Today's tax preparation software does more than just let you calculate your income tax and send in your return. Most tax software programs include tax planning features so you can analyze different income tax scenarios. If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you'll be able to use any of the Canadian tax software in this article; if your business is incorporated, your options are more limited. All these Canadian tax software programs are Canada Revenue Agency approved.
Image (C) TurboTax
This user-friendly Canadian tax software program lets you prepare your income taxes easily and quickly. The EasyStep Interview leads you through the tax preparation process by asking questions in plain English, and tax planning is a snap because of the ability to run multiple tax scenarios, and features such as the capital gains analyzer and incorporation analyzer. Three business versions are available for Windows, TurboTax Business, TurboTax Prior Year Business and TurboTax Business Incorporated. There is also an Online Edition available, TurboTax Home & Business.
This Canadian tax software program has two things going for it that really appeal to me. The first is that you purchase GenuTax once and future annual updates are free. The second is that you can prepare and file up to 20 tax returns for the current tax year and the past tax year. (Some other tax preparation software programs designed for public use allow you to do fewer returns.) The downside? You can't use this tax software if you live in Quebec or for preparing corporate tax returns. A separate tax planning software, GenuTax Planner, is also available.
TaxTron used to be GriffTax and is still the only fully functional user-friendly Canadian tax preparation software available in both individual (T1) and corporate (T2) versions for Macintosh OS. However, there is a version of this tax software available for Windows, too, that you can use to do your individual and/or business income tax. (Note that the Corporate version is only available for Macs.) All versions are quick, easy, and fully bilingual, using a step-by-step approach to guide you through the tax preparation and filing process.
Originally designed as software for tax professionals, Cantax has evolved into a line of tax preparation software for every need. Two of this Canadian tax software's features that I really like in the T1Plus edition are the Quick Entry screen where you can enter the data from different forms onto a single screen and the Pathfinder that makes it easier to move between form(s) and the return. If you want to prepare only a small number of returns, look for the low volume products such as T1Plus Home Office, or, for corporate returns, Cantax T2.
Essentially with this tax preparation software, you enter your income tax information using an interview interface. Currently this Canadian tax software program only offers personal income tax preparation (T1), but it has the capability to handle any kind of self-employment income and calculate capital gains - and can be used by Quebec residents. UFile also offers online income tax preparation and filing.