Just because filing taxes in Canada is mandatory, doesn’t mean it needs to be really hard and doesn’t need to involve an accountant.
Whether you’re dealing with, filing your taxes, debt repayment or checking your credit score there are great do-it-yourself options out there. Enter TurboTax, one of the most popular tax softwares available in Canada and TurboTax is one of the most popular. So, does it stand up to its name and is it the right option for you? Check out our TurboTax Canada review below.
What Is TurboTax?
With TurboTax, you can file your taxes online and submit your tax return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Millions of Canadians have already used TurboTax over the past couple of decades that the tool has been around, and as such, it’s developed an excellent reputation.
TurboTax is among the more extensive tax preparation software products out there, but the features and ease of use might make it worth the few extra dollars. That said, it’s still a relatively affordable tool for Canadians to use to file their taxes, especially when you consider everything that you get with it and what accountants charge for tax preparation services.
Ideal for both simple tax filings and more complex situations, TurboTax is fully equipped with all the features needed to file accurately and with ease.
What Does TurboTax Offer?
TurboTax has a number of features that Canadians with little or advanced tax knowledge can benefit from. Below are some of the features TurboTax offers:
Expert Advice From Tax Experts
TurboTax has real tax experts available to answer questions and give advice as you move through your tax filing. They’ll also work with you line-by-line to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Maximum Refund Guarantee
One of the fears of filing your taxes yourself is missing out on different tax credits and deductions, which can result in lower tax refunds. TurboTax offers a 100% guarantee that you get the highest tax refund possible.
Moreover, if the CRA finds any discrepancies in your tax return and you are charged a penalty as a result, TurboTax will reimburse you whatever you have been charged (plus interest) thanks to its 100% accuracy guarantee.
Similarly, if you are ever audited by the CRA, TurboTax will provide you with professional representation and deal with the CRA for you.
Tax returns filed online are submitted directly to the CRA thanks to NETFILE, which means you can get your tax refund shortly after you’ve completed your tax return.
The RRSP optimizer will show you examples of various contribution amounts and how they will impact your tax refund or amount owing. That way you can make an informed decision on how you should contribute to your RRSP.
Instant Refund Ticker
This tracker will keep you updated throughout your tax filing so you don’t have to wait until you’re almost done to see what the final total is. Instead, you’ll get real-time information that shows you how it affects your refund or tax owing as you enter your information.
While you will have all the support you need to file your taxes on your own, you can always get a TurboTax tax expert to prepare your tax return for you and file it on your behalf.
TurboTax offers a pension optimizer tool that helps you split up to half of your CPP or other pensions with your spouse to save on taxes owed.
Rental And Investment
If you have rental income or have been investing in stocks, bonds, ETFs or Crypto, TurboTax offers users guidance on these matters. They will ask questions depending on your investments, to ensure you’re getting the maximum deductions and highest return.
How Much Does TurboTax Cost?
TurboTax offers a range of pricing plans. Depending on the level of expertise you want and the financial situation you’re in, the price will vary.
No Expert Help
If you don’t want any expert help and wish to do your taxes on your own, the plans under the “I’ll do my own taxes” will be your best choice. They offer four types of plans and they are the most affordable compared to the plans where you want expert help or want an expert to do your taxes.
This is the TurboTax free plan and it is best suited for simple tax returns. Through it, you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits:
- Modify a filed 2018 or 2019 tax return and resubmit to CRA at no charge
- TurboTax Mobile App
- Up-to-date on any recent changes
- Auto-fill returns
- View Notice of Assessment immediately after filing-Foreign income verification statement
- Online storing of tax returns for 7 years
This plan costs $19.99 and is best suited for families, students and individual returns. This plan offers:
- All the Free plan features
- SmartLook, which allows you to connect with a tax specialist in real-time
- Transfer tax info from last year
- Ask questions and organize the information required
- Identifies tax saving opportunities
- Optimized returns, including RRSP optimizer and spousal optimizations
- Guidance on RRSP income, contributions, family benefits, and tuition
This plan costs $34.99 and is best suited for individuals with investments and rental property income. It offers:
- All the Free and Standard plan features
- Guidance on investment income and expenses
- Guidance on rental property income and expenses
This is the most expensive plan under this category at $44.99 per return. It’s best suited for personal and self-employed taxes. This plan offers:
- All the Free, Standard, and Premier plan features
- Guidance on reporting self employment income and expenses
- QuickBooks Self
- Employed tracking for expenses and mileage
|Best Suited For||Simple tax returns||Families, students and individual returns||Investments and rental properties||Personal and self-employed taxes|
|Cost||$0||$19.99 per return||$34.99 per return||$44.99 per return|
If you want some help from experts, you can opt for one of these plans:
|Assist and Review||Assist and Review Self-Employed|
|Best Suited For||Those who want on-demand advice from a tax expert and full review of their tax return.||Self-employed individuals who need questions answered and hidden fees found.|
|Cost||$79.99 per return||$99.99 per return|
|Key Features||-Support and questions answered along the way|
-Modify a filed 2018n or 2019 tax return and resubmit it to CRA
-TurboTax Mobile App
-SmartLook, which allows you to connect with a tax specialist in real-time
-Professional review of your tax return before you file
-Guidance on RRSP income, contributions, family benefits, and tuition
-Guidance on investment and real estate income and expenses
-Guidance on rental property income and expenses
-Up-to-date on any recent changes
-Identifies tax saving opportunities
|-All Assist and Review features|
-Guidance on self-employed tax returns.
-Advice from experts on finding self-employed expenses
-Guidance on self-employed obligations
-Employed tracking for expenses and mileage
Have An Expert Do Your Taxes
If you prefer to take the stress off your hands, you can have an expert do your taxes for you. TurboTax offers the following programs:
|Full Service||Full Service – Self-employed|
|Best Suited For||Have your tax return completed and filed by an expert||Have your self-employed tax return submitted and filed for you by an expert|
|Cost||$129.99 per return||$199.99 per return|
|Key Features||-Full prepared tax return by a tax expert|
-Optimized for deductions, credits, and expenses
-Reviewed by an expert before filed
|-All Full-Service features|
-Tax experts experienced in filing self-employed returns
-Assistance finding expenses based on your industry
-Free GST/HST filing
TurboTax Canada’s Best Features
- NETFILE certified. You can safely submit your tax return via the internet directly to the CRA thanks to NETFILE.
- Quick Notice of Assessment. Get your Notice of Assessment within minutes to see how much you’ll be getting back or how much you owe.
- Real-time tax support. Get access to professional advice from an expert on-screen and in real-time.
- Guaranteed accuracy. TurboTax guarantees that your tax return will be filed with complete accuracy. If that doesn’t happen and you are charged a penalty by the CRA, TurboTax will reimburse you.
- Instantly see your refund. With the Instant Refund Ticker, you can immediately see what your refund (or amount owing) is at all times.
- Data protection. Your sensitive information will always be protected so you can file your taxes online with peace of mind.
- Compatibility. Switch between desktop, mobile, or tablet quickly and securely and pick up where you left off.
- Import last year’s data. If you used TurboTax to file last year’s return, you can transfer that information into this year’s return for faster and more accurate filing.
- Flexible pricing structure. TurboTax offers varying levels of service, each with its own price point.
Even More Great Features
- Optimize your RRSP contributions. TurboTax’s RRSP Optimizer helps you make better decisions about your RRSP contributions to maximize your tax refund.
- Split your income with your spouse for a better refund. If you have CPP or pension income, you can divide it with your spouse so that you pay less in taxes overall. TurboTax will suggest the ideal distribution of your income.
- Find out about all possible deductions. The Deduction Toolbox will inform you of all the possible deductions you are eligible to make.
- Audit representation. In case you’re audited, a tax professional still deals with the CRA on your behalf.
- Mobile app. TurboTax is compatible not just on a laptop or desktop, but on your mobile device too. Just log in via the mobile app for iOS or Android
How Do You Create An Account Using TurboTax?
Creating an account with TurboTax is easy. All you’re required to do is enter and confirm your email address, choose a secure user ID and password, and provide your name. You can also provide your phone number, which TurboTax recommends, but this is optional.
What Support Is Offered By TurboTax?
If you need help filing your taxes you can reach out to TurboTax’s experts by phone, live chat or through email.
- Live Chat – Live assist and review (tax experts help you as you file your taxes, but not with free version)
- Email – You can contact Turbotax’s customer support through email by filling out their contact form on the website.
- Phone – If you’d like to speak with someone, you can call 1-888-843-5449
There is also the TurboTax Help tool that you can use that offers many resources that may provide the answer to your questions.
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Is TurboTax Right For You?
Whether you’ve got a simple tax return to file or have a more complex situation that involves running a business, being self-employed, or having investments or rental income to claim, TurboTax may be suitable for you. The software offers a variety of plans to suit different situations, so your needs will likely be covered under one of these plans. If you’re the type to file your own taxes, TurboTax makes it easy to file while having expert support along the way. Otherwise, if you prefer to have an expert handle filing your taxes entirely for you, TurboTax can do that too.