A 2010 tax return form from Toronto is pictured. File Photo

CRA’s annual Income Tax Clinic opens doors

Assisting those in lower income brackets, the clinics help residents file their taxes for free

With tax season upon us, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is once again offering a free volunteer run income tax clinic throughout the months of March and April, to help residents file their taxes. The service is offered to anyone with income under $45,000 for families, and $35,000 for individuals, with an additional allowance of $2,500 per dependent. The clinics are offered to those below a certain income level in an effort to avoid unfairly competing with tax professionals.

The clinics run on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fernie Library board room from March 7 to April 25, with closures for Holy Saturday on April 11. Clinics are also available on Tuesdays at the Fernie Seniors Centre from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from March 3 until April 28. The clinics are drop in and operate on a first come first serve basis. However, appointments can be made for those who cannot make the designated times, and house visits are offered for housebound clients.

“These services are beneficial because people with these low incomes have a need for the refund of GST, and the low income benefit that comes from the carbon tax. The payments come four times a year, and they usually spend locally and that benefits local business,” said William Silversides, one of Fernie’s tax clinic volunteers.

At the clinics, volunteers complete and submit client’s tax forms, answering questions along the way in an effort to teach residents how to do their own taxes.

“Revenue Canada supplies us with the software and a dedicated hotline to get answers to any questions we have and even access client’s information, with their consent, for missing tax slips. We are authorized ‘Efilers’ which affords us more flexibility than ‘Netfiling’ any changes to the clients profile,” said Terry Cryderman, another volunteer.

Those attending the clinics must bring tax information slips, receipts, Social Insurance number, and identification. Tax information slips are prepared by employers, and should have been received by the end of February. In the event of not having received slips, employers must be contacted. Previous year’s Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, and Old Age Security tax slips can be found electronically on the Service Canada website. For slips from 2018 and earlier, copies can be found at the My Account service on the Government of Canada website, or by speaking to a CRA agent at 1-800-959-8281.

For those with a phone and reasonable plan, another option for filing taxes is Telefiling. Residents with access to a computer can also file online, or with the assistance of a purchased tax program. Online filing is cheaper than hiring an accountant for those with higher incomes, and is free for people with low incomes.

The clinic representatives remind the public to submit their tax claims before the deadline to avoid delays on returns or interference to benefits.

If there are any outstanding questions or the need to meet at times or locations not currently offered, contact Terry Cryderman at 250-423-4905 or tlc4905@gmail.com, or William Silversides at wssides@elkvalley.net or 250-423-4758.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental health in the time of COVID-19

Taking care of our mental health is just as important as protecting our physical health

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Elk Valley seniors aren’t alone in facing COVID-19

A number of services have popped up throughout town to support seniors during the pandemic

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read