By Chris Marchand
A local program, operated through Community Volunteer Connections offers free income tax filing service for those who qualify.
Staffed by seven qualified volunteers, the Volunteer Income Tax Program will complete tax returns for residents that meet specific income thresholds.
Single people who have made up to $30,000 can take advantage of the program as well as couples with a combined income of up to $40,000. Single parents with one child need an income of less than $35,000 (add $2,500 for each additional dependent).
The program can be accessed on Mondays and Thursdays from 12-4 p.m. at Community Volunteer Connections (44 Queen St. rear door).
Program volunteer Anne Schroder says that many of the people they work with cannot afford to have their return prepared by a professional tax service, or sometimes require assistance in getting caught up to date if they haven’t filed for several years.
For those who want to access the program, Schroder says it is very important to bring every piece of tax-related documentation that could aid in the preparation of their return.
“All your T4 slips, T5s, pension stuff, medical expenses, donation receipts and rent receipts with the landlord’s name or property tax receipts,” said Anne Schroder. “All that stuff, if they’ve got it, then we can do it — but we do not go back and get people’s papers for them. That’s their job.”
Schroder says the program has done the taxes of about 100 people thus far and will commonly serve close to 400 residents per year. They mainly work via the ‘e-file’ system but can also prepare paper returns (most often in the case of back taxes)
Community Volunteer Connections is always looking for volunteers for this and programs. They can be contacted at 223-5995.