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Tax season can be a stressful time for many of us in Canada, but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be. In today’s digital age, tax software has revolutionized how Canadians file their taxes, offering convenience, accuracy, and peace of mind. 

Whether you’re a seasoned investor, a freelancer navigating self-employment income, or simply looking to streamline your tax filing process, there’s a solution for you. Join us as we explore the top contenders for the title of the best tax software in Canada for 2024, providing insight into their features, affordability, and user-friendliness.

Our Top Picks

Tax SoftwareBest ForKey Features
TurboTaxOur top choice for DIY tax software in Canada.
Suitable for simple and complex tax situations.
– Step-by-step guidance
– Expert support in premium editions
– 100% accuracy guarantee
H&R BlockExcellent for in-branch support or free filing under 26– $0 simple filings
– Live chat and phone support
– Ideal for RRSP investments
Wealthsimple TaxThe best free option– 100% free Basic plan (donation-based)
– Easy auto-fill
– Fast refunds
UFileWell-known software with free filing for students and low-income families.– $0 for students
– Free filing for those making under $20,000
– Fast refunds
StudioTaxPioneered free tax software in Canada, and now charges a flat rate.
Simple price structure with up to 20 returns.
$15 flat fee
– NETFILE certified
– Highly secure, fully offline return process

Reviews On The Best Tax Software In Canada

TurboTax

TurboTax – Best All-Around

TurboTax stands out as a beacon for Canadian taxpayers seeking an ideal balance of simplicity and detail. Famous for its user-friendly interface, the platform makes tax filing seamless. It offers detailed instructions at every stage, guaranteeing a complete and precise submission. 

Its standout feature is the auto-fill option, which directly imports data from the CRA, slashing the time spent on manual entries and minimizing errors. 

TurboTax has options for everyone, from the most straightforward circumstances to highly complex, multi-year tax needs. Its promise of accurate filing gives you peace of mind. 

Key Features

  • Guided process for accurate filing
  • Auto-fill feature imports CRA tax data
  • Error-free filing guarantee (excluding user input errors)
  • Automatically searches for tax-savings opportunities to ensure maximum return

Pricing

TurboTax offers three service categories: TurboTax Online, Assist & Review, and Full Service. Prices range from $0 to $250 per return, depending on the level of assistance required and the complexity of your finances.

Why We Chose It

TurboTax earns its stripes in our review for its all-encompassing approach, ensuring that each user finds the right blend of guidance, accuracy, and potential savings in their tax filing journey. TurboTax is reliable and easy to use, making it our top pick for all-around tax help.

H&R Block logo

H&R Block – Best for In-Branch Support

H&R Block is similar to TurboTax, with in-person access through their branch networks. Their software is designed to be simple, with a clean interface. You can get help through an intelligent chatbot or visit one of their branches for face-to-face assistance. 

Notably, in-person assistance is not included in their online tax filing packages but is an option for those who want it. It’s particularly beneficial for those requiring additional guidance through their tax filing process. Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay extra for in-person branch support. 

Otherwise, their online packages align with TurboTax, with the self-employed option a little less costly. The better choice depends on your preference for their filing experience. However, all online H&R Block packages are free for those under 26, making it a great choice for that demographic. 

Key Features

  • Four tiers of filing options: Free Online, Deluxe, Premium, and Self-Employed
  • Paid audit support is available
  • In-person assistance is available at local branches
  • AI Tax Assist chatbot for paying customers

Pricing

H&R Block offers four versions tailored to different tax needs. The Free version is suitable for simple tax returns, while Deluxe ($19.99) maximizes deductions like donations and medical expenses. The Premier plan ($39.99) covers investments and rental income, and the Self-Employed plan ($49.99) is designed for freelancers and business owners, with tools to optimize credits and deductions.

Why We Chose It

H&R Block’s simple filing process and extensive branch support make it a standout choice for those looking for in-person support and those under the age of 26. 

Wealthsimple Tax

Wealthsimple Tax – Best For Budget-Friendly Filing

Wealthsimple Tax, previously known as SimpleTax, revolutionizes the tax filing experience with a sleek, pay-what-you-can model. This platform is an asset for those looking to navigate their tax returns without the fuss or fees of traditional tax services. 

Wealthsimple has always put user experience at the heart of what they do, and if you invest with them, you’ll appreciate their approach to tax filing. Their elegant interface walks you through everything step by step, ensuring you feel confident and not swamped by the details. 

What sets Wealthsimple Tax apart is their Basic plan’s pay-what-you-can model, making it accessible to individuals of all financial backgrounds. Their free version offers many features you won’t experience at comparable prices elsewhere. For example, the Wealtimple Tax Basic plan includes capital gains, rental income, foreign income, and various deductions. 

If you’re seeking a no-frills, reliable tax software that respects your budget, Wealthsimple Tax is your go-to.

Key Features

  • NETFILE approved
  • Auto-fill from CRA
  • Step-by-step guidance
  • Refund optimization and fast refunds

Pricing

Basic (Donation-based), Plus ($40), Pro ($80)

If you are looking for additional features, they offer two other plans, Plus at $40 plus tax and Pro at $80 plus tax. Plus comes with all of the core features of their free version, with added email support and audit protection. Pro gives you access to a tax expert.

Why We Chose It

Wealthsimple Tax stands out in our review for its unparalleled blend of affordability, ease of use, and pay-what-you-want model, catering to Canadians keen on a straightforward tax filing experience that doesn’t break the bank. 

Ufile

UFile – Best For Straightforward Tax Situations

UFile is a no-frills option, emphasizing accuracy and simplicity. Their triple accuracy guarantee is a nice touch, covering accuracy, satisfaction, and the best tax result. The service is designed to offer a straightforward and no-nonsense tax filing experience. 

It is tailored to Windows users, as their desktop-based filing software isn’t compatible with Mac. However, you can still use the online variant with a Mac, although your data will be stored online. 

Whether you prefer storing your data online or offline, UFile can accommodate your security preferences, which makes it ideal for security-conscious filers. 

Key Features

  • Prior-year data import from TurboTax and UFile
  • Free filing options for students, newcomers, and low-income earners
  • Triple accuracy guarantee for peace of mind
  • Choice of online or offline storage for enhanced data security

Pricing

UFile offers a standard price of $20.95 for online filing, with an option for Windows users to do an offline return at $24.99. Free filing is available for individuals with simple tax returns, students, and low-income earners.

Why We Chose It

Our review recognizes UFile’s focus on a user-friendly, accessible and accurate tax filing experience. Out of all of our choices, this is the most no-frills option available. 

StudioTax

StudioTax – Best For Secure Offline Filing

StudioTax has been a reliable contender in the Canadian tax software market since 2004. They’re known for their dedication to secure filing. 

This software can handle simple and complex tax needs, offering a secure environment free from online vulnerabilities. StudioTax’s commitment to security is evident in its offline functionality, ensuring your sensitive financial information remains private. 

The software is available across all Canadian provinces, including Quebec, which broadens its appeal, StudioTax is reliable, secure, and accessible, making it the best option for Canadians who prioritize offline tax preparation.

Key Features

  • Completely offline functionality ensures your data remains secure
  • Support for various tax situations, including rental and investment income
  • Free version is available for individuals earning less than $20,000 annually
  • Compatible with all Canadian provinces, including Quebec

Pricing

StudioTax offers a free version for individuals meeting specific income criteria, while the paid version costs $15.00 per return. 

Why We Chose It

StudioTax offers a low, flat-rate cost, with an emphasis on secure filing. 

Choosing Tax Software: What To Look For

When selecting tax software, it’s wise to look for extra features to simplify the process. CRA auto-fill allows you to import data from previous tax returns, reducing time spent on manual data entry. If you are filing online, NETFILE-certified e-filing enables direct electronic submission to the CRA, which speeds up the refund process

Modern tax software typically has built-in calculators that automatically tally up your returns and credits, enhancing accuracy. This feature is handy for those with complex tax situations, but you’ll want to ensure their calculators have an accuracy guarantee. 

As your tax situation gets more complex, look for options for handling capital gains or losses from investments, income derived from rental property, and self-employment. Otherwise, ensure to look for the following details:

  • Accuracy: Double-check that the software is CRA-approved for NETFILE submissions and offers a 100% accuracy guarantee. This protects you in case of errors.
  • Support: Look for unlimited technical support via phone, email, chat, forums, and video. This ensures help is available if you get stuck.
  • Security: Verify that all data transmissions are encrypted for safety and that no personal information is stored without your permission.
  • Price: Tax software ranges from free versions for simple returns to $100+ for more advanced filers. Make sure you calculate the true cost based on any added filing fees.
  • Usability: The best products have an intuitive interface that guides you from start to finish in plain language. Steer clear of overly complex programs.
  • Guarantees: Many companies offer satisfaction guarantees, maximum refund guarantees, audit support, and other assurances about their tax software’s performance.
  • Compatibility: Check that the desktop and mobile apps are compatible with your operating system and devices.
TurboTax

File your taxes with TurboTax

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What You Need To File Taxes Online

Filing taxes digitally with CRA-approved software is convenient and secure. To get started, gather essential documents like your Social Insurance Number, prior year tax returns, income statements (T4, T5, etc.), and receipts for deductions/credits

You’ll also need your direct deposit bank account information for refunds, birth date, postal code, and details about your spouse/dependents (if any). With all your tax documents ready, the software will guide you through the process step by step, ensuring a smooth experience.

Where To Get Free In-Person Tax Help

  1. Volunteer tax clinics: Offered during tax season by programs like the CVITP, these free tax clinics provide filing help for low-income individuals.
  2. University tax clinics: Many post-secondary accounting or law programs run clinics for hands-on student training while helping the community file taxes affordably.

Bottom Line

Whether you opt for the comprehensive guidance of TurboTax, the affordability of Wealthsimple Tax, or the flexibility of H&R Block, the key is finding a solution that simplifies the process while maximizing your refund. 

With the right tax software at your fingertips, filing your taxes becomes not just a chore but an opportunity to take control of your financial future. Embrace the ease and efficiency of digital tax preparation and embark on your tax-filing journey with confidence, knowing that the top tax software options for 2024 have got you covered.

Tax Software FAQs

Is it hard to do your taxes?

Modern tax software is straightforward to use, guiding you through the step-by-step tax filing process. Even for those with complex finances, doing your taxes is relatively straightforward, thanks to the prompts and support built into most tax software.

When should you talk to a tax expert?

It’s smart to seek professional tax assistance if you own a business, manage complex investment portfolios, hold foreign financial assets, require corporate tax filing for your incorporated entity, or encounter documentation issues that delay your return. Consulting with a tax expert ensures that your tax affairs are handled accurately and efficiently, minimizing the risk of errors and maximizing potential savings or refunds.

What’s the difference between NETFILE and EFILE?

NETFILE enables electronic submission directly with the CRA. NETFILE is done through CRA-approved commercial software with enhanced security. EFILE is explicitly intended for those who prepare tax returns on behalf of others, like accountants. 

How long does it take to prepare taxes in Canada?

With tax software, it takes the average Canadian under one hour to complete their tax return if finances are straightforward. Total time depends on your tax situation. Those with self-employment income/rentals may spend 2-5 hours filing their return.

What should I do if I make a mistake on my tax return after filing?

If you discover an error on your tax return after filing, you should file an amendment using the CRA’s T1-ADJ form or through your tax software if supported. While there is an option to mail corrections, submitting your request electronically is best. You can use the “Change my Return” option in your CRA “My Account” online profile. Correcting any mistakes is essential to ensure accurate tax reporting and avoid potential penalties or audits.
Trevor O'Hagan avatar on Loans Canada
Trevor O'Hagan

Trevor is a personal finance, SEO, and technical sales expert. He received an Honours BAA (Economics) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Trevor previously worked at Salesforce and used his personal finance knowledge to become a homeowner in Ontario by age 25. Aside from Loans Canada, Trevor contributes to Forbes Advisor and Hardbacon. He also serves as the chairman of the Schwartz-Reisman Alumni Association and is a content specialist at Croton Content.

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