Filing your taxes can be a nightmare for many Canadians.
If you’ve ever tried to file your tax returns by yourself, then you’re no doubt aware of just how time-consuming it can be. Many Canadians would rather pay an accountant to handle the endless forms, paperwork, bank statements, and other information required by the CRA to file their tax returns.
However, there are other options.
Wealthsimple Tax is an easy, free-to-use tax filing software that’s CRA-approved and available to Canadians in all provinces. It’s cheaper than hiring an accountant and quicker than filing your taxes manually, but it isn’t perfect and there are flaws with this approach.
Curious to learn how it works? Keep on reading to see my full Wealthsimple Tax review.
Free Tax Filing Software
Maximize your deductions and tax credits while easily filing your taxes online with this free, secure, CRA-approved tax software.
- 100% free-to-use (although donations are encouraged)
- NETFILE-approved by the CRA
- Auto-fill your tax returns based on previous returns
- Maximize your deductions with intuitive suggestions
- Available to residents of Quebec (works with Revenu Quebec)
- Guaranteed to maximize your return (or you get your donation back)
- Capable of handling crypto and stock-trading taxes
- Good for personal and small business taxes
- Encrypted platform ensures that all of your data is safe
- Requires a base understanding of taxes and tax laws
- In-person customer support can be hard to get
- Not a good choice for large businesses and corporations
Wealthsimple Tax: Overview
Wealthsimple is one of Canada’s top-rated investment and trading platforms. I frequently recommend the service to readers who want to start investing, as Wealthsimple’s automated investment service is one of the best on the market.
In 2019, though, Wealthsimple acquired SimpleTax – a popular web-based tax filing software. Some improvements were made to the software, and Wealthsimple Tax was officially launched in place of its predecessor.
Wealthsimple Tax offers an easy-to-use online interface that guides you through completing each line step-by-step. Compared to filing your taxes with the standard CRA forms, this makes filing your tax forms a breeze.
As long as you have a basic understanding of how taxes work, Wealthsimple Tax can guide you through the process of filing your tax returns, claiming deductions, and can help you maximize your refund. The platform even calculates your stock and crypto capital gains taxes!
Wealthsimple Tax is available to all Canadians, even those who live in Quebec and file their taxes with Revenu Quebec.
Want to know the best part about Wealthsimple Tax?
The tax filing software is 100% free.
Users who file their tax returns with Wealthsimple Tax aren’t required to pay a dime for the service. However, they are encouraged to tip. On average, most users tip between $10 and $30 to the platform as a ‘thank you,’ but this isn’t required.
Of course, this begs the question, How does Wealthsimple Tax make money?
Although the platform earns some money from donations, it’s unlikely that these donations are enough to support the entire operation.
More than likely, Wealthsimple offers its tax-filing software for free as an incentive to build trust with users, who may one day decide to invest with Wealthsimple’s trading platform. Wealthsimple earns the majority of its income through trading account management and transaction fees.
If you’re self-employed as a sole proprietor, co-own a partnership, or have a small corporation, then Wealthsimple Tax can help you file your business tax returns.
That being said, the platform may not be the best for larger, more complicated corporations. Larger businesses are better off using a professional accounting service, as the process involves a considerable amount of paperwork, all of which must be completed without any mistakes.
Apart from larger corporations and partnerships, Wealthsimple Tax is good for most Canadian tax filers, including:
- Single adults
- Married adults
- Self-employed workers
- Small businesses
Remember, Wealthsimple Tax is completely free to use. So, if you start using the service and realize that it’s too complicated or doesn’t fit your needs, then you can walk away and hire an accountant at no personal loss.
The top question on most peoples’ minds is when they’ll get their money.
According to Wealthsimple Tax, as long as your tax return is completed correctly and submitted by the tax deadline, then you could get your refund in as little as eight days.
Now that you have a better understanding of how Wealthsimple Tax works and who it’s best for, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits that make it such a well-reviewed platform.
Wealthsimple Tax automatically connects to your CRA My Account, which includes all of your important taxpayer identification information. Using this information, Wealthsimple Tax will begin auto-filling forms with key information such as:
- Your legal name
- Your date of birth
- Your social insurance number (SIN)
This will help speed up the process by saving you time that you’d otherwise have to spend typing repetitive data into forms.
Additionally, Wealthsimple Tax will save information from previous tax returns. This makes filing future tax returns even easier, as you’ll just need to update important changes that took place during the year you’re filing for.
Trying to find all of the tax forms you need on the CRA site alone can be difficult, to say the least. Wealthsimple Tax offers a Smart Search function that allows you to easily search for the forms you need by using simple keywords and showing you the most common forms based on your taxpayer status.
Every year, Canadians leave over $1.7 billion on the table in the form of unclaimed tax benefits, credits, and deductions. The reality is that many people have no idea how to claim their credits, which forms to complete, and what benefits they’re eligible for in the first place.
As Wealthsimple Tax guides you through the process of completing your tax return, you’ll be notified about potential credits and deductions that you could claim, along with detailed information about how to apply for them. This can save you money, time, and even increase your refund.
NETFILE is the official electronic tax filing service offered by the CRA. While it’s effective, the user interface leaves a lot to be desired, which is why many Canadians choose to use third-party tax software instead.
Wealthsimple Tax is NETFILE-certified and is approved by the CRA, you can use it with complete confidence.
Once you complete your return, Wealthsimple Tax will calculate your expected refund. This is useful as it allows you to plan certain expenses around your projected refund.
- Note – the CRA may garnish some or all of your refund if you owe money to the CRA from previous tax periods or if you’re required to pay back overpayment of benefits (such as the CERB advance).
Recently, the CRA has been cracking down on crypto traders who misreport their trading gains and won’t hesitate to issue an audit, which could hold up your refund. This means that it’s more important than ever to report your crypto trades accurately.
If you already invest in crypto with Wealthsimple Crypto, then Wealthsimple Tax is a great choice, as it will automatically import all of your trading data to calculate your capital gains and losses. You can also import trading data from other platforms.
Just like crypto investments, Canadians are also expected to report capital gains from trading stocks. If you’re a Wealthsimple Invest user, you can automatically import data into Wealthsimple Tax. Otherwise, you can easily input trade data from other trading platforms into the Wealthsimple Tax form to automatically calculate capital gains.
In addition to filing taxes for sole proprietorships and small businesses, Wealthsimple Tax also makes it easy to report income generated from rental properties. You’ll also be able to file for deductions related to managing and maintaining your rental property.
Audits are never fun and can happen to the best of us. Often a simple mistake or mistyped number is all it takes to trigger an audit response from the CRA. If this happens, Wealthsimple Tax has your back and will guide you through the audit process step-by-step.
RRSP contributions are tax-deductible, allowing you to save money on taxes upfront. Wealthsimple Tax offers a built-in RRSP optimization tool that will show you how your tax obligation or refund will change based on your contribution.
You may be able to save considerably on your taxes by contributing more money into your RRSP before filing your tax returns.
If you’re an individual taxpayer with a non-complicated case, then you could complete your tax returns in less than ten minutes with Wealthsimple Tax. By contrast, filing your taxes could take an hour to do them the old-fashioned way.
Once you file your taxes, you can download and print your return for your personal records.
Wealthsimple Tax is a free platform. There are no hidden fees or costly last-minute add-ons. Once you complete your tax return, you’ll be asked to make a small donation, which is completely optional.
By contrast, professional accounts may charge up to $80 per hour (or more) to help you file your taxes. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather tip $15 for an easy online service than pay $100+ to an accountant that I have to travel to and see in person.
You don’t have to be an expert to use Wealthsimple Tax. As you complete your return, the platform will provide you with helpful tips and easy-to-understand definitions to help you better understand the process and maximize your deductions.
Concerned about data safety? Wealthsimple has a dedicated cybersecurity team which works around the clock to prevent hackers and data thieves from accessing your data. Additionally, the platform uses military-grade 256-bit SSL encryption to protect all of your online data as you complete your taxes.
Quebec has a different revenue authority than the rest of Canada, and Quebecois file their tax returns through joint services offered by Revenu Quebec and the CRA. Due to complications, many tax filing programs are unavailable to those in Quebec.
Wealthsimple Tax works directly with both the CRA and Revenu Quebec to ensure that your Quebec taxes are properly filed.
Wealthsimple Tax is a great service overall. However, there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before you file your taxes.
Like I mentioned, you don’t have to be an expert to use Wealthsimple Tax. However, you should have at least a basic understanding of how taxes work, how to access your CRA My Account, and how to properly report your income.
As long as you’re somewhat tech-savvy and can read your income statements, then this shouldn’t be an issue.
However, if you’ve never filed your tax returns electronically, aren’t very tech-savvy, or don’t understand how to read your income statements, then you may be better off hiring a professional accountant to guide you through the process.
Wealthsimple Tax is perfect for the majority of taxpayers, sole-proprietorship businesses, and even small partnerships. However, if you have a larger corporation with more than a handful of employees, then you’re better off working with a professional accountant who has more experience working with large businesses.
Wealthsimple Tax offers a 24/7 chatbot to help you answer questions as you complete your return. However, the chatbot isn’t capable of answering more advanced questions.
While customer support is available, it may take a while to get in touch with a real person. This can be inconvenient if you’re in a rush, filing last minute, or have other pressing questions.
Wealthsimple Tax is, by far, one of the best tax filing programs that I’ve ever used. It’s easy to get started, connects directly to your CRA My Account, and is free to use. The worst that can happen is that you end up not liking the platform and walk away without having to pay anything.
When used properly, Wealthsimple Tax can help you save money on taxes and help you maximize your refund. To see even more tips to save on taxes, check out my guide to paying less taxes in Canada next!