Tax season is officially here and the Canada Revenue Agency has started accepting tax returns for the 2021 calendar year, with the deadline for most Canadian personal income tax returns falling on April 30, 2022.
The once-time-consuming chore has become a (mostly) painless experience in recent years thanks to NETFILE and easy-to-use software, with online filings accounting for 90% of all Canadian tax returns last year.
There are several free programs available that can instantly file your return to the CRA, so you won't have to panic-file at the last minute à la Homer Simpson – here's a list of free NETFILE-certified tax programs you can use to file your tax returns this year.
- H&R Block Tax Software
- Taxman 2021
- TurboTax Free
- Wealthsimple Tax (formerly SimpleTax)
No payment is required to file T1 personal tax returns with these programs, but some accept "pay what you want" donations after filing, including GenuTax and Wealthsimple Tax. Free programs offer a maximum of 20 returns per computer and most are fully-featured, but some offer paid upgrades to unlock additional features.
Historically, TurboTax and Wealthsimple Tax have been the top choices among RedFlagDeals readers, while other popular options from previous years – notably AdxTax and StudioTax – are still available for 2021, but now require a fee to file your taxes with the CRA.
Additional Tax Tips
- All free programs offer a maximum of 20 returns per computer
- Traditionalists can find paper T1 tax forms at Canada Post and Service Canada outlets
- Low or fixed income Canadians have the option to file via telephone for free
- The deadline for self-employed individuals to file their taxes is June 15
- The CRA will never, ever, ever, ever call, text or email you for personal information or demand a payment with prepaid gift cards
Editor's note: this article was originally published in 2016 and updated on March 1, 2022 to reflect the most up-to-date options