The 5 Best Free Canadian Tax Softwares

By Maude Gauthier | Published on 04 Apr 2024

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Table of Contents

    For most people, doing their taxes is a thankless task. Fortunately, there are free tax software programs that make it easy to calculate and file your taxes online. We recommend that you choose a software that is easy to use, designed for the Canadian tax system and, ideally, certified for NETFILE.

    Best For
    Simple Tax Returns
    People 25 and under
    AI Lovers
    Complex Returns
    Guaranteed Updates

    TurboTax Online – For Simple Tax Returns

    TurboTax is one of the most well known free tax software in Canada. It enables taxpayers with one or more employment income slips or unemployment income to file their federal and provincial income tax returns for free. It offers specific products for a range of situations: self-employed workers, investors, etc. Not everyone is eligible for the free version, however.

    The free package covers employment income, employment insurance, Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions and child care expenses, among others, but it excludes several incomes and deductions. Exclusions include donations, medical expenses and investment income and expenses. Visit the TurboTax website to find out if the free version is right for you.

    What we liked most about TurboTax was its auto-fill feature, which facilitates data entry. It also allows users to use the ReTRANSmit function to make changes to their application. That said, many other programs do the same.

    H&R Block Online – For Canadians 25 Years Old and Under

    H&R Block is a well-known name in the industry and has been offering tax-related services for more than five decades. It has hundreds of offices throughout the country where you can choose to drop off your documents or request in-person services. Additionally, you can use their free online tax filing software as well.

    The free version is quite powerful and allows users to handle all types of tax scenarios. You can enter employment income, scholarships, claim credits for tuition fees, for example, and the software optimizes your tax return.

    If you’re 25 years old or under (as of December 31 of the tax year), this is probably the best software for you, since you get free access to the paid packages! These include expenses related to rental property income, capital gains and losses, foreign income, medical expenses, employment expenses and dependents on your return. If you’re self-employed, H&R Block has a kit specifically designed for your needs.

    CloudTax – Get Help from AI

    CloudTax‘s AI technology, powered by an advanced OCR engine, may help you save a lot of time. Data entry becomes effortless. Drop your files and it will scan and organize slips such as T4, T3 and T5. The technology makes sure your data is entered into the correct sections of your tax return.

    The Basic package is free. It covers employment, self-employment, unemployment, pension income and more. The main drawback is that your can only file 2 returns, while most other softwares allow up to 20. There is also a paid package that will give your support all year long, which might be useful if you are audited.

    CloudTax can be a great pick for Canadians looking for a free and quick tax tool in 2024. It will cost you $0 and you’ll be able to file your returns in only a few minutes.

    Wealthsimple – File Complex Returns

    Wealthsimple is known for its investment platform, but the company also offers free tax filing with various features. You’ll be able to handle some complex scenarios, including investment income and self-employment, for free, which isn’t possible with most other software. In fact, the platform allows unlimited access to all forms.

    I’ve personally used this software on several occasions, and it works quite well. Once in a while, you may encounter a few glitches, such as forgetting some provincial contributions, but Wealthsimple improves every year. It works well if you work from home or are self-employed.

    Perfect for first-time users, it allows you to view your entire return on a single page, with the ability to import previous documents, and offers automatic optimization of your return. If you’re satisfied, you can make a donation at the end of the process, but there’s no obligation to pay.

    TaxTron – All the Latest Updates, Guaranteed

    TaxTron is a free income tax software if you meet certain conditions. While it is on the list of certified software, it pales in comparison with the others described here. The site is not the most user-friendly.

    TaxTron T1 NETFILE has been certified by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec. TaxTron guarantees that its software incorporates the latest tax updates.

    You can choose between TaxTron Netfile Web, which lets you complete tax returns free of charge, with no income restrictions, or download TaxTron T1 software. The latter is available, without a license, to people with a total income of less than $31,000 or to full-time students who studied at least four months according to their T2202A form. Otherwise, you must pay.

    FAQ about Filing Taxes Online for Free in Canada

    Which is the best tax software to file your taxes online in 2024?

    We have covered some of the best tax software for 2024 in this article; however, the right one depends on multiple factors. Compare different factors such as ease and supported types so you can pick a suitable option according to your requirements. 

    Can non resident Canadians file online for free?

    You do not have to be physically in Canada to file your taxes. These free Canadian tax software will work from anywhere. You will only have to provide the required information to file for free online. Also, non citizens and residents can also file taxes online.

    Are these software really free to use?

    Yes, these software are free to use and most will allow you to file your taxes online without any payments; however, there might be some paid features that require subscribing to a premium version. For example, you may have to pay a fee if you wish to talk to a tax professional for tips on how to save tax money.

    When will NETFILE open?

    NETFILE is presently open for the e-filing of 2017 to 2023 returns. It is expected to close on January 26, 2025.

    Can I use online filing software if I am a new user?

    You do not have to be an existing user or have a previous filing record to use these tools. Most programs are easy to use and come with guides and tips on how to file online. Still, you may choose to get in touch with customer support or watch videos online if you have trouble filing your taxes online for free.

    Will I have to hire a professional to file taxes using free online software?

    The main advantage of online filing and tax software is the ease they offer. They remove the need to hire the services of a professional to do the job. Still, for complicated cases, you may need professional assistance.
    Many software providers discussed above allow users to get in touch with professionals for a fee. Compare your options and pick a suitable provider.

    Can I file older taxes?

    Yes, it is legal and possible to file older cases. However, each software allows for a different number of years.

    Will I be able to file my taxes online using my mobile phone for free?

    Yes, many tools work well on mobile devices and some even have iOS and Android apps that allow users to file taxes on the go.

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    Maude Gauthier is a journalist for Hardbacon. Since completing her Ph.D. in communications at University of Montreal, she has been writing about finance, insurance and credit cards for companies like Fonds FMOQ and Code F. As a responsible user of credit cards, she can spend hours reading the fine print to fully understand their benefits. Because of their simplicity, she developed a preference for cash back cards. After suffering steep increases with her former insurer, she can now proudly say that she saved hundreds of dollars by shopping around for her auto and home insurance. In her free time, she reads novels and enjoys streaming popular shows (and possibly less popular shows, like animal documentaries).