Tips & Advice

Filing your taxes online for free in Canada

Filing your provincial and federal Canadian taxes doesn’t need to be complicated. And it doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, TurboTax Free is a CRA certified, completely free online software that includes everything you need to prepare and file an accurate tax return in Canada. Before you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the most common questions about filing taxes online for free in Canada.

Can I file my taxes online for free?

In Canada, TurboTax makes it simple for anyone — with any tax situation — to file their taxes for free. These are just a few of the tax situations you could have and use TurboTax Free to file your taxes with the CRA:

  • You’re working for an employer and/or are self employed
  • You’re a student looking to claim tuition, education, and textbook amounts
  • You were unemployed for part or all of 2020, including if you claimed CERB
  • Your tax situation was impacted by COVID-19, including if you had to work from home and want to claim related expenses
  • You have dependants and want to ensure you claim all related credits and deductions
  • You’re retired and receive a pension
  • You have medical expenses to claim, including amounts related to COVID-19
  • It’s your first time filing your taxes in Canada

There are a few situations (like if it’s your first time filing your taxes in Canada) where you’ll need to print and mail your return instead of filing online using NETFILE. Don’t worry though, you can still enter all your tax info online and we’ll guide you through the process of mailing your return to the CRA.

How do I file my taxes online?

Filing your taxes with TurboTax Free is quick and easy. First you’ll be asked to set up a profile and follow a simple process to find all the credits and deductions you’re entitled to. With the CRA’s Auto-fill my return, you can also import your tax info directly from the CRA. This service pulls info from your income slips (T4s, T3s and T5s), government benefit slips, RRSP receipts, and unused tuition credits. All the relevant info will be populated from these forms into your tax return – saving you time and effort.

If you decide not to use CRA’s Auto-fill my return service, or if you have additional info to enter that isn’t captured through the import, you can find all the forms you need quickly and easily through TurboTax’s search feature.

You can also easily look for all the credits and deductions that apply to you using the search bar in TurboTax Free. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a list of common credits, deductions, and expenses you may be eligible for:

Once you’ve entered all your info for the year and you’re ready to file, our software will guide you through the steps to NETFILE your return online or print and mail your return. We’ll also give you step-by-step instructions on how to pay the CRA if you owe taxes.

How do I get help filing my taxes online?

If at any point you have a question about your taxes or the software, you can browse answers on our online help forum 24/7, or post a question for our online community of users and experts. While you’re filing you may realize that you’re looking for more guidance or help with your taxes. In that case you can upgrade to a different TurboTax Online product at any time without losing any of the data you’re already entered.

Need more help? TurboTax Live Assist & Review gives you unlimited tax advice from one of our tax experts as you do your taxes, plus a final review before you file to make sure you didn’t miss anything. Or if you want to hand off your taxes to one of our experts, TurboTax Live Full Service allows you to simply upload your documents and our experts will complete and file your return for you.

Is it safe to file my taxes online?

Maybe you’re nervous about filing your taxes online. Rest assured that at TurboTax, security is built into everything we do. We use multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and data safeguards to make filing your taxes online safe. Learn more about security at TurboTax.

As well as ensuring that we’ve taken every security precaution in our products, TurboTax Free connects securely with the government through CRA’s Auto-fill my return to import your data into your return and submits your electronic return if you file online through the CRA’s NETFILE service. For an additional layer of security when you file online, learn about using the CRA’s new NETFILE Access Code to authenticate your identity when you submit your taxes this year.

Can I file my taxes online for free if I’m a non-resident?

Yes. TurboTax makes it easy to file your Candian tax return as a non-resident. In fact, if you’re a non-resident you can use any of the TurboTax Online products, including TurboTax Free. For more info, read about How Residency Status Impacts Your Tax Return