I tried doing my income tax with pen and paper, but I ended up spending four hours and making three different copies with three different answers. Therefore, I decided to try the online version. The online version is free to use, but you will have to pay to submit it to the tax man.
The first time I tried it, it was simple, and it took about an hour to do. I just fill in the blanks with the boxes on my T4 and other stubs. Furthermore, to add stuff, you just add a new employer and other stuff needed. The calculations are done automatically.
Now, I can do my income tax in less than 15 minutes. Furthermore, adding expenses such as medical, dental, and other claimable expenses can be added without much fuss. The program will determine, in the end, if they are claimable.
So, in my opinion, online filing is the best way to do taxes. The reasons are:
- All calculations are done automatically. No need for a calculator.
- You can print out a copy that you can look at.
- Anything that cannot be claimed will be removed automatically. Just put everything in. If it cannot be claimed, the program will tell you and either show you what you have to change, and/or remove the invalid information.
- The program will place the children, dependents and/or other family stuff automatically under the proper spouse. You do not want to get in trouble for putting something under the wrong spouse.
- All completed tax forms are stored online for ten years. I highly recommend keeping a printout for yourself at home. Online is not 100% reliable.
- you can create multiple accounts and create “what if” scenarios. This will allow you to see how your refund or payment of taxes will differ if filed differently.
- A summary of your taxes can be seen once complete. It is a very simple yet understandable version of what you put in.
- You pay nothing unless you file.
Therefore, throw out the pen and paper, and do it yourself online. I am sure that once you try it, you will be more than happy to pay and file it online. I find the price to file is competitive with all other tax file programs. Furthermore, you can buy in bulk at a discounted price.
UFile.ca for Canadians. All data is stored online.
Studiotax for Canadians is a free, no charge, tax filing software alternative. If you are looking for Netfile approved, tax filing software that does not charge a fee, this one is available.
A complete list of Canada’s Netfile approved software can be seen at http://www.netfile.gc.ca/sftwr-eng.html. This list contains both free and pay to use tax filing software.