I’m definitely a creature of habit. I’ve been doing my own taxes for as long as I can remember and I don’t expect to change that anytime soon. For years, I’ve filed my taxes with the help of some software; there are some great products on the market for that. This year, I’m considering doing something new and maybe you can too – thanks to H&R Block Canada.
Last month the fine folks at H&R Block Canada were kind enough to reach out to yours truly and offer a free point of purchase code to use for their online tax program. Actually, they provided me with a few online codes, codes you could win after some more information about this program; after I gave it a test drive recently.
The benefits of using this online tax program seem pretty darn good:
- You can prepare up to 20 tax returns using the online program but you only need to pay for the first two returns (unless you win some codes FREE from me).
- Using the online program costs about $16 for the first family member and about $10 for the second family member.
- The online program is compatible with PCs and Macs. I used a PC for my test drive.
- There is free email support.
The Test Drive – Getting Your Account
My test drive began like it should for most users by using this link and then selecting the “START FOR FREE” icon. Next, I proceeded to the Sign in page. I selected the option for “New user”.
Like most secure websites, to get going with this program I needed to create an account username and password. I also read the fine print regarding the terms and conditions with this account – you should too. Terms include: “You are the only person authorized to use your user identification and password, and you bear full responsibility for preserving their confidentiality and for the risk involved in divulging such information.”
Before I completed the account set up process, I created my password reset options based on the prompts provided.
From there, I selected “Start preparing your tax return” link on the next webpage.
The Test Drive – Preparing The Tax Return
The online tax program interface is nicely laid out. It was easy to navigate and use:
I liked the pop-up boxes that explain the fields you are selecting throughout the process and in many cases, the direct hyperlinks to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) tax guidance documents when you need help with any tax form or tax field.
As you get further on in the process, you have some options to let the program automatically make tax decisions to lower taxes payable and maximize the total refund for you or your family.
As you proceed through the Interview section, select any boxes that apply to your tax situation. If you are unsure if a particular tax situation applies to you, don’t worry and select the box for the tax situation in question anyhow. Later on, the program will review any outstanding tax situations before submission to CRA.
At any time using the program, you can “Save” or “Clear” your return and select “Previous” or “Next” options. This way, you can easily manoeuvre between tax forms and fields, with or without information being completed. By routinely selecting “Save” during your tax preparation work you can “Log off” as many times as you wish, using your account username and password to log back in. I tested this a few times and it works.
The program also includes a permanent “QuikClick Navigator” on the left-hand side of the online solution, allowing you to jump between tax forms and tax interview questions on demand. Pretty handy.
When do you have to pay for this online tax service?
Well, you don’t if you win a FREE program code from me but if you’re not one of the lucky ones then you can enter your tax data, review it without making a payment and only pay when you are completely satisfied with the return – you pay to download your tax return file for electronic CRA filing. Alternatively, once you have paid for this year’s return, you can use the program as often as you like and change your tax data as needed before electronic filing.
The Summary & Your Chance to Win
Overall, I liked using the online tax program from H&R Block Canada. The online program was well-organized, intuitive and secure based on my test drive. I didn’t get a chance to test every feature of the program nor confirm for you how the electronic submission to CRA went (still waiting on tax documents myself) but from what I tested this seems like a solid product.
Thanks to H&R Block Canada for providing me access to their online program. Now it’s your turn to win some codes!
Each week for the next three weeks on My Own Advisor, I will raffle off one online tax program code to one lucky reader. This is up to a $30 value. There are three tax codes to win in all. Each week, there will be a new Rafflecopter giveaway provided with one of my blogposts. Make sure you (read my blogpost….) and enter each week for your chance to win. If your name is selected at random I will contact you using the email address you provided associated with the raffle entry and provide you with one online point of purchase code to use to pay for the program.
Good luck to you!
I need me some free tax software! Got it pro-bono last year but our site isn’t interesting enough for the suppliers this year it seems!
You’re included in the draw – good luck!
would love to try doing this at home this year
After educating myself regarding self-directed investing over the past two years, my next challenge is learning the tax implications and how to do my own tax declarations. Getting my hands on the right software and reading on taxation for Canadians go hand in hand.
Ps: thanks for the great blog!
Are there any concerns about the security of using a website vs. a program that resides on your local pc?
I used this last year and liked it. Would love to win a code this year. Thanks for the opportunity.
Ever since I moved to Canada a few years back now I’ve had to pay someone to do my taxes. I wanted to learn how to do my own this year and was hoping to get a good software to use or something that would help a PR like me learn to do it with ease. This is why I would like to try it out. Cheers
It would be great to move into the 21st century!
I still use paper, pencil…and eraser lol
I have used it before and it is easy to use and fast