Income tax volunteers ready to serve

Surinderpal Rathor is among volunteers helping people with their income tax forms. - Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Surinderpal Rathor is among volunteers helping people with their income tax forms.
— image credit: Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Volunteers in Williams Lake are ramping up to help lower income people with their income tax returns.

Williams Lake and District Community Volunteer Income Tax Preparation Program co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said local volunteers are among 18,000 across Canada.

Volunteers receive free training as well as free software from the federal government that is updated regularly to be apart of the program.

“Some of our volunteers are going through the training right now,” Rathor said.

The CVIPP operates under certain guidelines and offers the service for free.

To qualify, however, a single person’s income cannot exceed $30,000. For a couple it cannot exceed $40,000 and for a couple with one child it cannot exceed $45,000.

“People are allowed an additional $2,500 per additional child,” he added.

Volunteers cannot prepare returns for people with capital gains or loss, self-employed income, rental income, income expenses and commissions, people filing bankruptcy or deceased people.

“Everyone should file income tax because of the benefits,” Rathor said. “It gives them access to all the credits. The provincial tax credit, GST, guaranteed income supplements, child tax benefits and working income tax. Even medical premiums are based on income tax returns.”

Anyone wanting to access the service can drop information at the Senior Citizens Activity Centre and the Women’s Contact Society at 51A Fourth Avenue North during operating hours.

They will have to fill out some forms with personal information and authorizing volunteers to proceed with filing the form.

Rathor will be available in person at Sunset Manor on Mar. 4, Senior Citizens Activity Centre on Mar. 6, Glen Arbor on Mar. 11, Salvation Army on Mar. 13 and Seniors Village on Mar. 18. He will also be at Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society on First Ave. in the Village Square March 20.

All dates will be from 11 a.m. to noon.

Volunteers have the capacity to file the return electronically on behalf of clients, and if people have completed direct deposit information ahead of time, that’s ideal, Rathor said.

This year will mark Rathor’s 39th year of participating in the program.

“Yes I’m a volunteer, but I approach it no differently than a professional,” he said. “I take it very seriously.”

Anyone with questions can contact Rathor by phone 250-398-5222 or 250-392-0909 (cell).


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