The Gift of Income Tax Filing and the Generosity of Volunteers

by Maritime
Categories: News Archive
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Imagine not receiving any government benefits for years because filing your taxes feels out of reach. Sadly, this is the case for many Maritimers living on a low or fixed-income. To ease this burden, many of our Salvation Army locations offer complimentary tax preparation clinics to help improve the lives of families and individuals who struggle to make ends meet. Each year, over 1,000 individuals take advantage of our volunteer run tax clinics.
“Without the generous time offered by our dedicated volunteers, some for nearly 20 years, we wouldn’t be able to operate the tax clinics each year,” says Major Doreen Grandy at the Centre of Hope in Halifax. “We very much appreciate their significant contributions.”
For those who take advantage of the clinics, it involves more than simply following the law or even the hope of a refund. Without filing income tax, individuals do not qualify for GST credits, property tax credits, child tax benefits, or old age pension.
“If not for the income tax clinics, many people wouldn’t be able to file their taxes and benefit from hundreds of dollars of credits and benefits,” says Jerry Richard, a dedicated and long-term volunteer in Saint John. “Some people have been coming to the these clinics for over 15 years; they are very positive for the community.”
Most clinics are a result of the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), a partnership between Revenue Canada and various community groups. The Salvation Army provides staff and volunteers along with space and materials while the CRA offers training and tax software and a coordinator to guide the clinics. This partnership aims to link qualified tax return volunteers with individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation.
How do you qualify?
The maximum income guideline varies based on your personal situation – such as if you are married or have children, but begins with a maximum of $35,000 for individuals.
Where can you find a clinic?
The Salvation Army is operating volunteer-run tax clinics in the communities outlined below. In areas where The Salvation Army does not offer tax clinics, they are usually knowledgeable of other organizations or volunteers in the community that do.
NEW BRUNSWICK
Moncton – Every Tuesday and Friday in April, except for Good Friday from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at the Community & Family Services Center located at 32 King Street. No appointment necessary, people can drop into the clinic. Contact info is 506.389.9901.
Fredericton – Every Thursday during April from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 531 St. Mary’s Street. No appointment necessary. For more info., contact Susan Strickland at Community & Family Services at 506.453.1706.
Saint John – Every Monday and Tuesday during April from 9:15 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:00 to 2:45 p.m at 27 Prince Edward Street. Contact Community & Family Services at 506.634.1633.
NOVA SCOTIA
Halifax Centre of Hope – On Thursday, April 18 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 2038 Gottingen Street by appointment only. Contact 902.422.1598 and choose either extension 226 or 248 to make an appointment.
Kentville – On Wednesdays by appointment only from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at 15 Nichols Avenue. Contact 902-678-2039 ext 1. In addition, The Salvation Army is hosting the only walk in Super Clinic on April 12 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., put on by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). For more information, contact the CIVTP at 1.855.516.4405 or visit canada.ca/guide-taxes-volunteer
In Spryfield, the YWCA offers tax clinics on Mondays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 358 Herring Cove Road. Literacy workshops will also be offered. Contact Sylvia at 902.210.3690 to make an appointment.