Community Volunteer Income Tax Program’s Rajneesh Khugsal, left), program co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor, Judy Gibbons, Basem Marhoon and Craig Glover are gearing up for this year’s program with the first sitting starting Thursday, March 7. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program’s Rajneesh Khugsal, left), program co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor, Judy Gibbons, Basem Marhoon and Craig Glover are gearing up for this year’s program with the first sitting starting Thursday, March 7. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Williams Lake’s community volunteer income tax program offers sittings in March

“I do it for the community involvement and giving back to the community,” Glover said.

Everyone volunteering for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) in Williams Lake has one thing in common.

They all love math and working with numbers.

“I’ve always been passionate about income tax,” said Judy Gibbons, who after several years is back with the program. “When I was 18 I did my own. Then when my friends found out, they got me to do theirs. I’ve been doing income tax ever since.”

Entering into his 44th year with the program, co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor encouraged anyone who has a T4, regardless of their age, or is 18 years and up, to file an income return.

“For Canadians it is law. So much relies on income tax returns — GST and Child Tax Credit,” he said.

Joining Rathor and Gibbons are Basem Marhoon, who moved from Barhan to Williams Lake in 2016 with his physician wife and their three children. Presently he works as a bookkeeper at United Flooring.

Craig Glover, manager of financial planning at the Williams Lake and District Credit Union, is back for his third year volunteering.

READ MORE: Community income tax program volunteers readying to help Williams Lake in March

“I do it for the community involvement and giving back to the community,” Glover said.

Newcomer Rajneesh Khugsal is a finance business partner with Pinnacle Pellet. He moved to the lakecity from Burns Lake in 2018 for the job with his wife who is a pharmacist.

She is presently off work as they have a six-month-old baby and an 11 year old.

“We lived in Alberta for three years and in 2016 I did the tax program with H&R Block,” Khugsal said.

Rathor said Raj contacted him last March but the volunteers had already completed the sittings.

“I am very lucky to have the knowledge of these people,” Rathor said of his volunteer team. “We are here to help people who really need help. Our job is not to take away from businesses who do income tax returns.”

The ceiling for eligibility is an annual income of $30,000 for one person, $40,000 for a two-person household, plus $2,500 for each additional child.

“If someone’s circumstance has changed we can consider helping them,” Rathor added. “There is no law — but there are guidelines.”

Reminding clients they can ask their pharmacy to print out the year’s prescriptions, Rathor also said they can claim travel for medical appointments that are 40 kilometres and over.

“They need the doctor’s name, mileage, date and parking tickets or hotel expenses if they had to stay overnight. Also anyone who had a disease over 12 months that has impacted their quality of life should get a TDC2201 form at Service Canada for their doctor to fill sign.”

Once the TDC2201 is approved, the volunteers will need a copy of the approval letter.

READ MORE: Rathor to be awarded Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Rathor said if someone is using the CVITP for the first time it would be helpful if they included last year’s notice of assessment if possible because it helps the volunteers to be able to make comparisons.

Scheduled for sittings in Williams Lake

• Thursday, March 7 from 10 a.m. to noon. Seniors Village at 1455 Western Ave.

* Tuesday, March 12 from 10 a.m. to noon. Seniors Activity Centre at 176 Fourth Ave. North.

• Thursday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to noon. Glen Arbor at 564 Oliver Street

• Tuesday, March 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. Sunset Manor at 60 Westridge.

• Thursday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon. Salvation Army at 267 Borland Street.

• Tuesday, March 26 from 10 a.m. to noon. United Steelworkers Union Local 2-2017 building at 124C Second Ave. North.

“I’m still working at Tolko three days a week, but if people cannot make one of the scheduled sittings we have in March, they can always call me and we can meet,” Rathor said. “They just need to drop their papers off at the Seniors Activity Centre. The volunteers go through the papers and you get everything back.”

Income tax papers can be dropped off at the Seniors Activity Centre between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday to Friday and anyone wanting to contact Rathor can call him at 250-392-0909.

Diane Walters volunteers for the Women’s Contact Society doing income tax returns. Residents want to access her services can drop papers off at 51 Fourth Ave. South.



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