It’s the most wonderful time of the year (or not): tax season. You have until April 30th to file your personal taxes. However, if you’re self-employed the CRA has extended the filing deadline to June 15th, but you should know that it begins assessing interest on your tax due on April 30th.
Anyways, let’s get to the bottom of it. What is the most affordable (AKA, free!) way to file your taxes this year? We put together our 4 favourite tax preparers that you should check out before deciding how you’re going to file your taxes.
Definitely one of a kind, SimpleTax offers anyone that files with them to “pay what you want”. Seriously, there’s no catch. They’ve built a pretty slick software that is really easy to use and boasts that it will ensure you get the maximum refund, or minimize how much you owe.
Built by a small Canadian team, SimpleTax is on a noble mission to build the best tax software in Canada. They believe that they’re building a product Canadians will love, so many people will choose to support them. At Planswell, we’re a huge fan of companies on a mission (#freefinancialplanning), so we definitely have to say that SimpleTax is a great place to start when looking at your tax preparer options this season.
With over 1 million Canadians using UFile, there’s clearly something there. Definitely checking a lot of boxes, with UFile you’ll have auto-fill from the CRA, carry forwards/importing, forms and slips (Federal, Provincial, Quebec), pension income splitting, low-high complexity and small and large families. The con here is that it’s only free to start your return, when you choose to file with them there will be a cost. With UFile you do get free telephone, email and community support – so, hey, you get what you pay for. If you have a more complex situation or a larger family this is definitely worth checking out.
The free option here really should have you covered for most tax situations: automatic return optimization, auto-fill, online help, and reFILE. If you’re looking to transfer last year’s data and for unlimited support, you’re going to be looking at around $15.99. Providing a really smooth experience, H&R Block breaks it down into 4 simple steps: getting started (filling out/importing slips from CRA etc), optimize, review and file. Boom, you’re done. Great user experience, safe, secure… really, what more would you want from your tax preparer software?
With a brand new mobile app, TurboTax is super flexible in allowing you to complete your tax return from your mobile phone. So, if you were really banking on filing your return while commuting or travelling with just your phone, this is the one for you. With a pricing tier similar to H&R block the free version will cover you for really simple tax returns, while the $19.99 standard version (most popular) is great for students, families and individual returns. Don’t be afraid to pay the $19.99 because TurboTax has a list of guarantees that you will get your maximum refund, 100% correct calculations and more.
We all know the only 2 things that are for sure are death and taxes, but there are things you can do well in advance of tax season every year to try and minimize the taxes you will have to pay. These things can only be done by having a proper financial plan that optimizes every part of your financial life to ensure that you are paying the least amount of taxes and making the proper use of your tax-sheltered savings accounts.