GenuTax: An Easier Way To File Taxes

March 12, 2020
Taxes
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At Yore Oyster, we strive to help you make wise financial decisions. We're committed to giving you the most relevant, actionable advice anywhere.

GenuTax is a program specialized in helping you file your taxes. It asks you questions about your financial situation and compiles the answers to do the taxes for you. It’s also completely free.

In this article, we’ll go over its features, pros, cons, and we’ll discuss whether it’s worth your while to use this program.

Let’s Dig Into GenuTax

GenuTax is a tax filing application that’s approved by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). It helps you save a lot of time and effort during the arduous tax filing process. It uses NETFILE to file your taxes online. NETFILE lets you file taxes online and registers them directly to the CRA. It helps you save time and effort.

How To Use GenuTax

Download The App

It took me less than a minute to hop on GenuTax’s website, download their program and install it on my computer. Just agree to the terms and conditions, click the install button, and you’ll be good to go in no time.

Creating Your File

The first thing the program will ask you is if you’re already using it. If you are, you can simply choose your file from the directory and get started. If you’re a new user, just click the ‘new taxpayer file’ option.

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Once you start the process with a new taxpayer file, the app will ask you some personal questions, to create your file. Lastly, you’ll be asked for the year for which you want to file your taxes.

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After a few introductory messages, you’ll be asked if you want a streamlined or comprehensive interview. Pick the comprehensive one so you can go through everything in full detail and hopefully get the most out of tax benefits.

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Going Through The Interview

Here’s an overview of everything you’ll be asked during the interview:

  1. Marital status: fairly obvious, are you married or not?
  2. Residency status: you’ll be asked if you’re a citizen, where you live, whether you immigrated to Canada, etc.
  3. Savings accounts: RRSP, PRPP contributions that you haven’t yet deducted from your tax.
  4. Income: you’ll be asked about any potential sources of income you have. Everything from rental income to investment income is included.
  5. Deductions: you will be asked for all sorts of tax deductions that you might qualify for.
  6. Misc. questions: Childcare, finances, among many other things.

Once you’re finished with the interview, you’ll be asked if you want to use NETFILE to file your taxes. You’ll also have an option to print your file.

The entire interview should take you less than 2 hours if you have no prior experience, and after that, it shouldn’t take more than an hour. I’ve got to say, it’s a lot less painful than you think. Keep in mind, what I mentioned here was just a snippet of all the questions that you’ll get during the interview.

Related: If you want to save money on taxes, you should consider opening an RRSP account.

GenuTax’s Nifty Features

#1 It’s Absolutely Free To Use

It’s not the only tax program out there, but there aren’t many that are as comprehensive. The experience of using GenuTax was a pleasant surprise and what’s more surprising is that you don’t have to pay a dime to use it.

#2 Extremely User-Friendly

Literally, nothing about this program is confusing. Literally. Even if you’ve never set your eyes on a computer before, filing your taxes with this will be a breeze!

#3 Doesn’t Make You Fill Out Forms

This is the best part about GenuTax and it really helps it stand out.

Unlike other programs, GenuTax makes the filing process personal. It asks you a series of questions, and you’ll answer them one by one. I kid you not, you’re going to feel like you’re in the presence of a tax agent without having to pay for one.

The process is as smooth as butter. This program covers every question that’s needed to pleasantly dig into your financial life.

#4 Saves Your Data For Later Use

You won’t have to start from scratch the next time you want to file your taxes. This program saves all your data locally in your computer to make your filing process quicker and smoother in the future.

#5 GenuTax Takes Your Spouse Into Consideration

The program also incorporates the option to file your taxes along with your spouse. They really did put everything into consideration, so kudos to the makers.

#6 The Program Works Pretty Fast

Given how neat and small this GenuTax is, it works at blazing fast speed and gets your work over and done with. No lags, no jitters – it’s just the way anyone would want it.

#7 Doesn’t Take Up Space On Your Computer

The entire program will take up 90MB of your computer’s hard drive. I can’t imagine anyone for whom this might be too much. A video or two on your phone would take pretty much the same amount of space.

#8 Doesn’t Beg For Donations

It’s amazing how this software which depends entirely on donations doesn’t really tug at your leg to make you spend a few bucks on it. Once you’re done using the program, it politely gives you the option to make a donation or simply exit.

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What Benefits Do You Get By Using GenuTax?

#1 Saves You Tons Of Time

The questionnaire style of this app makes sure that you don’t waste time on irrelevant stuff and quickly fill in all the necessary details only. It took me around two hours to go through the entire questionnaire -because I was a beginner- and had my taxes set straight.

#2 GenuTax Doesn’t Require You To Have Any Preexisting Knowledge

You don’t need to know anything about filing taxes. GenuTax holds your hand and takes you through the dark forest of confusing financial jargon. It even takes into consideration tax cuts that you might get based on your location, which is something you can’t do without a professional by your side.

What Is GenuTax Lacking?

#1 It Only Has Customer Support Via Email

To be fair, you probably won’t run into any issues with their software that you’ll need to be solved immediately. For a program that doesn’t cost anything, email support is the most one could hope for.

#2 Doesn’t Work With Residents Of Quebec

Just like many other financial services, GenuTax isn’t available in Quebec.

#3 Only Works On Windows OS

You get what you deserve, Mac owners! (just joking). That is a pretty heavy downside since you’ll need to have a device that uses the Windows operating system. Android, iPhone, Mac, and Linux… none of these can take advantage of this program.

#4 GenuTax Has A Clunky User Interface

In a world where gorgeous apps and internet services have spoiled us, GenuTax looks like it belongs in the 90s and isn’t easy on the eyes.

Why Would You Ever Bother Using GenuTax?

GenuTax helps you calculate and file your own taxes. It does the job online, so you don’t have to move a muscle (well, except for your hands as you fill in the data). But my point is, you won’t have to go anywhere or see anyone if you use this program. That alone is enough to get plenty of people ready to use it.

It’s Not Easy Doing Taxes By Yourself

Manually calculating your taxes is nothing short of a nightmare. Unless you have prior experience and know exactly what you’re doing, it’s not recommended. There’s too much that you can miss or mess up.

Tax Agents Cost Money

The alternative to performing the task manually is to consult a tax agent. In many ways, tax agents are better than using software like GenuTax. You know that you haven’t made any mistakes since you have a professional on the case and you save time too. However, not everyone has the money to spend on experts like these.

GenuTax Saves You The Trouble

The popular solution comes in the form of tax filing programs. There are plenty of them out there, like Turbo Tax, SimpleTax, Studio Tax, etc. Some are free while others aren’t. Most of them help you get the job done.

Related: Love using software to help ease your financial life? You may want to check out Borrowell and Credit Verify.

Verdict: Should GenuTax Be Your Tax Filing App?

Sure. But it depends on your preferences.

GenuTax is not the best tax filing program around, but it’s certainly up there.

It’s simple and straightforward, and it makes filing for taxes like taking a walk in the park. This is a great app to start with filing taxes. It doesn’t hit you with everything at once but rather guides you through the process slowly. Before you know it, you’ll have filed your taxes. The interview style of this app is great, and it’s worth checking out.