Author Topic: 2020 Income Tax Filing program - All good things must come to an end, StudioTax  (Read 572 times)

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Offline ssfc72

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So after years of using the computer desktop based, StudioTax free Income Tax Filing software program, the 2019 StudioTax program (a Windows OS program) is no longer free (it is free for anyone with income less than $20,000). :-(   The cost is now $15.

I prefer to use a desktop Income Tax Filing program. There are programs that are web based and Android based. There used to be one Tax program that worked under the Linux OS, that I used and liked but I don't see that program listed in the CRA website, any more.

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/netfile-overview/certified-software-netfile-program.html

There are only 2 other free desktop(Windows OS) Tax programs listed on the CRA website.  I will be trying these out, to see if they work well for me.

Here is another Link to Canada Income Tax Filing programs.

https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-tax-return-software-canada/

« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 06:14:42 am by ssfc72 »
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gmiller1977

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I've been using Turbotax for years.  I get my copy from Costco normally (installable software, but you get an electronic code).  Although there is a cost, you can do up to 8 filings with it, so, a bunch of people can install it and do a filing each and share the cost.

I find that anything less than Turbotax Standard is not enough as it doesn't support investments, RRSPs, etc - but the basic version is pretty cheap if I remember correctly.

Offline fox

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I have been using TaxFreeway for years. I use the Mac version, but there is a PC version and it costs only $10. It imports previous year files like TurboTax, and its very user-friendly.
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Offline Jason

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That's $15 for 20 filings for Studiotax, the maximum allowed under CRA. Just do a few friends' returns. :)
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline Jason

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I have been using TaxFreeway for years. I use the Mac version, but there is a PC version and it costs only $10. It imports previous year files like TurboTax, and its very user-friendly.

PC as in Windows?
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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Sorry, PC as in Windows. I'm just used to the Mac-PC dichotomy.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
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Offline Jason

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Sorry, PC as in Windows. I'm just used to the Mac-PC dichotomy.

I thought so but thought it'd be good to ask. I wonder how well some of these Windows programs operate using WINE. I wouldn't imagine any of them have sophisticated graphical interfaces so I'd think it should be pretty easy. Is that how you're doing with TaxFreeway, Fox?
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline Jason

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I don't find Turbotax, at least the free version online that I use, as friendly anymore. They used to have a kind of wizard that walked you through everything and it still does to an extent but I found I had to turn on certain things and do a search for T-slips that usually were prompted automatically in past editions. My taxes are already done but I might look for something else next year.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Offline fox

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.... I wonder how well some of these Windows programs operate using WINE. I wouldn't imagine any of them have sophisticated graphical interfaces so I'd think it should be pretty easy. Is that how you're doing with TaxFreeway, Fox?
I've always used TaxFreeway on the Mac; I've used it since 2014. I suspect that the PC version would work well on Linux using Wine; it has some graphics but nothing sophisticated.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
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Offline ssfc72

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I forgot to mention that there is one Desktop computer, Income tax filing software, that runs on Linux. It is MyTaxExpress and it costs $7 per single Tax Return.  I have used it in the past and it works well.

Edit: Apr 1 - The MyTaxExpress runs under Linux natively. You do not need to use WINE.  You just need to right click on the downloaded file and under properties, set it to run as an executable.
 

I should also mention that most of these Tax software programs can be downloaded freely and used.  You only need to pay, if you want to print or Netfile your results.  This allows me to double check my Tax return results, by comparing the results from another Tax Return program. :-)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 04:40:00 pm by ssfc72 »
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Offline fox

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Thanks for posting this, Bill! Having a native Linux version would be a game-changer for me, if the software is good. The cost ($14) would be about the same for me as myTaxFreeway, as I have three returns to do. I already finished 2020 with myTaxFreeway, but I downloaded MyTaxExpress Linux and started filling it out. One question I may not be able to answer is whether it can import tax information from the previous year if it was filled out with MyTaxExpress.
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline ssfc72

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Ok, so I wound up using the program, MyTaxExpress to efile my return to the CRA.  MyTaxExpress worked well under my Mint 19.1 except when it came time for me to generate the pdf file of the Tax Return, for my records.  It didn't work. It came up with various error messages for "print environment".

I sent in a "won't print pdf" support ticket and they only were able to offer to create the pdf, if I emailed them a copy of my Return.  I didn't want to send them my Income Tax Return info, so emailed them that I would try and work the problem out.

MyTaxExpress uses a bundled Java JRE software for the printing of the returns and my Linux Mint seems to show that the Java JRE is installed, according to the Synaptic Package Manager.
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
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Offline fox

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I know this shouldn't be, but what if you downloaded the Windows version and tried to print it from that? Alternatively, in case the issue is internal to Mint, can you load up Ubuntu or another distro and try it from that?
Ubuntu 21.04 on 2019 5k iMac
Ubuntu 20.04 and 18.04 on Dell XPS 13 2 in 1

Offline ssfc72

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Thanks for the suggestions, Mike.  There is one little problem, in that in order to print out a completed tax return or pdf file, the software needs to have a registration code applied.  I am thinking this may be difficult to do, if I tried to apply the code to another install.

I may be able to copy/clone the MyTaxExpress folder into another Distro and see if I can get the pdf file, of the completed tax return to be created.  I will report back, when I have tried this.
Mint 19.1 on a Dell 14" Inspiron notebook, HP Pavilion X360, 11" k120ca notebook (Linux Lubuntu), Dell 13" XPS notebook computer (MX Linux)
Cellphone Samsung A50, PCMobile pay as you go

Offline Jason

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Ok, so I wound up using the program, MyTaxExpress to efile my return to the CRA.  MyTaxExpress worked well under my Mint 19.1 except when it came time for me to generate the pdf file of the Tax Return, for my records.  It didn't work. It came up with various error messages for "print environment".

Are you printing to PDF (brings up print dialogue and you choose to save to PDF) or are you using an option built into the program for saving it as a PDF? Either way, an easy workaround assuming you can scan to PDF is just to print it out normally and then scan it back in as a PDF.

It's possible that you may have OpenJDK installed perhaps and not Oracle's JDK. OpenJDK is an open-source implementation of Oracle's JDK and while it aims to be 100% compatible but it isn't always. But I see on their website that the Linux downloads appear to be AppImage files. Is what you're using? The AppImage file should have everything it needs, not depend on outside dependencies.
"With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." - Max Ehrmann, Desiderata