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10 Free Options for Filing Your Taxes

The deadline to file your tax return is fast approaching. If you’ve been procrastinating and don’t want to pay someone to do it for you, we’ve compiled a list of some options that don’t cost a thing.

While there are a number of other free options out there, many of them have restrictions, such as: your income has to be below $20,000, you’re a post-secondary student, or you have no tax credits and deductions (RRSP contributions, charitable donations, or medical expenses).

The options listed here are free no matter what your financial situation is and no matter how many tax credits or deductions you have. More importantly, they’re all certified by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for NETFILE, which allows you to send your tax return over the internet directly to the CRA.

Some of these free software options offer Auto-fill, which is a new service rolled out by the CRA this year after successful pilot program in 2015. The service will automatically fill in a number of lines on your return, such as the information from your T4 (statement of remuneration paid) and T5 (statement of investment income) slips as well as your RRSP contribution receipts. To use Auto-fill, you need to register for My Account on the CRA’s website.

Here are some free software options available, which type of device

Desktop products

ProductWindowsMacAuto-fill
GenuTaxYesNoNo
H&R Block Tax SoftwareYesNoNo
StudioTaxYesYesYes
TurboTax FreeYesYesYes

Online products

ProductAuto-fill
AdvTaxYes
H&R Block Online Tax SoftwareNo
SimpleTaxYes
TurboTax FreeYes

Mobile products

ProductAndroidiPad/iPhoneAuto-fill
SimpleTaxNoiPad onlyYes
TurboTax FreeYesYesYes

The bottom line

There’s also one other free option available: filling out a paper return. It’s a lot more time consuming and can be a horrible experience if you don’t know what you’re doing and need to correct a few mistakes (trust me, I know). If spending money to have your return filled out for you is too expensive, consider one of the options listed above.

Keep in mind that the deadline to file your return is midnight on April 30 but since it falls on a Saturday, the CRA will consider a return filed on time if it’s received by midnight on May 2. If you don’t file your return on time and you owe money, you have to pay a late filing penalty of 5% of what you owe plus 1% of the balance owing for each month your return is late. It’s best to get your taxes filed before then or you’ll end up owing the government even more money.

Also read:

Flickr: Got Credit

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