Tax software vs. manual filing (the traditional method of filing forms for individual tax
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 genutax.ca
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)
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 www.cra.gc.ca 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 www.cra.gc.ca for details and a minimum amount that you can claim.
Review: Coming soon.
Review: Coming soon.
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
Useful tax related abbreviations:
Tax Software Canada
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