Getting Ready to File Your Income Tax Return for 2014: Forms and Free Software

Well it’s official: the 2014 income tax forms and guides have started landing in at your local post office. Yes, it’s almost tax time again and aside from those lucky few getting a refund it’s fitting that it all starts in gloomy, cold, dark February. Here’s where to find a few forms and the list of the software approved for 2014 if you’re ready to start filing your income tax return.

How to Order the Paper Forms and Guides and Information Booklets

No matter how good your tax software program is, it’s still not perfect.

Sometimes it’s worth having the actual paper forms, the General Guide and even some of the specialty guides handy to read offline. Rather than go mountaineering over the snow banks to reach your local postal outlet only to find they don’t have what you need, why not just order them delivered, free, to your mail box?


To order forms, go to the CRA website at

There’s a list of the most ordered forms and a search box for more obscure ones.

Some you might want to consider:

  • 5000-G the General Income Tax and Benefit Guide 2014 – All Provinces Except Non-Residents
  • 5001-NCP to 5014-NCP whichever one is for your province or territory of residence on December 31 2014
  • T4037 – Capital Gains 2014

Others that are more specific include

  • RC66 Canada Child Benefits Application
  • T778 Child Care Expenses Deduction for 2014
  • T4114 Canada Child Benefits (including related federal, provincial

or

  • RC4111 CRA What to Do Following a Death
  • T4011 Preparing Returns for Deceased Persons 2014
  • TX19 Asking for a Clearance Certificate

If you have a source of business or professional income, you may want to order

  • T4002 Business and Professional Income 2014
  • T2125 Statement of Business or Professional Activities

To get any of these forms, just click the highlight the name, then click the Add to Order button.

For the T2125 you may have to search on the form name and then click on the Add link beside the full name of the form when it is listed.

Once you’ve chosen all the forms, you can click on the Continue with order button.

If necessary, change the quantity of forms you wish to order or the language, then click on the Continue with Order button.

Review the list of what you’re ordering (again) then click on the Continue with order button.

Fill in the form with your

  • Name,
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone number

And click on Continue with Order

If you typed it in successfully, your order will be submitted.

They’re pretty prompt with delivery but they don’t courier the forms. I usually get them within 5 business days.

Which Tax Software Packages Are Approved to Use and to File Tax Returns for 2014?

The CRA lists which software programs have been approved to use to file your taxes using NETFILE. The list does include some free programs that you can download onto your computer and file over the internet.

The page is called Certified Software for the 2015 NETFILE Program

You have to click on the link to see the list for

  • Desktop products (that you can use on your computer)
  • Online products (where you type in your info and it is used by a program hosted on another computer)
  • Mobile devices (where you either use a program online or download it to your device)

The list is updated regularly as the CRA tests programs.

Is There Any Canadian Income Tax Software that is Free to Use Regardless of My Income and Types of Income?

Yes.

If you check the CRA approved list, you will find

  • StudioTax for Windows
  • StudioTax for Mac
  • GenuTax Standard for Windows
  • And one that I have not tried yet called
    easyCTAX for Windows

These are programs you can download and use on your computer.

There are also some programs that are free to use if you meet certain restrictions. For example, they might be free to use if you earn less than $25,000 a year.

And there are some Online Products that are also free to use. These include

  • SimpleTax (which is compatible with some Assistive Technology)
  • AdvTax
  • And
    easyCTAX Online

For Mobile Devices they list

  • TurboTax SnapTax for iPhone/iPad, and
  • SimpleTax for iPad

I’m not sure if the mobile ones are fully featured products or not. If I get time, I may try to take a look.

So shortly I’ll be downloading StudioTax and GenuTax Standard again. I’ve had good luck with both of these free programs and I hope I will like them again this year.

Where Else Can You Get Help With Filing Your Taxes?

Believe it or not, the CRA does want to make it easier, not harder.

You can start from the webpage Get Ready to File your 2014 Income Tax Return.
It has quite a few useful tips and links.

In particular, near the end is the Get Help section, which includes a link to “Find a volunteer to help you.” I have relatives who volunteer to help people with their taxes and I know their work is appreciated. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.


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Join In
Do you use an accountant? Buy a boxed program? Or download free software and do your taxes yourself. Do you keep up to date on changes to the tax rules by skimming through the paper guides on your commute? Please share your tax-headache-minimizing strategies with a comment.

2 thoughts on “Getting Ready to File Your Income Tax Return for 2014: Forms and Free Software

  1. I used an accountant last year, and I’m not sure if it was due to the accountant, bad luck, or the fact that I so many extra things beyond my previous normals, but I got audited, and ended up having 4 reassessments, the last one which was just processed now!
    Although I might use one again. Figuring out moving expenses and northern residents deduction is a pain.

    • Wow! That must have been very painful to deal with. You may want to order the Guide from the CRA and read through the sections on moving and northern residents, even if you decide to use an accountant (a different one!) this year. They audit many people (I’d say most) who claim moving expenses, so make sure you have receipts handy for everything. They usually ask you to mail them in sometime in the summer or early fall.

      And I certainly hope you have a better tax year this year!

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