Personal Finance » Tax

TurboTax Canada Review 2023: Plans, Pricing, Pros and Cons, and More

Tax season is upon us, and thousands of Canadians are rushing to file their taxes in time for the April 30th deadline. Fortunately, online tax software programs have made it easier than ever to complete your income tax return and send it directly to the Canada Revenue Agency for processing. Many Canadians receive their tax refund within a week by filing online.

TurboTax is one of the most popular tax software platforms in Canada. But with so many other options to choose from, including free software, is it still the best tax software for Canadians? In this TurboTax review, I cover the different service plans, pros, and cons, and share a few alternatives.

TurboTax At-A-Glance

  • File on your own or with an expert
  • Four distinct service plans, including a self-employed version
  • Limited, free version available
  • Get help from tax experts (TurboTax Assist & Review and Full-Service)
  • NETFILE – certified
  • Accuracy guarantee
  • Audit Defense is available

What Is TurboTax?

TurboTax is a tax software platform that includes web-based and desktop applications. It’s a product of Intuit Canada, which operates other financial software, including QuickBooks. Intuit Canada is a subsidiary of Intuit, which is based in Mountain View, California.

TurboTax has a solution to handle almost any tax situation, including students, investors, those new to Canada, and the self-employed.

How TurboTax Works

TurboTax offers a free version of its tax preparation software, along with several paid options, ranging from $20.99 to $49.99 per return. But the first decision you need to make is whether you want to file your own taxes, file with assistance from a TurboTax Expert (Assist & Review), or have a TurboTax Expert do everything for you (Full-Service).

With Assist & Review, an expert can answer any questions you have and will review your tax return for accuracy and to identify any missed tax savings opportunities. With Full-Service, you forward your tax documents to a TurboTax expert, and they will complete your return for you.

Of course, there’s an additional cost for the latter two options. You can see the pricing for Assist & Review and Full-Service in the chart below.

Click here to get started with TurboTax

TurboTax Pricing

Here is a chart that breaks down the various price points of each TurboTax tier, including the pricing for Assist & Review and Full-Service:

File on your ownAssist & ReviewFull-Service
TurboTax BasicFree$39.99$69.99

*Note that all prices listed are good up until April 17th, 2023, after which time they may increase.

TurboTax Desktop

In addition to the plans and prices mentioned above, TurboTax also offers a desktop version of its software, which is available for download onto your Windows PC computer (no version available for Mac). There are four tiers, Basic, Standard, Premier, and Home & Business, and prices range between $22.99 and $134.99.

Now, let’s take a closer look at TurboTax’s online software plans.

TurboTax Plans

In a way, TurboTax’s greatest strength may also be its biggest weakness. That is, they give you so many different ways to file your taxes that choosing the best plan for your situation can be downright confusing. I’ll do my best to break it down.

Not surprisingly, the more involved TurboTax becomes, the more expensive the plan. Let’s take a closer look at what you get with each TurboTax plan:

TurboTax Free (for simple tax returns only)

Price: Free

What you get:

  • Can handle employment, unemployment, and pension income
  • Report RRSP contributions
  • Claim your dependent and student credits
  • Covers COVID-19 benefits and repayments
  • Import your slips directly from the CRA
  • Import previous year’s TurboTax info (if applicable)

TurboTax Free is designed for anyone with a simple tax return. And if that’s you, it’s incredibly easy to use and a solid option. Unfortunately, if any of the following situations apply, you’ll have to spring for a paid plan: Employment expenses to report, charitable donations, medical expenses, investment income and expenses, rental property income and expenses, self-employment income and expenses.

TurboTax Basic

Price: $39.99 per return

TurboTax Basic is exactly the same as TurboTax Free (see above), but you pay $39.99 per return to receive assistance from a TurboTax Expert.

TurboTax Deluxe

Price: $20.00 per return

What you get: Everything in TurboTax Free, plus:

  • Claim charitable donations
  • Claim medical expenses
  • Claim employment expenses
  • Will search for up to 400 tax credits
  • identifies potential tax savings opportunities
  • Donations, medical expenses, and RRSP contribution optimizer

TurboTax Deluxe is the first paid version of TurboTax. Priced reasonably, at $20.99, it adds in most of the tax deductions and credits not included in TurboTax Free and can handle most tax returns. Unfortunately, it’s not built to deal with investment income, so that will force some tax filers into the next plan up.

TurboTax Premier

Price: $39.99 per return

What you get: Everything in Deluxe, plus:

  • claim investment income and expenses (stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrency)
  • Report rental property income and expenses.
  • Covers capital gains and losses
  • Report foreign income

Unless you’re self-employed, TurboTax Premier can handle just about any tax situation you can throw at it. Report your investment income, including crypto and rental income, foreign income, and any capital gains and losses on your investments.

TurboTax Self-Employed

Price: $49.99/$109.99(Assist & Review)/$249.99 (Full-Service)

What you get: Everything you need for your personal return, plus:

  • Accurate reporting of self-employment income and expenses
  • Help to find industry-specific deductions
  • Covers ride-sharing income
  • Report online sales income,
  • Can handle consulting, real estate income, and more
  • Can also handle foreign income

If you ask me, one of the best things about TurboTax is that they offer a dedicated tax filing option for self-employed individuals for a reasonable price ($49.99). Because self-employed tax returns are by nature more complex than personal returns, you can pay more for TurboTax’s Assist & Review service or have a tax expert complete your return for you. While the $249.99 Full-Service fee may seem high, it’s much less than you would pay an accountant to file your self-employed return.

Click here to get started with TurboTax

TurboTax Pros and Cons

TurboTax is an excellent choice for online tax filing, but it’s not perfect. To help you sort out the good points and the bad, here is my list of pros and cons.


  • Intuitive user interface
  • Tax filing options for just about every situation
  • Dedicated plan for self-employed individuals
  • Customer support with dedicated help available (for a fee)
  • File your taxes on the go with the TurboTax mobile app


  • The free version doesn’t measure up to Wealthsimple Tax
  • So many plans and price points can be confusing
  • Desktop version is Windows PC only.

Click here to get started with TurboTax

TurboTax Alternatives

TurboTax is the most recognizable name in tax return software in Canada, but there are several alternatives worth considering, including the following three competitors:

Wealthsimple Tax

Pricing: Free

In a way, Wealthsimple Tax is the polar opposite of TurboTax, yet both platforms top our list here at Retire Happy. Unlike TurboTax, Wealthsimple Tax only has one plan, and it’s free. It doesn’t get more simple than that. With Wealthsimple Tax, you complete your entire return on a single page on their website by scrolling downwards. Their user interface is basic, maybe too basic for some users.

If you’re looking for free tax return software, skip TurboTax and use Wealthsimple Tax. It doesn’t have the limitations of TurboTax, and you can complete simple returns within a few minutes. It’s that easy.

However, if you want all the bells & whistles that the paid versions of TurboTax offer, including the option to enlist help from a TurboTax Expert, then stick with TurboTax.

Learn more about Wealthsimple Tax in our full review.

H&R Block

Pricing: $0 to $34.99

H&R Block is synonymous with in-person tax preparation and filing in Canada, so many people don’t realize that they also offer online tax software. Like TurboTax, H&R Block offers a free version for basic returns. Also, anyone under 25 can file for free.

Their paid software is a better value than TurboTax (the highest price point is $34.99), but the user experience isn’t as good. For an additional $39.99, H&R Block offers a similar service to TurboTax’s Assist & Review, but as far as I can tell, they don’t offer online full-service support. For that, you would need to visit an H&R Block office in person.


Pricing: $0 to $19.95 (2nd family member is $14.00)

Key Features:

  • NETFILE Certified tax software
  • Free version available for students and simple returns
  • Affordable pricing
  • Up to 20 returns

UFile is a longstanding Canadian tax software company that offers both a desktop and web-based version of its software. Unlike other providers, they don’t have a mobile app. Like H&R Block, UFile’s pricing is affordable and lower than TurboTax.

It includes a free version for simple returns, students, first-time filers, and those with less than $20k of annual income to report. While UFile is a great value option, I don’t see much of a point in using it when you can use Wealthsimple Tax for free.

Check out my list of the best tax software programs in Canada for more options.

Click here to get started with TurboTax

The Bottom Line on TurboTax

After reading this review, you may be wondering where TurboTax fits among the various tax software options in Canada. After all, it’s tough to beat Wealthsimple’s free software, which can handle most tax situations.

In my opinion, TurboTax is the best overall tax software platform in Canada, but it’s not the best for everyone. If you have a relatively straightforward tax return and are comfortable with the tax filing process, you’ll save money with Wealthsimple Tax. It’s the best free tax software in Canada, hands down.

But if you’re self-employed or would rather spend a little money to get the best overall experience, including access to an intuitive, easy-to-use platform, interactive tools, and expert help if you need it, then TurboTax remains the platform to beat.


  1. Paul N

    I guess it must be difficult striking a balance between making money off of your blog (advertising) and saving the readers of your blog some money.

    As a commenter I also feel I have an obligation to point out that there is perfectly good free software out there that will do an equally good job of their taxes.

    It’s called “Studio Tax” Someone pointed it out to me on a blog 3 years ago and I feel that I should pay it forward to other people to save them some money whenever I can.

    Isn’t that the the true goal of finance blogs?

    • Tom Drake

      I agree Paul, StudioTax is decent and free! It may even have been my StudioTax review that you read since I’ve written about it a couple times before on MapleMoney.

      While I think StudioTax is a great alternative (especially if your tax situation is simple), I use TurboTax myself and recommend it for the extra help it provides, both in the software and via their support staff.

      Catching a deduction last year that I had almost missed was worth much more to me than the $40 that the Home & Business Online version cost.

    • Ted

      I’ve been a StudioTax user for at least 15 years. I won’t go to any other. It works in all scenarios for me. It is now $15 but that is cheap compared to all the others.

  2. Joshua P

    I have done my own taxes for the past 3 years and turbotax was a blessing. The fact that I could efile for free and even keep my financial records online really helped me out! There are other services that offer the same service online, I just happen to prefer this one.

  3. Sandy

    You need to downgrade your rating for Turbotax by about 5 points. At least for the new Mac version.I would give it a 0 out of 5. I spent 5 1/2 hours filling out all my information, but I wasn’t quite done. I had used turbotax for Windows before and had saved and returned to it multiple times. When I returned to it this time, even though I got a pop-up window saying that my session had been saved after I clicked the ‘save return’ button, there was no information except my name. I spent time on ‘chat’ and also called the customer service, both to no avail. I have to start all over. This is a nightmare for me as I don’t have many hours to spare in my life. Also I hope you like supporting the Indian economy because their customer service department is in India and there is absolutely no contact information for anyone in Canada with this company!

  4. aurel

    I’ve used the Inuit products since Quick Tax 1997 and for a period of time I managed to finish my car allowance and annual income with no problems. Last year I had a lot of headecks with Canada Revenue about Disability Tax Application a big joke from Trudeau Government and the Inuit 2016 fail shamefully to calculate taxes on my pension and shows me a refund of about $3000. After a complain to CR I end up with a payment of $2100 back to Canada Revenue. Very rude support at CR is not a secret English is not my first language and final word from CR was Disability Tax is given to people with 100% disability you can walk with a prosthetic device even your nerve is damaged forever ?????!!!! This year I think to buy a H and R online software.

  5. mike

    I’ve been using QuickTax / TurboTax for over 20 years now. Every few years I get ticked off about some problem with Quicktax/TurboTax An try something different. I think I’ve tried most of them at one time or another(QuickTax, TurboTax, Ufile, Grifftax, Taxwiz, … and they all have their own problems. I think turbo is probably the best of the worst, so I keep coming back. Sometimes I think I would prefer the old days where you could get all the tax forms in an Excell spreadsheet and fill it out there.

    Examples of problems I have with TurboTax the year includes:

    – No indication of where to get “Net Income” for dependents (had to got to the forms and figure it out there.

    – I have two children who were both disabled last year, but one is not considered disabled this year. I don’t know where Turbo tax got this information (form last years import? from downloaded CRA forms?) but it set the flag on one of the worksheet forms which would not clear when un-ticking the entry in the “Dependant credits”. I took a half hour with Turbo Tax tech support to solve this problem (Thank you Turbo tax for having resonable tech support).

    – This one is more of a complaint a problem (I have suggested this to TurboTax a few times over the years). It would make life much easier if you print out the summaries of the the T-slips (t2,t5,t4, t5013, etc) so you could review them rather than having to check them in the entry tables. This is especially true when you are splitting slips husband/wife.

    – again a complaint rather than a problem. A lot of the lines on the tax forms do not allow you to access the information that created them. They seem to be created on hidden worksheet you cannot access.

    – again another feature request. Turbo tax allows splitting of t3/t4 between husband/wife, but not capital gains t5008, T5013, t1135, etc

  6. B. Coutts

    The 2018 download version of TurboTax Standard has a known corruption issue of user files. Their help desk commented to me the 2nd time that my files corrupted that “they sure are getting a lot of calls about this”. Yet they offer no fix – the reason given is that a Windows update corrupts the files. The problem is that the 2nd time this occurred there hadn’t been an update for 8 days. They don’t even try – just rolled over & refunded my money. I’ve been using this product for 10+ years & am extremely disappointed in the ineptitude of this corporation in handling this issue.

    • David

      The corruption problem started last year.
      At least it says it repairs the file, but some data is usually lost.
      I found if I close the file and Save As, I don’t have as many corruption errors on Re-opening, and I can go back to an early version with most of my changes saved.

      Also I had a bad experience with CS, where they told me the CDs you buy in the store are impossible to ever fully update, so you should always uninstall and reinstall from the web site. I wasted an hour doing that, and still had the original problem (with ReFile).

  7. Daryl

    I had started entering data into the 2018 tax year premier edition, desktop not online. I had heard there were data corruption problems with updates so opened it up and accepted the updates. The existing file that i had accessed more than once is now missing. Their support blames it on me not saving the file, even though I assured them I had accessed the file more than once previously.

    • David

      Always “Save As” with a different name,
      Every time.
      That limits how much data you can lose.
      (Their Tech Support told me to Save, not Save-As, and I lost my original file.)

  8. Christopher Bain

    I find the online version very, very frustrating as I cannot correct what seems to be errors in summaries. Its is not as user friendly as the past CD versions where I could actually go to a pull down and actually see a form to visualize if everything makes sense. I must rate this version a 1 out of 5.

    C Bain

    • Joel

      I had the same problem. This year (2021) used online version for first time after many years of using the cd. Next year, back to the cd version!

      • RL Bee

        Have used TurboTax for several years especially Premier download but also online. In QC we must file 2 returns.
        Have tried UFILE as well.occasionally.
        TurboTax ges the job done, and Premier at least offers optimising between Spouses for pension income, donations, medical expenses. There are several lists of toys& warnings at the end to prevent you from missing things.

        My biggest beef is finding things . There is a much improved FIND function but it is very frustrating to use and doesn’t seem to have as many search items for the QC return. I often end up clicking through multiple pages that I already completed in order to find the page I’m looking for.

        I do like the option to view the forms as they would appear in a paper return and to be able to print to pdf before actually filing.. Premier allows filling fort about a dozen returns, so a family can cover off everyone, for a reasonable price.

  9. Stefan Linke

    As Wealthsimple is not for non-residents, what would be your recommendation for folks like me, resident of Portugal with pension income from Canada. I tried ufile, but their results always differ from CRA assessment later.

  10. Tony

    I gave up on TurboTax because their implementation of the T1135 form is severely limited (or even broken).

    You can’t add line items to each section of the form, which is a essential feature needed to complete a T1135 in all but the most trivial case.

    My feedback and suggestions to their tech support and user surveys on this matter appear to have been ignored.

  11. Tom Mooney

    In the early days I was a loyal user of CanTax a rival of Turbo Tax. My mind set was to stick with the software that woukd import data from previous year saving key strokes from a one finger typist was worth paying a higher price sometimes. Eventually CanTax was acquired by TurboTax and that year I guess H&R had a better deal . I was always a fan of buying physical box with a CD over time converted to buying iat at a discount on line early in the season I may have tried turbo tax one year and there have been a 1 or 2 years where major updates to various brands cause an issue that they could not import personal data from prior year . It was hard to use to the H&R layout and how to find where to enter different categories. One feature that has been helpful is comparing to last year’s I use that to see if there is difference to lastnyears I can look to tonight I entered everything. The other consideration is I complete a couples return and a third (basic) my adult child with disabilities who is on government assistance and am able to transfer tax credits to my self …. some years it has been very challenging and I have elected to pay the $20 fee to have the import last year data . For the last few years I use the online version of H&R maybe I am locked in by lazy

  12. Rudi

    Turbo tax allows up to 8 returns for each software package so the pricing is somewhat misleading in this report.

  13. Ray

    No mention of Taxtron. I have used for years. Why am I an outlier? Do you k ow something I don’t?


  14. R Ip

    Previous years allowing foreigh property reporting by Online version, 2 years ago forced users to “upgrade” to pricier version. Pushed me to Wealthsimple and I donated half the Turbotax cost to them. Never look back to Turbotax!

  15. Michael Fisher

    One feature I like in Turbotax is the ability to test the optimum pension transfer and RRSP contributions to see the net tax payable by a couple. Does this exist on the other programs?

  16. Bob Orchard

    Taxfreeway is the one I’ve been using for 10 or more years. It covers all of the things that are in Turbotax self employed version for a lot less cost. For lower income levels it is free. Simple interface allows you to enter your tax slips by using forms that mirror the original ones. Does optimizing of medical expenses, donations, and RSP contributions.

  17. Mark

    Two points

    Point One:
    As I prefer using my Mac over a PC, last year, after 20+ years of using the floppy/cd/download version of the various names of the tax software of what is currently known as Turbo Tax, for tax year 2021, I decided to use the online version. There was definitely a learning curve as some of the capabilities available on the downloadable/CD versions is not necessarily available on the online version. I have decided to go back to the downloadable/cd version as having to use a PC is less painful then having to adapt to a less flexible program. Unfortunately I am unaware of any method of downloading any of the “saved” data in order to be able to import it into this years tax software. The same was true when I went the online route.

    Point Two:
    It should be noted that if using Basic, Standard, Premier or Home and Business versions of the software you do get to file additional tax returns for the price you pay for the software. In my case I have done my own plus what has become 4 additional family members tax returns. If using Basic you get to file a total of 8 tax returns. The more tax returns you have to file annually the cheaper the price is per return.

  18. Darryl

    I like many of the other commenters prefer to use the desktop version of turbotax for various reasons. I would appreciate if in the future you could breakdown the differences between the desktop versions. I have many investments and the “standard” version seems to cover everything for me even though the “Premier” version is recommended for investors. That version offers Guidance but I dont know what the entails or is of value. Thanks

  19. Joan

    I have used turbo tax for years and have been getting more and more unhappy with their help and the program as a whole. You can’t get help…..just an extremely poor help line/blog. And I will not get a FB account just to get assistance via that. I have given them a rating of one and will be looking at the other tax program you recommended for next year.

  20. Tommie

    I am using uFile since 2008. $20 per year on PC. No problems and ufile optimize the tax for us (Things like medical expenses and retirement income sharing.) you can also overide that if you optimizations if you want to.

    No problem with the numerous tax forms from brokers, t5,t5008, and t3. And import from cra.

    It handles individual and joint broker accounts well.

    It is easy to carry over to next year.

    The pdf form has a executive summary for me and the wife next to each other so it is easy to compare.
    There is also a comparative summary where you can see differences with the previous year, and maybe trigger you memory for things that you forgot to claim.

    Very important reason why I continue with ufile regardless of any other reviews is the comparison, and the carryover from previous year, but most important is that I know ufile very well after all the years that I have been using it.

    So there is really no incentive for me to try something else.

  21. Ted

    StudioTax is a much better option. It was free but is now only $15 for 20 returns. I’ve been using it for at least 15 years. I’ve compared it to others and it does the same or better for refunds. Highly recommended.

  22. Hope

    I agree. I bought Standard which includes 8 returns.

  23. Peter Cochrane

    I would like to hear what you think about Genutax. Free now for all Canadian.

  24. Roberto

    Seems a lot of gush about Turbo Tax! Are you affiliated or something?

  25. Graybeard

    I have used TaxFreeway for the past 10 years. The interface not as pretty as some, but it is complete (including investment, self-employment, net-file T1135 forms) and has split-pension, donation and medical planning tools for joint returns. It has a straightforward “guide’ to walk you through your return.
    Best of all it it is much cheaper (Mac version is $15 for 20 returns). For low incomes (below $20k) the full-function version is free.

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