How to File Your Taxes for Free Using NETFILE and StudioTax 2013

You can always print your tax return forms after you finish creating them using StudioTax 2013. Then you can package them up with the required tax slips and receipts and mail them to your local tax processing office. To save on postage, though, I decided to NETFILE our 2013 tax return for free, using StudioTax.

What I Discovered While Using StudioTax 2013 to NETFILE


There’s a new twist to NETFILEing. You can now send a NETFILE form which is what I did. It may require a bit of additional information which you need to add before you can submit your tax return.

The most common information you may need to add is 3 lines if you reported income on Line 121 of your return. If so, on the NETFILE form you need to type in the information for

  • Line 9909: amount of line 121 from Bank Interest
  • Line 9910: amount of line 121 from Bond interest
  • Line 9912: amount of line 121 from Interest from Mortgages

You can review and correct the form “NETFILE” by selecting its link from the list in the Forms box on the left side of the screen, under the Federal forms section.

I suggest you read through the form NETFILE before starting to file your tax return. It will save time to enter and save the correct data now.

Using StudioTax 2013 to NETFILE Your Personal Income Tax Return

Before you file your tax return, please be sure to read and consider each of your tax forms. It is easier and faster to correct errors and omissions before you submit your taxes. Only proceed with these instructions after you are sure your file is complete and accurate.

  1. Start the StudioTax 2013 program.
  2. Click on the button: Open an existing return …
  3. Select the return from those listed on your computer.
  4. Review and ensure the return is correct and complete. As part of this review, click on the Validate button in the top navigation bar. Read and consider any warning messages.

To Submit the Return to the Canada Revenue Agency Using NETFILE

Click on the NETFILE icon in the top navigation bar.

Read the detailed message about NETFILE. If you are interested, click on the link to watch the tutorial on how to create a .TAX file.

Click on the button: Next >

NEW for 2014!
On the next screen “Select the Federal or Provincial return” you are given two options:

  • Generate the NETFILE and use StudioTax to transmit it to the CRA
    (This transmission method is new this year, easier and faster to transmit the return)
  • Generate the NETFILE only. You will need to use the web browser to transmit the generated .TAX file using the CRA web site

To select your choice, click on the radio button beside the option.

I selected the new Generate the NETFILE method. I cannot provide information on the alternate method as I have only one return I can try this with.

Click on the button: Next >

Read the warning carefully: You must update the following information with the CRA, if needed, BEFORE you use NETFILE:

  • A name change
  • A date of birth change
  • An address change
  • Any changes to your direct deposit information, including starting or stopping it

When you have read the information and when you have met all the requirements, click to select the box beside: Please check to confirm that you read and understood the above information.

Click on the button: Next >

There are many people who cannot file using NETFILE.

Read through the list to ensure you are allowed to NETFILE.

If you may use NETFILE, click on the radio button to answer NO to “As a taxpayer, do any of the following situations apply to you?

Click on the button: Next >

If you reported income on line 121, you may have to check your “form NETFILE” to ensure it is also properly entered on lines 9909, 9910 and 9912. You can also review the “form NETFILE” by selecting its link from the list in the Forms box on the left side of the screen, under the Federal forms section. Line 9909 is “bank interest reported at line 121. Line 9910 is Bond interest reported at line 121. Line 9912 is Interest from mortgages reported at line 121.

If you haven’t filled in the information on the “form NETFILE” click to select No. The form NETFILE will open and you can fill in the types of income you are reporting on lines 9909, 9910 and 9912.

You will then have to start the entire process over again, by clicking on the NETFILE icon at the top of the screen and answering the prompts again.

This second time you reach the query about income reported on line 121, you can select Yes.

Click on the button: Next >

Read through any warnings. If they are not applicable to your situation, you can ignore them by clicking on the Next > button.

StudioTax will have your NETFILE to the shown location on your hard drive. If you wish to store it elsewhere, click on the Change location and/or file name… button.

If you click on the button, you can navigate to the directory where you want the file stored, then click OK.

When the destination and file name are acceptable, click on the button: Next >

You should receive the message:
The NETFILE is generated successfully. Please click Next.

However, first read the NETFILE Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice, then click the select the check box beside “Check to confirm that you agree with the NETFILE Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notice.

Click on the button: Next >

If you are sure you want to send in your tax return, click on the Transmit button.

The screen will automatically refresh, filling in the Transmission Status CRA Confirmation ID.

Please make sure you make a record of this number! You can use it to track your 2013 tax return submission.

I suggest you click on the PRINT button and print out a paper copy of the CRA Confirmation ID number.

Click on the button: Next >

YOU MUST STILL

  • Pay any taxes you owe!
  • Submit your spouse’s or common law partner’s return if you have not already done so separately. (Each return must be NETFILEd separately.)

Click on the button: Next >

Play Fair: Make a Donation to Support StudioTax
If StudioTax worked well for you, I’d strongly suggest you make a donation to the developers. It’s the right thing to do. You can donate online, or mail a donation to:
BHOK IT Consulting – Suite 325
136 – 2446 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1V 1A8

Click the Finish button.

Close your StudioTax session by clicking on the X icon.

Next Steps After Using NETFILE and StudioTax 2013

I plan to

  • File my spouse’s income tax return using NETFILE
  • Pay any tax we owe ($20!)
  • Send my contribution to the StudioTax developers, BHOK IT Consulting


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Have you NETFILEd yet? Did it go well? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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