If you are looking for free software for filing your taxes, you now have a choice to make. StudioTax is once again available for the 2009 tax year and in my limited test drive of the 2009 edition, I found it to have the same high quality and ease-of-use that I noted in my original review. But UDoTaxes, which is also free to download and free to print and file or NETFILE offers an equally good alternative. Just like StudioTax, the developers behind UDoTaxes ask for nothing more than a voluntary contribution via PayPal to support their efforts. UDoTaxes supports the direct entry method of preparing taxes and though the software has a list of interview questions, the interview method is fairly basic.
I downloaded and installed UDoTaxes on my Windows Vista laptop and when I ran the software for the first time, it prompted for the usual information such as name, SIN number, Mailing address etc. and created the tax returns for the taxpayer and spouse. The software looks pleasing and follows the typical pattern of listing the summary and forms navigation on the left-hand pane and clickable CRA tax forms on the right-hand pane. You can enter tax data through the T-slips, which look exactly like the ones you receive in the mail. The T-slip screens can be accessed either through the toolbar icons or from the form list or by clicking the corresponding box in the T1 General screen.
UDoTaxes has some clever touches. Clicking on a box in the T1 General lists the related forms, which allows you to select the one you want to work with. If a form is incomplete, it is prefixed with an “x” button the forms panel. A RRSP Optimizer and a Pension Split Optimizer are built into the tool. In my opinion, UDoTaxes looks just a bit more polished and a little bit more responsive than StudioTax but both products are extremely good and the price is right.