[Screenshot of SnapTax App]

Intuit has just launched a new tax filing product in Canada that literally makes filing taxes a snap. If you have an iPhone and a very simple tax situation (just T4 slips), you can download an app from Apple’s iTunes store that will allow you to take a photo of a T4 slip with iPhone’s built-in camera, walk you through a couple of questions such as Name, Date of birth, Province of residence etc. and generate a tax file. You can then pay $9.99 and NETFILE your tax return right from your iPhone. If the app determines that your tax situation is a more complicated than it can handle, it will offer to transfer your data to TurboTax Online and you’ll be able to complete your taxes through the website.

I saw a demo of the product last week and one of the questions I had was around security. What happens when you lose your phone? Intuit says that since it stores data on its servers and the data is password protected, a loss of the phone will not compromise important personal information such as your SIN number.

Currently, SnapTax is only available on the iPhone. It is not available on the iPad or on phones running Android. I was told that the app works on the iPod Touch but though I was able to download, install and run the app, it wouldn’t let me progress beyond the first couple of screens.

I have a much more complicated tax situation, so I won’t be filing with SnapTax anytime soon. However, as SnapTax adds more capability and starts to cover more tax situations in future years (tuition slips, charitable receipts, RRSP contribution statements etc.), it will make tax filing a breeze for a very large number of Canadians.

This article has 6 comments

  1. How many people just have a T4?

    • @Matt: I asked the same question and the reply I got was “millions”. I was curious and asked around at the office. Apparently, a lot of young people fall into the category of T4s and nothing else, so there might be some truth to it. Nevertheless, if Intuit is going to all the trouble of developing a tax app product, there must be a market for it.

  2. I have T5s as well as T4s but I don’t see it as a stretch to think this app could one day be expanded to take T5s into account as well.

    Great idea! I’d buy it if worked with the combination of T4 and T5 forms.

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  4. I am curious why CRA does not have its own application on its website to enable people to file taxes directly with them instead of approving third party software providers. This would make the handling of refunds and payables easy, along with the tracking of carry-forwards etc.