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You don't need a background in tax preparation to volunteer at free clinics

Last year's clinics in the Halifax area filled up quickly, which is why the CRA is putting out an urgent plea for volunteers
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Volunteers are needed for upcoming tax preparation clinics.

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program hosts free clinics where volunteers help those who are eligible file their tax returns.

Spokesperson for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Dawn Kennedy said that means those with modest incomes and simple returns.

Generally, if you're single and making less $35,000, you would qualify for the program. A couple with a family income of less than $45,000 would also meet the criteria, and that threshold goes up by an additional $2,500 for each additional person in your family.

"We did over 36,000 tax returns last year for Nova Scotia and those would be for anybody who qualifies for that income level," Kennedy explained. 

"We typically do see a lot of seniors, we see a lot of students, we see a lot of newcomers who might need help with that, but anybody in general, it could be just an average working person or couple who needs help with their tax return."

Kennedy said last year's clinics in the Halifax area filled up quickly, leaving many who needed the service to face long waits or having to travel long distances to get the help they needed, which is why the CRA is putting out an urgent plea for volunteers.

She said it doesn't have to be a huge time commitment, they're happy to take whatever a volunteer can give. And a background in tax preparation helps, but it isn't necessary.

"We'll give you the training, we'll give you the software, we'll give you the support if you need any help, and a dedicated phone number to call if you get stuck with anything," said Kennedy.

"People who come in to get their tax returns filed bring their papers, bring their slips, it's all there. The volunteer is really just transcribing that information into the software and sending it off."

Kennedy adds it's an opportunity to meet new people, help those in need and give back to the community.

Anyone interested in volunteering or attending a clinic can find out more information on the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program website.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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