StudioTax Review 2024

StudioTax Review Summary:
  • Quality of Outcome
  • Ease of use
  • Customer Service
  • Cost

StudioTax Review Summary:

Since 2004 we’ve been updating our StudioTax review annually. StudioTax is a solid platform and a secure offline option for Canadians to submit their annual tax returns, but it isn’t the best option available. It costs $15 to use, and when compared to its free competitor Wealthsimple Tax it has 2 major downfalls.

The first is that, unlike Wealthsimple Tax, StudioTax doesn’t look like it has been updated since its inception 20 years ago. The second downfall is that you can’t import last year’s taxes from another program.

Nevertheless, it has helped hundreds of thousands Canadians over the past 2 decades. Read this StudioTax review to see what it does have to offer.


  • Been around for years
  • Available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad (iOS)
  • Free for users with income under 20K or those who live in the territories
  • Secure option that can be used offline


  • Limited functionality
  • No ongoing software updates
  • Costs $15 to use for users with income over 20K
  • Support only available via email

StudioTax is a great tool, but Wealthsimple Tax is 100% free and much better.

Read Our Wealthsimple Tax Review

What is StudioTax?

StudioTax is certified tax preparation software for Canadian personal income tax returns. It is provided by BHOK IT Consulting and is now also available for Quebec residents (as well as available in French). It suits the needs of most people although it does have some restrictions. I’ll provide an overview of its features in this post.

Tax Filing Deadlines

The income tax deadline for the 2023 tax return is April 30, 2024. Your return must be filed and payment must be made to the CRA by this date to be considered on time.

Self-employed taxpayers (and their spouses) can file up to June 15, 2024, but if they have a balance owing, it still needs to be paid on or before April 30, 2024. Please check these CRA restrictions to know if you are eligible to use NETFILE to file your 2023 return.

StudioTax Platform

The software is available for computers running Windows, Mac, Android or iOS. The Android version is found on Google Play and the iOS version on the App Store. I talk more about the mobile versions in the next section.

The software installation for Windows and Mac takes a few minutes and there is no license key required to get started (preparing your return). The software works from your computer and does not require an Internet connection after installation, although one needs the connectivity when ready to NETFILE.

The offline capability and local (ie. on your personal device) storage of your private data is one reason why many Canadians continue to use StudioTax. 

You can file up to 20 personal income tax returns using StudioTax. If you have used StudioTax in a previous year, then the 2023 software will offer to retrieve the basic personal details from that earlier return, thereby saving time. One can review the imported details and make corrections if needed.

Unfortunately, you can not import last year’s tax return if it was created using a different program. This is a downfall of the StudioTax program.

StudioTax Mobile App

There is an app for everything these days, and yes, StudioTax is now offered on both Android and iOS (simply search StudioTax in your app store). 

It is a native mobile app meaning it is not a front-end to a web-based app. As is also the case with StudioTax on your computer, your information is not stored online or on a cloud but is stored on your personal device. This is aligned with StudioTax’s priority for maintaining the privacy and security of client data.

The mobile application has all the same features as the desktop app – you can autofill your return, print your pdf, NETFILE, and even receive your CRA Notice Of Assessment (NOA).

StudioTax Wizard

The StudioTax Wizard walks you through collecting:

  • personal details
  • information from T slips (Statement of Remuneration – T4s, Statement of Investment Income – T5s) and RL slips (for Quebec residents)
  • RRSP/HBP/LLP amounts
  • other common tax information including tuition amounts, donations, public transit passes amount, interest paid on student loans, political contributions, medical expenses, dependants/childcare expenses, and digital news subscription expenses.

StudioTax is now connected with CRA autofill for many forms, but if you choose to use autofill you’ll always want to double-check your values.

For RRSP contributions, there is a checkbox available that allows you to maximize your RRSP claim. If you think that you’ll be in a higher tax bracket in the coming years, then you may want to carry forward this year’s RRSP deduction, or a portion of it, to such a year.

Verification of data

Once you have entered the above details, the software does your tax return and displays the summary on the left-hand side (Summary section). You can view your total, net, and taxable incomes, net federal and net provincial taxes, total payable, total tax deducted (from your T4), and refund or balance owing.

Using the Forms section, you can click on those forms that apply to your situation (generally, T1, Schedule 1, Summary, Schedule 4, Provincial forms, and T slips). You can make changes to any applicable (and available for modification) line on the tax forms and the refund or balance owing will be updated immediately.

Once you have reviewed the return, it is time to file your tax electronically using NETFILE.


You can file your tax return via NETFILE directly through the computer program or app. 

Begin by finding your return at the very top, or under the Tax Explorer on the left-hand side. After validating your return click the NETFILE button at the top right and the NETFILE Wizard will open. It will lead you through a few pages of information from the CRA as well as information about direct deposit. If you’ve changed your name or address, or need to change your direct deposit information, you’ll have to pause here and use the provided contact information to first update the CRA.

After this point, you’re ready to NETFILE. On the transmission page it will ask if it’s your first time filing an income tax return with the CRA. If so, it’ll help you through that. Otherwise, click “Transmit” and your tax return will be sent to the CRA.


Once it has been transmitted you will receive a confirmation number. This means you have successfully submitted your tax return. You will see that the status of your return at the bottom of the page has changed to “Transmitted” and will include a date and time stamp.

It is always recommended to keep a copy of your return for your records. To do so, click Print on the top left corner and you’ll be able to download a copy as a pdf.

StudioTax Review FAQ

StudioTax Review – Conclusion

StudioTax is an option for completing your annual tax return that has withstood the test of time. It will get the job done on either your computer or your smartphone. While there aren’t any major problems with it, it is not our top-rated tax software.

You have to download the outdated-looking program and pay $15 for it. Customer service is only offered via email which can lead to delays in receiving support with issues. These days there are better options to complete your Canadian tax returns that are free and have more modern interfaces.


Clark works in Saskatchewan and has been working to build his (DIY) investment portfolio, structured for an early retirement. He loves reading (and using the lessons learned) about personal finance, technology and minimalism. You can read his other articles here.
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2 months ago

Does Studio Tax charge the filing of foreign property of rental incomd or investment income?

5 years ago

It’s 2019 and I’ve been using (and donating to) StudioTax for many years. The best free tax software in Canada :).

The blog post needs a bit of an update. StudioTax now supports Macs and has done so for many years :).

5 years ago
Reply to  ERIC

Thanks for the info Eric! Have you tried Simple Tax? It’s 100% online and also free (they ask for a donation).

12 years ago


12 years ago

Lol, I think I must be a doppleganger of the other “Patrick” (Post #5). I usually use taxfreeway to do my taxes, and also use studio tax to double-check that I didn’t do anything wrong (I found that I made one small error this year by using this method).

There are a couple of bugs in Studiotax, but in general it is pretty solid.

Bud Davidge
12 years ago

I have been using Studiotax for several years now and find it very easy to use.
I have also used Tax freeway and it is also good but for less complex returns I prefer Studio. I came off using Cantax for many years but it is fairly expensive
but excellent and easy to use and can handle any complexity with immediate help screens. i stopped using it because it did not allow Netfile only Efile which was an extra cost. StudioTax handles everything I have thrown at it–capital gains/losses/ business fishermens forms/rentals/. The one thing I liked better about Taxfreeway was the exact replica of all T slips. As someone said ST has no T1Adj in the forms section and I don’t know why. It would be helpful because if you make a mistake in Netfiling you can’t correct until the Notice of Assessment arrives and then you file a T1ADJ.
It would be handy to have it right in the program instead of downloading from CRA site. Ap[art from that I ‘ll keep using ST,

13 years ago

Does anyone know what the use of T5008 page in the Studio Tax Wizard? Isn’t the information you entered in the T5008 page a duplication of the information you entered in the T3 and T5 pages of the Tax Studio Wizard for capital gains? I ended up with ignoring the T5008 page.

Also I found I got slightly different results when I calculated manually the capital gains using schedule 3 compared with that generated using Studio Tax Wizard. I suspect I could have entered into the wrong place for some of the information from the T3s and T5s when doing it manually. At this moment I’d rather trust Studio Tax.

13 years ago

I used Studio Tax for the first time this year and found it clunky and inflexible but it was the only CRA efiler software that was reasonably priced (free for under 20 returns and only $136 for over that). I entered a client’s marital status as commonlaw then found out it was married after the return was completed but Studio Tax doesn’t allow for some basic changes. Although I’m not sure if it makes a difference to CRA, I can’t print out client copies that show married. I also couldn’t fill in the T1 Adjustment in the program and had to print it and fill it in by hand. Tech support was unhelpful and sounded like they could care less!

13 years ago

Balance due date for an individual is April 30. Ref S.S 248(1) “balance due date”. The article is correct.

Dr. Philosophy
13 years ago

@ Sandy,
If this is the first year that the DTCC is to be claimed by either you or your husband then you will be unable to efile or netfile your tax returns.
Unless you want to go it alone on paper (which, really, is not all that challenging even with claiming the disability amount), you will be heading to a tax preparer THIS year.
Of course you don’t have to pay to have previous year returns adjusted at the same time you pay to file your 2010 returns. A common strategy is to wait for the refund to come back on the current returns to go back and change the previous returns.

13 years ago

Has anyone tried to use it to claim the Disability Tax Credit? My hubby will qualify for it in the 2011 tax year, and it may be back-dated as well, as we didn’t realize he might have qualified for the last two years.

I will probably try out StudioTax this year (yay free when we have lots of other expenses and a big drop in income due to DH’s disability) and compare it to the paid program I’ve been using for the last few years (Ufile), but I don’t really know how to claim the tax credit if it applies to previous years, so I’ll likely go to a tax preparer next year, and then revert to doing my own the year after that, when we’re not trying to file anything retroactively.