TurboTax Canada Review: How To File Your Taxes The Easy Way in 2021

It’s that season of the year when you are required to file your tax return – aka tax season!

Whether you are looking forward to tax time or not may depend on if you expect to get a refund or, if you will be owing the government money. (Hint: Those expecting a significant tax refund are often ecstatic when tax season comes around). 🙂

Tax filing via electronic channels has become more simplified in the last few years, especially with recent integration opportunities available through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and increasing sophistication of online tax software.

Turbotx discount

Of the nearly 30 million tax returns filed in the last year, 85% were transmitted electronically, and paper returns accounted for the rest.

Depending on your circumstances this year, you may be able to file your returns yourself using a paid tax software, free of charge at a tax preparation clinic, or may choose to hire an accountant.

For those intending to use the DIY option, this is where TurboTax comes into play!

TurboTax is considered to be Canada’s #1 best-selling and most popular income tax software and has been used by millions of Canadians for over 20 years. The TurboTax software is owned and marketed by Intuit Canada.

Why Use TurboTax?

If you are wondering about your choice of a tax software for processing your tax return this year, here are some reasons to consider choosing TurboTax:

1. Guaranteed Maximum Refund and Accuracy

Individuals who prepare their own tax returns often fear that they may be missing out on eligible deductions and tax credits, and ultimately, may be cheating themselves out of refunds.

Not surprising, as nobody wants to give the government more of their hard-earned money if they don’t have to!

TurboTax guarantees that when you use their tax software, you’ll get the maximum refund possible. They also guarantee 100% accuracy that there will be no errors.

If there are any errors due to using their software and they lead to CRA penalties, TurboTax will reimburse the penalty plus interest.

2. Support

The availability of multiple forms of support is one area that makes TurboTax stand out. Support available to tax filers include:

  • An online community where you can ask and receive answers from experts and other customers.
  • Phone support
  • Video tutorials
  • TurboTax SmartlookTM: an online, on-demand service that connects Canadian tax filers to live, personalized tax advice from qualified tax experts.

While the level of support you can access is somewhat dependent on the edition of TurboTax you are using (or purchase), there is always some level of support available, even for the free version!

FILE YOUR TAXES WITH TURBOTAX (15% discount)

3. Simplicity

About 50% of Canadians do not feel comfortable filing their own taxes. A few years ago, I was not either. Have you looked at those paper tax forms recently? If you are not an accountant or used to figuring out numbers, manually filing a complicated tax return is simply not your idea of an entertaining evening or weekend.

The TurboTax software makes this tax filing a breeze – it takes you through the process step-by-step, showing you only what’s required for your own specific income, benefits, and tax situation.

4. NetFile Certified

NETFILE is the electronic tax-filing service that allows you to send your tax return directly to the CRA through the internet. TurboTax is one of the tax software products certified by the CRA to use the NETFILE system.

By submitting your return directly, you are able to get your refund much faster – in my case, I received it in 10 days. You also get immediate confirmation that your tax return was transmitted successfully.

Filing via a paper return means you have to wait up to 8 weeks for your refund.

5. CRA Auto-Fill My Return

Individuals with a CRA My Account can connect their TurboTax account to CRA to automatically populate their tax information already on file. TurboTax makes the auto-fill my return very easy to accomplish, potentially saving you lots of time.

RelatedHow To open a CRA MyAccount

turbotax canada

6. Support for Multiple Platforms and Devices

TurboTax is available via the internet (web-based) and can also be downloaded and installed on your personal computer. Both online and download options offer varying levels of benefits and features depending on the version you choose.

So, you can choose to download and install on your Windows or Mac PC, or if you prefer, choose one of the many online versions and access it on the web anywhere using your PC, tablet, or phone.

7. TurboTax Free

There are online and download versions of TurboTax that you can access free of charge.

With TurboTax Free, you can still use the Auto-Fill my return through CRA, ask questions on AnswerXChange, and expect 100% accuracy. However, you will not have access to some premium features including the ability to transfer your previous tax information and store your return online. It may also not be suitable for more complicated tax situations.

8. Other Resources

There is an abundance of other resources on the TurboTax website, including a blog, income tax and refund calculators for all provinces and territories, an expense claim calculator for self-employed individuals, tax tips, and more. These are all freely accessible.

Choosing Your TurboTax

Generally speaking, you have an option between the online (web-based) and the PC-installed versions. There are multiple tiers of features available depending on what you choose/pay for. As the features/benefits increase, so does the cost.

TurboTax Online Tax Software

If you are filing a single return and your tax situation is relatively simple, the Free or Standard online version (15% discount link) is probably all you need.

The Premier version (15% discount link) is targeted at those looking for additional guidance on investment income and expenses, or who have a rental property they have to account for.

If you are filing more complicated returns including those with freelance income/home-based business, you can take a look at their Self-Employed package (15% discount link).

For those who would rather have someone else take care of their tax filing, the TurboTax Assist & Review or Full Service may be worth looking at.

If you would rather download the software to your desktop instead of using the online version, desktop download versions are also available.

Is TurboTax Safe?

TurboTax is NETFILE-approved which means they can securely transmit your tax information to the Canada Revenue Agency.

The security they employ for your account is also top-notch. TurboTax uses multi-factor authentication and data encryption to ensure that your private data is kept safe.

2020 Tax Filing Updates in Canada

Tax updates to watch for when you file your 2020 tax return and for the 2021 tax year include:

If you worked from home due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to claim up to $400 for work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and more. You can claim $2 for each day you worked from home in 2020, up to a maximum of $400 (or 200 workdays).

The CPP contribution rate for workers increases to 5.45% in 2021, or a total of 10.90% when combined with the employer rate.

The CRA will send you a T4A if you have received the CERB or CESB benefits so you can record the payments when you file your tax return.

The maximum annual RRSP contribution limit is 18% of your income up to a maximum of $27,830.

2019 Tax Filing Updates in Canada

Some of the new tax changes that come into effect in 2019 and which affect your tax filing in future years include:

The tax filing deadline has been pushed to June 1, 2020 (from April 30, 2020). Canadians can also defer their income tax payments for the 2019 tax year until after August 31, 2020.

The small business tax rate has been reduced from 10% to 9%. Also, note that there is now a lower limit to the passive income small business owners can keep before higher corporate tax rates kick in.

Low-income workers will receive an increase in Canada Workers Benefits (a refundable tax benefit formerly known as the Working Income Tax Benefit).

New carbon taxes have been introduced and fuel costs are expected to go up by April 2019. Direct tax rebates will be available to residents of provinces that do not yet have an agreement with the federal government (Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan).

The Enhanced CPP goes into effect with rates increasing to 5.1%. The maximum pensionable earnings for 2019 is $57,400. While CPP payments have increased, EI premiums will drop by 4 cents for every $100 of insurable earnings (i.e. from $1.66 to $1.62 per $100).

TurboTax Review for 2021
  • Ease of Use
  • Customer Support
  • Free Version
  • Price
  • Available Features
4.9

Summary

TurboTax is the #1 best-selling income tax software in Canada, and has been used by millions of Canadians for over 20 years. Depending on your tax situation, you have the choice of a free version, as well as several paid versions (online and PC).

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO and monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell.

15 thoughts on “TurboTax Canada Review: How To File Your Taxes The Easy Way in 2021”

    • @Caroline: Thanks! Yeah, I also think the software makes it easy for anyone to use, particularly, the helpful prompts that show up now and again and remind you not to forget something. 5 reviews – you are a busy lady!

      Reply
  1. A: All Intuit products come with a 60-day Satisfaction Guarantee, with the exception of ProFile which is 14 days. If you aren’t satisfied with your Intuit products, ***simply*** call customer service at 1-800-434-6820 within 60 days of purchase in order to begin processing your return or exchange request.

    It is NOT simple. Calling this number for a refund is simple. For the second time, calling Intuit support leads one on a goose chase. I was told that for Turbotax Canada, I needed another number, which the support person could NOT find (support outsourced to Philippines or India), and then called Level 2 support. Then told to use https://support.turbotax.intuit.ca/contact. The 800 number is BS.

    In years past, I made one call to support during taxtime. Could hardly understand the person, and the person seemed unfamiliar with Canada or Canadian tax.

    Simply put, Turbotax is good when it works. But if you have any problem, it is not good.

    Reply
  2. “Unfortunately at this time, this is as far as you can go” should be their motto. People can’t file using this program because they say they are”updating forms” and said they will be done in February. Well, here we are in March and not only have the not fixed it, but they dont update their customers who are left in the dark. They have NO idea when it will be ready so we can file.

    Reply
  3. Hi . We had Turbo Tax Premium and tried to netfile . the software program to report a foreign rental address is not allowing because according to CRA the software is not adequate, you cannot autofill another country and city.
    Despite excellent attention by several Turbo tax staff they could not find the answer.
    I tried to get a partial refund because of this inadequate software that was ok to autofill most of the tax report but still not for netfile.
    The last person worked very hard to get a partial refund of $20, laughable as he had to check with several others to evaluate. 60 days satisfaction assured. Hmm right. well, the supervisor said I used the software so I cannot get a partial refund . I asked, well how would I be dissatisfied if I never used it?
    of course, being spineless these jokers put their hourly personnel on the phone and hide so you cannot speak with them!

    So, completely dissatisfied. I would use UFile and Simple Tax next time or better go to a real tax person.
    I would not never use this stock boy style company again… really conmen!!

    Reply
  4. Do it online DO NOT USE THE DOWNLOAD OR CD VERSION! The reason I am saying this and rather angrily is this: It does not autosave the system regularly crashes when the cra import fails and over all it is not as easy to use. I have used the online version for years. It was easy,simple and i never had one single issue with it. This year I used the download version. I want to throw my computer out the window right now. it is so frustrating to use. It is crashtastic. Just use the online version and save yourself the aggravation.

    Reply
  5. I have been using the CD version of Turbo Tax for years with few issues. This year I was able to NetFile my Federal income tax, but the program would not allow me to NetFile my Quebec Income tax.

    EasyStep indicated a FIX was required on investment income taxable dividends. Without a “FIX”, I would not be able to NetFile. Since I had copied all information correctly from my two (2) RL-3( which are not exactly the same as the Federal T5), I called Customer Service for assistance FIVE times trying to get to the bottom of this.

    Yesterday Customer Service finally admit they had an issue and it had not been fixed, so I would need to mail in my Quebec Income tax return. [No compensation would be forthcoming]

    I cannot tell you how many hours I spent on the phone with people who had no clue what they were talking about or how many times they had me delete information and put it back, elevated to level one, then two. I repeated the problem each time I called as they supposedly do not retain much info and do not know if a call was elevated or to whom or if a promised email was ever sent regarding the problem or if a resolution had been found. Terrible service!

    What a nasty joke for the #1 best selling income tax software in Canada. Surely they can do better.
    I will not waste my money on this tax program again.

    Reply
  6. I have been using TurboTax (previously QuickTax) for years and I find that the last couple of years support has not been what it used to be. For the last part of last tax season software started giving me a message that: TuboTax was unable to verify if an update is available. After many attempts with tech support the issue was never resolved. This year I just downloaded the premium version and I have the same problem and after several attempts to have this fixed with tech support I am ready to throw in the towel and go to something else. Have tried UFile in the past ans was quite impressed. I believe this will be my last year using TurboTax.

    Reply
    • @Salvatore: I have only used the online version and not the downloadable one. So far, I have never had issues with the online TurboTax software and have found it to be fast and user-friendly.

      Reply
  7. for those who use the downloaded multiple filings [for families] you need windows as there is no package for apple. I hope this is changed as I will only have apple next year.

    Reply
  8. tried using the free online version. it appeared to make an error regarding CPP. I had yo explain to the tax expert what CPP was. the issue was an overpayment. expert had to talk to her supervisor. I was sharing my screen but suddenly cobrowse did not work anymore and everything they claimed to try would not work. Expert did not seem to have any knowledge of taxes and Guest program would not load on tablet, tor laptop or desktop. simple questions about numbers not reconciling. worst customer service experience! Cannot recommend this to anyone.

    Reply
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