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.

Are you a certificate holder of the Disability Tax Credit? You will receive $600 in COVID-19 benefits

Canada’s Prime Minister announced on June 5 that there will be a new COVID-19 benefit for those who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit.

This new benefit, announced during National AccessAbility Week, will support eligible Canadians with disabilities in dealing with extra expenses during the pandemic.

This support includes a special one-time, tax-free payment to individuals who are certificate holders of the Disability Tax Credit as of June 1, 2020, as follows:

  • $600 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate.  
  • $300 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the Old Age Security (OAS) pension.
  • $100 for Canadians with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and who are eligible for the OAS pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

For more details, please go to:
https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/06/05/prime-minister-announces-supports-canadians-disabilities-address

Note re: tax filing/GST

If you haven’t filed your 2019 income taxes yet, don’t panic! Your GST will be processed based on the 2018 tax year.

The CRA has provided the following info:

  • Due to the change in the tax deadline from April 30 to June 1, 2020, we expect many will need to take advantage of the extended deadline. Therefore, if the 2019 tax return is not assessed, and to allow time to calculate benefits and/or credits for the July to September 2020 payments, payment amounts will be based on information from 2018 tax returns.
  • If you receive an estimated benefit and/or credit payment based on your 2018 tax return(s), you’re still required to file your 2019 income tax return.

More info:
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/covid-19-update/covid-19-filing-payment-dates.html

If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes or other tax years, please contact Tax AID. We offer year-round services.