On the recommendation of a reader, I downloaded StudioTax for a test drive. To be quite honest, I didn’t have high expectations – I thought that the software would be functional and accurate but clunky – but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and ease-of-use of the product. StudioTax is free to download (the 2007 version is already available) and free to use and is capable of filing up to the CRA maximum of 20 tax returns and all the developer behind the product asks for is a voluntary contribution for his efforts. The product is seamlessly bilingual and supports complicated tax cases – a short list of exclusions is listed on the website.

It’s really easy to get started – as soon as you enter information such as names, SIN numbers, address and T4 information, you get access to a what-you-see-is-what-you-get tax return form. You are given access to the T1 General Form, Federal Forms, Provincial Forms and T Slips through a tree view on the left or tabs in the bottom of the page. I found the product extremely simple to use – just enter the data through the T slips or click on the boxes (hint: you can enter information in the yellow boxes) in the T1 General form to bring up the relevant forms.

I was surprised, astonished actually, to learn that a product of such high quality was developed by one individual, who has twenty years of software experience, with support from his family as a hobby in his spare time. I had a pleasant chat with the developer and asked him if we should be concerned about the accuracy of the results. He replied that his product has undergone multiple rounds of testing and unless it passes the same battery of tests that every competing product undergoes and achieves a 100% pass rate, it doesn’t get certified by CRA. Unlike the rest of the software industry, the tax preparation business operates under a simple credo laid down by the CRA – if it fails a single test case, it doesn’t get certified.

I’ve decided to use StudioTax to file our taxes this year. I haven’t tried everything out with the software yet, but I did try entering some T4 slips, RRSP contributions and Child care expenses and I think it should easily handle all my tax needs for this year. Since UFile has a satisfaction guarantee and a 60-day full refund guarantee, I’ll take advantage of it and return the product because, in my opinion, StudioTax is so much easier to use than UFile. And I’ll be happy to redirect the refund to the developers of StudioTax as a thank you for their efforts.

The software is available for download from the StudioTax website (did I mention free?). Try it and let me know if you think the product is as great as I think it is (Just so we are clear, I don’t have any monetary incentive for writing this post). The developer also mentioned that he would love to hear feedback and the current state of the software is the result of vast improvements suggested by users over the years.

This article has 119 comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I have used Quick Tax the last few years, but will have to look for an alternative now that they are limiting the returns over 25k to two. One question I have about Studio Tax is regarding spousal returns. Does it automatically transfer amounts (income, credit) from one spouse to the other?

  2. Unfortunately for me I’ll have to stick with UFile or QuickTaxWeb because StudioTax is not supported on a Mac. Really great idea though. Open source software is often highly superior to anything produced for profit, but it still surprises me every time!

  3. Sounds pretty neat.

    if it fails a single test case, it doesn’t get certified.

    I wouldn’t last long programming that kind of software. 🙂

  4. See? I can’t even do simple html without making a mistake. 🙂

    Mike

  5. I too have considered returning UFile. I was terribly disappointed in UFile’s handling of medical expenses as there is no mechanism to calculate the best 12 months of costs (over 2006 and 2007). I’m downloading StudioTax right now. 🙂

    Tony: I too am a Mac user…albeit, I also operate Windows on a secondary machine. My other half calls it my tax machine. 😀

    Anyone do taxes on Linux?

  6. I am very pleased to read this review. I have been using this product for several years and I have never understood why more Canadians did not use it.

    I work for the gov. and get a free copy of Ufile each year.. but have used Studiotax instead and supported it for several years just because I like what this developer has done for Canadian taxpayers.

    Now I can say the same for the Canadian Capitalist. I am sure you backing this product will help it get off the ground in a big way and that will in turn help many Canadian taxpayers and their bottom line.

    Now if only the Globe and Mail, Monitor Magazine, and other mainstream news would provide this same message. Taxpayers could all get a bit of a break.

    /bow.

    Kudos… I am very pleased to see you back this product

  7. Thanks CC very much for the article. I didn’t like QuickTax, used Ufile last year and liked it, but will try StudioTax for 07 since CC’s suggestion has been quite useful and insightful.

  8. I used it last year and it was great. Will be using it again this year.

  9. Canadian Capitalist

    Tony: StudioTax isn’t open source (in the sense that the source code isn’t available) but it is freeware.

    Mike: Me neither 🙂

    Barry: Thanks for your recommendation of StudioTax. I wouldn’t have gotten around to trying it if it weren’t for your persistence 🙂

    Mariam: I’m glad you liked the product as well.

  10. Thanks for the heads up CC, nothing better than free stuff that works.

  11. A great review.I have been aware of this product and I was wondering if it was any good. It seems like it is very good.

  12. Thanks CC, you made my tax software choice much easier. I was worried that my boycott of QuickTax (and their reduction in # of returns over 25K) was going to be painful – but I’m much more optimistic now.

  13. Does StudioTax support the importing of previous year’s data from Quicktax? I love the fact that my carryovers and address etc get uploaded automatically. I’m assuming it does not, or it would have been mentioned in the review. That said, how easy is it to manually do this for Studiotax? I’m a layman here who likes to be walked through just a bit…is the product suitable for someone like me?
    Cheers,

    Craig

  14. Canadian Capitalist

    Craig: I don’t think StudioTax allows import from QuickTax but it does allow import from StudioTax 2006. That said, I didn’t find it all that difficult to enter a couple of names, a couple of SIN numbers and RRSP contribution room info. The initial wizard walks you through the set up information. My personal opinion is that the software is very intuitive to use.

  15. Is there a timeframe for when the certification of the software will be complete? It has “pre-certified” written all over the website.
    Thank you for letting me know about StudioTax, though!

  16. Heh…I always enjoy reading and hearing about Canadian tax terminology equivalents since we always hear things in U.S. tax terms.

  17. TKO from Ontario

    StudioTax2007 sounds awsome.

    I am very sceptical though, ‘when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is’.

    Isn’t anyone concerned about security of their info, I highly value mine.

    I’ve used Ufile with great success in the past two years, ever since Quicktax has gotten too arogant with their pricing strategy.

    Happy Tax Filing.

  18. TKO from Ontario

    Please help your family and friends save money this tax season, especially those people that need it the most:

    * Low Income
    * Social Assistance
    * Students
    * Elderly

    Tell them about the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is run by CRA each spring to help people file their taxes for FREE.

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/individuals/volunteer/menu-e.html

    I’ve volunteered for the past two years and will do so again this year. For those in need, saving $50 on their tax return can go a long way so please spread the word about this awsome program.

    Best regards,

    TKO from Ontario

  19. TKO, what makes a program that is written by one person who is attempting to better society for using his skills for the common good vs a corporation who’s only motive is money?

    Plus, much like Ufile, the software and the netfile are stored on your local machine. If you are really that concerned, disable your network connection while your using it, generate your netfile file and then use your browser after closing the app. If you would do that with Ufile, then do it with StudioTax as well.

  20. That question should end with “less secure”.

  21. Thanks for the review of the Studio Tax package. Coming up on that time of year again, and as usual, I am developing a small line of friends and family at my in-box! I like the looks of the package, ran through my own return in about 7 minutes. A few people that I look after as a favour have slightly more ambitious returns including proprietorships and such, but for most people’s needs, this looks good.
    After using Taxprep and Cantax/Quicktax years ago, it is nice to see this package available. Appreciate your time bringing this to everyone’s attention – I’ll pass the word along too.
    Mike

  22. Phil S … No software is certified at this point in time for filing 2007 tax returns.

    CRA will certify software soon enough.. You can see what products have been certified by looking at this site:

    http://www.netfile.gc.ca/software-e.html

    It is safe to assume those products that were certified last year will be this year.. .although there are no guarantees.

  23. Used StudioTax 2006 last year, worked great
    I prefer having the ability to enter manually into the tax forms (yellow boxes), especially capital gains/dividends

    For fun, I did type the same thing into UFile.ca, the wizard-approach, and got the same tax refund $$, but I don’t like the wizard that much

    Imported ST2006 file into ST2007 already, waiting for the “officla-certified-by-CRA” version as well

    Will be advertising it on my blog too

  24. Canadian Capitalist

    Phil: Like Barry pointed out, getting certification takes time. I seem to recall late February even for commercial software. Still, I’ll ask the developer for a time frame.

    TKO: I’ll pass along your comment about volunteer tax programs in a post. I personally talked to the developer and don’t think there is any malicious intent here. In fact, the developer mentioned that this is his way of giving back to the community and he didn’t even want me to put a dollar figure on the voluntary contribution leaving it to the individual’s circumstance.

    Mike: I believe StudioTax can easily handle business income though I haven’t tried that out myself yet.

    NeverStopBuying: I’m glad that you liked the product as well and would be spreading the word. IMHO, this product needs a wider audience.

  25. I will be trying Studio Tax this year.

    Quick tax users, be aware that Quicktax HAS LOWERED THE NUMBER OF RETURNS LIMITS FOR THOSE WHO MAKE MORE THAN $ 25,000 TO TWO (2 ). It has previously been 5. So essentially they’ve raised the price without telling the consumer. IF YOU BUY THE PROGGIE, IT WILL ONLY DO TWO RETURNS ABOVE $ 25,000. NO MORE SHARING THE PROGRAM WITHIN YOUR EXTENDED FAMILIES.

  26. Pingback: Free Daycare Forms

  27. Intuit really outdid itself this year. It discontinued Taxwiz and recomends using Quicktax Light allowing 2 returns.
    I will not use an Intuit branded product again, corporate greed is a wonderful thing, it usually comes back home to roost.
    So this year I will use Studiotax and hope it’s going to work out

  28. Can anyone help please, does Studiotax do joint returns, like toggle back and forth between a married couple, as Taxwiz used to do? It asked at the start if you wanted to do a joint but separate returns. thanks for any info regarding this

  29. Canadian Capitalist

    Pieter: Yes, you can do spousal returns and the spousal net income is filled in directly for you. I don’t remember exactly how TaxWiz used to do joint returns, but StudioTax handles spousal returns just like the other competing products.

  30. Tried StudioTax for the first time last year and was very happy with it.
    I was disapointed after Taxwiz essentially became Quicktax and wasnt happy with the way that worked so went looking for something else. I also have a problem with paying for a program to help me pay my taxes. Why doesn’t CRA simply offer a free tax software package? They would just be making it easier on themselves as more people would file online – helping CRA simply transfer the data to their systems without a punching it all in….now wouldn’t that make sense……Was very happy with Studio tax.

  31. I’ve been using AceTax for a couple of years now and they are incredible. Would recommend all you guys to try it out. They are not free lie Studio tax. But only $6.99 for returning customers is still worth it. It beats SutdioTax, QuickTax, Ufile any day. http://www.fredsoft.ca/acetax

  32. Canadian Capitalist

    Roger: I’ll allow you one comment to plug Acetax, but 5 other versions of the same comment will be treated as spam. Thanks.

  33. I have also reviewed StudioTax. I too am fond of the software.

  34. To enter your T slips information such as T4, T5 etc, go to the T Slips main tab and click on the button for the given T slip. Enter the amounts shown on your paper T Slip to the corresponding boxes listed in StudioTax T Slip form. The current version supports 2 rows for each T Slip type. If you have more than 2 T Slips of the same type (e.g. 3 T4s), then enter the first T Slips amount to the first row and you have to manually add the amounts of each box of the remaining T Slips and enter the result to the proper box of the second row.

    the above is the instruction provided by Studio Tax.
    I find the explanation confusing.
    Can you enlighten me how to enter more than 10 T5 slips per return please. what woud be the best procedure?

  35. The instruction is saying.. put T5 slip 1 in column one. Add all the other T5 slips up and put the totals in column two.

  36. I do understand what it says, my question is how do I list the other 9+ NAMES and INDIVIDUAL amouts of the different financial institutions, as there are about the same numer of companies on the spousal return.
    Used to be any number of t5’s available on taxwiz and it totalled and listed them on the general T1 and automatically listed the amounts on schedule 4 with the names of the indvidual financial companies. any help would be appreciated
    BTW, I’ve used Netfile for the last few years

  37. Pieter.. I downloaded Studiotax because I did not understand what your were writing and found I could key up to 20 T4s and 20 T5s slips without any problem (the amounts not the names of the financial institutions).

    There is a little arrow box and as you key each one.. it says T5 (1), T5(2), T5(3) etc. The arrow forward allows you to key the next.. the arrow back brings you back to the previous one you keyed. Is this what you mean?

    I opened Schedule 4 and it appeared fine. It rolled up all the T5 slips I keyed and summarized that amount with an explan.. From information slips (keep in mind the CRA has a copy of all your T5 slips already).

    I wish I could help more .. but I cannot see the problem.

  38. Oh .. also a slide opens up to add more slips… are you sure your selecting OK and not cancel after you adjust the number?

  39. Barry, thanks for the explanation, looks like I am on my way, as long as the CRA can match the submitted amounts.

  40. Canadian Capitalist

    Thanks for your response Barry. Looks like you are set Pieter.

  41. Thanks for the interesting board.

    Must be a decent product if there are NO negative postings, all positive.

    I’ve been a Quicktax user for years (and Wintax before that) and am glad to know now, before I buy the product, that I can only do two returns this time. This is unacceptable to me. I think I will give Studiotax a try this year.

    I assume, since it is (or soon will be) CRA certified that I will be able to netfile my returns? Am I correct in this assumption?

    Thanks for a great board.

  42. @Thommy

    You are correct. CRA certifies software each year in early February. They start issuing refunds and notices of assessment ~ the last week of February.

    Keep an eye on this site to see what is certified.

    http://www.netfile.gc.ca/software-e.html

    And don’t worry if your product does not show up right away given that CRA does not do anything with returns filed until mid Feb anyhow.

  43. Also leaving QuickTax as ‘quick’ as I can. My question is – can you import last year’s info into Studiotax as with other programs?

  44. It will only import your data from Studiotax meaning the first year you use it requires you rekey. After that, its the same as all the rest of them.

  45. I tested Studiotax 2007 this year using the last year info for my mother who is disabled. It worked fine except it did not copy over the disability information over to the Manitoba Tax credit area. I had to duplicate the entry here after figuring out why entering a disablilty did not increase her refund, but that was not a problem. Other than that it worked fine with my mother’s pension slips.

  46. Canadian Capitalist

    If you have a suggestion for improving StudioTax, please contact them directly at:

    http://www.studiotax.com/en/contact.htm

  47. I downloaded StudioTax2007 for a trial run. I found it very good, every bit as good ( if not better ) than the Quick Tax and TaxWiz that I previously used. Inuit bought out TaxWiz and took it off the market ( as far as I can see taxwiz is no longer available for 2007 ). Also Quiick Tax is limited to two ( 2) for taxpayer over $25,000.00 as compared to last year of six.

    My only problem is that I cannot find a place to enter details of medical deductions such as insurance premiums, drug receipts , eye glasses.
    Can any one help me.
    I think that it is about time that the federal government put out an official downloadable computer program for the taxpayer, just like they do for the paper copy that one picks up at the local post office.

  48. Cannot edit.. I meant to type line 330.

  49. Pingback: Quick Review: GenuTax 2007

  50. Thanks barry, but when I double click line 330 a window opens that allows :–

    attendant care expense
    Cost of a van for a wheelchair
    moving expense to accessible dwelling
    other medical expense.

    I can enter the total of my other medical expense (premiums, drugs, glasses etc ), but I cannot find anywhere to list the detail —–eg. pharmacy – drugs — cost
    other programs that I’ve used had a spot for detail.

    Thanks again.

  51. I would suggest these other programs are wasting your time. I am not aware of any requirement to provide narratives as such on your return. You provide a total amount.. and submit receipts to support that amount.. or alternatively, if you netfile, you hold on to these receipts just in case the CRA asks for them.

    Providing details as you describe on the return (assuming I understand you) will do nothing.

  52. Thanks barry, since the detail was provided in the other programs , I assumed that it was necessary.
    I’ll netfile & hold on to my receipts.
    Thanks again

  53. I too have passed on both Quicktax (price/# of returns)and Ufile (difficulty in direct entry)for the reasons identified. It was nice to see the review of StudioTax as I am trying to decided between it and Taxfreeway. Any input on this as I can’t really see much difference other than one is free (however I think a donation of part of my QuickTax savings is a appropriate:-) ).

  54. I also appreciate this review, CC. I am a former HomeTax, TaxWiz, QuickTax user who abandoned them three years ago for UFile, but think they are headed in the same direction (less for the same $ or even more $), plus the difficulties with direct entry as others have noted.

    This year I’ve downloaded half a dozen programs (I don’t trust my data to somebody’s server with all the hacking there is and it would be an identity give-away if they got into my tax data) and entered all my data in to see how they handle my situation. Some are definitely easier to figure out. But, I haven’t tried StudioTax yet. I’ve just downloaded it and will report back what I think.

    One thing puzzles me about the inability to carry forward data from another program. Most of the websites note that each program produces its data in “proprietary” format so can’t (except UFile for QuickTax – or QuickTax for TaxWiz) read each other’s data and carry things forward (not just names but unused donations, cumulative net investment loss, RRSP limits, tuition, various provincial credits, etc.), yet each produces a CRA readable file in .tax format. Why can’t StudioTax (and others) read my .tax file from the previous year and retrieve that data? They know the format – it’s CRA standardized.

    Just wondering!

  55. Appears Studiotax was certified today.

  56. Thanks, Barry. I was waiting for that – have just started looking at Studiotax and so far I find it much nicer than U-file – you can see where you are as you go along. I don’t like U-file at all, although it’s the one CRA favours for its volunteers to use, and as a volunteer I’m provided with it . I’m honour-bound to use it only for CRA clients and my immediate family if I so choose, but in the past I’ve much preferred Quicktax for my family and friends – much quicker and more convenient than U-file (Ugh-file?).
    Quicktax seems to be committing suicide this year.

  57. Chris, the .TAX file doesn’t contain all the information in a tax return. That’s why it cannot be used by a tax program to carry forward a previous year’s return.

    Open your .TAX file from last year with a text editor and see. It is mostly text.

  58. I used (and reviewed) StudioTax’07 and would certainly recommend it to individuals.

  59. CC: thanks for posting all the great info!!

    I can’t get mey child expense T778 form total up. It lets me input child care expenses from 3 kids but total is not working. I tried deleting and adding back individual kid info but total still does not work. I’m sure it’s something simple. Can someone help??

    ….thx

  60. Canadian Capitalist

    kman: You’re right. The total shows zero for me too. But Line 9 of T778 and Line 214 in the T1 General shows the right total (I’ll bet it shows the total correctly for you too), which is what really matters, I suppose.

  61. CC….line 214 shows 0 total for me….and 214 is direct linkage to T788 total which is not totaling up for me

    thx for replying….i know it’s not your issue…there must be bug in program somewhere

  62. i had brain cramp, my wife has lower income and the program was smart enough to not let me claim the child care expense….my bad

    wow, here is something you don’t see every day from support on saturday from free software company, THANK YOU STUDIO TAX TEAM!!!

    i emailed studio tax today at around 6pm, came back at 1opm the here was their reply:
    Hi,
    Please note that child care expenses are claimed on the parent’s return with the lower net income. It sounds like your spouse had a lower net income. There are some situation where the parent with the higher income can claim the child care expenses; see Part C of T778 for details.
    Thanks,
    Studiotax team

  63. I downloaded STUDIOTAX2007 and find it excellent. I previously used Quicktax, but since they put a limit of 2 returns ( over 25K ) I felt it was a rip off.
    I have a question:–
    I tried to set a password for a file previously saved but it opened for me without the password ??? I used ‘tools’–‘set password’ and ‘OK’. What am I missing ???
    Can anyone help me ??
    Bobby

  64. Hello, just finished and netfiled our returns, did not run into any problems, exellent to work with, please keep independend
    Thanks, Pieter

    just one hook, not able to set a password either, any suggestions?

  65. Ufile support is non-existent – i have been in touch with them 3 times regarding their program and they have not even bothered responding or acknowledging my email. The problem with UFILE is that is FREEZES if it comes across a calculation that is entered incorrectly – rather than pointing to the problem for correction. THIS IS THE LAST YEAR THAT I USE THIS PRODUCT – VERY POOR.

  66. Hello Bobby, I had the same problem, with setting the password, I went into the Tools menue set the password, it finally hit me I hit SAVE after setting it. it works fine for me, hope this helps, Pieter

  67. Thanks Peter. It never entered my mind to “save” after OK.
    It works fine —Thanks again.
    Keep up the good work,studiotax.
    Bobby

  68. Pingback: Which Tax Software?

  69. Just a quick question. has anyone been able to do a single page printing or selected pages without printing the full blown return.

    Thanks
    Bill

  70. I have been told by a friend that StudioTax will not calculate the pension split for the best tax result. Is this correct?
    Terry

  71. My netfile attempt failed because I entered a wrong birth date. Is there any way that I can change the day of birth on the return and create a new “tax” file ?
    or what are my options??

  72. Bobby,
    To change your personal info you have to use the Wizard button at the top of studiotax.

  73. Thanks Bryce, I used the wizard and can change much of the personal info , but could not change the date of birth.
    Thanks again for your reply.
    Bobby

  74. I officially gave up on QuickTax Web last year when they charged me for a Web return that was < $25K (and did not bother responding to my email…).

    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts on StudioTax, it sounds like it is a good place to start. And thanks to CC for the great site!!

    Cytech

  75. This will be the third year I am using Studio Tax. I found out about it via the Revenue Canada website. It is wonderful. The first year I used it I had a couple of questions. I sent an email on a Sunday afternoon and had an easy to understand response within an hour! I was amazed. I have had no issues with any of my tax filings so far. I happily sent a donation to them for the wonderful product and will be happy to do so again. I highly recommend that others use this great program to file their taxes.

  76. hi there have a ? for users of studio tax.. I have used qt previous. In qt there is a summary showing your GST and CTB benefits.. also a reduction or credit link or submission for lower income familes.. I dont see the forms in Studio Tax. Am I looking in the wrong place

    also any link showing direct deposit info

    this info is still at cra from previous yrs but it does not show anything in regards in studio tax..

    thanks for your help

  77. Will StudioTax calculate the optimal pension income split for seniors?

    Thanks,

  78. Hi all: I have just installed Studio Tax (for the same reason you all seem to have – Farewell QTax)

    Enteredt the page 1 data and Lo and behold it seems My husband & I were living in PEI on Dec 31, 2007 instead of Ontario! I cannot find any way to edit this – yet none of you mention this glitch so am I having an installation problem or have I missed something? Thanks if you can help!

    Jan

  79. Canadian Capitalist

    To all the folks who have questions about StudioTax, please contact them directly. You can find their contact information on this webpage.

    Rana: Not that I know of.

    Jan: Click on the Wizard button and you can edit any of the personal information that you entered initially.

  80. re change of personal information:-
    I had a problem with changing a day of birth. The wizard would not make the change for me —-until I realized that the info was entered twice ( when couples do their tax together ) and must be changed on both the taxpayer’s personal info and also the spouse’s personal info ( on the other taxpayer ‘s personal info ). I hope this makes sense .
    Keep up the good work StusioTax.

  81. Hi, I am also trying to find life after Qtax. Could someone suggest how to recapture my 2006 data which should be carried forward to the 2007 return. These are data on such as unused donations, cumulative net investment loss, RRSP limits, tuition, various provincial credits, etc. (as noted by Chris // Feb 14, 2008 at 12:00 am ).
    Thanks.
    Simon
    c

  82. Anyone have problems printing with Studio Tax? Mine is getting cut off 3/4 down and printing that portion on a separate page. And it’s a little blury. Other than that, great program… Goodbye H&R Block.

  83. Canadian Capitalist

    Derek: I just tried a test print and it prints fine for me. Mind you, I first printed to a PDF file using CutePDF before printing, so maybe that will work for you as well.

  84. Wizard doesn’t allow input of capatal gains and losses
    Wizard does not allow input of idividual RRSP forms. You must add them yourself.
    Did not import my RRSP info from 2006 into 2007.
    Could not figure out to carry forward charitable donations and not claim them for 2006.

  85. Regarding pension splitting, when you select form T1032, StudioTax will calculate the maximum amount eligible for income split (50%) from eligible sources and allocate that to the other spouse. You can override this, and plug in different values to see if you get a better result. In my case, maximum was the best case.

  86. I also use a like. I find quicktax cumbersome and clunky.
    One feature that I would like to see- or maybe it exists but I can;t find, is the ability to save as pdf. i do my families taxes and can’t easily email them a copy.

  87. Hey Lisa, you could just use CutePDF which makes it so that anything you can print can be converted to a PDF. That way you don’t have to keep requesting each application you use to add this feature.

  88. I just finished my family taxes using both Studiotax and Ufile (after dumping Quicktax). Wish I had saved my $20 bucks and sent it to the software writers of studiotax – I found it much more straight forward to use. Studiotax is a very good product. For printing, I also use CutePDF which is a great piece of software as well. There is so much good free (or nearly free) software out there.

  89. I’ve NetFiled using Studio Tax for 2005, 2006, and now 2007. Income Pension Splitting for lowest tax is not automatic… yet. Use the “Check to override” box to manually enter a trial amount. Refund & Balance owing boxes (in the Summary) pane, will update both returns in a few seconds.
    Printing: Clicking on the “Print” tab across the top will provide some prompts and validation checks. Clicking on the preview before printing box will display a print preview of your forms according to your printer preference settings. I had to change my printer preferences from landscape to portrait. After that, I printed two returns using the “Print” tab provided (remember to unckeck the print instructions page box) with no problems. I don’t even know about CutePDF. Any printing problems are probably issues with the printer software or printer settings, not with Studio Tax software.
    I always pay a modest fee for this amazing FREE software because I like it so much. And, I always get a better refund than I ever get doing it manually on paper!
    CRA has never followed up asking for further information regarding my Studio Tax NetFiled returns.

  90. I used StudioTax for my 2006 taxes even though I did my taxes manually and I was very surprised on how easy it was to use and how accurate it was (the same results for manual and StudioTax 🙂 )

    The Wizard at the start of the program is very simple to use, but keep in mind that there are some elements that you must enter yourself (ie. Home Buyers Plan payback, etc.), or know that these elements are required.

    Finally a tax program that’s free!! I’ve recommended it to all my friends and urged them to donate a few bucks too!!

    Try it, there’s no harm in using it, after all, you don’t have to print it out if you don’t like it. But if you like it, think about how much money this is saving you and donate a few bucks to the Developer (and no, I am not related to this Developer asking for a few bucks). I am just glad to see that someone is offering a service based on donations and not a required fee.

  91. Canadian Capitalist

    Dan, Todd, Joe: I am happy to hear about your positive experience with StudioTax. I want to personally thank Barry for badgering me to try out StudioTax instead of simply complaining about UFile and QuickTax. I should also clarify that while I have personally chatted with the main person behind StudioTax, I am not affiliated or associated or receive any thing in return for expressing my opinion in this post (actually that applies to every post but just so that we’re clear).

  92. Have been comparing Ufile, Quicktax (basic) and Studio Tax this year, and have found Studio Tax almost as easy as QT. I dislike Ufile – see my comment above somewhere – it’s much too slow with its tedious interview method and its constantly having to be updated for you to see the results so far. Studio Tax has its deficiencies, but the team is very quick to reply to e-mails and to fix problems or suggest ways to circumvent them.
    Our family returns are fairly complicated, with partnership income (T5013/A) and self-employed business income, and with ST it’s best if you already know how these work, because it doesn’t automatically fill in every field for you. The boxes it provides for T5013 entry (out of a possible very large number) are few; you have to enter the amounts from the missing ones on to other schedules or straight on to the T1 yourself – but the point is that you CAN do this, as in QT. You can’t make any entries right on to the forms with UFile, which forces you into its set method, but you can try things out with QT and ST and see the results right away.
    It took me ages, but I persevered and entered all our data into the three programmes. They all produced the same result, with similar “warnings”- for instance re the T691 and the Netfile form – but UFile would not let me Netfile, saying I had to make entries for particular box numbers . Since I wasn’t given any amounts in those boxes, I e-mailed and asked what I was supposed to do. Got a no-help reply after a few days, and now have e-mailed again, and am still waiting. It doesn’t matter now anyway, because I’ve already filed with Studio Tax, but it will be interesting to see if UFile does manage to come up with a helpful reply for once.

  93. This is my second attempt at commenting on the presence of Taxspanner on this site – the first seems to have vanished. Taxspanner seems only to prepare taxes for India, so I wonder why it’s been posted here, under the Studio Tax heading.

  94. Canadian Capitalist

    Cherry: Thanks for pointing it out. I’ll delete the comment.

  95. I used Ufile two years ago and didn’t like it very much. I switched to Taxwiz last year and planned to use it again until I found that the greedy demons at Intuit had discontinued it.

    I discovered Studio Tax through CRA’s list of certified software and have found it very easy to use. For security reasons, I would never use an online service such as Ace Tax.

  96. Help, please. Everything is great about Studio Tax, but I can’t edit a SIN number which has an error. Is there a trick?
    Thanks.

  97. OOOh. Sorry. It’s very simple. I only needed to use the Wizard.

  98. After using Quicktax the last few years, I switched to Studiotax due to the number of returns I prepare for family. I liked Studiotax and have recommended it to others. I would use it again.

    I have the following comments about Studiotax, that I will include when I send the developers a cheque as recommended upgrades for the future (except for #1).
    1. I think Quicktax is more user friendly and has a slicker look. I also think that it is better for people who are not comfortable doing their taxes. (Granted, I always skip the interview part and head staight for the boxes)
    2. Help is pretty weak. Even a direct link to the appropriate page on the government of Canada website would be a help. (eg, unsure of line 101, link brings you to the webpage/pdf page of line 101 from the intruction guide.)
    3. Some way to label receipt entries would be helpful (or adding a note). For example, I had about 8 T5s for one return. It would be helpful to have labels (eg, TD, ING, etc) for checking. I found myself setting up Excel workbooks and just entering one item in ST. In addition, some way of splitting income on joint receipts.
    4. Charitable contributions – Carryforwards from unused charitable contributions did not exist. (eg, contributions on prior year’s T4 slips that were not used.) In addition, it did not have a way for you to defer your charitable contributions to future years, other than not entering the amount from your T4.
    5. You have to manually check for updates and updates require a full install rather than a patch.

    The above a inconveniences, and for the most part are bells and whistles for the ST product. I hope I lot of people take advantage of ST this year, and send them a contribution. Every little bit would help them add more resources to improving their product. (I have a feeling Quicktax will increase the number of returns next year. I have no statistic proof on their sales, but from word of mouth and blog posts I read it seems like their price increase wasn’t too popular and turned off a lot of people.)

    Keep up the good work ST and thanks CC for introducing me to a wonderful product.

  99. Based on the review and comments, we switched from Ufile to Studio Tax. It worked quite well and is reasonably intuitive.

  100. T2124/CCA bug?

    Can anyone verify this as a bug:
    http://img99.imageshack.us/my.php?image=buglu8.gif

    From everything I’ve read, class 12 column 6 (circled in red) should be $50 not $0, making column 7 $150, not $200.

    Only class 12 failed out of the classes I tried.

  101. Canadian Capitalist

    Brad: It probably is a bug. Also, looks like Column 9 is not computed automatically, so you may have to enter the numbers yourself.

  102. Glad I found this website! I was only a couple clicks away from buying 2 more Quicktax returns… I too was burned by the licensing change.

    Downloaded ST2007, entered all my data… and I’m happy to report that the sums for both returns were identical to those calculated in QT2007.

    Admittedly, the ST interface is a bit rough, but hopefully time will improve that as well.

  103. For all that have questions you should really read the StudioTax FAQ. It answers your most common questions.

  104. I am either missing something or 3 features I use a lot are not available, Can you please clarify for me if I am just missing the feature or if they do not exist.

    1. I require the ability to enter approximately 30 T5s, It seems there is a limit of 20?
    2. I want to enter the name of the Financial institute for T5s and T3s but can not see where to enter them.
    3. Many T5s are joint investments, I would like to enter the % for My Spouse and Myself as I did with Ufile rather than manually separate the amounts and enter them twice, Is this function available.

  105. I used StudioTax for 2006, 2007 and for friends on their computers; we all are using it for 2008 too. I printed out little slips of paper with the StudioTax URL and “FREE INCOME TAX SOFTWARE” and hand them out ALL over the place.

    I was VERY pleased that it handled my FARM statement also. The ONLY problem I had, it did not carry forward the UCC (Undepreciated Capital Cost) from 2007 to 2008.

    A FORUM would be handy for users, imho.

    I’m a retired tax preparer and used to pay $400. for the Greenpoint software; this is virtually as good. My (old) tax tips live at
    http://www.sticksite.com/taxtips.html
    and I have an RRSP page too.

  106. I am currently trying to use Ufile to file tax returns for 2007 and 2008. Firstly it doesn’t let me manage both files with the same login and carryforward data. I have to login seperately for each tax year, no big deal but when I tried to open both returns at the same time in order to get some numbers from the 2007 return to input into the 2008 return I noticed that information began to be mixed in between returns ie. 2007 data appearing in the 2008 return and vice versa. Yikes!! I now have to re-do both with some other software. I think i’ll have to go back to QuickTax although it’s more expensive. or maybe i’ll try StudioTax first since everyone here seems to like it.

  107. This is the first time for me to use StudioTax. I think it is the best software I ever used for the tax return. It is exactly what I expected. Thanks the author of this software, you have done great job to let us to have a very user frendly tax return sofware for free.
    Thank you very much!

  108. I used StudioTax last year for my whole family and I’ll be using it again this year. Don’t forget to drop off a donation every year to keep this software going!

  109. RE. Canadian Capitalist // Jan 24, 2008 at 9:47 pm
    “Roger: I’ll allow you one comment to plug Acetax, but 5 other versions of the same comment will be treated as spam. Thanks.”
    I agree!
    But, taking into consideration that ‘canadian capitalist’ promotional versions for StudioTax are popping everywhere, makes me very suspicious that ‘canadian capitalist’ wants to be ‘Canadian Capitalist’
    Bjorn

    • Canadian Capitalist

      Bjorn: What do you mean by popping everywhere? I don’t pose as someone different and plug StudioTax on various websites. Why would I? I have no financial interest or motivation in doing so. Absolutely none.

      I’d have no problem if “Roger” answered reader queries on Acetax but he simply changed the name and email id and posted the same message on various posts from the same IP address. Any reasonable person would consider that as Spam.

  110. I used StudioTax for both 2007 and 2008. I love the software. I cannot believe the number of postings above complaining about minor GUI issues and help files. People, it is FREE! GRATIS! Cost you nothing! Do your own research on box 110 of the T1 General if you have questions. Better yet, pay for some assistance.

    I have used various tax preparation software packages in the past 15 years and without fail my Notice of Assessment from CRA contained a revision. I paid too much or not enough. Granted, the amounts were small but when you PAY for something the expectation is the end product will be correct. No revisions to the NOA in either 2007 or 2008 filing with StudioTax. I cannot say enough good things about this programme.

  111. I used Quick Tax for 8 years and when the returns got down to 2, that was it for me. Notice this year they are back to 8. The gov allows 20 returns and Quick Tax allowed 2. They wanted to see what the public could bare and they found out. (hopefully the hard way) Tried Ufile and did not like it at all.
    Used Studio Tax for two years now and love it.
    But the way, I send in my $40.00 each year that I would have given Quick Tax, and I hope others do as well. This software is worth it.

  112. I have used Studio Tax for the past 3 years and love it! Love that it’s free. I will be giving a donation this year because I would like this fantastic service to continue.

  113. Pingback: Quick Review: UDoTaxes 2009 | Canadian Capitalist

  114. I completed my 2007 taxes to the extent possible with StudioTax, and had no difficulty whatsoever.

  115. Hi There,
    Can any one help me understand when I enter T4 information they disppear?Shoudl I save it I pressed save but it would save the whole return not the numbers I put in the boxes???
    Any advice would be appreciated.
    a

  116. Is their a version available of studiotax 2012 ?