Personal Tax Software vs Local Accountant

Most taxpayers reading this article will have only Personal Taxes. Be careful for those of you who are in Business or those generating Real Estate income. It is almost guaranteed that your taxes will be too complex. If you are inexperienced in tax preparation, you are at risk of:

  • Missed Deductions & Expenses
  • Increased chance of audit by CRA
  • Penalties & Interest on a reassessment
  • Extra time spent dealing with CRA & your accountant
  • The List Goes On

Now that we’re done with Gloom & Doom. Personal Taxes are often quite simple. (Single Individual with T4 Slip, a few RRSP slips, maybe Medical receipts). Technically savvy individuals may feel comfortable purchasing Turbo Tax program. Enjoy your savings, paying approx. $17.99 + Tax. The minute personal taxes become complex is when, couples & families are introduced. Typical families should remember to account for:

  • Children’s Tuition (and who will receive unused education deductions)
  • Children’s Daycare expense (lower income will claim)
  • Donations
  • Itemizing Medical Receipts
  • Home Buyers Plan
  • Tax Income Splitting


Bottom line is, we recommend couples, family & business people hire an accountant.  :)

An extra point in favour of a Nice Refund is: Your accountant will pester you will personal questions. ” I see you’re wearing glasses. Do you have the receipt?” or “Your Son was telling me about his University classes. Remind him to print his T2202 form.”  Tax programs simply cannot get this personal. Although calculations will be just as accurate as an accountant. Unless you or your accountant are filing your taxes manually.

Tax Refund

How the Cost will Differ


The true cost can be difficult to figure out. An accountant will save you time. No trips to the post office, or to the store for a tax program. You will have more time for your family & friends. Considering all this, the accountant will be more expensive. Check out Turbo Taxes prices. Accountant’s prices will vary.turbo tax

Turbo Tax (Canadian) Prices
For Basic Program | Standard, Premier, Home & Business

Current Year Online: $17.99 + tax per T1 return

Current Year Desktop: $19.99 + tax per T1 return

Previous Years (to 2009): $19.99 + tax per T1 return.



Radburn Financials Inc.


Radburn Financials Inc. Prices (Apprx.)

Personal Return (Any Year): $70.00 + tax

Family Return (Any Year): $120 + tax

Personal & Business (Any Year): $150 + tax


Turbo tax is initially cheaper. Although you could be missing out on a bigger refund.


How an Accountant will do a Better job than You

  • Your accountant will look for ways to save you from paying taxes. Ways that you simply don’t know.
  • Many programs such as Turbo tax, only have access to 2009 or so. Unlike a firm like ours, we can go back to 1994.



Decision Time

Ask Yourself These Questions:

  • Consider your budget. Can you afford $80 for yourself or $120 for your family. If so, you will be better off with an accountant.
  • Do you have some knowledge of Taxes? You might be better off with a DIY tax program.
  • How intimidated are you by doing your own taxes?
  • How intimidated are you by accountants?
  • How busy are you? Do you have a weekend off. Would having to file your own taxes just ruin your weekend?
  • Do you like to interact with people? If you’re lucky enough to have an accountant that you like, tax time will be that much less stressful Maybe you couldn’t be bothered and would rather file their taxes in your own home.


We cannot give you to answer. At this point, you have probably came closer to a decision.

If you’re still unsure, feel free to e-mail us on our contact page.


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