78 comments

StudioTax: A Free Canadian Income Tax Program

Canadian Freebies, Free Stuff

studioTax Canada

I got an email from Cory and Deanna (who I guess are the creators of StudioTax) telling me that their certified Canadian Income tax program, StudioTax, is once again free this year. I tried StudioTax last year and I can confidently say that it’s a very neat, practical tax program. Their claim is also true, the program is totally free; they basically make money by accepting donations and by placing ads on their website.

You can download StudioTax or find more about it here

78 comments

  1. Yannick

    I totally agree with you. It is a powerful tax software and works very well. They also provide a french version which is handy for a french canuck like me.

    Reply
  2. kathy

    hey,
    I noticed a problem – the income tax rate for the lower income bracket in the STUDIOTAX is 15%. HOWEVER the Tax forms sent by CRA indicates 15.5%. So, if we follow the StudioTax version, we’re going to be in TROUBLE with CRA…

    WATCHOUT GUYS…

    Reply
  3. kathy

    Another Error –

    StudioTax gives wrong Personal Amount – $9600 – in the tax forms. CRA’s 2007 Personal Amount allowed to claim is only $8929.

    StudioTax will portray a higher REFUND/less Tax owing, HOWEVER, again, we’ll be in trouble with CRA…

    DO WATCH OUT….

    Reply
  4. kathy

    I’M EXTREAMLY SORRY – JUST CHECKED THE CRA WEBSITE. LOWER TAX BRACKET IS 15% & BASIC PERSONAL CLAIM IS $9600.

    MY MISTAKE…

    Reply
  5. John

    I just tried to use the program and received two errors within 5 minutes (unhandled exception or something like that). Alas, this was too good to be true.

    Reply
  6. John

    I just tried to re-install the program. Studio Tax provides a repair option when you are re-installing the program. I completed a very simple tax calculation (t4 only) and the program seemed to work fine.

    Reply
  7. Jason

    I tried the program. It is easier to use than ufile and qt. But sometimes unhandled exception errors occur when i try to enter data

    Reply
  8. Jason

    I also tryed some other programs. I prefer web applications. I tryed hr block online and mbotax. Like ST,I found mbotax have the same forms similar to real forms. the hr block online seems another version of UF.

    Reply
  9. Pierre Cantin

    I used the program for two returns and it worked very well.

    I am using it for a return where there was a contribution to QPP (RRQ). I have been receiving CPP for more than 12 months, and, inspite of the entries from the T4A(P), the program does not provide for a full refund of the amount deducted by the employer at line 430. When one is receiving CPP payments, contribution to the plan is not allowed. Is that a bug in the program or am I doing something wrong in my entries?

    I would like to make a contribution for the program. How do I go about it?

    Pierre Cantin
    1088, place Ste-Lucia
    Orléans (Ontario)
    K1C 2G3

    (613)824-5202

    Reply
  10. SHARRI

    I used this in the past and I do believe that its an excellent and easy to use program. I recommend it to everyone!!!

    Reply
  11. Sylvain

    Pierre,

    The StudioTax website provides two options:
    1) via Paypal
    2) via cheque to the following address :
    BHOK IT Consulting
    2446 Bank Street, Suite 325
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1V 1A8

    Webmaster, please delete Pierre’s personal information (address and tel. no.) for his own security.

    Haven’t tried the software yet but the reviews are good (here and elsewhere).

    Reply
  12. Joe Hawthorn

    Studio tax worked good for me except I received an error when I tried to save file. Anybody . How do I save my tax file for later modification.
    Thanks

    Reply
  13. Raymond Dot

    I also have used studio tax. Works well, except I continue to get an error message that I cannot save file. Anybody know how to save tax file to my computer.
    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  14. Angel

    Hi there, I was just wondering if you have Studio Tax for previous years.
    I am looking for 2003 – 2007.
    Thank you in advance :)
    Angel

    Reply
  15. Jack

    Raymond,

    I cannot remember what I did when I got the error. Switch between using File | Save and File | Save As when you save for the FIRST time – switch to whichever one you are not using. Thereafter, you should be fine.

    Great software. But, just like Taxman, support sucks. I wrote an urgent mail yesterday and still have to get a lousy acknowledgment. I guess you get what you pay for!

    Jack

    Reply
  16. Sergey

    This program is free if your time is worthless.
    Seriouisly, it’s so buggy it’s not even funny.
    Return also prints corrupted pdf file, have to print some form separately…

    Reply
  17. Mike

    Form T5008, line 16, Quantity of Securities showing a dollar sign. can that be fixed? example, I I sold 500 shares of company XZY, when I enter 500 shares, it shows $500. Please help.

    Reply
  18. AnotherMike

    I used StudioTax last year and was delighted. Sadly, this year I think I’ve found an error on the T776 statement of real estate rentals. The final amount to be transferred to the T1 is not split according to the % ownership I entered. Line ‘c’ should change on the T776 but it only shows 100% no matter what. Makes me a bit leery of other things that might be incorrect that I am not noticing. Emailed and waiting to hear from the authors.

    Reply
  19. AnotherMike

    My bad. Missing the %-ownership for self on the form. A couple of quick and helpful responses from ST support has me happy again. Less validation has its pitfalls obviously. I should have caught that myself. Great software.

    Reply
  20. Buddyboy

    I have used this for the previous two years after Quick Tax lowered the number of returns I could do from five to two. (What a rip off!) I have done a total of eight returns with Studio Tax over the two years, all without a problem, error free. The operators of the programme responded to the few questions I had within a couple of hours, better than I expect from a paid programme. In short, this programme is great. I send them a donation each year because it’s more than worth it to me.

    Reply
  21. TootallPete

    I have used QuickTax for many years in the past and decided to give StudioTax a shot for the last couple of years. The first time (2007 Tax Year), it worked flawlessly and I was very pleased and impressed with its performance.

    For the 2008 tax year, I was not so impressed. The program allowed me to claim Ontario Tax Credits FOR BOTH my parents even though only ONE spouse can claim Ontario Tax Credits. I had gone through the step-by-step interview process at the beginning and told the program to “PROCESS AS A SPOUSAL RETURN”. Unfortunately, it missed the error when I split the Property Taxes equally on both returns and it allowed the deduction FOR EACH spouse.

    Now, as a result of the fundamental error, my mother has to repay over $900 plus interest. This is something the program should have caught, otherwise, why bother with the interview questions at all?

    I think I’ll just stick with QuickTax next year. They guarantee their program’s accuracy.

    Reply
  22. seniortaxguy

    I used Studio Tax 2008 for a rather complicated return for my wife and me. I was very inpressed how well it handled pension income splitting. I had previously wrestled with the split on my own but studio tax came up with the optimum solution —- saved us money. I sent them a cheque as a thank-you.
    I will definitely use Studio Tax for our 2009 returns.

    Reply
  23. JP

    I have been using Studio Tax for the last 2 tax years. Will definitely use it again this year for 2009. I have never had any errors or problems with the final NetFile Certified copy. I even recommend it to all my family and friends.

    Reply
  24. Diamond Willow

    I’ve used StudioTax for my own returns the past 3 years and at friends’ homes on their computers also. NO problems to speak of. I do wish there was a FORUM where we could help each other with it though; I do wonder, for example, why the CCA on my Farm statement T1175 does not carry automatically to the T1163.

    Reply
  25. taxexplorer

    For some reason studio tax always sends error mesages when you i try to save the return. Another thing, I sent them a cheque for the CD three weeks ago. I haven’t heard from them. Have sent them an email query twice. No reply. Very poor communicators; they have no business ethic at all. I would grade studio tax as not only F- but F——. Will stick with future tax.

    Reply
  26. newfiegril

    I use this program just to see if I will get a refund or not before I go to H&R Block to file my taxes!!!

    Reply
  27. Paddy

    I’ve used this for a couple of years to do a couple of returns. I know its “free” but I’d say that tens of thousands of hours of people’s time have been wasted with the problems they have installing older year editions (2005 and 2006) which won’t install because of some issue with Net Framework.

    They tell you there’s a problem, but do nothing to fix it. For that reason, I suggest people avoid this product.

    Reply
  28. JasonG

    @paddy: Or you know.. you could just install the version of Net Framework it asks for. Computer illiterate people suck, This program is wicked.

    Reply
  29. Spevia

    I’ve used StudioTax for the last 4 or 5 years and have NEVER had any problems. Easy to use. It’s a great program.

    Reply
  30. canbyte

    Sadly, i could not load Studio Tax on my old winME machine. Depends on .net (something like that) but couldn’t get that working either. So i’m using FutureTax.ca. which seems more tolerant of older machines and adequate for the job as far as i can tell. Odd. You’d think a free program would gear itself to run on olde PCs.

    Reply
  31. Gentle

    You have some really great content on your blog, if you get a chance please post more! Thanks a lot, have a great afternoon!

    Reply
  32. JohnBaptiste

    I have downloaded it a half dozen times and keep getting “archive corrupted” error when I try to run it, on both the zip and exe versions. I have windows updated including .net–anyone else having this problem?

    Reply
  33. delly

    JohnBaptiste:

    Your AntiVirus/AntiMalware/Firewall is causing this issue. It is quite common. You should temporarily disable these to download. Our corporate firewall/antivirus does this on a regular basis.

    Reply
  34. Debbie

    This is the second year I have used this program. It is so nice because you enter the information and it knows what line to put it on. I do mine and our 2 adult children. They still have education amounts to claim and it works much better than when I had to figure it out which line to use. The only thing I wish I could do is print all the information from the tax slips. I have 13 T5s and I had to go through them one by one to make sure I had entered all the information correctly. It knew what to do with the dividend income. It likely would have taken me awhile to figure it out. I did get an error message that it may not display properly, but it seems to anyway. I definitely will send a donation. Once I used a tax program and after I indicated I was married it gave me a tax deduction and I could not rid of it. Wondered why I was getting such a nice refund -

    Reply
  35. filmacct

    Love this software. Used it 4 times in the past 2 days, 2007, 2008, 2 x 2009, and found it fast and easy. really love it!

    Reply
  36. JB

    This is my first time to use Studio Tax. I’m getting an error at the last stage of NetFile relating T2125- Business or Professional Activities. The error message is:
    ‘T2125(PROF): Business address and/or postal code is invalid or is missing’
    I tried many different ways to enter the address, and postal code, but nothing works. Very frustlating. Anyone had the same issue?

    Reply
  37. LaheradeHielo

    I used Studio Tax , H&R Block, Cantax, and Ufile Of course Cantax is for professionals but if you have no Tax Skills and is just for you and your family.! I highly recommend Studio Tax works really well, Free, easy, so get it and is approved by CRA,so go ahead, save some money .!!

    Reply
  38. lexlorn

    I used the Studio Tax 2009 version last year and it works like a charm. This year, not so lucky. For some reason it will not calculate the rent paid x 20% and therefore affects the final Property Tax Credit calculation. I double checked, tried to reload the program but with the same result. HELP.

    Reply
  39. Jas

    I used this software to prepare and Net file 2010 taxes. The refund results matched those from H&R Block.

    Very excited about finding this website !!

    Very well done site. Very easy to use !!

    A Big Thank You.

    Reply
  40. JANET

    have enter federal T5013 but it does not cary to RL15 provincial
    and it does not have RL15 in provincial t slip I am unable to enter the info from RL15

    Reply
  41. frank

    I did my 2011 tax return with my wife’s to find that my EI contribution was not recorded correctly. I entered the EI contribution amount in the T4 entry 786.76 but it recorded as $78.68 on both of the federal and provincial schedules. However, my wife’s amount was recorded correctly. I assume this is a bug to be fixed.

    Reply
  42. frank

    Sorry, just want to retract the previous comment. I entered the EI Insurable Earnings incorrectly, which resulted in the incorrect EI amount in line 312. It’s not StudioTax’s problem but my incorrect data entry.

    Reply
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    Reply
  44. ST user

    where do you claim how much you paid for rent? Usually it was input in the first few pages of opening questions about personal information. I remember earlier versions of this program always supporting that.

    Reply
  45. DG

    I keep getting an error message saying that the combined amount claimed on my and my husband’s return for the children’s fitness and arts amounts exceeds the maximum allowed. But this doesn’t make any sense, because I only claimed these amounts on my return. I have checked and double checked but can’t find any error on my part that would generate such a message. I’m wondering if it’s a bug.

    Reply
  46. pleasedStudioTaxUser

    I love Studio Tax but it’s so sad that it’s not compatible with Mac. To the creators, please try to cator to the Mac users for the near future (my PC crashed last year and now I have a Mac) I filed my return on my mom’s PC this year. It was even easier than last year, very user friendly! I was happy to give a donation last year and I will again, beats paying the $ we would pay all those accountants who rip people off, especially for very simple returns.
    Note: those who are self employed, good luck filing it yourself. I tried doing this for a friend and it’s challenging. Might be worth paying a pro as this software doesn’t offer much help for that. But if you know what forms you need, you might be fine.

    Reply
  47. Moom

    For those with a Mac, you can use Studio Tax if you run a Windows Virtual Machine using VirtualBox (also free). Not an ideal solution, but it works well enough for me.

    Reply
  48. Jenny

    I’ve used Studio tax for at least 3 years in a row doing taxes for friends and family.

    Very good–I love how it’s free, I love how it is easy to use.

    I’ve done at least 30 tax returns on this in total and only had a data save error once.

    I would definitely recommend it.

    Reply
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    I am really impressed with your writing talents and also with the structure for your blog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

    Reply
  50. Leona

    I can’t save the file. Here’s the error message: The type initializer for ‘System,Transactions,Diagnostics,DiagnosticTrace’ threw an exception.
    Please help… Thank you so much!

    Reply
  51. Leona

    I actually can’t open the existing file. It shows the same error message just like when I tried to save it. Can anybody help? Thanks!

    Reply
  52. Jim

    Works extremely well for very simple returns. For slightly more complex returns, I found UFile much easier and more intuitive.

    Reply
  53. Bill

    How about redoing this web page, so that the latest, most current comments are listed first, instead of the outdated comments from 2008. :-)

    Reply
  54. Bill

    StudioTax worked very well for me.
    I have also used FutureTax for years, though it does cost a small charge to buy.

    Reply
  55. dugcarr1

    Im sure its me doing something stupid, but how do I find a way to enter my 3rd T4 information?
    Thanks
    Dug

    Reply
  56. Frustrated Tax Program User

    I tried for 1 1/2 hours to try to use this program. I live in Alberta and tried to fill out the AB428 form. I got confused between Provincial Worksheet & Provincial Form. Tried to enter an amount from the Form that I need on the Worksheet and couldn’t do either. Tried double clicking on the box (line 13) and it still wouldn’t let me enter the amount. Gave up. Doing manually. How do I enter this amount???

    Reply
  57. John F

    I like the program and found it pretty easy to learn, but I had one annoying problem: boxes 118 (medical premium benefits) and 119 (Premiums paid to a group term life insurance plan) are put on T1 Line 104 (Other employment income) which they are not, since these are really an addition to my superannuation income. But that’s OK. However, Studio Tax assumes that if Line 104 is non-zero, then I have business or professional earnings and have to complete T2125 or I can’t NetFile. So I have to print and mail. Annoying.

    Even so, everything else seems to be correct and the program is well worth a donation.

    Reply
  58. Gary

    Crap software. Blames .NET for installation errors. This garbage should not be approved by the CRA. I would not trust it.

    Reply
  59. David B

    I tried Studio Tax 2012, and boy does it work right out. I still had mine done by Knights Accounting & came out with the same refund. Now, I only had T4,T4E,T4RSP slips so never got any more into it. I been trying to do my own Selfemployment with this program but not having alot of sucess.. Other then that, it updateable too. Had a March update come for it 25MB. I downloaded the update then installed it. Gave me some more Fed/Manitoba forms.. But in all thruth, this software works like a charm. Thank (Studio Tax 2012))

    Reply
  60. Jim Bert

    Studio 2010 & 2011 worked well.But I am not happy with Studio 2012
    I cannot submit my returns to the CRA because of a problem with the Netfile Wizard.. The link “Tutorial to generate a .TAX file” will not respond.
    Support sucks and is no help. My software is up to date. I use Windows 7.

    Reply
  61. lrtong

    I can only see part of the T3 form on the screen, so couldn’t fill in all the boxes as needed. Any solution? I used a laptop with extra screen, so have tried to changed the display from 150% back to 100%, and only use the laptop screen, but neither of it worked. What should I do?

    Reply

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