Taxes are the bane of every Canadian’s existence. When it’s time to do a tax return, many are hit again with costs for software (or the rather unfortunate need to pay a tax preparer). There are better ways though. If you are a person with a willingness to take on taxes yourself, free tax software is out there. One you should be aware of is StudioTax. Let’s take a look at what makes this so great.
And, free it is. StudioTax requires n payment, registration, or activation. All they request is a donation to the cause of developing the software. The installation also appears to be free of any sort of spyware or advertising software. This is great if you’re just looking to get up and running and do your taxes in the most efficient manner.
The help system is somewhat sparse, and the wizards are fairly bare, but StudioTax does take you through all the basics and suggests different tax savings and details you should know before printing. The form interface gives you access to the needed forms presents them in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) layout. Most of us don’t really need any more than this.
StudioTax can’t import from other competing products like TurboTax, but it can carry forward previous years’ return details as long as you stick with the program. The application does require at least .NET 2.0, so you can conceivably run this on a Windows 98 computer if needed.
There is a free version of TurboTax for those only declaring income, and that may be the version you want, but generally, you should expect TurboTax to cost you upwards of $17 or more depending on the version you need.
While the program is free, there appears to be a general 20-return limit depending on the year you’re filing for. Probably the most amazing thing about StudioTax is that they include downloads of versions going back to 2004. That’s an incredible boon to those late on taxes looking to catch up.
StudioTax is a free tax filing application for Canadians. The 2013 edition supports NETFILE and is currently available for download. If you enjoy the application, you should donate to these hard-working folks.