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Community Volunteer Income Tax program ready to roll in Williams Lake

Sittings will take place in March and early April
Community Volunteer Income Tax Program volunteers Judy Gibbons, left, and Surinderpal Rathor are gearing up to offer the program in 2022. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

With income tax season underway, volunteers are ready to provide Williams Lake’s community volunteer income tax program.

Surinderpal Rathor, in his 47th year of being involved, and Judy Gibbons, in her 28th year, will be offering sittings in March and early April.

“Government plans are based on income tax so even if you don’t have an income and are 18 years of age or older you must file,” Rathor said, noting a person’s age, marital status or provincial residency on Dec. 31, 2021 determines how a person should answer questions on the form.

Rathor and Gibbons could use more volunteers if anyone is interested in being trained.

“You cannot learn it in one day though, and you have to be wanting to learn,” he said.

Files are processed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Rathor said the community volunteer income tax program is intended not to take away customers from businesses that do income tax return, but in place to help people who cannot afford to pay to have the service done.

Priority goes to seniors, new Canadians, students and people with disabilities.

“We do the returns through e-file and have the necessary criminal record checks and are approved to use auto-fill.”

Anyone wanting to access the program is asked not to leave papers in Rathor’s mailbox.

He also encourages anyone with prescriptions to claim to go to the pharmacy and request a print out of all the year’s prescriptions.

Other claimable expenses including having to travel more than 40 kilometres for medical attention that is not provided locally.

Mileage, meals and accommodation can be claimed and the doctor’s name and address and date of the appointment are required.

Gibbons said she was helping a senior couple with their returns and asked them some questions because she was aware they had travelled.

“They ended up paying $1,000 less,” Gibbons said, adding it’s a good thing to mark down any travel on a calendar and when at a doctor’s office grabbing a business card and marking the date down to keep as a reference.

Anyone applying for the disability tax credit needs pre-approval, Gibbons added.

They also cannot file for people who are bankrupt, have $1,000 capital gain or loss, or for a deceased person’s file.

Scheduled sittings

Tuesday, March 8, Sunset Manor, 60 Westridge Drive, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 250-392-6020.

Thursday, March 10, Retirement Concepts Seniors Village, 1455 Western Ave., 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 250-305-3314

Tuesday, March 15, Glen Arbor, 564 Oliver Street, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 250-305-1232

Thursday, March 17, Seniors Activity Centre, 176 Fourth Ave. North, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 250-392-7946

Thursday, March 24, Cariboo Chilcotin Partners For Literacy, #302 172 Second Ave. North, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 250-392-7833

Tuesday, March 29, United Steel Workers, 124C Second Ave. North, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 250-392-8248

Thursday, March 31, Cariboo Place, 185 Fourth Ave. North, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Tuesday, April 5, Salvation Army, 272 Borland Street, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 250-392-2423 or Donna at 250-267-1916

By attending the sittings, Rathor and Gibbons can have people sign a form giving them permission to file for them.

There is year around drop-off Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Seniors Activity Centre and Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.

New this year, the volunteers will host two information fairs about income tax preparation.

The first one is at the Seniors Activity Centre on Thursday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there is another one on Thursday, March 3 at GROW Online learning centre, 320 Second Ave. North, 10 a.m. to noon. For more information contact Cheyenne at 250-302-1810.

Diane Walters is offering the program through the Women’s Contact Society, 51 Fourth Ave. South, 250-392-4118. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The deadline for filing income tax is April 30, 2022. Rathor said anyone with questions is welcome to call him at 250-392-0909.

READ MORE:Another ‘unique’ tax-filing season opens in Canada amid pandemic challenges: CRA

READ MORE: B.C.’s post-COVID economy faces export, labour, taxation issues

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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