Taxes don’t have to be a paperfest of a mess. You can file online with ease and confidence. If your tax situation is uncomplicated, why complicate things? Things like importing your info from last year, or getting a snapshot of your RRSP picture, can be a breeze. 

So don’t fret. Our easy step-by-step process for free online filing will make taxes less taxing.

Key Takeaways
  1. Free filing online is possible for simple returns and for individuals 25 and under with TurboTax.
  2. Make sure you have a CRA account and are using a NETFILE certified software.
  3. TurboTax Free is easy to use (even for first-time filers), protects your data, and saves you time.

Can I file my taxes online for free?

Yes, and yes. If your return is simple, TurboTax will connect you directly to the CRA through NETFILE, a system that lets you input your tax details and file your return digitally. 

A simple return may include a number of common scenarios. Here’s a list. 

  • Employment income 
  • Unemployment income
  • T4RIF income  
  • Pension income
  • RRSP contributions 
  • Child care expenses 
  • Dependent credits 
  • Tuition 
  • Caregiver tax credit 
  • COVID-19 benefits & re-payments

As well, it can also involve additional benefits and credits like the age amount, social assistance, and disability amounts. 

Maybe your return is more complicated. Items like claim donations, interest-based income, investment and employment expenses, or anything related to self-employment, may require more expertise. 

The good news is you can use one of our other tailored products, like TurboTax Deluxe, Premier, and Self-Employed. Whatever your unique tax situation, we have the product to help you file to perfection.

This year, all of TurboTax’s product options are free for those 25 and under.

This includes all our product options at all levels of assistance, from doing your taxes yourself to using our Live Assist & Review and Full Service options.

We’ll automatically direct you to the service that suits your level of tax complexity so you can file with accuracy and peace of mind.

4 steps to filing your taxes using TurboTax for free in Canada

Step 1: Set up a CRA My Account

To file online you’ll need to set up a CRA My Account, which works together with NETFILE, the electronic filing service used by the CRA. 

If you haven’t signed up for a CRA account already, you can do so in two ways:

    1. Registering for a CRA My Account.
    2. Accessing your CRA information through your bank (if your bank is a CRA Sign-In Partner).

Step 2: File with a free NETFILE-certified tax software like TurboTax

The CRA doesn’t let just anyone file online through NETFILE. For your own protection, make sure you’re using a certified tax software like TurboTax. This ensures your information is secure. 

The CRA thoroughly vets any organization that offers tax filing services and software. And rightly so. Certified software is the trusted way to file with accuracy and confidentiality. 

You’ll also want to take advantage of the CRA’s Auto-fill my return service, which lets you automatically fill in details from your CRA account into your return. This greatly reduces the time you’ll spend filling out forms manually – no thanks –  and helps you import your information correctly.

With TurboTax, you can seamlessly and securely auto-fill your info from the CRA and more. As well as easily add claims and deductions to your return with our step-by-step process. 

Step 3: Gather all relevant paperwork ahead of time

Tax season is about being organized.

If you’re organized, filing your taxes will be less daunting. Make sure you keep all your documents and information handy for when the time comes. You’ll thank yourself. 

Have all the relevant paperwork for your tax situation at your fingertips before you choose a software option and start filing. This will help you determine how complicated your return is. Every deduction and claim matters.  Careful not to miss any!

Step 4: File your return on time

This year, April 30th falls on a Saturday, which means the CRA tax filing deadline for the 2021 tax season is May 2nd, 2022. Make sure you file your return on time to avoid any penalties and get your refund as soon as possible

What happens if you file late?

If you file your taxes after the due date, you’ll be required to pay a penalty of 5% of your balance for 2021, plus another 1% for each month you’re late filing. So make sure you stay organized and submit before the due date!

4 things to consider when filing your taxes online

Here’s what to look for in your tax software when filing your taxes online: 

  1. A step-by-step process: The best software should make filing your taxes as simple as possible. TurboTax’s step-by-step process makes sure you’re always aware of what you need to consider when filing.
  2. Access to answers and help: Get support and guidance you can count on during tax time. With TurboTax Free, you’ll have 24/7 access to tax- and product-related questions and answers from TurboTax users like yourself. 
  3. Data protection and security: Keep your data safe by using software that’s NETFILE approved. When you file with us, your information is safe and secure and goes directly to the CRA, so you can rest easy. 
  4. A time saver: Using smart software is a great way to make tax time a breeze. TurboTax asks you questions about your tax situation, then sets you up with all the forms you need. Plus, it automatically does the math for you and checks your return for errors, saving you time. 

Can I get help with my tax questions?

TurboTax is always ready to help! Here’s how.

Advice and answers as you go

Let an expert take taxes off your plate. Consider using TurboTax Assist & Review for this filing year. With this option, one of our tax experts will be happy to help you fill your forms out and review your return line by line to make sure you aren’t missing anything. 

24/7 TurboTax community support

Take advantage of the TurboTax self-serve support community. Here you can get the answers you need by interacting with our other TurboTax users and discussing tax-related topics. solve your tax questions by connecting with other TurboTax users.

Which TurboTax should I use?

Find which TurboTax product is right for you. Whether you're filing on your own, with expert help or handing off your taxes, we've got you covered.