Do you need help preparing your 2020 income tax return?
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is back, but with a few changes due to COVID-19. The free service, which is administered by volunteers under the umbrella of the Community Resource Society and overseen by the Canada Revenue Agency, is available to single people with a yearly income of $35,000 or less, and to couples with a combined yearly household income of $45,000 or less.
The service is intended for people with basic, straightforward tax returns. Anyone with a more complicated tax situation should seek the assistance of a professional. If you have not yet filed your 2019 tax return, the volunteers can help with that too.
Qualifying people who want to take advantage of the service need to gather together all their 2020 tax documents, such as T4s and T5s. You should also have any medical receipts from 2020, such as prescriptions, or charges for items like glasses, hearing aids, and more.
Expenses incurred attending out-of-town medical appointments can also be included, so be sure to have a list of the dates of any such trips, the destination of and reason for the trip, and your doctor’s name. However, if your return indicates that you will not pay any taxes, including medical receipts will not result in a larger refund; they can only reduce the amount of taxes owed.
This year, those wanting to use the service need to make an appointment. Volunteers will be available in Ashcroft and Clinton, serving residents of Spences Bridge, Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 16 Mile, Loon Lake, Clinton, Walhachin, Savona, and the Ashcroft and Bonaparte Indian Bands.
In Ashcroft, volunteers will be available on Tuesdays from March 2 to May 4 inclusive, from noon to 2:30 p.m. In Clinton, volunteers will be available from March 1 to May 1.
When you call to make an appointment, you will be given the location where you can drop off your documents. Depending on the complexity of your return and the completeness of your documents, returns can be completed in as little as 20 minutes. COVID-19 protocols will be in place, and you must wear a mask. The volunteers would like to thank Nancy Kendall of Better at Home for supplying face shields, sanitizer, masks, and gloves.
While in-person sessions are preferred, in some cases returns can be completed over the phone for people who cannot leave their home. Call or leave a message at (250) 453-9534.
Ashcroft residents who would like to make an appointment can call Dave at (250) 457-0491. Savona residents can drop their documents off at the Savona Library during regular branch hours, and they will be collected by a volunteer.
Residents of Clinton can contact Yvette May (250-459-7725; cell 1-250-212-5506; email email@example.com) or John White (250-459-2680; cell 1-250-377-5848; email firstname.lastname@example.org) to book an appointment and find out where to drop off forms.