Is your tax liability dragging you down?
If so, it might be due to unclaimed tax credits, benefits, and deductions that you didn’t claim on your previous year’s tax return.
Navigating the CRA’s tax-filing service can be difficult, to say the least, and it’s not uncommon to miss out on money-saving deductions you’re eligible for.
GenuTax is one of the oldest and most respected electronic tax filing programs in Canada. It’s free to use, helps you identify credits and deductions you’re eligible for and is certified by the CRA.
Is it right for you, though?
From standout features to annoying drawbacks, keep on reading to see my complete GenuTax review.
Tax Filing Software
File your taxes for free with GenuTax and find out which deductions and credits you could be entitled to receive.
- Free to download and use for all Canadians
- Supports individual and small business tax filing
- Supports capital gains tax filing for crypto and stocks
- No income restrictions to file
- File up to 20 individual returns each year
- Auto-fill taxpayer data from the CRA
- Backed and certified by the CRA and NETFILE
- Receive your express NOA
- Easily amend your return
- File returns for multiple years at the same time
- Not available for download on Mac or iOS
- Outdated user interface
- Doesn’t support provincial tax returns for Quebec residents
GenuTax Review: Quick Overview
GenuTax was created to make filing tax returns easy for Canadians. Released in 2005 by Ontario-based software company GenuSource Consulting Inc, it’s one of the oldest and most trusted tax programs in Canada.
It’s backed by the Canada Revenue Authority and certified by NETFILE, which is the CRA’s own e-filing service.
The software is free to use, doesn’t take up a lot of space on your hard drive, and is relatively simple to use. It starts with a brief interview questionnaire, where you’ll be asked some important questions about your situation.
GenuTax will use this information to begin completing your tax returns and to help you find benefits, credits, and deductions that may apply to your return.
While the GenuTax user interface may seem a bit simple, it’s effective and gets the job done.
Once you complete your tax return, you’ll provide your virtual signature, and GenuTax will forward your return to the CRA for final review so they can process your refund.
With most “free” programs, there’s always a catch.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been offered something for “free” only to find out it was part of an elaborate marketing scheme designed to capture my personal information. That’s just the unfortunate reality of the internet these days.
However, GenuTax is legitimately 100% free.
Unlike other paid tax filing programs, GenuTax is supported by donations alone.
If you visit the company’s website, you can donate anonymously using the green ‘Donate’ button in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. This is completely optional, though, and there’s no obligation to do so.
Like freebies? Check out my post on how to get free Starbucks in Canada!
For the most part, GenuTax can handle small business tax returns and sole proprietorships with ease. However, there are some restrictions. Businesses that can’t file their returns through GenuTax include:
- Farmers participating in the AgriInvest or AgriStability programs
- Businesses filing a pre- or post-bankruptcy tax return
- Businesses with a permanent establishment outside of the province they’re filing in
- Businesses reporting the Nova Scotia Research and Development Tax Credit Recapture
Other than these restrictions, GenuTax is capable of handling a wide range of business tax returns, including claiming income from rental properties.
That being said, if you have a larger business, I recommend using a professional accounting service. Trying to file business tax returns for a large business by yourself can be challenging, and an accountant will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes.
Whenever you’re inputting your personal information into digital forms, you should always be wary of where the data is going and what’s being done with it. Identity theft is on the rise, and a simple lost wallet can contain enough information for criminals to steal your life from under you.
That being said, GenuTax is a secure piece of software.
To be approved by the CRA and NETFILE, all tax filing programs must undergo strict scrutiny and pass applicable security tests administered by the government.
GenuTax provides an additional layer of security, as it’s a piece of software that’s downloaded directly onto your device rather than web-based software that you access in your browser. Of course, this means that you should also keep your computer password-protected.
Once you complete your tax return, GenuTax will encrypt and forward it directly to NETFILE, which will then assume responsibility for your data.
Although GenuTax is a relatively simple program, it offers some really great features that are worth taking note of. Now that you know a little bit more about how GenuTax works, here’s a quick overview of the key benefits of this software.
Before you start filing your return, GenuTax will ask you to complete a short questionnaire. This step shouldn’t take more than five or ten minutes and will help the program identify common deductions and credits that may apply to your situation.
This data will be used to automatically generate forms and begin filling them in with your taxpayer data, which will speed up the process and make sure that you get the credits you’re entitled to.
If you have unfiled tax returns from previous years, you’ll want to file them as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest from the CRA. In some cases, not filing your taxes can even lead to tax evasion charges.
GenuTax allows you to file your tax returns for multiple years at the same time.
Once you complete your current year’s tax return, you can begin filing for any year between 2017 and the present year.
- Note – If you need to file tax returns from a year before 2017, you’ll need to contact the CRA directly to make arrangements, as the e-filing process has changed considerably since then.
Some tax filing programs impose income restrictions on taxpayers and impose increased fees on filers with higher incomes. GenuTax, by contrast, has no income restrictions or additional fees for high earners.
Whether you make $20,000 a year or $10 million a year, GenuTax remains free and is entirely supported by donations.
The CRA has been targeting crypto investors who fail to report capital gains tax or report payments that they received in cryptocurrency tokens. This means that it’s more important than ever to ensure that you file your crypto taxes correctly.
GenuTax supports tax filing for both cryptocurrency and stock market trading activity.
Simply download the tax form data provided by your trading platform and copy the data into the GenuTax program to calculate your expected capital gains tax automatically.
Once you download GenuTax, it can be used to file returns for up to 20 individuals. This means that your family and friends can use the same piece of software without having to download it separately.
However, you should note that GenuTax is not approved for use by paid tax and accounting professionals. It’s designed for consumers alone.
GenuTax connects directly to your existing CRA My Account, which allows it to collect your taxpayer data and input it into your tax forms. This can save you some type that you’d otherwise have to spend entering your name, address, and other details.
When you complete and file your tax return, you can request your express Notice of Assessment (NOA). This allows you to view your projected tax refund so you know how much to expect from the CRA.
Need to make an amendment to your tax return? GenuTax’s ReFILE feature allows you to easily make changes to tax returns that have already been submitted to the CRA. This may delay your tax refund slightly, but it will ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and can help you avoid an unnecessary audit.
Although GenuTax has a long list of great features, there are definitely a few drawbacks to the program that could be deal-breakers for some.
If you live in Quebec, GenuTax isn’t the best program to use. Although you can use GenuTax to file your federal tax return, you won’t be able to use the program for your provincial tax return, as GenuTax doesn’t work with Revenu Quebec.
If you live in Quebec, I recommend using Wealthsimple Tax as it’s designed to work with both the CRA and Revenu Quebec.
Unfortunately, GenuTax isn’t the greatest when it comes to customer support. There’s no chat box in the corner of your screen to help you answer questions. If you need help, you’ll need to contact the GenuTax customer support team directly, which may take some time.
GenuTax is only available for download on Windows devices. If you have a Mac or tablet that runs on iOS, then you’re out of luck.
Compared to other free tax software that I’ve used and reviewed, GenuTax has a very disappointing user interface. I mean seriously – the interface looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2005.
That being said, it’s no less effective.
Is GenuTax compatible with iPad?
GenuTax is specifically designed for Windows devices and, as of the last update available in the provided article, it is not available for iOS devices, including iPads.
Users looking to use GenuTax on their Apple devices might have to consider alternative methods, like using Windows emulators or exploring other tax software that offers compatibility with iOS.
Can GenuTax be used for both personal and business taxes?
Yes, GenuTax is versatile in its offerings. It can be used for filing both personal tax returns and small business tax returns. It can handle the tax requirements for sole proprietorships and rental property income. However, there are certain limitations for businesses.
For instance, GenuTax doesn’t support farmers participating in specific programs, businesses filing pre- or post-bankruptcy tax returns, businesses with establishments outside their filing province, or businesses reporting particular tax credits. For large businesses, it is recommended to use professional accounting services to ensure accuracy.
What security measures does GenuTax have in place to protect user data?
GenuTax places a high emphasis on user data security. Firstly, to be certified by the CRA (Canada Revenue Authority) and NETFILE, any tax filing software must meet strict security criteria set by the government.
GenuTax goes a step further by offering a software solution that is directly downloaded onto the user’s device, as opposed to a web-based platform. This direct download adds an extra layer of protection against potential online breaches.
Once users complete their tax return, GenuTax encrypts the data and sends it directly to NETFILE, which then takes on the responsibility for the user’s data protection.
Overall, GenuTax is a great piece of free software that can help you file your taxes quickly and maximize your tax deductions. However, the drawbacks are that it doesn’t work on Apple devices, can’t be used to file Quebec provincial returns, and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of customer support.
Personally, I’d be more inclined to recommend Wealthsimple Tax, as it features a nice user interface, works for Quebec provincial returns, and is also 100% free.
Want to learn more tips and tricks to save on your taxes? Keep on reading to see my guide to paying less taxes next!