Volunteers can help do your taxes for free, virtually

Photo © News Canada

Filing a tax return can seem daunting, but paying someone to help you isn’t always an option. Fortunately, volunteers at a free tax clinic may be able to help.

For over 50 years, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program has been connecting volunteers from community organizations with people who have a modest income and simple tax situation and need help filing their taxes.

For the 2021 tax season, many community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics. These virtual clinics help ensure you stay safe during the pandemic by filing your taxes by videoconference, phone or drop-off arrangement. You can do this from anywhere in the country, even if you don’t live near a clinic location.

It’s been a challenging year, with the government providing financial support to many Canadians during the pandemic. As you prepare to do your taxes this year, it’s important to take these new income sources into account.

If you received COVID-related emergency benefit payments, you may owe taxes on this money. While the thought of owing money may be scary, if you delay filing you can miss out on helpful benefits and credits.

For example, by filing every year and regularly updating your personal information, the Canada Revenue Agency can determine if you’re eligible for things like the Canada child benefit, the GST/HST credit, or related provincial and territorial payments.

If they don’t have this info, your benefit and credit payments could stop. So, even if you have no income, are tax exempt or owe some money, not doing your taxes means you could lose out on cash you may rely on for rent or to help support your family.

And if you still haven’t filed your 2019 tax return, you could already be missing out on benefit payments.

If you owe taxes and cannot pay the full amount now, the CRA will help you to find a way to pay. If you need help doing your taxes, you may be able to get them done for free by a volunteer at a virtual tax clinic.

Find more information at canada.ca/tax-clinics-free.


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