The Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, issued the following statement during National Volunteer Week 2021:
“This National Volunteer Week I wish to address the thousands of volunteers and community organizations across the country who continue to help people do their taxes through our free tax clinic programs.
As volunteers, you’re the heart of a long-standing tradition of helping those in need. This year, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is celebrating 50 years. And, in Quebec, volunteers have been supporting the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program (ITAVP) for over 30 years.
As a volunteer, you truly make a difference in the lives of people in need. So far in 2021, you are over 14,200 strong and you have come together again to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
You make tax filing less stressful and less daunting for those who need support. You help Canadians get the benefits and credits they are entitled to receive. But most of all, together with the other volunteers, you help to create a more just and equitable society.
On behalf of the Canada Revenue Agency, I want to thank you for your dedication, particularly as we continue to find ways to adapt during the pandemic. You have continued to help people, even as you faced your own challenges due to COVID-19.”
- During the 2019-2020 program year, more than 18,960 volunteers and 3,810 community organizations filed over 467,500 tax returns for individuals across Canada. From May 2020 to December 2020, an additional 205,000 tax returns were filed through virtual tax clinics.
- The CVITP and the IVATP (in Quebec) help people with a modest income and a simple tax situation who are looking for support during tax season by preparing their income tax and benefit returns free of charge.
- The CRA is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is looking into the best possible measures to serve individuals through the CVITP. Our goal is to prevent disruptions to Canadians’ tax and benefit affairs, while also ensuring the safety of volunteers, our partner organizations and our employees.
- Community organizations are hosting free virtual tax clinics for individuals with a modest income and a simple tax situation. Volunteers may be able to complete and file taxes for free, by videoconference, by phone, or through a document drop-off arrangement.
- These virtual clinics will be held on an interim basis to help taxpayers with their taxes while still following physical distancing guidelines.