Income tax software programs: Are they for you?

Income tax software programs are still only recommended for individuals who have simple tax profiles.

Are you thinking about buying an income tax software program to help you complete your next tax return? Before making a decision, you might want to consider something: They are indeed much easier to use than the printed forms, but they are still only recommended for individuals who have simple tax profiles, such as having only one source of income.

Sold online or in stores, this type of software doesn’t require a lot of accounting or computer experience. The interfaces are user-friendly and reliable instructions and advice are provided for each step. At the start of the process you will be asked to reply to a questionnaire that will determine your profile. Any credits or deductions you have a right to will be determined by this questionnaire and will be taken into account when you reach the appropriate section, depending on your situation.

Several income tax software programs are available in stores, although they all work in much the same way. Which one is the best? It’s really a matter of taste. While some programs use icons to improve the interface and show your progress, others rely on checklists.

You can ask for help at any time. A representative from customer service at the company who produced your chosen software program will talk to you directly if you have any questions regarding the program itself. For questions regarding your particular tax return, you will usually be referred to the appropriate provincial body or the Canada Revenue Agency.

Most specialists agree that income tax software programs are efficient for relatively simple tax returns. However, care should always be taken and you shouldn’t hesitate to consult a professional tax specialist when in doubt.


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