Does the government offer free tax software?

Does the government offer free tax software?

The government provides a list of tax preparation software that is NetFile compatible.


calculator_322Q: I see there is a push to have taxpayers file electronically. Does the government offer free software, or do I need to purchase a program like TurboTax? Does NetFile take the place of these other software programs?

—R. Boyko, Red Deer, Alta.

A: “Love and marriage. They go together like a horse and carriage,” right Sinatra? NetFile and tax preparation software go together too because NetFile doesn’t replace the software you need to file online. You still need to use a program to “prepare” your return, then you “transmit” it to the CRA using NetFile. While technically you could print out your return and mail it in, that really is a waste of a stamp. The government doesn’t offer free preparation software itself but does provide a list of free certified products. NetFile and tax prep software… Sing with me: “You can’t have one. You can’t have one without the other.”

Bruce Sellery is a frequent guest on financial television shows and author of Moolala. Do you have your own personal question? Write to Bruce at [email protected].