Benefits to Filing Your Taxes Online

Tax season is coming and filing your taxes can be a stressful task if you aren’t quite sure what you’re doing. This year the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is doing things a little differently. They want to encourage Canadians to file their income taxes online which means less work for them and faster processing time for us. Win win, right? Except that doing taxes still isn’t exactly fun, but a necessary evil that can often mean getting a decent tax return.

In years past an access code has been mailed to you and was required to file online (via Netfile). This year when you file you just need your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and date of birth to confirm your identity. Tax filing packages will no longer be automatically mailed out to people who filed returns last year. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to file online you can find the package here or pick one up at any postal outlet or Service Canada office starting today (February 4th).

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Here are some benefits of Netfile :

  • A paper application can take 4 to 6 weeks to process; filing online can mean processing times as short as 8 business days if you use direct deposit.
  • The filing programs do all of the calculations for you. This means less chance for human error in calculation.
  • The CRA performs a series of computer checks and balances before the return is accepted to ensure accuracy.
  • You receive electronic confirmation within seconds of filing your return.
  • Netfile is a greener alternative since it doesn’t require the use of any paper.
  • The CRA states that Netfile is completely safe and secure, so you can be assured that your private and personal information is safe.

To file your taxes via Netfile you must use software that has been certified by the CRA. The CRA has not yet released the list of programs certified for this year but it will be available here, where you can also view the list of 2012′s certified programs. TurboTax is a well-established program that makes it easy to file with different options for filing based on your own needs. There are some standard options which are great, but there are also free options. One free option is for students which can mean a lot when you have $5 left in your bank account after paying your winter tuition. TurboTax offers accurate step-by-step guidance to your maximum refund. Just answer some simple questions and TurboTax figures out the best way for you to file.

Start now!

If you haven’t tried online filing before you should try it out this year. It may end up saving you a lot of headache, time and money.

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Comments

  1. I prefer to do mine online. Saves a lot of time!

  2. I always e-file my federal return and e-file my state return 50% of the time (depends on if I owe them and would have to send a payment anyways). I generally don’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to efile. It is super easy and your return won’t get lost in the mail!

    • Exactly! And it’s instant receipt. Whenever I send something through the mail I worry that it will get lost or simply delayed and I will miss the due date.

  3. I file online using turbotax. It’s very convenient and easy to use. I started the tax process last week, but probably won’t file them until mid Feb since I’m still missing a couple of investment reports.

    • Great to hear! There’s no rush anyway, it’s kind of nice to start it early and know that you still have some time to get everything completed and sent in.

  4. When we did our own taxes we always filed them online. If you’re getting a refund, then it makes much more sense to do so as you can generally have it in about 7-10 days if you have it deposited right into your bank account.

  5. Great post and perfect timing. I knew there were changes but didn’t know exactly what they were.

  6. Anne @ Unique Gifter says:

    There are definitely pros and cons to filing online. One con is that the audit rate is higher for online claims. I’ve never had to do my own taxes, but this is what the accountants tell me.

  7. I’ve used TurboTax for the past several years and I love it! It’s quick and easy.

  8. My wife works for a CPA firm and she gets asked a lot if TurboTax and other software is OK to use. Her firm tells people that if you understand every question and you answer it correctly, then it’s fine to use software and not a professional. If you have something like a foreclosure or if you own your own business you’re probably better off to go to a professional.

  9. One time we had H&R Block file ours and it was over $500! I freaked. We have done them ourselves ever since. They are a lot more complicated now but Greg knows what he’s doing. I don’t =/

  10. TurboTax was my go-to every year as a student because it was free lol

    Last year I used H&R Block and I’m using them again now because they totally auto-filled everything from last year. It’s fab, because I don’t even know where my statement of results or whatever from last year is, but H&R Block remembers!

  11. Greg does ours online even though they are quite complicated. Several years ago, we used H&R Block and it was over $500. Never again~

  12. Not only a save of time but a save of gas as well. (I love the Sheldon gif by the way!)

  13. I do my taxes online, its saves me the time and effort of going to a tax professional. The sophistication of the tax software that most online companies use now mean that I am now getting the same return if I do my taxes online.

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