Angelica de Groot has a self-professed fondness for filling out tax returns and uses her bookkeeping skills for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

Angelica de Groot has a self-professed fondness for filling out tax returns and uses her bookkeeping skills for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program.

Free tax preparation offered in Greater Trail

Local volunteers are offering free tax return assistance for low income families.

It’s that taxing time of year again.

By April 30, Canadians will spend between $4 billion and $5.8 billion preparing and filing personal income tax returns, with the average cost per person being $215, according to a study by the Fraser Institute.

In Greater Trail, low income families and individuals won’t have to worry about losing a portion of their tax return to processing fees, because community volunteers have their pencils sharpened and calculators ready to prepare those returns for free.

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is a collaboration between the Canada Revenue Agency and local organizations with an objective to help eligible taxpayers who don’t know how to prepare their income tax and benefit returns.

To qualify for the free service, individual income must be under $30,000; family earnings less than $40,000; and for a single parent with one child, $35,000 with $2,500 allowed for each additional child.

“This is a service that is very beneficial for people in our area who cannot afford to pay for a tax return,” explained volunteer Angelica de Groot. “Even if the cost is $50 or $60, that is a lot of money and hard to pay if you are low income.”

Trail has provided the service for a number of years and has been well utilized, noted de Groot, adding that since setting up shop in Fruitvale three years ago, the free program has continued to grow.

This year, the volunteers are heading up the hill to offer their service once per week in Rossland until the end of tax season.

Five tax preparation clinics are planned to run weekly until April 30, starting in the Trail Seniors’ Centre (Greater Trail Community Centre) Mondays from 9-11 a.m.; Tuesday at Kate’s Kitchen on Rossland Avenue from 9:30-11:30 a.m.; and Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. in Trail FAIR Society building on Columbia Avenue.

On Thursdays, the program moves to Beaver Valley Senior Citizens Manor on Laurier Avenue in Fruitvale from 9-11 a.m., then every Friday to the end of the tax season, volunteers will be on site in Rossland at Esling Park Lodge on Spokane Street from 9-11 a.m.

People accessing the program are asked to bring all slips including T3s, T4s, T5s and receipts for medical expenses, child arts or recreational programs, and charitable donations.

All information is confidential and once the tax return is electronically filed, the computers are wiped clean, said de Groot.

“Even if the service was used last year, that information is not kept,” she continued. “So if they have last year’s notice of assessment of tax forms, that is a help so bring it in.”

Usually people who are low income do not pay income taxes, but filing a return provides access to certain benefits that can add up to more than $100 a month, such as GST credit, Canada Child Tax Benefit payments, Guaranteed Income Supplement or Allowance benefits.

“All those kinds of benefits you would be missing out on if you don’t file your taxes,” said de Groot.

“And we do go back in years for taxes that weren’t filed because some benefits allow you to collect retroactively.”

For more information contact the Trail FAIR Society at 364.2326.

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

A B.C. police officer shows an approved roadside screening device. Photo: Saanich News file
Woman caught passed out behind the wheel in Trail

Police located the 38-year old in her parked but still running car, and had to rouse her awake.

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read