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Free 2020 Tax return programs

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 14th, 2021 3:38 pm
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User avatar
Jun 13, 2010
2942 posts
2851 upvotes
GTA
pauldryan wrote: Just last month I finally got around to filing my 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 returns for myself and the missus using free Studio Tax downloads for each respective year. I received the refunds in less than ten days thanks to the benefit of netfiling. If you have already opened up a CRA account, You can automatically use the CRA data to populate your returns if you can't find all your old slips. I don't know why I procrastinated for so long; it seems once you forget to file one year, it becomes easier to not bother at all.
pauldryan wrote: Nope, I didn't miss any benefits at all; I'm part of that silent middle-class that pays most of the freight with none of the benefits. Disappointed But Relieved Face

As for why I didn't do them before, it's really because I suffer from a severe case of affluenza and didn't immediately need the money so couldn't be bothered when there were so many other more interesting things to do with my spare time.
Just :facepalm:
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2019
1201 posts
531 upvotes
tmonies wrote: Anyone able to comment on Genutax or Taxtron compared to Ufile or Turbotax? TIA
I tried Genutax a few years ago. I became frustrated because I was forced to go through mandatory "screening" questions which seemed never ending. I was reading with TurboTax it's not possible to delete your personal data from their servers. They allege it's a CRA requirement to keep it on their servers for 7 or 10 years. There's always pros and cons to completing your tax return online vs on your device.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2007
747 posts
916 upvotes
Vancouver
rtz416 wrote: I don't know why people get annoyed when you are owing taxes assuming you filed everything properly maximizing your deductions.

Owing taxes means that the you borrowed interest free money from the government. If you get a big refund that means that the government borrowed interest free money from you. I'd want to be in the first group.
I remember this lesson well from a CA I had as a high school teacher.

In grade 10 he taught us that you owing money on tax day is better than the other way around, and explained exactly what you're saying. Thank you Mr Kemp.

The problem is I took that too far, and now I owe interest and penalties on top becuase I was too lazy to file for the last 10 years
Deal Addict
Jul 10, 2014
2660 posts
957 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
pauldryan wrote: Just last month I finally got around to filing my 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 returns for myself and the missus using free Studio Tax downloads for each respective year. I received the refunds in less than ten days thanks to the benefit of netfiling. If you have already opened up a CRA account, You can automatically use the CRA data to populate your returns if you can't find all your old slips. I don't know why I procrastinated for so long; it seems once you forget to file one year, it becomes easier to not bother at all.
The first time I did my taxes (about 4 years ago) I had to do 9 years and I didn't know about all these free online programs so I did it all by hand and sent it in via snail mail. Small bonus is that I seemed to have screwed up nearly every calculation I could but they all resulted in me getting more money back. Anyways, I'm like prime 1A example of why we should teach finances in high school (or even elementary).
Deal Addict
Aug 14, 2019
1201 posts
531 upvotes
rtz416 wrote: I don't know why people get annoyed when you are owing taxes assuming you filed everything properly maximizing your deductions.

Owing taxes means that the you borrowed interest free money from the government. If you get a big refund that means that the government borrowed interest free money from you. I'd want to be in the first group.
Except this is not always the case per se. If you've owed money for two or three consecutive tax years in a row, you're account is flagged. CRA will require you to submit payments based on their estimation at regular intervals, typically in September and December. Should you ignore these requests, you'll be dinged interest. When you finalize your tax return in April you will either receive a refund for any overpayment or you'll pay the additional amount.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3692 posts
2099 upvotes
danascully wrote: I remember this lesson well from a CA I had as a high school teacher.

In grade 10 he taught us that you owing money on tax day is better than the other way around, and explained exactly what you're saying. Thank you Mr Kemp.

The problem is I took that too far, and now I owe interest and penalties on top becuase I was too lazy to file for the last 10 years
Yes, you did take it too far, owing money and not filing are 2 things you shouldn’t mix together.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3692 posts
2099 upvotes
sheyenne wrote: I tried Genutax a few years ago. I became frustrated because I was forced to go through mandatory "screening" questions which seemed never ending. I was reading with TurboTax it's not possible to delete your personal data from their servers. They allege it's a CRA requirement to keep it on their servers for 7 or 10 years. There's always pros and cons to completing your tax return online vs on your device.
It is correct that tax data and paper records need to be kept for at least 7 years as required by CRA, especially for taxes filed electronically because no tax papers are sent in to CRA. CRA can audit and ask for tax papers any time during the 7 years. So Technically they are correct that Genutax needs to keep data for 7 years on its computer since you file and store the data on its computer.
I don’t see any con reason for filing locally on your computer. Can you provide some?

On the never ending mandatory ‘ screening questions’, it is designed for people who don’t know how tax filing works and try to make their life easier by asking questions and decide how to report incomes and claim deductions and credits automatically. It is ok for people with basic tax situations. But those questions will never cover every situation, especially you have more than the basic situation.
Newbie
Dec 21, 2008
39 posts
65 upvotes
Kitchener
StudioTax it is. Been a loyal user for ~10 years now. Not the flashiest software but it gets the job done, seems to include all of the forms and has some optimization features.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2007
747 posts
916 upvotes
Vancouver
bits1010 wrote: StudioTax it is. Been a loyal user for ~10 years now. Not the flashiest software but it gets the job done, seems to include all of the forms and has some optimization features.
Literally just did 2009-2019 taxes with studio tax... thank you. I will buy their next version for 2020. $15 I can swing that.

As well, what records do you really need to keep anyways? I've always just had the simple T4 from one or 2 employers. No kids, not married, no claims, no tfsa's... literally nothing
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3692 posts
2099 upvotes
danascully wrote: Literally just did 2009-2019 taxes with studio tax... thank you. I will buy their next version for 2020. $15 I can swing that.

As well, what records do you really need to keep anyways? I've always just had the simple T4 from one or 2 employers. No kids, not married, no claims, no tfsa's... literally nothing
All tax related docs. If you only have T4, then that is all you need to keep. It is mostly for people who report incomes & claim deductions & credits which CRA doesn't have any records for them. Just because CRA sends the NOA to you every year after you filing tax, it doesn't mean CRA has completed its job. The NOA is just to show that CRA received your return & has not found any basic error like math calculation based on the info you provide on your return. If you file electronically, no paper doc has been sent to CRA. So CRA would just trust the info you provide on your return is correct. CRA can audit & ask for more info in the next 7 years. If you can't provide paper docs, CRA can deny your deductions and credits and you will be reassessed for the past 7 years.
Deal Addict
Jul 15, 2009
2068 posts
1190 upvotes
sheyenne wrote: Except this is not always the case per se. If you've owed money for two or three consecutive tax years in a row, you're account is flagged. CRA will require you to submit payments based on their estimation at regular intervals, typically in September and December. Should you ignore these requests, you'll be dinged interest. When you finalize your tax return in April you will either receive a refund for any overpayment or you'll pay the additional amount.
Only if you owe more than $3000 each year.
Member
User avatar
Nov 14, 2003
430 posts
200 upvotes
Toronto
danascully wrote: Literally just did 2009-2019 taxes with studio tax... thank you. I will buy their next version for 2020. $15 I can swing that.

As well, what records do you really need to keep anyways? I've always just had the simple T4 from one or 2 employers. No kids, not married, no claims, no tfsa's... literally nothing
Charitable donations, tuition receipts, medical claims, property taxes/rent, etc.
Any entry that doesn't come from a T-slip.
Deal Expert
Aug 26, 2001
17796 posts
1351 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON
e-man wrote: Simple tax was bought out by wealth simple
and one reason to NOT donate to simpletax anymore (if you use them) is if you're already a Wealthsimple customer

if you're already a Wealthsimple customer, they're ALREADY making money off you, and they ALREADY have *all* your personal details, so you might as well use their "in-house" Tax application.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2018
1240 posts
1827 upvotes
Canada, eh?
krazy_leb wrote: same question....


According to Simpletax twitter, they'll update for the 2020 tax year by end of January.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2007
747 posts
916 upvotes
Vancouver
ml88888888 wrote: All tax related docs. If you only have T4, then that is all you need to keep. It is mostly for people who report incomes & claim deductions & credits which CRA doesn't have any records for them. Just because CRA sends the NOA to you every year after you filing tax, it doesn't mean CRA has completed its job. The NOA is just to show that CRA received your return & has not found any basic error like math calculation based on the info you provide on your return. If you file electronically, no paper doc has been sent to CRA. So CRA would just trust the info you provide on your return is correct. CRA can audit & ask for more info in the next 7 years. If you can't provide paper docs, CRA can deny your deductions and credits and you will be reassessed for the past 7 years.
Thanks, literally just T4's, my life is simple I guess.

And I can access all my T4's on cra myaccount anyways... lol
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3692 posts
2099 upvotes
danascully wrote: Thanks, literally just T4's, my life is simple I guess.

And I can access all my T4's on cra myaccount anyways... lol
Are you going to stay that simple all your life? No kid, single?
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2017
3692 posts
2099 upvotes
secretalcoholic wrote: According to Simpletax twitter, they'll update for the 2020 tax year by end of January.
The most important thing is CRA certification.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2007
747 posts
916 upvotes
Vancouver
ml88888888 wrote: Are you going to stay that simple all your life? No kid, single?
99.9% sure. Looking to do continuous deployments as they come up until I can no longer. Don't want a family really
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2007
747 posts
916 upvotes
Vancouver
sheyenne wrote: Except this is not always the case per se. If you've owed money for two or three consecutive tax years in a row, you're account is flagged. CRA will require you to submit payments based on their estimation at regular intervals, typically in September and December. Should you ignore these requests, you'll be dinged interest. When you finalize your tax return in April you will either receive a refund for any overpayment or you'll pay the additional amount.
I owed for 3 years total without filing for the last 10. No one has even tried to contact me

Maybe I didn't owe enough money

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