Personal Finance

Filing taxes in 2021: Free 2020 Tax Software

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 17th, 2022 7:52 pm

Poll: Which free tax software will you use to file your 2020 taxes in 2021?

  • Total votes: 103. You have voted on this poll.
Advtax
 
1
1%
Cloudtax
 
2
2%
Genutax
 
18
17%
Simple Tax (now Wealthsimple Tax)
 
66
64%
Taxman
 
1
1%
TurboTax Free
 
11
11%
UFile Free
 
4
4%
34 replies
Member
Feb 7, 2019
290 posts
203 upvotes
SimpleTax. I used them for 3 years and I like them.
I believe it is a mistake to judge the quality of a decision solely by its outcome. Good decisions (i.e. lumpsum investing) can have "bad" outcomes and bad decisions can have good outcomes simply because of luck— Germack
Deal Addict
Mar 14, 2014
1207 posts
1587 upvotes
ADenariusSaved wrote: To get a quantitative intuition of the following thread:
free-2020-tax-return-programs-2435232/

Show of hands of who is using what? I think I'll be using GenuTax this year.

Thank you!
You may want to add Studio Tax to your voting list, it's very popular, or was until it stopped being free.
Member
Jul 29, 2007
310 posts
208 upvotes
Markham
Simpletax. Used it the last two years and it is very user friendly. It also gave me the results I expected (i.e. results from Taxprep) while other free ones I've tried did not.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
14024 posts
18284 upvotes
Vancouver
After six years of filing online with Studio Tax, I'm going back to snail mail. The only remaining free filing methods either use the cloud (which I won't do) or use Windows (which I don't have and won't buy). So my tax software of choice this year is Apple Preview, which I will use to print off the PDFs and send in the snail mail.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 19, 2017
6860 posts
3986 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: After six years of filing online with Studio Tax, I'm going back to snail mail. The only remaining free filing methods either use the cloud (which I won't do) or use Windows (which I don't have and won't buy). So my tax software of choice this year is Apple Preview, which I will use to print off the PDFs and send in the snail mail.
I am sure you don’t mean Studiotax is storing your data online. May be you meant to say filing your tax online using Netfile to send to CRA.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 4, 2009
4070 posts
3897 upvotes
on the links!
For anyone who's previously used GenuTax, does it have an optimizer for splitting pension income between spouses?

In the past, I've used Quicktax, Turbotax and Studiotax and they all had/have this functionality.
Deal Addict
Nov 28, 2013
2756 posts
1191 upvotes
Quebec
The new version of simple tax bugs me I try to put it in French but they keep redirecting to English lol
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 18, 2019
933 posts
509 upvotes
SimpleTax. Learned about expenses and credits that I could claim that I didn't know about before.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 19, 2017
6860 posts
3986 upvotes
NobleFalcon1 wrote: SimpleTax. Learned about expenses and credits that I could claim that I didn't know about before.
which ones?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 4, 2009
4070 posts
3897 upvotes
on the links!
I tried out Genutax today, just to see if it was better that Studio Tax...what a useless, garbage, POS software platform!! I typically link my tax return with my spouse, so the interview session was 2X times, about 45 minutes. And you can't jump back and forth until you fully complete the interview.

This confirms the old adage...you get what you pay for.




Oh, and to answer my question from post #9, I didn't see any optimizer for pension splitting...Strike 4 !
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 24, 2016
8954 posts
9990 upvotes
The Prairies
I like TurboTax free, myself.
I tried Simple Tax, and it’s not bad, but not what I’m used to.
Been using TurboTax for several years with zero issues.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6671 posts
2388 upvotes
BC
Not impressed with what WealthSimple has done to Simple Tax.

Couldn't get my id recognized and now it's down for maintenance which I assume is related.
Member
Jun 28, 2011
428 posts
126 upvotes
VANCOUVER
I noticed that WealthsSimple has an Upgrade option for audit support and priority email support. I guess it's the same as Turbo Tax?
My taxes are pretty straightforward so I can't see myself using this upgrade option, at least not now.
Member
Jun 28, 2011
428 posts
126 upvotes
VANCOUVER
travelandshoppingwoman77 wrote: I noticed that WealthsSimple has an Upgrade option for audit support and priority email support. I guess it's the same as Turbo Tax?
My taxes are pretty straightforward so I can't see myself using this upgrade option, at least not now.
I emailed WealthSimple Tax about the upgrade and they sent me a link to an article which outlines what's involved with the upgrade.
For $25 and up, they provide premium service for the tax year. (with a hook to invest into WealthSimple) :rolleyes:
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 4, 2009
4070 posts
3897 upvotes
on the links!
OMG, I can't wait for this pandemic to be over!

I have so much free time, I spent today auto-entering T-forms into both Studio tax and Genutax, just to see if there was a difference between the 2 platforms...and there was.

First off, ST has an optimizer for pension income which GT does not, so I had to rely on the percentage from ST and manually enter it into GT. There was still a few hundred $$ difference, which I had to go through line by line to find out the difference.

Seems GT doesn't recognize foreign tax income/credits that can be split between spouses (due to a joint account). You can specify the percentage between spouses on the T3 /T5 forms but GT ignores it and allocates the full 100% foreign credit towards the primary SIN number. Only if you go to the foreign tax credit section in the interview process and "manually" add the split amounts will it be correct.


What a (free) POS software platform.
Deal Addict
Jul 24, 2019
1089 posts
1806 upvotes
Canada
Tried turbotax in the past. The advertisements promoting for their paid version while you try to finish your income tax return, is annoying. And they emailed us during the year to try to get us to use them for the next year. So we created a email address before using their free version. Their advertisement emails will go to that address and not clog our regular emails.
Sr. Member
Jan 15, 2015
625 posts
371 upvotes
Sauerkraut wrote: OMG, I can't wait for this pandemic to be over!

I have so much free time, I spent today auto-entering T-forms into both Studio tax and Genutax, just to see if there was a difference between the 2 platforms...and there was.

First off, ST has an optimizer for pension income which GT does not, so I had to rely on the percentage from ST and manually enter it into GT. There was still a few hundred $$ difference, which I had to go through line by line to find out the difference.

Seems GT doesn't recognize foreign tax income/credits that can be split between spouses (due to a joint account). You can specify the percentage between spouses on the T3 /T5 forms but GT ignores it and allocates the full 100% foreign credit towards the primary SIN number. Only if you go to the foreign tax credit section in the interview process and "manually" add the split amounts will it be correct.


What a (free) POS software platform.
It appears I have more free time than you. I checked StudioTax against GenuTax and Taxman using 2019 versions. It appears that only StudioTax will do income splitting correctly. Taxman attempts it but enters deductions like a $2000 Pension Income deduction from your claim onto a spousal return even if he/she doesn't qualify! Taxman's tax splitting doesn't agree with my 2019 filing - and that was after it went through some endless loop which initially crashed the program. Furthermore, Taxman doesn't calculate federal tax credit on the T2209 leaving you to crunch numbers on a calculator only after researching the proper % tax.

GenuTax appears to split investment income between spouses on a joint account. For a 50/50 split, half the total amount of investment income from a T5 would appear as a summary immediately after closing the simulated T5 form. But on the printed T1 General Form that is submitted (which I tested by sending to pdf), the full 100% appears for each spouse! Wrong calculation, resulting in double taxation.

I tested 2019 returns because my StudioTax returns were 100% accurate. Filed returns were in agreement with the CRA Notice of Assessment. It looks like both free platforms are useless, beyond providing basic calcuations that don't involve income splitting and joint investments. I will gladly pay my $15 for StudioTax, having used it free for 3 people each year for the past 6 years.

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