We’re hiring a tax advocate!

Position: Tax Advocate for DABC

Open: December 16, 2021

Closes: January 3, 2021

Location: Vancouver, BC 

Job Type: Permanent, part-time (3days/week)

Salary: $25,200 annually 

Benefits: 

  • Extended Health Care 
  • Paid Vacation 
  • Paid sick leave

Report to: Director, Tax AID

Who We Are

Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC (DABC) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. We champion issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities through our direct services, community partnerships, advocacy, research, and publications.

Our mission: to support people, with all disabilities, to live with dignity, independence, and as equal and full participants in the community.

Program Description

Tax AID DABC partners with the Together Against Poverty Society, the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society, and the Active Support Against Poverty Society, to provide free support to people with disabilities across BC to file their taxes. 

Job Description

DABC is seeking an advocate who is passionate about disability issues and community work to join our Tax AID program. Under the supervision of the Tax AID Director, the Advocate/Program Coordinator will work one-on-one to assist people with disabilities with their income taxes and raise awareness about the program through strategic partnership and community outreach. The successful candidate will have other administrative responsibilities related to the program’s operations including developing and conducting workshops, assisting with program reports, and participating in team meetings and training on an as needed basis. 

Experience with income tax filing is a strong asset to the position, but all candidates who believe in the values and mandate of DABC are encouraged to apply.  

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Prepare and file accurate tax returns for current and previous years in compliance with CRA standards
  • Liaise with clients and the CRA on specific issues related personal taxes 
  • Manage multiple client files simultaneously
  • Report any questions or concerns to the Director 
  • Compile and organize client records
  • Attend trainings to further develop accounting taxation knowledge as part of an ongoing professional development program

A successful applicant must:

  • Be able to work effectively with people with disabilities
  • Possess a four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent work experience
  • Meet the requirements to be a tax filer through CRA’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (CVITP) program
  • Be self-motivated and adaptable and able to work effectively with a team
  • Be detail-oriented and have excellent organizational skills 
  • Have strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Understand the importance of preserving the confidentiality of sensitive client information
  • Be computer literate and proficient with word-processing software, including the Microsoft Office Suite
  • Be comfortable working in the office and remotely
  • Be available for occasional travel to communities across Lower Mainland

The following are not required but would be assets to the position:

  • Have more than 2 years of proven experience for clients using income tax preparation software (e.g., UFile) to prepare income tax returns 
  • Knowledge of tax law
  • Volunteer or coordination experience with the Canadian Revenue Agency’s CVITP Program
  • Working knowledge of income tax programs for people with disabilities including the Disability Tax Credit, Canada caregiver amount and other deductions
  • Completion of an accounting or tax certificate or diploma/degree
  • DABC is an open and diverse organization that promotes inclusive hiring practices. We encourage applications from qualified applicants who identify as visible minorities, Indigenous persons, and of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities. People with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

To Apply:

This role includes extended health care benefits after a 3-month probation, 3 weeks paid vacation, and paid sick leave.

To apply, please submit a resume and brief cover letter addressed to Cynthia Minh (Director, Tax AID & Access RDSP) cynthia@disabilityalliancebc.org using the subject heading “Job Application: Tax AID Advocate/Program Coordinator”. No phone calls or faxes please. 

Applications are due no later than 4:30 p.m. on January 3, 2021. DABC welcomes all applications, however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview.

100% of DABC’s staff and volunteers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Many of the clients that DABC serves have medical conditions which make them vulnerable and more susceptible to severe symptoms of COVID-19, and so it is vital that DABC strives to protect our clients from risk of transmission. It is DABC’s policy to request that all new contractors and employees be fully vaccinated and therefore the successful applicant for this position will be asked for proof of vaccination upon hiring.  

DABC is an open and diverse organization that promotes inclusive hiring practices. We encourage applications from qualified applicants who identify as visible minorities, Indigenous persons, and of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities. People with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

Workshop: Fuel Tax Refund Program for persons with disabilities!

Workshop poster. Background is light blue, and features a cartoon drawing of the front half of a car. Black text reads: "Free webinar: Fuel Tax Refund Program for People with Disabilities. Thursday, November 18th, 11:00-12:30 pm (all welcome). For more information: taxaid@disabilityalliancebc.org
236-477-1717."

The Tax AID program at DABC will be offering a workshop on the Fuel Tax Refund Program for people with disabilities who own a vehicle and/or are interested in finding out more information about the program.  

Date of Webinar: Thu, Nov 18, 11:00am-12:30 pm (all welcome) 

If you’re eligible for the Fuel Tax Refund Program, you may receive:

  • a fuel tax refund of up to $500 each calendar year for a qualifying vehicle registered in the program, and
  • a 25% discount off your ICBC basic Autoplan insurance (including electric vehicles)

At the workshop, we will provide an overview of the program, including eligibility, the registration process and how to claim your benefits once registered.  

We will also cover the ICBC vehicle insurance discount and Federal excise gasoline tax refund program.  

More information about the program: 

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/sales-taxes/motor-fuel-carbon-tax/refund-disabilities

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/taxes/sales-taxes/publications/mft-004-fuel-tax-refund-persons-with-disabilities.pdf

To Register: please go to the registration page:  

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kGATCi9dT6e-RkCg67KAgA

For more information, please contact our Tax AID program at taxaid@disabilityalliancebc.org or 236-477-1717.

DABC receives continued funding for Tax AID program

Disability Alliance BC is thankful to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for committing to another three years in funding for our Tax AID program! This program provides free community-based income tax filing services for people with disabilities throughout British Columbia.

Read the news release here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021SDPR0024-000643

From the news release:

Susan and Richard, a couple helped by Tax Aid –

“Having gotten our many tax returns up to date is a huge burden off our shoulders, and we could not have done this without you. Your patience with us and your kind-hearted willingness to go way above and beyond is appreciated more than you can imagine.”

CERB repayment forgiveness for self-employed Canadians

Earlier this week, the Government of Canada announced that “self-employed individuals who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and would have qualified based on their gross income will not be required to repay the benefit, provided they also met all other eligibility requirements.”

For more information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/news/2021/02/government-of-canada-announces-targeted-interest-relief-on-2020-income-tax-debt-for-low–and-middle-income-canadians.html

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ineligible-self-employed-canadians-who-received-cerb-due-to-unclear-information-likely-wont-be-forced-to-repay

Important Notice: EFILE Interruption

Please be advised that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is conducting annual maintenance of its systems. As a result, our Tax AID team is temporarily unable to submit your tax file electronically. Electronic transmission services will re-open on Monday, February 22, 2021. 

More info: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-businesses/efile-electronic-filers/efile-news-program-updates.html

During the waiting time, we can prepare your tax return on paper in a limited capacity. However, processing times will be 6-8 weeks, while processing times for electronic filings are closer to 1-2 weeks.   

Save Your Spot! 

If you would like to reserve your spot for helping filing your income taxes (including 2020) in advance, please go to our tax booking system: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/direct-service/file-income-taxes/tax-appoint.

Thank you for your understanding. 

DABC is hiring a temporary tax advocate!

Application deadline: 12:00 pm, February 3rd, 2021.

We are seeking a part-time tax advocate (contractor) to join our team. The successful candidate will conduct client intake for Tax AID DABC, prepare and submit income taxes for clients, and assist with increasing community awareness of the program across BC. The advocate will also work on other aspects of the program’s operations as needed including conducting workshops, assisting with program reports, and participating in team meetings/training.

DABC is an open and diverse organization that promotes inclusive hiring practices. We encourage applications from qualified applicants who identify as visible minorities, Indigenous persons, and of all sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information: https://disabilityalliancebc.org/career/.

Volunteer with Tax AID DABC as a Tax Preparer!

Application Deadline: February 5, 2021

Since 1977, Disability Alliance BC (DABC) has been a provincial, cross-disability voice in British Columbia. Our mission is to support people, with all disabilities, to live with dignity, independence and as equal and full participants in the community. DABC is looking for passionate and dedicated volunteers to support our Tax AID program during the peak tax season for people who are receiving disability benefits.

Position: Volunteer Tax Preparer

Numbers: 5

Schedule & Commitment

  • February 22-April 30, 2021 (10 weeks: M-F)
  • Minimum Commitment: Two shifts/week (morning shift 9:30 am-12:30 pm or afternoon shift 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm)
  • Location: Remote

Qualifications

  • Must have 1-2 years of experience with client tax filling (we are not accepting volunteers with no experience)
  • Good computer and technology skills; experience working with UFile is an asset.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • A strong desire to help and serve our community of people with disabilities.
  • Pass Criminal Record Check
  • Be able to obtain an EFILE number (personal tax filings are current; no outstanding tax debt; not in bankruptcy)
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.

Skills

  • Understand the challenges experienced by low-income individuals with disabilities.
  • Be friendly, reliable, responsible, non-judgmental and non-discriminatory
  • Be flexible and willing to learn.
  • Must have basic computer skills: shared folder, Outlook, Excel.

Duties

  • Complete income tax returns in accordance with Revenue Canada guidelines
  • Report questions or concerns to the Income Tax Clinic supervisor

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Help individuals get or maintain uninterrupted access to benefits and credits;
  • Give back to the community;
  • Increase personal tax knowledge;
  • Gain new skills and improve existing ones;
  • Receive training, support, and reference materials including free tax software.

Training and Orientation

  • Orientation to Tax AID DABC programs, policies, and procedures.
  • Canada Revenue Agency online webinars.
  • Virtual supervision by Income Tax Clinic supervisor.

Volunteer Screening Process

  • Volunteer Application (or resume)
  • Interview
  • Police Records Check
  • Register with CVITP
  • Obtain an EFILE number through CRA

Application Deadline: February 5th, 2021 (by 12:00 pm)

If you are interested in applying, please submit a resume to Myung Lee, Program Manager for Tax AID, myung@disabilityalliancebc.org (Please indicate “Volunteer Tax Preparer” in the email subject line). No phone calls or faxes, please.

You or Your family will be eligible for tax-free payment of up to $1,000. The applications open December 18, 2020

Have you done your 2019 tax? If no, it’s time to hurry up. If you were required to file a 2019 Canadian personal income tax return, but have not done so yet, you must file a 2019 return before applying for the benefit.

The BC government has introduced the new BC Recovery Benefit on December 8, 2020. The BC Recovery Benefit is a one-time, tax-free payment of up to $1,000 for eligible families and single parents and up to $500 for eligible individuals. 

The amount you’re eligible for will be automatically calculated based on your income when you apply.

Benefit rates

Families and single parents

  • $1,000 for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $125,000
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible families and single parents with a net income of up to $175,000

The benefit defines a family as an individual and their spouse or common-law partner, unless they are separated. Both people must be residents of B.C.

The benefit defines a single parent as an individual who is the principal caregiver to at least one child.

Individuals

  • $500 for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $62,500
  • Reduced benefit amount for eligible individuals with a net income of up to $87,500

What you need to apply

Net income from your 2019 tax return

You must provide your net income from your 2019 tax return. This number can be found on Line 23600 of your 2019 income tax return.

If you haven’t already filed your 2019 tax return, file to the Canada Revenue Agency as soon as possible.

There are multiple ways to file, including:

Social insurance number

When you apply, we’ll need your social insurance number, individual tax number, or temporary tax number to verify your eligibility.

Driver’s licence number

If you have a B.C. driver’s licence, you must provide your driver’s licence number.

Direct deposit information

The benefit will only be issued by direct deposit. You must have an account with a Canadian financial institution to receive the benefit.

If you’re on income or disability assistance and don’t have a bank account, a modified application will be available in the new year to help you apply for and receive the benefit.

Get your direct deposit information from a personal cheque or from your financial institution.

Be prepared to provide:

  • Branch (transit) number
  • Institution number
  • Account number

More details, please go to https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit#didnt-file

Tax AID Direct Line-Local: 236-477-1717
Tax AID Direct Line-Toll Free:  1-877-940-7797

taxaid@disabilityalliancebc.org

Haven’t filed your taxes yet? Call Tax AID DABC!

If you haven’t yet filed your taxes, you can still file your 2019 income tax and benefit return!

The CRA extended the deadline to pay amounts owing to September 1, 2020. Penalties and interest will not be charged if you make your payment by September 1, 2020. This includes the late-filing penalty.

You will continue to receive important payments to help you through the COVID-19 crisis. But if the CRA has not assessed your 2019 return, information from your 2018 return will be used to calculate the benefit and credit payments sent to you until September 2020.