Taxes can be scary and intimidating, especially if you have no background in accounting and finance. Fortunately, there are free tax software that make it easy to file taxes online. 

This might come as a surprise to some, but it is possible to file taxes without having to hire the services of an accountant or tax firm. This can help you save money and make things easier.

Big businesses will have to hire professionals but most small businesses and solopreneurs can choose to file taxes online. More and more people are opting for e-filing. According to reports, about 91.2 percent of Canadians chose e-filing in 2021 and the number is expected to rise in the future.

Now is the right time to worry about your taxes as the deadline for the season is April 30, 2022, for companies and June 15, 2022, for sole proprietors and self-employed individuals.

Best Free Canadian Tax Software

We have covered the seven best free Canadian tax tools to help you get started. However, before we start, let’s talk about a few things to consider when picking a free tax software.

  • Use a program that is easy to use. You should ideally go for one that comes with tutorials.
  • Only get your hands on a tool that is designed for the Canadian tax system. NETFILE approved systems are perfect for Canada.
  • Ensure the program supports your device and operating system.

Let’s now have a look at our picks:

TurboTax Free

TurboTax is one of the most well known free tax software in Canada. Said to be perfect for W-2 and unemployment income, the program lets you file federal and state taxes for free.

With this program, you will be able to see who qualifies to be your dependent so you can enjoy tax credits. Moreover, you will find tax-saving credits such as child tax credit and EIC as well.

It is a NETFILE certified program that supports up to 20 free returns per year. However, what we liked the most about this is the Auto-fill My Return feature that makes filing easier. Moreover, the free software allows users to easily view their Notice of Assessment from the CRA and use the ReFILE feature to make changes to their application

TurboTax Plans:

  • Free: The program is free to use with no paid features; however, you may be asked to donate (voluntarily) to support the company.

Pros:

  • Can transfer last year files for free
  • The program is simple and easy to use
  • Your data will remain safe and secure

Cons:

  • Only suitable for simple returns

There is of course a paid version of TurboTax that offers more services. Regardless, consider this program as it comes with a maximum refund guarantee and works in Quebec as well. The company will pay you $9.99 if another company offers a smaller tax or larger refund. Also, just like our previous pick, this one has a 100% accuracy guarantee as well. The company will pay any penalties charged due to calculation errors caused by the software.

CloudTax

CloudTax is the go-to option for people looking for non-business tax returns. This Canada Revenue Agency certified program is very easy to use. It uses NETFILE certification and supports both ReFILE and Express NOA on the free level.

Getting started is very easy. Answer some questions, import relevant slips, and file your return. 

The tool is designed for people who are either self-employed or living on incomes such as rental property and dividends.

CloudTax Plans:

  • Free: The free version supports deductions, income slips, creditors, and employment income. Other incomes aren’t supported.
  • CloudTax Plus: This one comes with everything the free version comes with some additional features including audit protection, business income, foreign income, and rental income. It will cost you $24.99 for up to 20 returns.
  • Plus: This plan starts as low as $69 and comes with all the features discussed above, in addition to corporation return.

The free version comes with some brilliant features including Auto-fill My Return, online storage, optional protection for $2.99 per month, and expert help for only $29.99 per return.

Pros:

  • The free version comes with some brilliant features
  • Works well on mobile devices
  • Excellent customer support
  • Offers step-by-step guidance

Cons:

  • The free version doesn’t support some regions including Quebec, Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest Territories
  • The free version only supports employment income

CloudTax can be a great pick for Canadians looking for a free tax tool in 2022. It will cost you $0 and you’ll be able to file your returns in only a few minutes.

GenuTax Standard

GenuTax Standard is a free multi year tax software for Canadians walks users through the process with a simple interview. The platform allows users to claim deductions and credits they are entitled to.

The software is made for both individuals and small businesses and can handle most situations including capital gains and rental properties.

The software allows users to view their Notice of Assessment from the CRA. Moreover, you can use the ReFILE feature to make changes to your application.

GenuTax Plans:

  • Free: The program is free to use with no paid features; however, you may be asked to donate (voluntarily) to support the company.

Pros:

  • It is a NETFILE-certified program 
  • The Auto-fill My Return feature makes it easy to use the app
  • You can go back thanks to the multi year feature
  • Can handle up to 20 returns

Cons:

  • Only works on Windows
  • You have to install the file in order to use the app

While GenuTax is a great tool to file for free, remember that it comes with some limitations. For example, you cannot use it if you are filing a post or pre-bankruptcy return. Also, it doesn’t support some situations.

H&R Block Online

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.

H&R Block Plans:

  • Free: The free version works well and allows users to file all types of returns. It also comes with step-by-step guidance and the Auto-Fill My Return function.
  • Assistance: This works like the free version but with the added benefits of customized tips and unlimited tech support. You can also transfer your data from the previous year. It costs $19.99 per return.
  • Protection: On top of all the options from the other plans, this one gives you priority for tech support as well as the help of an expert in the case of an audit. You will also be able to store your return for seven years and self-employed individuals have access to a new tax toolkit. This plan costs $44.99 per return.

Pros:

  • Works on both computers and mobile devices
  • Makes it possible to switch providers 
  • The platform is very easy to use 
  • Gives you the option to auto-import certain documents

Cons:

  • Certain features like the transfer of the previous year’s data are only available with paid plans

This NETFILE approved tax software offers a lot in terms of features and ease. It is perfect for new users and comes with some great paid add-ons such as audit support. H&R Blocks also offers plans for those who need to file US income taxes.

Wealthsimple Tax 

Formerly known as SimpleTax, Wealthsimple Tax gives a mix of features for free. Despite being a new option, it has already carved a niche. With this app, you will be able to handle some complicated scenarios including investment income and self-employment. 

It is one of the few free Canadian tax software to support Quebec tax returns. Certified by the CRA and Revenu Quebec, the software is NETFILE approved.

The program is perfect for new users. It has a simple layout that makes it possible to view your entire return on a single page. Moreover, it gives users the option to import previous filings and access step-by-step guidance.

The company will pay you if another company offers a smaller tax or larger refund. Also, there’s an impressive 100% accuracy guarantee, i.e.: the company will pay any penalties charged due to calculation errors caused by the software.

Wealthsimple Tax Plans:

  • Free: The program is free to use with no paid features; however, you may be asked to donate (voluntarily) to support the company.

Pros:

  • Works on both computers and mobile devices
  • Supports both English and French languages
  • Known to be safe and secure
  • Offers maximum refund optimization

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for very complex situations

Wealthsimple is perfect for remote workers and self-employed individuals. It is designed to maximize savings and will let you view your refund instantly. Moreover, the ability to see how any changes to your RRSP can impact your taxes is another great plus.

TaxTron

TaxTron is a NETFILE and EFILE software that makes it possible to file your taxes for free. However, the free version is only applicable in situations where you are at a loss. 

The company has partnered with a third-party to give users the option to hire a professional if they find the process too complicated.

Tax practitioners with an EFILE number will have to purchase a paid version in order to use the program.

TaxTron Plans:

  • Free: There is no free version; however, you can use the tool and download a printable copy for CRA submission if you did not make a profit according to your submission
  • Individual: Costs $12.99 for the Windows version and $19.99 for the Mac version
  • Professional: Costs $249.99 for the Windows and $595 for the Mac version
  • Family: Costs $24.99 for the Windows version and $39.99 for the Mac version
  • Corporate Professional: Costs $249 for both Windows and Mac versions
  • Corporate (single license): Costs $99.99 for both Windows and Mac versions

Pros:

  • The company offers excellent customer support
  • The platform is safe and secure to use
  • It only takes a few minutes to file returns
  • Covers a variety of scenarios

Cons:

  • Not free for everyone
  • Doesn’t support Quebec CO-17 return

TaxTron is a known name but it might not be the best fit for users looking for a free tax software in Canada. It has to be downloaded and installed for use and is only free in situations where you report a loss.

StudioTax

StudioTax has found great success as a free tax filing software; however, we must mention that it is not free for everyone. 

You will be able to qualify for free only if you are residing in Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, and have an individual below $20,000 per year. However, StudioTax 2019 and all previous versions are still free for all users with no requirements.

The program has to be downloaded and installed first. Once done, you will be asked to provide the required details and file your taxes using NETFILE. The software isn’t only suitable for simple jobs but can handle complex returns as well. 

With StudioTax, you will be able to file up to 20 returns. It is easy to use and has a community for users who need help.

StudioTax Plans:

  • Free: The free version has all the features of the paid version.
  • Paid: Pay $15 to print and file your returns.

Pros:

  • Supports the Auto-fill My Return feature
  • There are no income restrictions
  • Suitable for people and businesses in Quebec
  • Offers the Express Notice of Assessment feature

Cons:

You have to pay to print your returns

StudioTax isn’t the best option if you are looking for a free tool as it comes with some major limitations. On the plus side, it doesn’t need an active internet connection to work and is very easy to use. However, it doesn’t support mobile devices.

Filing Taxes Online for Free in Canada: Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best tax software to file your taxes online in 2022?

We have covered some of the best tax software for 2022 in this article; however, the right one depends on multiple factors. 

CloudTax is said to be the best tool for users who want quick services. Similarly, GenuTax is said to be great for users who don’t want to spend a single penny on taxes. Other options like Wealthsimple and H&R Block are also great.

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, 2018, 2019 & 2020 personal tax returns. It is expected to close on January 21, 2022.

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. According to the CRA, a taxpayer has 10 years from the end of a calendar year to file an income tax return. The longer you go without filing taxes, the higher the penalties and potential prison term.

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

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