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Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Old Jan 4th 2016, 5:37 pm
  #1  
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Default Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Hi,
As its nearly time to start thinking about my Canadian Tax Return, I was wondering what would be the best software to use if you have foreign property income, foreign bank interest, military pension etc? I used MNP for the last 2 years, but they have been charging me around a 1000 bucks, even though I give them all the info on a spread sheet including the figures worked out using the BOC exchange rate. I think I would be able to do this myself this year, especially as I have the past 2 years returns and the T1135's from last year. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Regards
Drew
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by chiefmissile
Hi,
As its nearly time to start thinking about my Canadian Tax Return, I was wondering what would be the best software to use if you have foreign property income, foreign bank interest, military pension etc? I used MNP for the last 2 years, but they have been charging me around a 1000 bucks, even though I give them all the info on a spread sheet including the figures worked out using the BOC exchange rate. I think I would be able to do this myself this year, especially as I have the past 2 years returns and the T1135's from last year. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Regards
Drew
My advice would be to ask around your friends for an accountant who does returns on the side. That's how I do mine.

The foreign income side has got a lot trickier of late. It's even worse if you still do a UK return.
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

I've used both UFile and TurboTax and, like you, have foreign investment income to worry about. Both of them were fine, although UFile was a bit easier to use and can produce printed versions of the forms in case you get asked to send extra details later (it seems to happen to me about every other year) - TurboTax will print them, but it puts 'DRAFT - DO NOT SUBMIT' all over them for some reason. Oh, and it's a bit easier to get TurboTax to put the right numbers in if you ever transfer your pension here.
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Old Jan 4th 2016, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

I still like Studiotax (which is free).
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

We have similar assets to you, do it all on a rolling spreadsheet, and have used Turbotax for four years. Seems to work OK - we were both 'challenged' for the first time on separate issues on our 2014 returns and were able to satisfactorily supply the necessary evidence.
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958
We have similar assets to you, do it all on a rolling spreadsheet, and have used Turbotax for four years. Seems to work OK - we were both 'challenged' for the first time on separate issues on our 2014 returns and were able to satisfactorily supply the necessary evidence.
They are very hot on foreign income/tax credits. An audit is almost inevitable and if they do it once they'll do it again. I've been audited four times.
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by Souvy
They are very hot on foreign income/tax credits. An audit is almost inevitable and if they do it once they'll do it again. I've been audited four times.
I assume you mean a request for more information rather than an actual audit?
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

My personal advice is to not bother and simply fill it in yourself, read the T1 instruction guide. If you get stuck, phone the CRA and ask.

T1 returns really aren't all that complicated, Inuit got started doing US returns which have very complex State returns and credits and so on compared to Canadian returns.

Now they've got fillable PDFs it's even easier and if you've got last year's prepared return and not much has changed, you've got a template to follow anyway. Just a case of updating the numbers and reading the guide to see if there have been any changes to the law.

They only get really complex if you have to fill in T2125. I fill in T2209 regularly and I can't say it's ever really confused me that much.

I used to use Turbotax to fill in T2s and even then, once I went to doing it on paper it took me half as long. I was genuinely shocked at how much easier it was, in reality what you're doing is learning how to use a piece of software, you may as well learn how to use the tax system, it's more productive.

And people sometimes say "you get your refund faster using software", a minor point if you're paying for the software and anyway I find it varies from year to year, that's assuming I even have a refund coming.
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by dgagitw
I assume you mean a request for more information rather than an actual audit?
More of a demand for more information. Coming up with the sort of proof they require can be a right pain in the ass.
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Old Jan 5th 2016, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by Souvy
More of a demand for more information. Coming up with the sort of proof they require can be a right pain in the ass.
OK, so not an audit then - that's when they go through all of your stuff with a fine tooth comb rather than just ask for a bit of extra info. Four full audits, assuming they found nothing, would we grounds for an official complaint of harassment I think.

I've got to the point where I just assume I'm going to be asked for more detail so I write up the whole thing in a single document with scans of all the relevant paper work and full paper returns as I go along. Then, when they ask, I just send them that - it's a lot less hassle than trying to recreate the workings for an individual bit months later. So far they haven't objected to being given information they didn't ask for...
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Old Jan 6th 2016, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Whats the most user friendly CAN tax software if u have foreign property income

Originally Posted by dgagitw
OK, so not an audit then - that's when they go through all of your stuff with a fine tooth comb rather than just ask for a bit of extra info. Four full audits, assuming they found nothing, would we grounds for an official complaint of harassment I think.

I've got to the point where I just assume I'm going to be asked for more detail so I write up the whole thing in a single document with scans of all the relevant paper work and full paper returns as I go along. Then, when they ask, I just send them that - it's a lot less hassle than trying to recreate the workings for an individual bit months later. So far they haven't objected to being given information they didn't ask for...
Giving them information they haven't asked for is begging for trouble.

My problem with the tax people is that they can't get their heads round the idea that I live here but work for someone in another country. This has been going on for years. They do not apparently keep the paperwork from one "review" to another. I don't really believe that but these people have to justify their salaries somehow.
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