost and now people in the comments. Just spend two frustrating evenings with Quicktax. Nothing quick about it. 20-30 seconds to load a page. And each page asks a single question. Painfully slow. It’s actually worse than doing it on paper.

    I don’t have windows, so I can’t check out StudioTax – but that sounds like something to try next year. I tried ufile.ca and it was quick. $15.95 and a spouse is $9.95. QuickTax wanted $31 for a business – and if you earned any income that isn’t on a T4, you need the business version. So, ufile was fast and saved me some cash.


  30. blah says:

    @Laura:
    The free version of Quicktax is for people without RRSP… I suggest you put some money aside of RRSP, though, otherwise you pay the taxman instead of paying yourself.


  31. Jimmy Ly says:

    StudioTax is great


  32. Katherine says:

    StudioTax is great (used it for 2 years cause I was frustrated with the increasingly restricted number of returns with QuickTax) – but you have to actually know what you are doing in order to make sure you take advantage of all the available deductions. QuickTax is much easier to use if you aren’t an accountant or very comfortable with personal tax preparation. I haven’t had any issues with errors or returns that won’t open after saving, also I have used it to prepare returns with many different tax slips, self employed income, moving expenses, and haven’t run into any situations where it wouldn’t let me enter slips or information. Definately will be using this again.


  33. tom says:

    Used Studio Tax for 2008, works extremely well for my family. A breeze compared to doing it by hand.

    Found that it was far more useful and better organized than Ufile and QuickTax

    The only real negative I have with Studio Tax is that there is no hardcopy printout listing for all the individual T4, T5, etc. line entries.

    Unfortunate that Ufile and QuickTax are unable to provide a comparable product, at a more reasonable price.


  34. Jason says:

    How about UDoTaxes?
    www.udotaxes.com


  35. phil says:

    UDoTaxes is Great ! very cleas user interface, easy to input.


  36. Average Joe says:

    Just my two cents.. I have been using this free software since around 2006 and it has worked perfect every time, to the penny. I beleive it can also process Quebec forms, too. It doesn’t do electronic filing, but I don’t need that, so I’m happy with it.

    Taxman http://pages.pacificcoast.net/~gthompson/

    Once I line up all my T4′s, deduction amounts, etc, and start to enter the info in the program, it doesn’t take long to complete, usually within 15 to 30 mins I am done and printing the forms to mail to Revenue Canada.


  37. m says:

    I just tried out Studiotax. It was fairly simple and straightforward.

    I had to add a form to enter rental property information (this isn’t handled by the "wizard"). If I didn’t have a previous year’s tax filing to refer to, I may have been lost, and I would have had to go to the web for help on it. However, filling out the form using Studiotax is still straight-forward, so help that is specific to the program is not really needed (though it would be convenient).

    To double-check the results and to make sure I was getting all the deductions possible, I filled out a return on Quicktaxweb as well. After entering all the information and getting confusing results that I couldn’t look at or change, I found I’d imported the wrong data and had to delete the return and restart the entire process. It is more time-consuming and MUCH more frustrating than using Studiotax. It makes it seem like it’s providing more tax savings, because it asks you about a million things and it tells you everything it’s deducting, however in the end the result was the same as Studiotax.

    I’d recommend Studiotax over Quicktaxweb.


  38. Just Ed says:

    I am using Studio Tax for the first time. Seems easy enough. The only problem I have is I cannot find where to put the First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit amount. Any suggestions?


  39. Ann says:

    Hello Ed,
    Home buyer amount – go to Federal Tax Schedule 1 line 369


  40. June says:

    I received a retiring allowance from my former employer in 2009, from which a sum of money was rolled into my RRSP account. I am using StudioTax to file my 2009 return but on the worksheet for RRSP contributions I cannot find a "transfer" box and therefore cannot make use of line 240 of Schedule 7. Can someone advise me how to accomplish this.
    Thanks.


  41. Rich says:

    I am trying StudioTax for the first time. So far so good. However, I cannot figure out where to enter the self-employment info?? It’s T2124 on UFile or Quicktax. On StudioTax I cannot find it? Anyone have an idea?


  42. Joyce Wasend says:

    I tried to download Studio Tax, and it said the archive was corrupted. I tried a couple of times and kept getting the same message. Now, I’ll try one of the other ones suggested in here.


  43. Dave says:

    I used studiotax for the fist time this year and like June, my wife’s return also had a RRSP transfer from retiring allowance, I went to forms – added schedule 7,called up the schedule and then entered the amount directly onto line 240 – great little program, I’ll use it again next year.


  44. Fabian says:

    I’m in my late fifties and I have used a lot of incometax software through the years, from the "first" that appeared in the market to the to the latest. StudioTax is the "BEST", and not necessarily because is "free".


  45. Cecile says:

    I used mytaxexpress for a few years, they have good customer service, always accountable.


  46. Dana says:

    Last year, the second day after I downloaded MyTaxExpress software some one used my personal information to open a mobile device account with bell. So when you download those kind of software, you need be very careful. I would go to the shop to buy rather than to download a cheap software to do my Tax.


  47. Bob says:

    StudioTax have problem when calaulate the RRSP.


  48. Janet says:

    Used StudioTax for 3 years now – First year I did one return, second year I did two returns and this third year I just submitted four returns. It can take awhile to figure out how to navigate so start with a simple return first. This is the only program I have found that is totally free no matter what the income. I liked UFile the most but they charge after a certain income. So I will stick with Studio Tax as long as they have this program available for my personal use. The more you work with the program the easier it becomes. Thanks Studio Tax !


  49. Ed Hommerson says:

    I use studio tax for the first time. So far it works great. I made a faulty entry in line 115 and don’t know how to delete and replace it. I can highlite the amount, but not delete it. Can anybody help to fix this? Greatly appreciated.

    Ed


  50. Jake singh says:

    Just Checking on the CRA Netfile website for tax software. They only have Taxtron Certified.
    Downloaded their software from www.taxtron.ca
    I like it and the bonus is that it’s free fro me.

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