Wealthsimple Tax Review
Based on extensive research, Wealthsimple Tax is the best free online tax software in Canada, offering excellent features and perks that rivals some of the paid versions of online tax software. The streamlined software and “pay what you want” business model make this perfect for those who want to complete their taxes quickly, easily, and affordably.
- Small business owners and rental property owners
- Families, students and individual returns
- Confident online tax filers
- Budget-conscious tax filers
About Wealthsimple Tax
Wealthsimple Tax is the newest addition to the ever-growing Wealthsimple portfolio. One of the pioneering robo advisors in Canada, Wealthsimple has added various products to their platform, including a popular trading app and now free tax filing software.
While Wealthsimple Tax is a new product for this company, the software itself is not new. It was previously known as SimpleTax. Wealthsimple purchased the popular free Canadian tax filing software in 2019 and renamed it. If you’ve used SimpleTax in the past, you’ll be happy to know that the software is basically unchanged. Anyone can use Wealthsimple Tax, even if you aren’t a Wealthsimple client, and it’s still 100% free.
Wealthsimple Tax is an excellent choice for Canadians with a good grasp of their tax requirements. It comes with just enough bells and whistles to make it a good choice for most tax situations without becoming bloated with pricey add-ons that aren’t always worthwhile.
- Pay what you want: Wealthsimple Tax prices start at $0. The donation-based payment system means that you pay whatever you are comfortable with, whether that is $0 or $20.
- Updated for 2020: Since so many COVID-related government benefits, credits, and supports became available in 2020, Wealthsimple Tax has been updated to reflect the changes.
- NETFILE: Wealthsimple is NETFILE certified with the CRA, which means you can file your income tax return directly from the software, receive an instant Notice of Assessment, and receive your refund in as little as eight days.
- Auto-fill my return: Connect your Wealthsimple Tax account to your CRA My Account and automatically import essential tax documents like your T4s and investment income, TFSA contributions and limits, and more.
- Maximum refund guarantee: If you prepare your taxes with an alternate tax preparation software and receive a bigger refund than Wealthsimple Tax, they’ll return whatever you paid.
- Smart search: Wealthsimple Tax’s smart search tool means you can filter the appropriate tax forms by keywords to find exactly which documents and slips you’ll need for your taxes.
- Dynamic refund calculation: Watch your refund get calculated as you enter your tax details and see which entries are impacting your refund in real-time.
- Refund optimization: If you’re filing with a spouse, Wealthsimple Tax will automatically split your donations, medical expenses, pension income, and other tax-deductible costs to best benefit your taxes as a couple.
- RRSP optimization: Before you file, Wealthsimple Tax will show you the impact of extra contributions to your RRSP and how they can reduce your taxes owing or raise your refund amount. You’ll need to do this exercise before the RRSP deadline on March 1 each year if you plan to make additional RRSP contributions
- Safe and secure: Wealthsimple Tax is NETFILE certified by the CRA, which means the software has met its stringent encryption requirements to safeguard your financial information. Wealthsimple Tax also uses two-factor authentication for additional security.
- Suitable for many tax situations: Sometimes, free tax software is limited in its capability and is best suited to only certain types of taxes. Wealthsimple Tax is a suitable choice for individuals, families, students, and small business owners.
Pros and Cons
- Free — pay what you want when you file
- Flexible — useful for most tax situations
- CRA NETFILE certified — With a few clicks, securely submit your tax return directly to the CRA and get a Notice of Assessment in mere minutes. Expect your tax refund in as few as eight business days.
- RRSP Optimization — see how your contributions can affect how much tax you pay
- Easy-to-use, simple interface
- There isn’t a lot of customer support
- Requires a working knowledge of taxes, especially if your taxes are complicated
- No add-ons like reviewing services or audit protection
Wealthsimple Tax’s software is incredibly streamlined and easy to navigate, and the uncomplicated interface makes filing your taxes, well, simple.
The first step is to create an account. Wealthsimple Tax uses two-factor authentication, which sends verification to your email address, so make extra sure you enter it correctly.
The next step is to give your tax return a nickname, which is useful if you prepare multiple returns with the same login information. After that, you’ll be asked for basic information like your name, social insurance number, address, and information such as your province of residence, whether you are married, and whether you have dependents.
Wealthsimple Tax will also ask you for your NETFILE access code and provide you with detailed instructions on where to find it. This isn’t mandatory, but it allows the CRA to confirm your identity using your 2020 tax return information.
Wealthsimple Tax makes providing information about your taxes easy with an optional quick questionnaire. First, the questionnaire asks you which tax slips you’ve already received.
Once you’ve inputted the slips you’ve already received, Wealthsimple asks you straightforward questions to determine which other tax slips apply to you.
After you complete the questionnaire, you’ll begin entering your tax information.
Once you’ve entered your information, you’ll review your return and file it via NETFILE.
Often, one of the downsides of free online tax software is that there isn’t a lot of support for Canadians who need help understanding their taxes. And, unfortunately, Wealthsimple Tax’s customer support is a little thinner than we’d like.
If you have questions about Wealthsimple Tax, you can check out the help section of their website. There you’ll find answers to common questions related to using the software but no information on how to file your taxes correctly. The FAQ section does have some information about whether or not you can use Wealthsimple Tax, so this might be a good place to start.
Once you log into the Wealthsimple Tax portal, you have the option to engage the chat feature, but after answering several prompts, the chatbot will inform you that chat support is not available for Wealthsimple Tax. Instead, you will be redirected to the contact form.
How Does It Compare?
There are several free and paid online tax preparation software options in Canada, and the differences between them can be dramatic. Here’s how Wealthsimple Tax compares to the top online tax software in Canada:
Wealthsimple Tax TurboTax H&R Block Price $0 $0 - $44.99 $0 - $29.99 NETFILE Certified Yes Yes Yes Encryption Yes, two-factor authentication Yes, TLS Yes Features Auto-fill return, smart search, refund optimization, RRSP optimizer, pension splitting, maximum refund guarantee Auto-fill return, import return from previous years, RRSP optimizer, pension splitting, dynamic refund calculation, mobile app Auto-fill return, import from previous years, RRSP optimization, pension splitting, dynamic refund calculation, option to drop of taxes at a branch Support Online FAQs and contact page Community support for free version; phone, and one-way video support for paid versions Phone support, in-person support at branches, online FAQ, chat Add-ons No Audit protection, ID monitoring, expert review, have an expert file your return from start to finish Expert review, expert tax preparation, audit protection, last will and testament Promo None Exclusive promo: Young & Thrifty readers save up to 15% on TurboTax! Get 15% off any H&R Block package! More info Visit Site Visit Site Visit Site
Wealthsimple Tax offers excellent features and best functionality and doesn’t cost anything. Based on those factors, Wealthsimple Tax is our choice for the best free tax software in Canada.
However, Wealthsimple Tax lacks some of the add-ons, like having your return reviewed by an expert or audit protection. If you need the works on your taxes, consider a paid online tax filing software provider like TurboTax or H&R Block.
Wealthsimple Tax FAQs
Yes! It seems too good to be true, but you can use Wealthsimple Tax without spending a dime.
That said, Wealthsimple Tax operates on a donation-based "pay what you want" model, where you can choose to donate any amount you are comfortable with before you file your taxes. Wealthsimple Tax suggests a donation of $20, but you can donate more, less, or nothing at all.
For many Canadians, Wealthsimple Tax's software is adequate for their tax needs, which means there is no need to overspend on pricey accountants or premium tax preparation software.
The Verdict: Is Wealthsimple Tax Worth It?
Wealthsimple Tax is a high-quality free Canadian tax software with many features and functions that rival the premium paid software on the market. Functions like NETFILE, RRSP optimization, smart search, pension splitting, and a beautiful user interface mean Wealthsimple Tax is an excellent option for the average Canadian. The fact that it’s free is just the cherry on top.
That said, Wealthsimple Tax does not have some of the premium add-ons that make other paid tax software more user-friendly, especially for anyone preparing their taxes online for the first time. While Wealthsimple Tax is an excellent piece of software if you’re a veteran filer, it may not be the best tax return software in Canada if you are nervous about making a mistake.