One of the reasons that I liked StudioTax is that it allowed entering tax information directly into the forms. Admittedly, not everyone is a fan of the direct entry method. A lot of people prefer the interview method where the software asks relevant questions and generates the tax return based on the answers. If you prefer the interview method, GenuTax could be a good choice.

I downloaded a trial version of GenuTax and gave it a whirl through some basic tax scenarios – T4, RRSP contributions, Child care deductions, UCCB, Capital gains etc. It should be noted that like StudioTax, you’ll need to download additional libraries from Microsoft to install and run GenuTax. The GenuTax window is spartan and uncluttered – a left panel displays the tax summary and the right panel prompts the user to enter information for the current question. You can either click Next to go to the next question or select the question you want to jump to from a list. Once you are done, you can generate and view the tax return.

GenuTax has an interesting pricing model – a one-time payment of $34.99 plus tax includes updates for generating future tax returns. If you have a fairly simple tax situation (though GenuTax can handle most tax scenarios) or if you don’t like the direct entry method of preparing your tax return, you’ll be happy with GenuTax. Personally, I still prefer StudioTax but GenuTax would be a close second choice among the lesser-known tax preparation titles that I have tried out so far. It is nice to know that there are plenty of quality alternatives for preparing our taxes.

This article has 12 comments

  1. StudioTax has a better price. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for the review.

    It is nice to see some attention paid to the “lesser” software. I have always thought these products were equal and this suggests just that.

  4. My wife and I have been using GenuTax for a few years now and it has worked very well for us. It has been able to handle all the ‘non-standard’ stuff that we needed to do and we haven’t run into anything that it couldn’t handle yet.

    The interview method is kind of nice if you don’t like doing taxes. You just answer all the questions and at the end you’ve got a tax return! I used to do my taxes by hand so the GenuTax is easy peasy in comparison.

    Also, the free updates have been great and we’ve had no troubles upgrading each year (for free!).

    We’re both pleased with the product.

  5. Canadian Capitalist

    FT: True, but some people prefer the interview method and for them, IMO, GenuTax would be a good choice.

    Barry: I really liked GenuTax’s clean interface. And some people in the office have been regular users and love it.

    Peter: Glad to hear your positive experience with GenuTax. It’s very nice to see so many quality options for doing our taxes.

  6. Don’t waste your time or money with Genu Tax. If you already know what you need to fill out to file, find a program that lets you order the forms and schedules and skip this useless interview. If you want to experiment with different scenarios like different RSP contributions, Genu Tax is NOT FOR YOU, unless you enjoy going through the whole interview again and again with each change, keeping track of your own outcomes each time because printing is likely to engrave the return in stone.

  7. Hi there, this is my first year trying to do my own tax returns and I’ve been reading a lot on the CRA website as well as various cdn financial blogs.

    I was testing on GenuTax, but had some general questions I hope someone can help me with or direct me towards a useful resource:

    1. capital gains from stocks in on the US market – do you claim that as capital gains (and do your own currency exchange via the bank of canada’s website) or investment income?

    2. borrowing money (NOT from a margin) to invest – how does one keep track of how much of an investment consists of your own cash vs the borrowed amount?


  8. Canadian Capitalist

    LDubz: I calculate capital gains and losses on USD investments after converting to C$ and reporting them as capital gains/losses in Schedule 3.

    When I do leverage, I keep it in a separate account, so I just total up the interest payments and report them at the end of the year.

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  10. does anyone know if you can save the forms as a pdf? I always save everything to a disc so that I have a hard copy as well as a paper copy. Does it also work for self employment as well?

  11. Has anyone had any problems with the latest Genutax program? I’ve used Genutax for several years and have always been pleased. However, this year after I download and install, I am not able to “open” the program. Actually, it opened once, I input info but cannot retreive it. I contated the support system and they tried very hard to help, to no avail. They finally said that it is my computer. I have since downloaded another program and it is working just fine.

  12. I used the genu tax form to do my 2014 tax return. I am unable to netfile it. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Apparently I’ve been told there is a Q&A page that asks if you want to netfile. That page never came up for me. I need help!!