EFILE certified software for the 2018 EFILE program
EFILE "certified" tax preparation software means that the developer of the tax preparation software has gone through a process with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to verify that their product is compatible with the CRA EFILE electronic tax filing service. The CRA does not verify spelling or grammatical errors within the tax preparation software packages nor does it test for user-friendliness. We do not endorse or recommend any product over another.
The certified software products below are listed alphabetically by company name. We have also added a column to identify software that was certified in 2014, 2015, and/or 2016 in order to produce prior year returns (2014, 2015 and/or 2016 tax year).
The "Services Available" column indicates this certified software product has been approved by the CRA to include new forms/functions provided within this product i.e. Auto-fill my return.
The CRA cannot be held responsible if programming errors affect the calculation of income tax and contributions payable. If you encounter difficulties with the software, please contact the developer for technical assistance. It is your responsibility to find out from the software developer if the software has any restrictions and to always make sure that you are using the most recent version of the software to prepare tax returns.
Other topics for certified software
Various competing developers produce tax preparation software. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) does not endorse or recommend any particular package. The decision to use these products or services will not result in any special treatment from the CRA.
The CRA performs a limited annual review of commercially developed tax preparation software packages.
For software designed to produce only paper records, our review is limited to examining the actual printed forms. There is no review of the software itself.
Should the tax return not be eligible for electronic filing, you must ensure the return is printed in the proper format. Each year the CRA works with software developers to ensure their products print forms and returns that meet the CRA's technical criteria for software designed to produce paper records. The final printed returns and forms have to be compatible with the CRA's processing systems. It is important that users ensure printers are properly set up and instructions for printing returns are carefully followed.
Some software packages will automatically print a two-dimensional (2D) bar code on page one of the returns. The bar code will enable the CRA to accurately assess the return. Please do not turn off the bar code feature of your software.
Information Circular 97-2, Customized Forms – Returns and Information Slips, provides detailed guidelines for software packages.
This review also includes software that produces records for use in the electronic filing of tax returns. Testing ensures that the software will produce a return that the CRA can process. Among other things, the software must be able to:
- format electronic records according to the CRA's specifications;
- calculate the tax-related fields correctly;
- successfully pass error detection validities built into the system; and
- process all field codes, including the supporting fields necessary for electronic filing.
In mid-November of each year, the CRA provides the certification test returns to each software developer who has asked to be certified for EFILE. The developer uses these returns to test their software.
The CRA allows software developers to view drafts of new or modified forms through a controlled-access Web site. Before having this opportunity, developers must sign a confidentiality agreement with the CRA. The agreement states that developers cannot show their customers these new forms until they are printed and released to the public, usually in December of each year. This advance information allows software developers to create and release timely products that meet the requirements the CRA has established, based on the latest tax legislation.
Once a software developer has completed their product, they can transmit their test returns to the CRA. The CRA evaluates the results and, if the software meets the certification test criteria, issues a confirmation letter to the developer. Only when a developer has received this confirmation letter can the product be marketed as software that is EFILE-certified.
We do not test any tax preparation software products for user friendliness. Direct all comments you have in this regard to your software developer.
Remember, it is always the responsibility of the taxfiler to ensure that the return is complete and accurate, whether or not software was used to prepare it.
Information for electronic filers
EFILE has been designed to accept a specific file format. The certified software or application will include instructions on how to save your income tax returns in the required format.
If you have prepared a spousal or family return, make sure you have saved your tax returns following the software instructions. The software should create a file for each individual. Be sure to transmit both/all returns.
Use your EFILE number and password to:
- Maintain your account
- Renew your account
- View transmission history
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