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Take the taxing part out of filing

Globe and Mail Update

Software that help you stay in the Canada Revenue Agency's good graces has come a long way, writes JACK KAPICA ...Read the full article

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  1. Nyam Pho from Toronto, Canada writes: Unfortunately, Jack was not able to review all available tax packages. The Canada Revenue Agency website has a list of Netfile certified packages, which I checked out after reading Jack's review. One that caught my eye is StudioTax, the only certified tax package that is totally free (although they do encourage donations via Paypal). Their website claims they are a bunch of software developers from Ottawa who had too much time on their hand during the NHL lockout a few years ago. I liked their informative website (giving the link to a recommended spyware package and other security tips was a nice touch). I downloaded and installed the software without any problems. I have never used tax preparation software before, but was impressed with the sophistication of the interface. I was able to create skeleton returns for me and my wife in minutes. I don't know if I am able to give the name of their website, but you can find a link on CRA's Netfile page. Unless I encounter unexpected problems, I will be recommending StudioTax to everyone I know this year.
  2. Nyam Pho from Toronto, Canada writes: While we're on the topic of tax returns, I'd like to give two thumbs down to the Canadian governments (both federal and provincial) for the needless complexity of the tax system. A few decades ago, I spent my UofWaterloo co-op workterms in an accountants office preparing tax returns manually. These days, I am focused on computational genomics. I used to enjoy preparing my own tax returns "the old way" just as some people enjoy crossword puzzles, but every year it becomes increasingly complicated for me. How is the ordinary taxpayer to cope with the complexity, if I cannot? That is why tax preparation software has become a necessity to most tax payers. Here's just one example of unnecessary complexity: the federal $65/month textbook credit for students. Why not just lump it in with the $400/month education amount, and eliminate a couple of lines (which represent a couple of chances for the taxpayer to make an error) of the Schedule 11?

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