Volunteers stand ready to help eligible people with their tax returns

By David F. Rooney

If you have a low income and would like help doing your income tax this year you should take advantage of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

“It is a free service for ‘low-income’ people needing assistance in completing their income tax returns,” says volunteer and program coordinator Bill Shuttleworth.

He defined low income as $25,000 for an individual and $35,000 for a couple from simple sources. Often times they are people who pay little or no income tax and often only have to file a return to continue receiving their benefits.

“We check to ensure our clients are getting all the federal benefits such as Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Child Tax Benefits, the Working Income Tax Benefit, Disability credits, retirement income sharing, Provincial Sales Tax rebate, etc. they are entitled to.”

Annually about 100 people take advantage of this free service by a small group of five volunteers who donate their time and experience.

“We receive training, refresher courses and advice from Canada Revenue Agency, but are not part of that agency,” said Shuttleworth who has been helping people with their tax forms since 1999.

The CVITP services are offered during the month of March as follows:

  • Wednesday mornings from 9 am till noon in the Seniors’ Centre
  • Thursday evenings from 7 pm till 9 pm in the Recreation Centre
  • Those unable to attend these sessions can call Bill at 250-837-5901

“Most people should file a return, even if they have no taxes to pay,” Shuttleworth said. “Filing a return is the only way to receive federal and provincial sales tax rebates. Students can record and carry forward tuition fees. For some people recording and carrying forward moving expenses to obtain a new job is also possible.”

People who to used the service should bring all the forms and information slips they have received in the mail and their return from last year.

“There’s always a last-minute surge so people should really get their their forms filled out earlier rather than later,” Shuttleworth said.

For more information call Bill Shuttleworth at 250-837-5901.