The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program launches locally on March 1. Inquiries can been made to sponsoring organization, the Trail FAIR Society 250.364.2326.

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program launches locally on March 1. Inquiries can been made to sponsoring organization, the Trail FAIR Society 250.364.2326.

Greater Trail volunteers welcome for free tax program

For those eligible, the free program runs in five locations from 9-11 a.m. until April 23

Filing taxes for upwards of 400 people in the Trail area each year sounds daunting.

Especially when you’re doing it for free.

But that’s what a handful of number crunchers have been doing for low income earners in Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley for 10+ years through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

So understandably, they are always looking for more helpers.

“You need a basic understanding of income tax (and) be comfortable using a computer,” says Bill Van Beek. “And you’ll need your own computer, printer and internet access.”

Training via webinars is provided.

“You apply thru CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) and must meet security requirements,” he added. “And you have to want to help others.”

The free service launches March 1 and runs until April 23, Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. in set locations.

Annual income maximums apply, such as a single-person cannot earn more than $30,000; two-person households cannot exceed $40,000; and families greater than two are permitted $2,500 for each additional person.

Van Beek clarified that persons with investments or interest income in excess of $1,000, capital gains/losses, partnership income, rental income, business or professional income, farming or fishing income, bankruptcy, or anyone with complex deductions may be deemed ineligible for this service.

“Also, we are unable to prepare final returns for deceased persons,” he added. “Other limitations may apply.”

For those eligible, Van Beek says a piece of government photo ID is required. He reminds clients to bring all essential documents and receipts, including details about dependents and spouse, tax slips and prior years notice of assessment if available.

There are no appointments and interviews are on a first-come basis.

Drop-offs won’t be accepted, and Van Beek asks clients to arrive at least 15 minutes before the posted closing time.

The five locations are the Trail Senior Citizens Branch on Monday; Tuesday at Kate’s Kitchen, 730 Rossland Ave.; the Trail Legion on Wednesdays; Thursday at Beaver Valley Senior Citizens Manor in Fruitvale; and Esling Park Lodge in Rossland on Fridays.

Those eligible to receive the GST credit or other credits, must file a tax return, by April 30 to ensure timely receipt of quarterly payments which commence at the beginning of July.

For more information contact CVITP’s sponsoring organization, the Trail FAIR Society at 250.364.2326.