In this article, I’ll review TurboTax – Canada’s #1 trusted and online tax return software.
I’ll dive deep into the topic, review the best features and finally conclude if its right for you and help you decide. Let’s get started!
What is TurboTax?
Turbo tax is an American-made tax return software developed to ease the lives of millions of tax-payers around the world.
Although for now, it is just operational in the US, with servers being bought around the globe, expect it to have a global release very soon.
Of the nearly 35 million tax returns filed in the last year, 82% were transmitted electronically, and paper returns accounted for the rest.
Out of the countless tax softwares in the market, the one leading the market is TurboTax. It’s considered to be the premium tax software application.
Why is TurboTax The #1 Tax Return Software in Canada?
1. Instant Refund Ticker
As you enter deductions into TurboTax, you’ll instantly see their impact on your refund (or tax owed).
No surprises. No waiting until you’re done. Its real-time information on the status of your refund.
2. Life Changes Profiling
TurboTax will ask you simple questions about what’s new in your life (marriage, kids, new home, etc.).
Then it’ll show you the impact of those life changes on your refund.
3. RRSP Optimizer
See how different RRSP contribution amounts can increase your tax refund. Or lower your tax owing.
The RRSP Optimizer helps you make an informed decision on the optimum RRSP contribution for you and your spouse.
4. Pension Splitter
If you have corporate or CPP income, you can split up to 50% of it with your spouse.
TurboTax automatically suggests the best distribution of your income, so you’ll end up paying less in taxes.
5. Deduction Toolbox
Did you know that there are over 400 deductions available for you to possibly claim?
More deductions mean a bigger tax return, and we hunt for every single one you qualify for.
If you are used to TurboTax last year, you can transfer that tax data into TurboTax.
Doing this saves you from manually entering in information, which helps improve the accuracy of your return.
7. Return Review
The software will check your return for any money-costing errors or money-saving opportunities.
It’s the softwares way of ensuring that you get your biggest refund possible. Or pay the lowest amount possible.
8. Audit Defence
Have professional representation ready in case you’re audited by the CRA.
Available for Personal and Business returns, you’re connected with a tax pro who will deal with the CRA on your behalf.
9. Import e-slips into your return
If you get e-slips from your employer, RRSP provider or epost, you can automatically enter that info directly into your return.
TurboTax participating partners include epost.ca, cifunds.ca and canadahelps.org.
File your return directly to the CRA, from the CRA website instead of printing and mailing it in.
By using NETFILE, you can get your refund in as few as eight days. Learn more about NETFILE.
11. Easy Step Interview
Instead of complicated tax questions, TurboTax asks easy-to-understand questions that relate to your tax needs.
So rather than wondering what to say, the EasyStep Interview takes the intimidation out of answering tax questions.
12. Business Interview
For Home & Business and above, TurboTax finds plenty of self-employment deductions as you answer questions about your business.
As you’re working hard growing your business, it helps you get more from it at tax time
13. GPS Guidance
You’re never lost in your return. TurboTax literally maps out your return from start-to-finish in easy-to-follow steps.
So you always know where you are in your return, and how far is left to go until you’re done.
14. Rental Guidance
Available in Premier and above, it’s specialized guidance for rental property owners.
It locates every rental deduction you can claim, from advertising to insurance. So you make the most of your rental income.
15. Auto-fill my return
Save time and download your 2016 T4 slip info directly from the Canada Revenue Agency in just a few clicks.
We’ll automatically import your information into your return. It’s fast, easy, and accurate.
How Does TurboTax Work?
TurboTax has a straight-forward user interface which asks for key financial information at first, for example, if you are an organization, then crucial documents like the income statement and balance sheet would be required.
Using this data, and the allocated tax policies your tax fund will be determined; if you are an individual who wants to pay his regular tax for the month then just put in your salary receipt and let the TurboTax App do its wonders.
Overall it is a very easy process.
Don’t try to cheat your way around it though, as the software has a built-in audit system which rechecks the data from your organization’s servers.
TurboTax Add-On Functionalities
The founders of TurboTax; being the veterans in the industry have a lot to offer.
When it comes to the product features, it is considered to be the most user-friendly software out there because of it’s easy to use interface. The tax return software is both accommodating and simple for newcomers and for well established companies.
Typically designed as a question-answer software, using it shouldn’t be a difficult task. Just put in your data, let it make the calculations and then your tax receipts should be done.
As per the market evaluation, there is the varied type of businesses; we have sole owners, partnerships, private and public limited companies, and even mergers.
While using the software; if there are certain key areas which do not apply to you, then the information would be stored for you until you get the necessary upgrades. This applies only for the free version of the software which caters to only a limited number of transcripts.
Although if you are lucky enough to be using the fully compatible paid version, then the process ends very swiftly.
It even has a FAQ tab enrolled in both the versions of the application, if certain immediate queries need to be answered then either fellow customers or skilled technicians would be at your service.
TurboTax – Market Best Features
One of the best features of turbotax is the online help.
Consider the scenario – you are using the online software for the first time and you don’t have an idea on how to make it work for you.
For example – You don’t know about your tax privileges, should you even be paying taxes?
All of these queries can be solved by enabling the online help option (Only available in the paid version) when you do select it, a skilled professional, normally an accountant pops up on your screen, guides you through the rest of the process.
Do Tax Transactions on the Fly
TurboTax has you covered in every scenario.
Ease of access is further provided as the free flow of information is supported.
Apart from its desktop version, there are separate versions of it in Application Stores. Catering to a wide range of customers, it has certainly made its mark in the industry.
For example, if you are out of station and need the organization’s financial reports, then there is an option of sharing key data between different versions of the application.
That means, from your desktop version you can easily copy and send information the mobile version. This encourages flexibility for its usage.
Getting the tax back is also become convenient in this application, upon certain vital performances of the organizations, tax is paid back to them for further investment purposes. Just out in your credentials like account number and the funds would be wired back into your account.
TurboTax has five key versions, all of them are pretty much the same with little to slight variations.
However the pricing changes and certain functionalities, they have notable differences.
The free version is better suited for students who want to get an overall idea about the taxing process.
For Example – If you need to pay back student loans, then you can do it with the free version of the software.
The basic version of TurboTax is priced around $90; it is very much the same as the free version but with the only allocation of the online help feature. As discussed, a skilled accountant would guide you through the whole process.
The deluxe version will cost you around $140 (Depends on your province) and comes with all the goodies packed; you can transfer information, get the tax back and even ask for online guidance.
Premier version which is priced around $180 will help you file grievances (Upon occurrence), these reports would then, later on, be recorded and worked upon.
The self-employed version exclusively caters to sole-owner type businesses like start-ups or basic projects. Although with this version, you can opt for any feature which has been allocated.
If you are part of the Canadian armed forces, then certain taxes would be deducted from your overall pay. TurboTax software effectively tracks all of your critical transactional items.
TurboTax software will notify you if the tax is paid or not.
TurboTax is the #1 tax software in Canada; trusted my millions of Canadians every year.
I personally like the product and will endorse the software for its robustness, features and the great intuitive design.
Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll love it even more than I say or mean to.
If you are choosing between TurboTax and SimpleTax; then its a personal choice. But, both are good for you. I personally like TurboTax better.
Please let us know your thoughts and comments below.