**This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of TurboTax Canada. All opinions are my own.
Tax time has come again after what has been another difficult year for many Canadians. Continued lockdowns and restrictions mean that plenty of Canadians have continued to pivot when it comes to their work. For some, it meant starting a new job, for others working from home, and even more have started a side hustle to bring in some extra income. But, now that tax season is in full swing many Canadians are hesitant and wondering how to file their taxes, and if they will be more complicated with these life changes.
The good news is that despite any changes in your life, your taxes do not have to become overwhelmingly complicated. Not if you use TurboTax. This tax software allows Canadians with all types of tax returns to file their taxes easily online from the comfort of their home. Whether you are a student, a freelancer, or even an investor with an interest in cryptocurrency, TurboTax can work for you. In this TurboTax Canada review, I’m sharing everything you need to know. Plus, check out the bottom of this post for the TurboTax Canada giveaway.
So, what makes TurboTax Canada the number one tax software program in the country? Without a doubt, the features play a huge role. TurboTax offers a lot to users to help make the process of doing your taxes quick, easy, and stress-free. Here are some of the key features:
Auto-Fill My Return: Cut down the time spent on doing your taxes by allowing TurboTax to gather necessary information from your CRA My Account. TurboTax can download these slips and documents to your file, so you don’t need to add them manually. This can include many T slips, benefit slips, and RRSP contribution limits. It makes things easier and faster.
Built-In Support: All TurboTax users have access to some level of support. The software itself has plenty of support built right into the program as you go. If you need more assistance, take a look through the community forum. And, as I will discuss later on in this TurboTax Canada review, there is the option to pay extra for professional help. TurboTax professionals have, on average, over 10 years of experience.
RRSP Optimizer: Not sure how much to contribute to your RRSP? TurboTax’s RRSP Optimizer will allow you to see how different contribution amounts will affect your refund.
Audit Defence: This is an add-on but, should you be audited by the CRA, a tax professional will jump in and deal with the CRA on your behalf.
NETFILE Integration: TurboTax is certified by CRA NETFILE. This means once you have completed everything you can file with the click of a button and know that all your information is being handled safely and securely. It also means you will get your refund sooner if you have set up direct deposit (usually within 8 business days).
Guarantee: TurboTax Canada guarantees 100% accuracy. This means that if you pay a penalty because of a TurboTax miscalculation, they will reimburse you the penalty plus interest. In addition, if you get a larger refund or a lower tax due amount from another tax preparation, TurboTax will refund you the price paid (Free users will get $9.99).
How much does TurboTax cost?
The price for TurboTax will depend on which product you use. As said earlier, TurboTax has a variety of products to best fit your personal tax situation and they are all priced differently. Here’s a breakdown of the different TurboTax products and their pricing structures. Not quite sure which one to use? This year, TurboTax will guide users to the product best suited to their situation.
TurboTax is free for Canadians with simple tax situations, no matter your income level. That’s right, it’s completely free with no hidden fees. But don’t worry, just because it’s free doesn’t mean it is lacking. As long as you don’t need any of the additional features offered from the paid versions, TurboTax Free is still set to get you the best refund possible and can handle student credits, RRSP contributions, COVID benefits and repayments, and more.
The next option is TurboTax Deluxe which includes everything in the free model plus some additional bells and whistles. With TurboTax Deluxe you will have more options to maximize more tax deductions and credits. This includes things like donations, employment expenses, and medical expenses. This version will automatically search over 400 credits for you to choose from and identify tax-saving opportunities for the best refund (or lowest amount due).
TurboTax Premier is for individuals who have investments and/or rental properties. Investments can include stocks, bonds, and even cryptocurrency. This version will cover all capital gains and losses and can also handle foreign income. Plus, it comes with all the additional features included in the Deluxe version so you can ensure your taxes are being optimized for the best results.
Whether you are self-employed full-time or have a part-time side hustle, TurboTax Self-Employed has the added advantages of being able to search for industry-specific deductions to get you the best tax outcome. It covers all types of work from real estate to online sales to ride-sharing and more.
TurboTax is straightforward and easy to follow, however, if you’re unsure or just want another set of eyes to check things over for you before you file, then you can upgrade to TurboTax Assist & Review. These options do cost more, however, it might be worth it for the peace of mind. Pricing for TurboTax Assist and Review is as follows:
- Assist & Review Basic: $39.99/return
- Assist & Review Deluxe: $69.99/return
- Assist & Review Premier: $89.99/return
- Assist & Review Self Employed: $109.99/return
Don’t want to do your taxes yourself? Then you can choose TurboTax Live Full Service where a seasoned tax expert will do your taxes from start to finish. Of course, these options will cost more, however, if you really hate doing your taxes then they might be worth considering. Pricing depends on how complicated your taxes are and are as follows:
- Live Basic: $69.99/return ($89.99 as of April 1, 2022)
- Live Deluxe: $99.99/return ($129.99 as of April 1, 2022)
- Live Premier $149.99/return ($179.99 as of April 1, 2022)
- Self Employed $249.99/ return ($279.99 after April 1, 2022)
So, how does TurboTax perform? Here’s a run-through of what you can expect when using TurboTax.
If you have used a paid version of TurboTax before, you can log in with your existing credentials. If you are new, you can just click the ‘get started’ button.
You will then be asked what kind of tax solution you are looking for with the option of:
- Personal Taxes
- Tax prep by an expert
- Self-employed tax software
- Download tax software
For this TurboTax Canada review, we’re going to click on Personal Taxes.
You can then pick between Free, Deluxe, and Premier. You’ll want to choose the option that best suits your needs but for the sake of this TurboTax review, I’m going to use the free option.
At this point, you’ll be asked to create an account which means entering some personal information and creating a log-in. With your login credentials, you can leave TurboTax at any time and come back to complete your file as needed. It auto-saves along the way after each page so you don’t have to worry about losing any information.
Your tax return will start with an interview. You’ll be asked who you’re filing for, your marital status and if you financially support anyone else. As you progress through there will be buttons that says ‘Guide Me’. If you are unsure of something, you can click on that button and be taken to another page with more detailed information on that topic.
Next is personal information including your name, date of birth, address, and Social Insurance Number. You’ll also be asked for your NETFILE access code (this can be found on your NOA from the previous year) and asked questions about your status as a citizen in Canada. Once this interview section is complete, you’ll be taken to a page with a summary of your answers to check over and edit if needed. If not, continue.
After your interview section, you will start the tax profile. Guided by step-by-step instructions you will fill out all information pertaining to your income, then a section for RRSPs, then a section for any deductions you might be eligible for. There are prompts along the way to ensure that TurboTax covers all possibilities relating to your individual situation in an effort to get you the best tax outcome possible. It’s very straightforward and easy to follow but, don’t forget, if you have questions you can always look for the ‘Guide Me’ buttons.
Once you have finished the section on credits and deductions you will be able to do a final review. When you have completed that you can pay TurboTax (assuming you used a paid version, remember simple returns are free) and submit your return via NETFILE.
Is TurboTax safe?
While you can never 100% guarantee online safety TurboTax has plenty of safety features in place to keep your personal information protected. This includes using multi-factor authentication so you can securely sign in to your account as well as data encryption. TurboTax is also CRA certified which speaks to its safety as well.
TurboTax pros and cons
Turbo Tax is a great tax software program, but it’s not perfect. Here are some of the main pros and cons to be aware of.
- Easy to use
- Offers three ‘categories’ of support: file your own, with an expert’s help, or pass it off to an expert from start to finish
- Auto-fill my return
- Guaranteed maximum refund
- CRA certified
- Not the cheapest tax software option on the market
Is TurboTax worth it?
So, we’ve reached the end of the TurboTax Canada review and the final question is: is TurboTax worth it? I say yes.
I’m a self-employed dad. I have a lot going on in my life at the best of times, but these past two years have been extra busy with lockdowns and school closures that keep my daughter home from school. Quite frankly, juggling full-time work and taking care of my daughter means that I don’t have the time to stress and worry about taxes. But TurboTax makes it easy. The process is easy to follow, I know that the program will meet my needs and trust that it will find and maximize any credits so I get the most beneficial results possible.
TurboTax 2022 Giveaway
Four lucky readers can enter for a chance to win a complimentary tax code, valid for ANY online tax product at turbotax.ca, valued at up to $279.99 each! To enter, leave a comment below by March 31, 2022. If you’d like another entry, follow me on Instagram: barry_choi.