Did you know that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) counts on over 3,500 organizations and 18,000 volunteers every year to host free tax clinics? By signing up to host or to volunteer at a free tax clinic, you can make a big difference in your community and be part of a program that helps thousands of people across the country.
Free tax clinics are made possible through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). In Quebec, this program is called the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program and is jointly run by the CRA and Revenu Québec. Organizations and volunteers come together every year to complete tax returns and help people receive their benefits, credits, and refunds.
Become a volunteer: Do you do your own taxes online using NETFILE-certified tax software? Help someone else do the same through the CVITP’s EFILE software. For the 2021 tax season, many organizations are transitioning from in-person to virtual tax clinics. Volunteers will be able to complete and file returns by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement.
What’s involved: Free tax clinics are a collaboration between community organizations and the CRA. The CRA will work with you and provide support to help you run your clinic.
- hosts a free tax clinic
- manages resources and volunteers
- keeps taxpayer information secure and confidential
- makes sure all volunteers are approved and get a police records check, if needed
The CRA will give you:
- guidance and support
- training for volunteers
- free tax preparation software
- a year-round dedicated help line for volunteers
- promotional material
- used laptops (when available)
As a host, it’s up to your organization to decide what time and resources it can invest to run the clinic.
How do you get started: If your organization would like to host a tax clinic or if you’d like to volunteer, go to canada.ca/taxes-volunteer to register online. Or, you may contact a CRA coordinator to enquire about becoming a participating community organization or volunteer. Once you are accepted as a community partner or volunteer with the program, you can work with a CRA coordinator who will support and guide you throughout the process.