TurboTax Canada continues to make tax filing easy – 2021 giveaway!
The following article is in partnership with TurboTax Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hard to believe we are here again – it’s tax season Canadians!
Thankfully, in a tax year unlike any other, TurboTax has you covered with these tips, software prompts and more to make tax filing easy.
I’ve been using TurboTax to support my personal and small home-based business needs for about a decade now, and I have no need to change.
I enjoy the clean tax preparation interface and the prompts help me ensure I get it right every year.
Now, I can appreciate doing your own taxes might be intimidating. I mean, 2020 was a wild year with so many changes for so many people.
Amongst employment changes for you or your family, maybe you got married, maybe you had a child or you had other income changes. Maybe triggered by the pandemic you became self-employed last year.
Whatever the case may be, I think TurboTax has you covered.
Don’t want to tax file alone – you can get support!
TurboTax is the only Canadian tax preparation software designed specifically for self-employed individuals – so, right there, you are covered.
But if you want to go one step further, there is help within a few clicks!
With TurboTax Live Assist & Review:
- You can ask questions and get advice about your taxes from a real tax expert,
- Your expert will review your return, and
- You can get on-demand assistance when you need it.
Should you want a more full-meal-deal for your tax filing needs, don’t worry about finding a competitor or some brick-and-mortar facility in a pandemic. Get your support online.
With TurboTax Live Full Service:
- After answering a few questions, you authorize an expert to get your tax documents directly from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA),
- An TurboTax expert will do the tax-filing lifting for you, they ensure your credits and deductions are checked, and
- After a review over the phone, before they EFILE your tax return for you, they’ll walk you through everything they have done!
Never filed your own taxes – TurboTax has a version for you!
Maybe you’re not self-employed or maybe you didn’t have any of the upcoming “life changes” I’ll profile below.
Regardless of your current life or tax situation, TurboTax has a version for you.
I personally use the online Self-Employed version – and I encourage you to enter my giveaway at the end of this post.
Now that CRA “tax season” is open, a great feature within the online versions are you can import any tax documents available directly from the CRA. This is incredible – since it saves errors and saves time!
Beyond TurboTax Live opportunities, beyond the online versions, I think overall you’ll find the series of plain-language questions refreshing knowing you’ve got your tax items confidently covered.
So, as you know above, I’m using these services to file my tax return this year.
You can too!
Thanks to my ongoing partnership with Intuit Canada, I’m ready to giveaway up to three (3) promotional codes below just for being a fan of my site.
But before you rush ahead and enter, here are some great features, support and discounts available even if you don’t win the free stuff – to help you with your tax preparation needs this year.
Did you get married?
I can appreciate even in a pandemic year, not everyone wants to put life totally on hold.
If you got married in 2020, here are a few of the tax filing benefits I can think of, including some of the things I continue to take advantage of years later myself:
- With the tax software, filing together (as a couple) is a lot easier because the shared information can be transferred between my wife and me; reducing data entry and the risk of errors to occur.
- TurboTax also maximizes my credits (including those associated with making my charitable donations throughout the year); those credits are applied for the net benefit of both of us.
For retirees or those soon-to-be who have been married for longer they can remember!
- You can claim all or part of your spouse’s or partner’s age, pension income or disability amounts if they don’t need them to reduce their taxes to zero.
- You can optimize income-splitting opportunities in retirement and transfer plans to the surviving spouse without tax consequences.
- Retired spouses or partners can split the Canada Pension Plan credits they accumulated during their working years.
Not married but in a common-law relationship as a student and withdrawing assets from your RRSP?
Yup – TurboTax has you covered for that scenario and many more.
Under the Lifelong Learning Plan, you can withdraw amounts from your RRSPs to pay for training or education for you, your spouse or common-law partner. You can transfer to your spouse or partner your unused tuition, education, and textbook amounts, if you don’t need them to reduce your taxes to zero.
Did you expand your family?
Again, life moves on, even during a pandemic.
Did you know you can claim birth-related medical expenses? You bet.
Medical expenses for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children under 18 are claimed on line 33099 of the federal tax return.
Only expenses in excess of the lesser of $2,397 for 2020 ($2,421 for 2021) or 3% of line 23600 net income can be claimed for the federal tax credit.
Did you receive any CERB?
What. A. Year.
It was trying and troubling for many families. Sadly, still is.
Thankfully, TurboTax has very relevant and detailed information for you.
What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)?
In a nutshell: Canada Emergency Response Benefit was created in 2020 to provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 per month, for up to 28 weeks, to qualifying individuals; workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, CERB benefited many Canadians to date who:
- Lost their job, are sick, or quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19,
- Working parents who had to stay home, without pay, to care for their children,
- Wage-earners, contract workers, and self-employed individuals who wouldn’t normally be eligible for employment insurance (EI), and
- Those that are still employed, but not receiving any income due to disruptions in their working situation due to COVID-19.
While formal applications for CERB ended back in September 2020, you can still apply for retroactive payments if you think you were eligible for the benefits and missed the original application date.
The folks at CRA have those details.
What does TurboTax have to do with this?
What is important (very important) to note is that CERB is a taxable benefit and CRA did not withhold taxes at source, which means that you will be taxed on the full amount. Make sure to put some of this money aside to cover those taxes that will be owed back to the government when you file your 2020 tax return.
If you had CERB income, you should receive a T4A tax slip reporting your CERB income from the 2020 tax year. You need to claim this amount when you use TurboTax.
If you were also employed in 2020, the new T4 slip will break the employment income into periods that align with any CERB payment periods. The purpose of the new T4 is to inform CRA of the CERB amount you have received while you were still working.
Are you now self-employed or did you start a small home-based business?
The pandemic might have triggered your hobby to become a new small income stream for your family.
If that was true, you can be confident that TurboTax will identify all possible self-employment deductions.
To help navigate the filing of your tax return this year, like I will, you could use the TurboTax Self-Employed version – a version that’s purposely designed for self-employed Canadians.
A reminder that’s the online version you can win below!
This software is programmed to be so smart and robust, it walks you through your taxes step-by-step to help ensure you never miss a deduction or credit. The process is thorough and consistent, whether you are a business consultant, a freelance writer, on-demand driver, or anything in between.
As a self-employed small business owner myself, there are some of the common expenses I look to deduct from my income every year, although some never happened due to the pandemic:
- Business travel (didn’t happen, sadly)
- Meals & entertainment (hardly, only up to March 2020)
- Training courses (I didn’t take any this year but they might be a consideration for you?)
- Association membership fees (definitely on my list)
- Business equipment (on my list)
- Business licenses & permits (absolutely on my list)
- Office supplies (some, but not much)
- Marketing expenses (a few to consider for sure)
- Business-at-home expenses (absolutely, including condo fees, utilities, property taxes and more!)
And, if for whatever reason you as a small business owner prefer to have an expert look over your tax return before you file it, you can always try that TurboTax Live Assist & Review approach – so a tax expert can help you on-demand to answer all your questions as you complete your return.
They continue to have an app for that
Finally, forget downloading forms. That’s old school and too time consuming.
Back again for the 2020 tax year, TurboTax Canada has a mobile version to use!
With the app, you can initiate, amend and perform any tax filing information from the comfort of your couch using your smartphone or tablet.
File with confidence once again, enter my giveaway below!
Thanks to the user-friendly interface, the embedded prompts and guidance within the cloud-based version I will use again this year, I have full confidence with my online version I won’t leave any stone unturned when I file my taxes.
The step-by-step tax filing process almost guarantees I won’t make a mistake and ensures I can file my taxes securely.
Enter the TurboTax giveaway!
Like I mentioned above, just for being a fan of My Own Advisor I can offer you the following discount to every single reader even if you don’t win the giveaway!
I will draw three (3) Canadian resident names at random and that’s it – that’s how you can win!
Good luck and thanks for your readership!
Disclosure: Images above provided by Intuit Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All tax-related information deemed current at time of writing. My Own Advisor is not a tax expert.