TaxFreeway is a Canadian tax software with almost all the features of the ‘premium’ versions from TurboTax and H&R Block but not quite as user friendly. Unlike most other tax software which are migrating to online-tax filing, Tax Freeway allows you to download your software whether you’re using a Mac or PC. What’s more is that they’ve created an iPad app to file your taxes directly on your iPad! This makes Tax Freeway the first software available on the iPad for Canadian Tax filing!
Price: Windows – $9.95, Mac – $14.95, 3-in-1 (Windows, Mac & iPad) – $19.95
Operating System: Windows, Mac and iPad.
Usability: Overall it’s not the most user friendly but manageable. The idea behind the software is that it provides you with an interview style format (similar to TurboTax) while showing your the Canada Revenue Agency tax forms at the same time. It definitely does this but this requires you to have to go through the forms, reading small font, and filling out the details.
The other usability issue I have is adding Forms, Deductions, Credits, etc… You have to click a small little “plus” button. This button can often be missed or clicked twice which means you have to go back and fix your return later. Or even worse MISSING a credit/deduction.
Support: There might be support through email. The software also provides a ‘question mark’ over areas which might be confusing. Once you click the ? it will lead you to the explanation page.
Ability to find deductions: Yes. With the interview style format deductions are typically easier to find. It provides a list of deductions as shown below.
Bells and Whistles: RRSP optimizer and Pension Income Splitter. As mentioned at the start there are bells and whistles but they can possibly be missed in some cases. TaxFreeway also has a Medical Expenses Planner and Donations and Gifts planner which can calculate the best way to split your medical expenses and donations when filing a joint tax return. (Thanks for Tom for this information).
Overall: Overall, Tax Freeway is a great piece of Tax software and does provide a viable alternative to the two big tax software options. For the money it is one of the Top Canadian Tax Softwares available.
Screenshots of Tax Freeway
Here are a few screenshots of Tax Freeway to show you exactly what the software looks like.
A complaint that I have, as with most lower-budget tax-software (ie: not TurboTax) is that the software seems “dated”. The webpage, logo and software looks very dated and not new and inviting. I realize this is just aesthetics but that goes a long way with some buyers and could be a deterrent for quite many people especially dealing with something as up-to-date as taxes. Furthermore, their website is very confusing to use and navigate! You select the software you like on the homepage but to actually download the software you need to click a very small piece of text at the top of the website. This should be a large button in the middle of the screen after the homepage…. but again, it’s just aesthetics and not a reflection of the quality of the software.
- Interview style question format with CRA forms at the same time.
- Handles almost all tax situations
- File up to 20 Tax Returns
- Download and try it for free – Only pay to file or print
- Lower cost than some of it’s competitors ($9.95 – $14.95 per return)
- Only pay if your total family income exceeds $20,000.
- No Quebec provincial returns
- No Online option
- Poor website
- Usability could be improved
- No French version
- Tax Freeway for Mac : $14.95
- Tax Freeway for PC/Windows: $9.95
- Mac, iPad, and Windows combined: $19.95
My suggestion is that if you’re looking for an alternative tax-software to TurboTax or H&R Block at home give Tax Freeway a try and see if you like it. It’s free to try and you only pay when you submit the return through NETFILE.