TurboTax has made tax filing much different than what it used to be. At one time, filing taxes meant visiting a local tax preparer's office and waiting your turn or making an appointment that would be weeks away. Having to wait on an appointment would mean it would take longer to get a refund. When tax preparation software became available, this changed everything.
Now Canadians are able to go online and file their taxes on their own. TurboTax is a software that is web-based, can be downloaded, and it is even available in some capacity for iPhone users. The premise of the different software types is to make the tax filing process less stressful and error-free. When the correct information is plugged into the software, TurboTax guarantees accuracy. This is vital since mistakes on income tax return documents can result in a person overpaying for taxes, minimizing their refund, getting back too much and being flagged for it later, or an audit being triggered. It is important to know that even the most perfect tax return can be flagged for an audit.
Because of the fact random audits may be performed, protection is available. This audit protection involves the reviewing of the tax return in question, representation when having to go through the audit, and much more. For a small fee, taxpayers have access to this service so they do not have to face an audit alone.
The filing options are many and they start with the different levels of filing. They are divided into two categories and that is the personal filer and the business filer. Personal filers have the Standard, Premier, and Home and Business software programs available to them. Standard is exactly as it sounds in that it is for the average filer who may have a child tax credit, who may need to split pension income with their partner to reduce taxes, and who may need to forward tax data from another software. RRSP Statements can also be imported and hundreds of deductions can be taken advantage of.
The Premier filing option gives Free Live Tax Advice while inputting the tax information and is designed for those who need to track capital gains and losses, report rental property expenses and income, and who may invest. Tax situations can be handled for all members of a family. The cost is per online return, but a spousal return can be added for a reduced cost. The Home and Business software is for the self-employed or those who may have personal deductions and income that may not be covered by the other two programs. This is beneficial for the business in that the software analyzes the business to find deductions that may not be had otherwise.
For businesses, there is the TurboTax 20 that allows for the filing of up to 20 returns without any additional cost per return. It includes all of the features of Home and Business and includes Audit Risk Alert, which identifies flags that could trigger an audit so that you can make any necessary changes before filing. For corporations, the Business Inc. software can be used for one Corporate T2 Tax Return. The TurboTax Standard features area available, but some of the features of Home and Business are also included so that the most deductions can be found. Self-employment deductions are also maximized.
All of these programs are web-based and they are available for download to your computer. When you choose to use the web-based software, you login to your account to retrieve information, file, and make changes when you need to. If you download the software, you are able to access your tax return from your desktop and can work offline. For a select number of users of the iPhone who file Standard, Premier, or Home and Business and who meets specific requirements, SnapTax can be used to file their return.
SnapTax is a different way to file taxes and is for those who are under 65 and may not have a significant amount of deductions or no dependents. SnapTax is also available to certain areas, which is always subject to change. As for how it works, the taxpayer takes a photo of their T4, they answer a few questions, they review their information, pay the fee, and they can then NETFILE. It is a very fast and simple process that streamlines the tax filing process.
Free Tax Advice
One benefit for taxpayers filing their taxes using the Premier filing plan and up is the Free Live Tax Advice. If you have a question that is not answered by the TurboTax resources that are already available to you or there is something in the instructions that you do not understand, Free Live Tax Advice enables you to ask a tax professional questions and receive real-time advice as you move through your tax filing. This brings about the peace of mind needed to ensure your tax documents are completely accurate so that you do not have to worry about losing refund money or making another type of costly mistake.
Prior Year Tax Filing
If there is a need to modify a prior year tax return or a prior year tax return needs to be filed, previous year software is available. Tax laws change from year-to-year, which is why each year has to have software that is specific to that year. For instance, what applied in 2012 may not have applied in 2011, which is why TurboTax has made it a point to make sure the previous year's software is available for those who need it.
There are many services offered by TurboTax that makes the tax filing process much easier than it once was. With different filing options, comprehensive tax advice, and the availability of many tax software programs that even go back to the previous year, there is a lot of convenience that is had. And while convenience is a focus, so is accuracy.