How to NETFILE a Tax Return from GenuTax Standard 2012 Online to the CRA for Free

After downloading and installing GenuTax Standard 2012, testing it with a personal Canadian income tax return, and again with a very simple business income tax return, I was ready to calculate my spouse’s taxes. After that, I filed my spouse’s tax return online (with him watching over my shoulder and telling me where to click!) following the instructions provided by GenuTax. And it cost us


Well, we did make a donation to GenuTax. But I don’t mind supporting entrepreneurs voluntarily as much as I mind supporting faceless (often international) corporations who can set a pretty steep price on a pretty simple item.

UPDATE: I hope to file a return again in the spring of 2014 using GenuTax Standard 2013 if/when it gets approved by the CRA. For now, I hope this article will help explain what to expect.

Here’s how I filed online:

Filing Your Canadian Income Tax Return Using GenuTax Standard 2012

  1. Start GenuTax by double clicking on the icon on your desktop.
  2. To review your tax forms, click on the Print Preview icon at the top of the screen.
  3. Click to select “Full copy of return for your personal records”
    then click the OK button.
  4. You can then read through all of the forms to see what was filled in and where, and look for exceptions or mistakes.
  5. When you are done, click on the Close button.
  6. Or you can print a paper copy to review.

After reviewing your tax forms in detail, if everything looks good, you are ready to file.

Preparing to NETFILE

  1. At the bottom of the screen,
    1. click on the Jump to Section (F9) button.
    2. If Filing the Tax Return is highlighted, click on the OK button.
    3. (If not, highlight it, then click the OK button.)
  2. To NETFILE, select Yes then click on the Next button.
  3. Read the warning about name changes, then click the Next button.
  4. Click on the Use NETFILE button.
    1. If prompted, save any changes to your taxpayer file by clicking Yes.
    2. Highlight, copy and save the location of your tax file to Notepad, WordPad, or another program to keep it handy.
      For example: C:\Documents and Settings\user7\My Documents\Tax\Netfile\
  5. Click on the NETFILE Go to CRA’s NETFULE Website button.
    NOTE: StudioTax 2012 also listed several warnings and suggestions of items to review before filing. It seems slightly more robust than GenuTax Standard in this respect.
  6. Click on the Ready to File button on the CRA webpage at

On the Canada Revenue Agency Site

  1. Click on the Ready to File button.
  2. Read the information.
  3. If you want to continue click on the I agree with the Terms and Conditions – proceed button.
  4. Click on the applicable button:
    • I am filing an income tax return with the CRA for the first time.
      NOTE: it is asking if you have filed an income tax return form before by ANY means including by mail. It does not mean is this the first time you have filed a return by NETFILE
    • My personal information including my name, mailing address or direct deposit information has not changed.
    • I need to update my personal information with the CRA including my name, mailing address, or direct deposit information before I can proceed with NETFILE.

On the NETFILE transmission page

  1. In the Social Insurance Number (SIN) text box, type your SIN number.
  2. In the Date of Birth (YYYY MM DD) fields, type your date of birth as described.
  3. If you are filing your first income tax return with the CRA check the box, I am filing an income tax return with the CRA for the first time. It will then prompt you to enter your given name, second name, family name etc.
  4. After clicking on the Browse button,
    1. navigate to where the file is stored on your computer.
    2. Double click on the name of your file.
  5. If you intend to pay any taxes due within the next 5 days by internet or telephone banking and if you want your Notice of Assessment to show that you have paid, click on the box beside “I will make an electronic payment using my financial institution’s Internet or telephone banking services within the next five days”
    They will then place a hold on your return till after the 5 days before they review your taxes and print your Notice of Assessment.
  6. Read the Declaration.
    If you agree, click the check box beside “I agree with this declaration.”
  7. Click on the File my return now! Button.
    1. You will receive a message thanking your for using NETFILE which should include your proper name.
    2. It should say
      “We have successfully received your 2012 tax return.”
    3. Be sure to make a note of the confirmation number, or print the page for your file, by clicking on the Print this Page button.

If you wish to file a return for your partner or spouse, click on the link Ready to file.

Otherwise, you can close your browser window.

Finishing with the GenuTax Standard Program

  1. Going back to the GenuTax Standard program, click on the Next button.
  2. It will prompt you to answer whether the CRA NETFILE website successfully received your return.
  3. Click to select YES then click on the Next button.
  4. In the field, type your NETFILE Confirmation Number, then click on the Next button.
  5. If you wish to print your return, click on Print Tax Return, then click on the Next button.
  6. GenuTax will thank you. You can close the program.
  7. If you liked the program, please consider making a donation.

You’re finished! Now you’ll have to wait and see if the CRA agrees and deposits a huge chunk of change in your bank account. (Well, I can dream!)

In the meantime,

  • be sure to file your supporting documents and keep them for at least 6 years in case the Canada Revenue Agency asks to see them
  • if desired, backup the program and your .TAX file to a more secure storage media, like a DVD
  • PAY any amount owing! The deadline for payments is April 30, 2013. If it’s later than that, pay immediately to reduce the interest charges that are building up.

Related Reading

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Did you NETFILE your taxes this year with GenuTax or another product? Did the program help you save on your taxes? Did the CRA agree with your math? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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