While tax season may seem far away, 60% of Canadians are stalling on filing their taxes. It's an unusual time and with taxes being potentially more complicated this year many are pushing it off. But it's a good idea to prepare ahead of time so you're not stressed in the moment.
One of the best ways you can cut down on your stress levels is to use a tax filing software program. There are many out there, but StudioTax is a trusted and favoured option for many.
Before you decide, though, let us take a look at the features and cost of StudioTax. Keep reading to learn everything you could ever want to know about using software to file your taxes!
Is StudioTax Free?
StudioTax used to be a popular free program until this year. According to StudioTax, they want to be able to keep their services to a high standard so they have now begun to implement a license fee of $15 a year per 20 returns to file in 2020.
They maintain that StudioTax will remain free for 2019 filing and for the years they offer before that. Additionally, the software will also remain free for those whose income is less than $20,000 and for those who live in the northern provinces (NY, YT, NU). While it may be disappointing for some, the cost is low enough and is used to support the upkeep of their system and support.
Is StudioTax Safe?
StudioTax is one of the safest tax filing software options on the market. StudioTax is committed to providing you safety and keeping your information secure - it's a major talking point for their services.
They pride themselves on security first - everything is downloadable and not online. Additionally, StudioTax is scanned by 87 different antivirus tools and is completely clean. This program gives you complete control over how your private information is used. But let's look at some other safety factors.
What Is StudioTax?
StudioTax is a small company of software development professionals. The company is based out of Ottawa - so their tax software is built by Canadians, for Canadians. They are also one of the oldest tax software systems out there, having been a pioneer in this area since 2004.
The individuals on the StudioTax team worked for over a decade to create this personal income tax preparation software. They continue to maintain and update the software for every new tax year.
What Certifications Does StudioTax Have?
Something a lot of Canadians may not realize is that some tax software can be certified by the Canadian government. With this certification, users can rest assured that the software they are using is safe and supported.
StudioTax is certified by NETFILE, a program that is part of the CRA or Canadian Revenue Agency. This means that the government trusts your tax documents to be sent directly to them electronically in an encrypted manner that is compatible with the government's tax systems.
Generally, if the tax software you are using is approved by NETFILE, you know the software will be secure. By using encryption you know your personal and financial information will be protected from hackers viewing or altering your tax data.
How Do I Use StudioTax?
Using StudioTax is pretty simple. Just download the software for whichever device you need it for and then follow the instructions. They provide How to Guides within the application to guide you through the process.
Before doing so, though, it's important to ensure that StudioTax will work for whichever situation you are currently in. To find out what your situation is, you can check out our ultimate tax resource for Canadians guide. Let's go over some of the most notable features StudioTax offers to help you decide.
For such a reasonably priced software StudioTax provides the option to file from a huge variety of devices. Their software can be used on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. This should cover just about everyone looking to file their taxes.
Its mobile versions take the same concepts from their Windows and Mac counterparts and simply ports it into an app form. One of the nicest things about their app versions is that they are still secure and stored locally on your mobile device, rather than in the cloud. You can start filing your taxes at any time, even on the go with these options!
Many Filing Options Included
StudioTax is a great option even for those with more complex tax return situations. StudioTax covers just about everything no matter where you live. If you have rental property or own a business, StudioTax can still cover you.
If you realize you have made a mistake on your already submitted return, then no worries! StudioTax offers ReFILE, a program that allows you to adjust or amend your already filed return by sending in an update.
Of course, if you have some other factors that could impact the complexity of your return it could make things a little more confusing. It's important to look up the various scenarios you are in to ensure that StudioTax will support you (we'll get into the various features of StudioTax later). For instance, if you are separated or getting married, your tax filing situation can change so be sure to double-check!
No Income Restrictions and up to 20 Tax Returns
Going hand in hand with the many filing options, StudioTax also doesn't restrict you based on your income. In fact, as we've mentioned, if you are a low-income filer then you don't have to pay for StudioTax at all. So if you are in a higher income bracket then StudioTax has you covered for that $15.
Additionally, they do make it easy for you to file multiple tax returns with up to 20 returns for the 2021 year. The license is per computer so you cannot have more than 20 returns as per the CRA guidelines. However, if you have another computer you can file for another 20 by paying an additional $15.
With this option, users can file their tax returns not only for the current year but for the years prior that they may not have filed for. If you missed a tax return or need to amend one, StudioTax won't even charge you for it if it's for the years 2019 and earlier.
It is important to keep in mind that some earlier years may not be supported by NETFILE's e-file program and you will likely have to print off your tax return and mail it in for the CRA.
Where to Download
iOS | Android
Yes - URL
BHOK It Consulting
Studio Tax 2020
StudioTax is beloved by the majority of users due to its long history of support and versatility in ability. Even now that it costs money to file, it's still a good option for many. Before deciding, let's look at the main pros and cons users mention.
It is one of the few free (or cheap to use) software programs that offers filing for Quebec residents (but not on Mac devices). They even provide their website in French. They also have support for northern territories for free which can frequently be hidden behind paywalls with other systems.
The company has been around for a long time and provides more security than cloud-based alternatives as you download StudioTax directly to your hard drive.
Of course, the biggest con is that StudioTax is no longer free for the majority of people who will be using it. Now that it costs money, some people will likely want to consider either other free software or more flashy and popular paid software in a similar price range.
One of the biggest cons is the lack of support. While you're unlikely to run into issues with their How to Guide system, they only provide e-mail support. This means that if you have a pressing question and are on a time crunch, you will not get an instant response and it might take several days.
What Else Should You Know?
Now that you know everything about how to file your taxes with the StudioTax online e-filing system, there are some other factors to think about. It's always a good idea to take some time to consider if you could save money in the other financial sectors in your life. It could be things like your mortgage, credit cards, and insurance - these are all areas where you could probably be spending less!
But how? This is where Insurdinary comes in - with Insurdinary you can compare rates among various companies and save money in as little as three minutes. So check us out today and as for a quick quote!