Tax season is upon us and United Way in Sudbury is offering help people file their tax returns.
The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program offers income tax preparations at no cost for those who qualify.
The program is first-come, first-served at the United Way Centraide North East Ontario office at 957 Cambrian Heights Drive, Unit 201 in Sudbury and runs March 2 through April 16.
The clinic is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and until 7:30 p.m. on Tuedays.
Additional tax clinics are available across the district:
Madeline Scott says she has been getting her tax returns prepared by volunteers at United Way for 15 years now.
"The process doesn’t take that long. They’re really willing to help me and I have the Handi-Transit that brings me here, so everything is taken care of. They do all the paperwork neat and properly for me to understand and they take their time with me and I enjoy being with them," said Scott.
The program has been around since 1997, and officials say even if you do make less than $35,000, it’s vital to complete your tax return.
"Even though they may think they are not going to get a refund because they did not pay taxes, you actually have to do your taxes to access other benefits, such as child tax benefits and GST. We did a rough calculation last year and it’s millions of dollars that are going back into the pockets of the people who need it the most. So, it’s really important for people to come and get their taxes done," said Linda Dupuis, with United Way.
Dupuis said this program would not be possible without help from dozens of volunteers.
"I find pleasure in doing it because I’ve been doing taxes for the last 25 years. The most rewarding thing is when you’re doing a tax return for an individual who has a very low income and they end up getting this substantial amount back. They’re so happy; some of them want to hug you. It’s amazing,” said volunteer Denis Boisvenue.
Last year, more than 4,000 tax returns were prepared for low-income individuals, and this year, officials are expecting an even higher number.
There are additional tax clinics located across the district:
- Greater Sudbury Main Library (Mackenzie)
- Valley East
- Sudbury Community Service Centre Sudbury
- Northern Initiative for Social Action Sudbury
- Ontario Works Office
- Little Current
- Parry Sound
- Sheshegwaning First Nation
- St. Charles
- Sturgeon Falls