Review of tax software and recommendations for first time users.

Review of tax software and recommendations for first time users.

Tax software vs. manual filing (the traditional method of filing forms for individual tax returns):
Tax software allows one to save time and avoid calculating mistakes and is a very popular solution for income tax preparation. There are many companies that provide tax software on the market, so there is a lot to choose from.
Below, you will find a complete list of tax software providers with reviews that describe the most important features of each tax software. The usual time for tax return preparation using tax software for one tax return is approximately one hour. Tax software allows you to fill out forms Online, or download the software and create income tax returns on your computer. Our suggestion: try to download and use software and if you find that you are comfortable with it and believe that it is secure, you can switch to the online version of that tax software. If your yearly income does not exceed 25,000 (low income families), most versions of tax software allow you to use their software for free.
Support is an important feature you need to evaluate before choosing tax software. Some tax software providers requires you to send them an e-mail and some provide phone support. After preparing your tax returns, you will have a choice of either sending your personal tax return online (NETFILE - The NETFILE transmission service allows you to file your personal income tax return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency.) or printing the forms and sending a paper copy.
It is a good idea to keep a paper copy of your tax return for your records. The main bottleneck during preparation using software is your typing speed. Most Tax software has a free trial before purchase (an evaluation trial copy). Try a couple of different software, compare the results and then choose the one you like best.
The most expensive tax software does not mean the best. If you need only one tax return try FutureTax. It is only $5.99 for 1 Tax Return License [this price is for 2009]. Or think about using the software StudioTax. It is free and very easy to use, particularly if you ever did tax returns manually using direct-entry into the tax forms. If you don't want to pay for annual updates try a 30-day trial version from

***************************************Prepare your tax yourself. Tips for tax preparation .

Do not forget to claim all charges and interest you paid to earn income from investments including safety deposit box charges in line 221 (see Canada Revenue Agency web site for details and restrictions)

Claim all eligible educational amounts over $100 in the federal and the provincial forms student must attach schedule 11 to your return if you want to transfer your tuition, educational and textbooks amounts.

1 .Complete Schedule 11 "Tuition, educational, and textbook amounts", to c alculate the federal tax amount that you can claim on line 323 (- Tuition, education, and textbook amounts transferred from a child) or on line 326 (- Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner) of schedule 1. Check the maximum amount that you can transfer this year.

2. Complete provincial or territorial schedule 11 to calculate amount you can claim and put in on line 5860 (Tuition and education amounts transferred from a child) or line 5864 (Amounts transferred from your spouse or common-law partner) on Form 428. You can claim full time or part time educational amount that is more than $100 if you enrolled in a qualifying educational program. See for details and a maximum amount that you can claim.

Do not forget to claim all your medical expenses. Choose 12 month period with maximum expenses. 12 months period can be any 12 – month period ending in the tax year and not claimed in the year previous to the tax year. See for details and a minimum amount that you can claim.

Free Online Tax Help and tax tips

You may find the answers to some of your questions via the Internet on several Web sites that provide updated tax tips.

BDO Dunwoody
Review: Coming soon.

  • BDO Dunwoody: This site is chock-full of tax information ranging from tax facts and figures for each province to weekly tax tips to in-depth bulletins on many tax topics.
    Review: Coming soon.


  • Ernst& Home. This Web site provides you with the latest tax changes, as well as tax calculators. Watch for E&Y tax publications "TaxMatters@EY" and "Tax Alert." You can download the booklet Managing Your Personal Taxes.

    Review: Coming soon.

  • Deloitte (a.k.a. Deloitte & Touche): The daily tax highlights on this Web site will ensure you don't miss any tax changes. Keep your eye open for "TaxBreaks," Deloitte's tax newsletter, and their helpful guides on a variety of tax topics.

    Review: Coming soon.

    When (and How) to Get Help from the Tax Collector
    The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Web site (www. cra-arc. gc. ca) is an excellent source for information. Here, you can download a copy of the income tax package and request additional forms, and the site also contains detailed information on all of the most frequently requested topics.
    If your question relates to your tax situation, try the CRNs auto- mated TIPS line (fax Information Phone Service). Call 1-800-267-6999.
    Have an income tax question? Call 1-800-959-8281
    Find out where your return is? Call 1-800-959-1956
    Information about GST credit: 1-800-959-1953
    Waiting for your Canada Child Tax benefit or
    Universal Child Care benefit? Call 1-800 –387 -1193
  • Canada Revenue Agency's EFILE
  • Canada Revenue Agency's EFILE Service Provider search
  • Canada Revenue Agency's TELEFILE
  • Canada Revenue Agency's NETFILE
  • See the Canada Revenue Agency's list of NETFILE certified software:
  • Federal Income Tax Forms from Canada Revenue Agency
    Useful tax related abbreviations:
  • ABIL – Allowable business investment loss
  • ACB – adjusted cost base
  • ATA -Accredited Tax Advisor
  • ATP -Accredited Tax Preparer
  • CCA – capital cost allowance
  • CCPC - Canadian – controlled private corporation
  • CCTB - Canada Child Tax Benefit
  • CDIC - Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • CESG – Canada Education Saving Grant
  • CGRM – capital gain refund mechanism
  • CICA – The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • CNIL – Cumulative net investment loss
  • CPP - Canada Pension Plan
  • CTB - Child Tax Benefit
  • CRA - Canada Revenue Agency
  • DPSP Deferred Profit Shearing Plan
  • DTC - Disability Tax Credit
  • EBIT - Earnings before interest and taxes
  • EFILE - Electronic Filing
  • EI - Employment Insurance
  • FTC - Foreign Tax Credit
  • GAAR – General anti – avoidance rule
  • GIC - Guaranteed Investment Certificates
  • GST — Goods and Services Tax
  • HBP - Home Buyer’s Plan
  • HST - Harmonized Sales Tax
  • IPP - Individual Pension Plan
  • IRA – Individual Retirement Account
  • ITC - Investment tax credit
  • ITN - Individual Tax Number
  • NETFILE - Federal government electronic tax-filing system
  • OAS - Old Age Security
  • PA – Pension Adjustment
  • QDOT – Qualified domestic trust
  • QPP - Quebec Pension Plan
  • QSBC – Qualified small business corporation
  • QST- Quebec sales Tax
  • RDSP - Registered Disability Savings Plan
  • RESP - Registered Education Savings Plan
  • RPP – Registered Pension Plan
  • RRIF - Registered Retirement Income Fund
  • RRSP - Registered Retirement Savings Plan
  • SAR - Stock appreciation right
  • SIN – Social Insurance Number
  • SBT - Single Business Tax
  • T1 - Personal Tax Return form
  • TC - Tax Court of Canada
  • TFSA- Tax –free savings Account
  • TIPS (T.I.P.S.) - Tax Information Phone Service
  • TONI - Tax on income system

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